West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said representatives of various Hindu organisations met him and expressed reservations over the TMC government’s decision to observe August 16 as ‘Khela Hobe divas’, stating that the Muslim League had proclaimed Direct Action Day on this date in 1946, which led to large-scale violence and bloodshed. ‘Khela hobe’ had been the rallying cry of the TMC in the assembly polls held earlier this year.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government would want to promote sports on Khela Hobe Divas’ in the memory of football fans who were killed in a stampede during a match some 40 years ago.
Taking to Twitter, the governor said, “Representatives of Sanatan organisations called on Governor WB today to seek change in the date of Khela Hobe Divas’ as it reminds the horrendous memories of Direct Action Day and ‘the week of long knives’ in 1946 that led to killings of thousands."
Dhankhar also said that he would convey their message to the government.
“Their (Hindu leaders’) only objection was to the date of Khela Hobe Divas’… Governor assured them that their feelings would be conveyed to the government, he wrote on the microblogging site.
Leader of the Opposition in Assembly and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, who led the group of monks to Raj Bhavan, said any celebration on August 16 would bring back painful memories of a gory past.
“Accompanied by revered monks, pleaded the Honourable Governor Shri Dhankarji to persuade the WB Govt to change the day of the proposed Khela Hobe divas, as any celebration on this day would only make the Bengalis relive the pain of the gory past," the saffron party leader said. August 16 is a “blot" on Bengal’s history, he maintained.
“The day is horrifically remembered as Direct Action Day or Great Calcutta Killings which led to the brutal killings of thousands of Bengalis. Many dead bodies kept lying on road for days to be fed by dogs and vultures," Adhikari added.