Ensure history is not changed: CM
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged students and researchers to preserve history so that it is not changed due to different political ideologies.
"I request students and researchers to make efforts to conserve our history and make sure it is not changed due to any political ideology," Banerjee said during her address at the Convocation ceremony of Calcutta University here.
Indirectly alluding to an atmosphere of divisiveness, she wished that the Lord must throw more light all around so that there is "no narrow-mindedness and all differences between people can be erased".
It may be mentioned that Banerjee, in recent times, has been very vocal against the BJP accusing them of changing the names of historical places and institutions unilaterally to suit their own political vested interest.
She maintained that Calcutta University's credit lies in imparting education to the common and the poor.
"CU is a place of the commoner, by the commoner and for the commoner and you should continue to function in the same pattern," she added.
She hailed Calcutta University for making no demarcation between elite class and middle-class students and said the varsity maintains its old values which are golden ones.
"I come here because I feel at home," she maintained.
Banerjee took a dig at Presidency University and Jadavpur University accusing them of narrow mindedness when it comes to extending an invitation to people.
"At Calcutta University, you invite everybody at the Convocation — the teachers, students and even the non-teaching staff but I am saddened at the fact that one or two big universities do not do so. When I heard that Presidency University had decided to hold its Convocation at Raj Bhavan, I was so shocked. A student at Jadavpur University had refused to accept Convocation certificate from the Governor. Politics should not come in the way when it comes to honouring people," she said.
The Chief Minister was referring to Presidency University holding its Convocation outside the campus in September in the wake of students' movement regarding the delay in handover of Hindu Hostel. The Convocation was scheduled to be held at Raj Bhavan, though the venue was changed to Nandan IV at the last moment. No students were invited to attend the programme and the degrees were later handed over to them inside the university.
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi who is the Chancellor of both Jadavpur and Presidency University was seated on the dais when the Chief Minister spoke.
Former Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi who was conferred D.Litt at the Convocation said freedom of speech and expression should be exercised fearlessly in the country. "Fear is a great evil and is completely inconsistent with democracy and republicanism," he said.
He urged the Chief Minister to play a leading role in upholding the liberty and republicanism of the country. "You have a great role and responsibility to play in keeping the torch of liberty and republicanism alive and may this state be the torch bearer of those great ideals of India's freedom," Gandhi added.
The recipients of DSC were Dr. Dilip Mahalanobis and Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee while Manoj Pant, Principal Secretary of state Public Health Engineering Department and Land Reforms Commissioner was awarded Ph.D degree at the Convocation.