A 65-year-old man and his wife, who never missed attending Martyrs’ Day rally since 1994, still recollect the horrific experience they had to endure during the Left Front regime for joining Mamata Banerjee in paying homage to 13 youth, who were shot dead near Writers’ Building.
Sukharanjan Saha, a private teacher, and his wife Asha Saha were found standing on Chittaranjan Avenue at a distance of around 500 metre from the dais where Trinamool Congress supremo was addressing the rally.
Instead of trying to move closer to the dais the couple from Milangarh near Sodepur in North 24-Parganas stood behind many but listened to each and every words of Banerjee with rapt attention.
Considering Banerjee the epitome of love and affection as she always fight for the benefit of common people, Asha named her younger daughter Mamata, thirty years ago. “I still have the same faith and belief in Banerjee and it will continue till I die,” said Asha adding that it is the only reason they come to attend the rally every year.
Sukharanjan recollected the nightmarish situation through which he had to pass for attending the rallies before Trinamool Congress came to power. He said that in those days he had to come out of his home posing as if he was going out for work and around 15 to 20 Trinamool Congress supporters used to gather at Sodepur station to reach Sealdah station.
They didn’t have courage to take out flags of the party before reaching Sealdah station. “It was only after reaching Sealdah Station we used to take out flags. We used to march from Sealdah station to the venue,” he said adding that they again used to get separated after reaching Sodepur station while returning so that the local CPI(M) workers and leaders do not understand that they went to attend Martyrs’ Day rally.
The elderly couple used to keep it as a secret apprehending harassment by CPI(M) workers. Being the lone earner with two daughters and a son, he had to face many challenges during the Left Front regime for being Trinamool Congress supporters.
Now, they come by bus with many others from the area. But there was a time when they had decided to come all alone despite knowing its outcome.
“We keep waiting for the day round the year. The state has witnessed an overall development under the leadership of Banerjee. Bricks have been laid on the road outside our house that had remained in shambles for decades and it will be soon concretised,” he said.