Trinamool Congress leaders are busy brushing up their Hindi these days as party chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee takes her fight against FDI in multi-brand retail to Delhi on Monday and to various other states later. Hindi speakers are expected to get priority in the party’s agitations outside Bengal.
"Our leader herself can speak in Hindi. It is the medium of communication for a pan-India audience. Therefore, it is natural that Hindi speakers will get priority (to speak at protest rallies). We want more Hindi speakers," said a senior MP close to Banerjee.
"Our senior leaders, most of who are Bengalis, are also brushing up their Hindi-speaking skills. This will help them reach out to the people," the MP added.
Banerjee is to lead an agitation at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the Centre’s decision to allow FDI in retail, the diesel price hike and putting a limit on households using subsidised LPG.
She recently she withdrew from UPA-2 in protest and announced that the Trinamool would organise agitations to demand a rollback of the government’s "anti-people" decisions.
Banerjee is expected to address the rally at Jantar Mantar in Hindi and some of the other speakers are likely to follow suit.
Senior party leaders are busy improving their Hindi skills so that they don’t embarrass their chief before the gathering.
The party has a few Hindi-speaking leaders such as KD Singh from Haryana, Sultan Ahmed and Dinesh Trivedi. Besides, Mukul Roy, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Subrata Bakshi can manage to speak in Hindi.
But most of the party's leaders either can't speak the language or are nowhere close to fluency.
Apart from agitations, Banerjee aims to spread the party's presence in various states while create an atmosphere for the building of a front of different regional parties ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She therefore finds it necessary to have a large number of Hindi-speaking leaders in her party.