Outsiders are 'flexing muscles' here, resist the cultural onslaught: TMC
Kolkata: Taking a veiled dig at the saffron party, without taking any names, for suddenly flocking the state with leaders from outside and "flexing muscles" here, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leadership on Friday urged people to resist the cultural onslaught on Bengal.
Veteran TMC leader and minister Bratya Basu, while addressing a press conference here, said that the BJP was "anti- Bengali" and that was the reason the party, which is in power at the Centre since 2014, has not appointed any Bengali as its Union Cabinet minister.
He said outsiders who are coming to Bengal and "flexing muscles" are "totally ignorant about the heritage and culture of Bengal," he said adding that the demolition of the statue of Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and revival of Bengal's culture can never go hand-in-hand. He cautioned the people against the polarisation politics which the outsiders were trying to infuse in Bengal.
"Outsiders who do not know Rabindranath Tagore are dictating terms to the people of the state. We had seen how violence perpetrated by them led to desecration of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's bust (during May 2019 Lok Sabha polls campaign)," Basu stated.
Noting that the people of the state would never accept the dominion of "non-Bengali outsiders", Basu said: "History has shown any such attempt has never succeeded. This time, too, there will be no exception."
"They said Rabindranath was born in Bolpur and garlanded the statue of a local hunter mistaking it to be that of Birsha Munda's," he said sarcastically. Earlier, Amit Shah had garlanded the statue of a local hunter, mistaking it to be that of Birsha Munda's during his tour to Bankura. When this was pointed out by the local leaders, a painting of Birsha Munda was brought and placed on the pedestal of the statue, which was again garlanded by Shah.
Basu, while taking about BJP leaders deputed by the central leadership for Assembly polls, said Bengalis are being targeted and outsiders being sent to the state to do so.
"They want to control us with the help of outsiders. Do we have to keep our
heads down? Is this misery the fate of Bengalis?" he questioned.
"After coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee gave a cabinet minister's status to a member of the Matua community. There is an MP from the community now, but he has not been made a minister in Delhi. Banerjee has set up a university named after Harichand Guruchand Thakur," he added.
The leader emphasising that Bengal does not believe in narrow parochial outlook. "Rachpal Singh, who is from Punjab was made a minister in 2011. This does not happen in Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat where anyone from other states are considered to be outsiders," he added.
Pointing out to media reports suggesting that US President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet is likely to have Indian- American professor Arun Majumdar as one of its members, Basu said, "Even Biden is fascinated by Bengalis, but Delhi isn't."
"But you will not see Bengalis being given a ministry in any other state. You have an Arjun Singh as an MP here, then why not Arjun Roy from Uttar Pradesh or an Arjun Banerjee as MP from Gujarat?" he questioned.
Referring to the Indian freedom movement, the leader highlighted how revolutionaries from Bengal like Khudiram, Bagha Jatin, Prafulla Chaki sacrificed their lives fighting against the British at a time when the forefathers of the outsiders were busy carrying out their own business and never bothered to go against the British.
Without drawing any elaborate comparison, the leader cited Netaji's struggle as an example of what Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also experienced.
"Just as Netaji had been cornered by the leaders from Western and Northern India and was forced to set up a separate political party, Mamata Banerjee is also facing the same problem from the leaders of other states because of her upright nature and
fight in favour of the masses," he added.
Elections to the 294-member state Assembly are
likely to be held in April-May next year.