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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Mamata pulls up Kolkata school for playing Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ to students

West Bengal CM and Trinamool chief does not name PM or his show, but tells Shri Shikshayatan to stop showing “video of a speech by a political leader”.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2017 00:30 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is a fierce political critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is a fierce political critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. (Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo )

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday pulled up authorities of Shri Shikshayatan, a private girl’s school in Kolkata, for playing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Maan Ki Baat’ for students.

The Trinamool Congress chief, however, did not name either Modi or his monthly radio show.

“I heard that the Shri Shikshayatan principal is playing the video of a speech by a political leader in the classrooms and forcing the students to watch it. This is unfair,” Banerjee told Bratati Bhattacharyya, secretary general of the Shikshayatan Foundation , during a meeting with representatives of private schools in the state.

“I would have objected to such a step even if the video of my speech was played in an educational institution. It does not enhance knowledge. It’s purely a political programme. Please ask your principal to stop this,” she told Bhattacharyya.

The Shikshayatan Foundation secretary general tried to play down the programme being played for students, but Banerjee remarked, “I am aware of everything. It was shown even a few days back. Some teachers also objected to it. Nothing of that sort happens within the school premises now.”

Though Banerjee did not specify whom she was targeting, a representative of the school told HT a few episodes of the PM’s programme were shown in the school. Incidentally, Banerjee did her BEd in Shri Shikshayatan College, which is under the same foundation.

Incidentally, the state syllabus committee has included six pages on the Singur land struggle and the role of the CM and her party colleagues in history books that are taught in Class 8. Banerjee’s pictures adorn five of the six pages.

Though the ‘Maan Ki Baat’ is a radio talk show, the Prime Minister’s Office makes videos available on the PM’s official mobile app.

Banerjee is a fierce political critic of the PM and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was the first to oppose his demonetisation announcement. On Monday, she described the Centre’s ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter across the country’s livestock markets as unconstitutional.

Banerjee, the first woman chief minister of West Bengal, is also seen as a maverick. In September 2012, she mimicked then PM Manmohan Singh in a live interview on a TV channel and attracted severe criticism.

First Published: May 31, 2017 19:26 IST

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