West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s penchant for naming — and in many cases renaming — public places, projects and landmarks after the state’s icons is poised to scale new heights.
After renaming four Kolkata Metro stations and several stations under Indian Railways, her government now wants to name a 6,446-metre unscaled peak in the Himalayas after Swami Vivekananda to mark his 150th birth anniversary next year. The West Bengal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Foundation, a state youth services department wing, would send a 10-member team to conquer the peak in Basta Valley of Kinnar, Himachal Pradesh, in August-September.
“After scaling it, our team would name it after Swami Vivekananda,” said Mukesh Kumar Singh, joint director of the youth services department.
Swami Vivekananda is a personal favourite of Banerjee. She invokes his contribution to the Bengal renaissance at every public function, ostensibly to remind Bengalis of their legacy.
The CM also never loses an opportunity to emphasise how the Left, during its rule, ignored such illustrious sons of the soil. She also has designs on renaming the state Poschimbongo, but her efforts have not moved beyond an all-party meet in Kolkata (Calcutta till 2001) last year to evolve a consensus.
The state and its expedition team will need to diligently follow procedure if the virgin peak is to bear Swami Vivekananda’s name.
Earlier, two Himalayan peaks (above 6,000 metres, both in Uttarakhand) were named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Radhanath Sikdar, the mathematician who measured the height of Mount Everest.