Narendra Modi promises ‘sonar Bangla’
BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi did in Kolkata on Wednesday what former PM Indira Gandhi did more effortlessly in the seventies and eighties: beginning the speech in Bengali and then switching to Hindi.Updated: Feb 06, 2014 00:56 IST
BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi did in Kolkata on Wednesday what former PM Indira Gandhi did more effortlessly in the seventies and eighties: beginning the speech in Bengali and then switching to Hindi.
But unlike Gandhi, whose connection with Rabindranath Tagore and Shantiniketan was too well-known to be stated, Modi scooped the names of a string of Bengal icons and then promised to turn West Bengal into sonar Bangla (golden Bengal).
Swami Vivekananda and Jan Sangh (the BJP’s precursor) founder Shyama Prasad Mukerjee have been part of the BJP’s pantheon. But Modi’s speech stressed Tagore and Subhas Chandra Bose more and referred to some of their relatives who are staying in Gujarat.
“Somoy esheche, sonar Bangla gorbo (It is time. We will build a golden Bengal). When India used to lead the world (viswaguru), Bengal used to lead India (rashtroguru). Once again for India to become a leader in the world, Bengal has claim its position of leading India,” said Modi amid cheers from the crowd.
He stated he wanted a direct dialogue with Bengal and urged an experiment.
“You have brought parivartan (CM Mamata Banerjee’s slogan) here, now let’s bring one in Delhi. I will give you development, which you were denied for so many years,” Modi said.
Referring to freedom fighter Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s quote “what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”, both Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh said Bengal had to lead the way in forming the new central government, which could help realise Bengali poet Atul Prasad Sen’s dream “Bharat aabar jagat sabhay shrestho ashon lobe” (India will again be on top of the world).