There has been a flood of suggestions to name the new district of Jhargram that chief minister Mamata Banerjee expected to announce during her next visit in April, with most recommendations focusing on leveraging the connection with West Midnapore.
While sources told HT that the district may be named ‘Jhargram’, there has been quite a few suggestions to keep the word Midnapore in the new name to signal the connection. Incidentally, Jhargram sub-division consists of eight blocks spread over 540 square km and will be carved out of West Midnapore district. The entire area of the new district was a happy hunting ground of the Maoists between 2008 and 2011.
The chief minister is scheduled to visit Jhargram on April 4 after holding an administrative meeting and rally at Kharagpore on April 3. Locals, political leaders and administrative officials expect that the new district will be announced from the meeting at Jhargram.
Incidentally, the chief minister has initiated the process to rename the state of West Bengal. She wants to name it Banga (in Bengali) and Bengal (in English).
On January 1, 2002, former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya announced bifurcation of Midnapore district into West Midnapore and East Midnapore districts in an effort to carve out smaller administrative units for more efficient governance.
“We welcome the bifurcation of West Midnapore. On behalf of Medinipur Samanway Sanstha, (MSS), a registered as well as uniformly well represented organization of undivided Midnapore, have applied to the chief minister, on March 10 to name the new district ‘Jhargram Jangalmahal’ as ‘Aranyak Medinipur’ or ‘North West Midnapore’ or any word containing the word Midnapore , to honour the cultural and heritage of undivided Midnapore district,” professor Pranabesh Jana, general secretary of MSS, told HT.
The Congress leaders in Jhargram area also favour having the word Midnapore while naming the 22nd district of Bengal. “We have proposed that the name should be Simanta Midnapore or Aranyak Midnapore,” said Nikhil Maity, a Congress leader of Jhargram.
As there is plenty of forest in the region, many one are saying that the new district should carry the word related to forest. Many one are in favour of having the name Jhargram when the district will be created.
“Jhargram has a separate culture and we want that the new district should be named as Jhargram,” said Manoranjan Mahato, a local of Belpahari area. “Sentiments are attached to the name Jhargram,” he added.
A section of BJP supporters are also in favour of retaining the name Jhargram. The district party leaders argued that the chief minister should have taken suggestions of locals and political leaders.
“The chief minister does not care about what others think. We are not against bifurcation of the district, but she should have taken the views of locals before deciding the name,” said Sukhmay Sathpati, the BJP district president of Jhargram area.
“Our chief minister is well aware of the area and the sentiment of the people and she will give the right name of the distirct when that will be announced on 4 April,” said Nirmal Ghosh, working president of West Midnapore Trinamool Congress committee.
Source also told HT that some parts of Purulia and Bankura districts that parts of Bandowan (Purulia district) and Fulkusma and Sargenga (Bankura) want to join Jhargram as the district headquarters of these areas are far away.