Bengal produced Tagore; can’t compare Bengali to Gujarati, says TMC minister
The TMC has alleged that the Centre had displayed bias against regional languages in conducting the JEE (Mains) examination for admission to engineering colleges.Updated: Nov 11, 2019 21:17 IST
Days after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre of ignoring Bengali and other regional languages while setting JEE (Mains) examination papers in Gujarati, Subrata Mukherjee, a senior minister in her cabinet, on Monday said there could not be a qualitative comparison between Gujarati and Bengali because the latter has been enriched by great figures such as Rabindranath Tagore.
“I don’t want to undermine any language. But there is a qualitative difference between Gujarati and Bengali. I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows this. We have the legacy of great poets like Tagore,” Mukherjee said.
The minister was addressing a rally organized by the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata. The TMC has alleged that the Centre had displayed bias against regional languages in conducting the JEE (Mains) examination for admission to engineering colleges.
“A Union minister said we didn’t apply for JEE papers to be set in Bengali. The Centre should apologize for this. Why should we beg for something that is our natural right?” Mukherjee said.
Union Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo had tweeted on Thursday, asking Mamata Banerjee to send a request so that JEE question papers could also be set in Bengali.
Banerjee had criticized the Centre over JEE papers being set in Gujarati apart from Hindi and English. Following this the National Testing Agency issued a statement saying Gujarat and Maharashtra were the only states that had requested for questions in local languages.
“The protest will continue. If JEE papers are not set in Bengali, we know how to establish our right,” Abhishek Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, said at Monday’s agitation.
“The BJP government cannot undermine Bengal. Bengal has produced the best scientists, litterateurs and social reformers,” Banerjee said.
“When there was time to apply (to set JEE papers in Bengali) they didn’t apply. Now TMC’s senior leaders and the chief minister’s nephew are making tall statements. This is nothing but drama. They are trying to play with the sentiments of Bengalis. This won’t work,” Dilip Ghosh, Bengal unit president of the Bharatiya Janata Party said.