PM 'denigrated' Bengali culture & traditions in more ways than one: TMC
Kolkata: Coming down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his deliberate attempt to undermine Bengal—the seat of learning— in his speech at the centenary celebration of Visva Bharati on Thursday, Bratya Basu, state minister for Science, Technology and Biotechnology said this was distortion of history.
The senior Trinamool leader further claimed that the Prime Minister, during his address, "denigrated" Bengali culture and traditions in more ways than one. Modi had virtually addressed the centenary celebration function.
Basu said while speaking of the Independence movement, the Acharya of Visva Bharati university had mentioned about Lahore and Delhi universities but did not mention about the country's oldest university, namely the Calcutta University which was set up in 1857. "This is sheer distortion of history and the
Prime Minister did it deliberately to undermine the contribution of Bengal in the Independence movement," the minister said.
He maintained: "Most of the prisoners at the Andaman Cellular jail were from Bengal who had been tortured and unable to bear it many had lost mental balance. Finally, the prison has been named after Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who had made four appeals to the British government for his release. He had even given undertaking not to take in freedom movement in future."
Basu said Modi had referred to the Gujarat connection of Tagore family over and again and made a big mistake by calling Satyendranath Tagore, the first Indian civil servant as Rabindranath's eldest brother. In fact he was the middle sibling. His wife Gyanodanandini Debi had learnt the style of wearing sari "not
only from the Gujarati women but also from the Parsi women which Modi had not mentioned and during his speech said that she had learnt the style from the women of
Basu said Modi had mentioned the names of Tukaram and Kabir of the Bhakti movement. "Tukaram had protested against the oppression of the Bramhins on the lower caste. Tagore had said that people should be known not on the basis of religion but on the basis nationality. Had Modiji read Tagore, then he would not have remained silent on the Hatras incident where a dalit girl was raped and subsequently murdered," he said.
Basu said Tagore was against religious fanaticism. He quoted from Tagore "there is no limit to how many human sacrifices have ben made in the name of religion till date and how many human sacrifices are being made." He further said: "It is not just a sacrifice of human life but also a sacrifice of intellect, a sacrifice of kindness, a sacrifice of love."
He stated that the people of Bengal will judge those
who are trying to play divisive politics.
"Bengal and Bengalis are recognised through the union of all communities. This is what Mamata Banerjee espouses. Mamata Banerjee speaks about Rabindranath's ideology so BJP's IT cell is slandering her on social media. A true state hero doesn't just think about an election but she also thinks about the next generation," the leader said. He added that a number of outsiders
have come to Bengal and created unrest.
"In the Sanjeevani Credit Co-operative Society scam, the Rajasthan High Court has given a notice to Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. His wife Naunand Kanwar has also been served a notice. The Sanjeevani Victims Association has filed a case in the Rajasthan High Court on behalf of the depositors alleging fraud of Rs 900 crore against the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society," he said, adding that many people deposited money in Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society. But the company did not return the money to the depositors. Instead, Vikram Singh, the chairman of the society, along with Gajendra and a few others, deceived the depositors and hid the real information from them by showing fake
documents." Sarcastically Basu added: "This man is an outsider who is in charge of elections for the BJP in Bengal and these are the people who had claimed–Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga."