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Bengal school’s class 8 question paper seeks five answers on Mamata’s Singur movement

The five questions carry a total of 14 marks in a paper of 70 marks. The exam was held last week.

kolkata Updated: Dec 05, 2018 18:50 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Singur,Mamata Banerjee,West Bengal
A page from the history textbook for class 8 students who have to study Singur’s land movement by Mamata Banerjee and her party leaders. (HT Photo)

A state-aided school in Kolkata has set as many as five questions on chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her land movement in Singur in the history paper for the annual exam of class 8, triggering sharp reaction from opposition parties.

The five questions carry a total of 14 marks in a paper of 70 marks. The exam was held last week.

“When governments in BJP-ruled states move to include the names of great men in school syllabus, Trinamool Congress leaders dub the initiative as saffronisation. Now, everybody can see the ruling party in Bengal wants to obliterate the names of all icons and replace them with that of Mamata Banerjee,” remarked BJP Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh.

“I do not blame the school authorities. Those who included Singur movement in the syllabus are responsible,” Ghosh said.

In February 2017, the inclusion of a chapter on Singur movement and the role of Mamata Banerjee and her comrades prompted opposition leaders to pillory the ruling party alleging comparison even with Adolf Hitler.

“It is common practice that unless something is 30 years old, it is not included in history syllabus. The key point is, the ruling party wants tender minds to think that the Trinamool Congress chief is God,” remarked Sujan Chakraborty, CPI(M) legislator and leader of the Left parties in Bengal Assembly.

Abhinanda Ghosh Dastidar, the headmistress of Tiljala Balika Vidyalaya rejected any possibility of political considerations weighing on the teacher who framed the questions.

“In the half yearly exam, questions are set on the chapters that are covered till then. The chapter on Singur movement is taught towards the end of the year. That is the likely reason for five questions being set from that part,” said Ghosh Dastidar.

The Singur movement that began in 2006 opposing the land acquisition policy of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government for the Nano factory of Tata Motors is one of the defining moments of Mamata Banerjee’s political career that paved the way for the rout of the 34-year-old Left regime.

In August 2016, the Supreme Court upheld Mamata Banerjee’s contention and said that the land plots be returned to their original owners, following which as many as six pages of a 10-page insert, titled “Jami Jal Jangal: Jiban Jibikar Adhikar O Ganaandolan” (Land, water, forests: the right to life and livelihood and mass movements), were devoted to Mamata Banerjee’s Singur movement.

The chief minister’s pictures adorn five of the six pages in the book.

First Published: Dec 05, 2018 18:50 IST