Saffron camp to hold statewide debates to thwart Bengal name change

  • Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindusatn Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2016 11:26 IST
The saffron camp has floated a platform ‘Paschimbanger Jonne’ and will organise a unique debate on name change on August 27. (Ramkrishna Samanta/HT)

The saffron camp is all set to initiate a debate from Kolkata to the districts over West Bengal’s name change.

Through debate, it will highlight the historical significance of the name and memories of partition.

The saffron camp has floated a platform ‘Paschimbanger Jonne’ (For West Bengal) and will organise a unique debate on name change on August 27.

“Our aim is to initiate a state-wide debate on name change and through it highlight the history associated with the name West Bengal. We will start the debate in Kolkata and then spread it to the districts,” said Mohit Roy, convener of the platform and convener of the refugee cell of the BJP.

Read: Bengal, Bangla and Bangal - proposed new names for West Bengal

“There is a history behind formation of West Bengal and East Bengal Assemblies. The then Hindu majority of West Bengal wanted a separate area where people will feel secure and they can flourish in a democratic environment,” added Roy.

The debate will be held at Bharat Sabha Hall in Kolkata where professors like Esha Dey, Pulak Narayan Dhar, Vinayak Bandopadhyay, advocate Arpita Chattopadhyay, film maker Gautam Bose and journalist Rantideb Sengupta will be present.

The BJP-RSS vehemently opposed the name change bid by the Mamata Banerjee government and recently took to the streets. (Ramkrishna Samanta/HT)

After Kolkata, such programmes will be undertaken in different districts of the state.

“It is a fact that little is being taught in the syllabus regarding partition or creation of West Bengal. The mainstream media and a section of intellectuals of Bengal talk about partition, its fallout and the condition of Hindus in Bangladesh. Through the debates, we want people to know and talk about the issues,” said Roy.

The BJP-RSS camps are vehemently against the name change initiative by Mamata Banerjee.

Read: BJP, RSS state leaders vow to block renaming of West Bengal

Meanwhile, a delegation led by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh met Union home minister Rajnath Singh, among others, in Delhi in a bid to thwart the initiative.

Sangh has already initiated signature collection drive and threatened mass movement if the Bengal government carries on with the name change.

“This is an attempt to erase the most important as well as sad part of Bengal’s history and partition. It was Shyamaprasad Mukherjee who played a big role for Bengal at that time,” said Sayantan Basu, general secretary state BJP.

On August 16, BJP workers organised protest marches throughout the state observing the day as ‘Save West Bengal Day”.

Incidentally, the name of the state capital (and national capital till 1911) Calcutta was changed to Kolkata in January 2001 by the then Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government.

That the state needs a change of name was a need felt long ago, during the Left Front rule, and the need was purely utilitarian in nature. Senior bureaucrats and politicians who used to attend meetings in Delhi where representatives of other states were present regularly complained that West Bengal appeared last in the deliberations thanks to the alphabetical order.

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