Former Bengal CM Bidhan Roy’s bust vandalized; Cong, TMC, Left blame BJP
The bust was vandalized at Mankar in East Burdwan district a day after BJP’s youth wing; the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha was accused of vandalism at the state Congress headquarters, also named after Bidhan Chandra Roy, in Kolkata.Updated: Nov 17, 2019 23:53 IST
After a bust of Bengal’s second chief minister and Congress stalwart Bidhan Chandra Roy was vandalized, a political storm has erupted in the state with the Congress, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Left accusing BJP of being “anti-Bengali” and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding a probe to find out the real culprits.
The bust was vandalized at Mankar in East Burdwan district a day after BJP’s youth wing; the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha was accused of vandalism at the state Congress headquarters, also named after Bidhan Chandra Roy, in Kolkata.
Roy, a Bharat Ratna awardee, was a freedom fighter and served as Bengal’s chief minister from 1948 till his death in 1962. A legendary physician, Roy’s birthday July 1 is celebrated in the country as national doctor’s day.
Following the vandalism, Congress workers put up a road blockade at Mankar. A case has been registered at Budbud police station but no one had been identified till Sunday evening.
“The vandalism of Bidhan Chandra Roy’s bust at Mankar and the spraying of black paint on the Congress office are nothing but an attack on Bengali culture. We express doubts about whether those who take electoral advantage by accepting the demand of separating Darjeeling from Bengal and feel happy with the exclusion of Bengali and inclusion of Gujarati as languages for joint entrance exam possess any trait of Bengaliness,” state Congress president Somen Mitra said.
Though Mitra did not name the BJP, the reference of Darjeeling and joint entrance exams makes it evident that BJP is their target.
“They have no idea about who Vidyasagar and Bidhan Chandra Roy are. How do those who have failed to become Bengali dream of ruling Bengal?” Mitra added.
Kolkata mayor and senior TMC minister Firhad Hakim, too, blamed the BJP. “Those who vandalized Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust in Kolkata and Lenin’s statue in Tripura are the ones behind the desecration of Bidhan Roy’s bust,” Hakim said.
BJP state unit chief Dilip Ghosh, however, denied the charges. “None of us could be involved in such an act. This is not our culture. We demand a thorough investigation to find out the real culprits,” Ghosh said.
Incidentally, the vandalism of Vidyasagar’s bust inside the Vidyasagar College campus in May 2019 created a political turmoil, with BJP and TMC blaming each other. In the following days, the TMC carried out a prolonged campaign against BJP and celebrated the twentieth century social reformer’s bicentenary year on a grand scale.
Over the past few days, BJP, its youth wing and its sister organisation for students, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (BJP), have been carrying out campaigns across Bengal, blaming the Left for the desecration of Swami Vivekananda statue on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. They alleged that the Left proved itself to be “anti-Bengali” and “anti-Indian” by desecrating the statue of Vivekananda, one of Bengal’s greatest icons.
The Left, while denying any role behind the desecration of Vivekananda statue, pointed fingers at BJP for the vandalism of Roy’s bust.
“It must be the handiwork of those who demolished Lenin’s statue in Tripura and attacked Congress’ office in Kolkata. We demand that the state government should investigate it thoroughly and ensures stringent punishment for the culprits,” said Md. Salim, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).