Don’t use my surname, one should be known by one’s deeds, not name: Mamata
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Don’t use my surname, one should be known by one’s deeds, not name: Mamata

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she does not prefer to write her surname as she believes that one should be known by their deeds and not by their surname, which is a connotation of caste.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 18:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,surname,deeds
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she does not prefer to write her surname as she believes that one should be known by their work and not by their surname, which is a connotation of caste. (AFP)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said that she does not prefer to write her surname as she believes that one should be known by their deeds and not by their surname, which is a connotation of caste.

“I prefer to write Mamata only and don’t want to use my surname. The bank account has my surname since it was done earlier. Why should the surname become someone’s introduction? We should be known by what we do, not by our name,” Banerjee remarked at a government programme where she lashed out at the BJP without naming the party.

Incidentally, the Banerjee surname belongs to the upper echelons of the Brahmins.

The Bengal chief minister uses only her first name in personal letters and paintings that she does. However, she uses her full name in official communication.

State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said caste is a non-issue in Bengal. “Why is she referring to it now? Does she want to indulge in caste politics in Bengal before the Lok Sabha polls? She should also officially drop the surname.”

The Trinamool Congress chief felicitated young and veteran sportspersons at the function.

Highlighting the significance of sports as a unifying factor, the 63-year-old politician asked, “Have we ever asked whether (hockey Olympian) Gurbaksh Singh is from Punjab or Bengal, whether (former footballer) Shyam Thapa is from the plains of the mountains, whether (India’s second chess grandmaster) Dibyendu Barua is from Bengal or Assam?

She also drew parallels from cricket and named former cricket captains Saurav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Mohammed Azharuddin and Kapil Dev. “But do we ask which state they hailed from or what is their religion?” she asked.

Mamata also announced that her government will be giving an annual grant of Rs 1 lakh to 221 sports coaching centres in the state.

She also said that her government has raised the budget on sports nearly seven times from Rs 0.73 billion in 2011 (the year Trinamool Congress took over) to Rs 5.15 billion now.

The BJP and Trinamool Congress are locked in a bitter fight in Bengal. While Amit Shah has targeted at least 23 seats in the state, Mamata Banerjee has vowed to win all 42. She is also one of the key organisers of an emerging front of anti-BJP regional parties.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 17:59 IST