In a Fix over Shah's Hindi Pitch, ABVP's Upcoming 'Want Bangla, Not Urdu' Event Offers Relief to Bengal BJP
A senior RSS leader said the programme is being organised in the memory of a student who died last year following a scuffle with police over appointment of Urdu teachers.
Kolkata: Days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for the promotion of Hindi as a unifying language, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP)’s upcoming event, titled ‘We Want Bangla, Not Urdu’ came as a sigh of relief for the saffron brigade in Bengal. BJP leaders were apprehensive that Shah’s statement might dent the party’s increasing mass base in the state.
In memory of a student who was killed during a scuffle with police over appointment of Urdu teachers at a school in north Bengal, the ABVP has planned to organise an event under the banner of ‘Paschim Banga Marti Bhasha Diwas’.
Rajesh Sarkar, a student of Islampur College, had succumbed to bullet injuries during a violent clash that broke out over the appointment of Urdu teachers at Darivit High School in Islampur, North Dinajpur district on September 20, 2018,
Jishnu Basu, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s general secretary in south Bengal, said, “The event will be held on September 20 at the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad in south Kolkata. The same day, last year, two persons were killed and several others injured at Islampur. They were killed because they were demanding Bengali and not Urdu teachers at the school.”
Basu, who is going to speak at the event, added, “This programme is aimed at helping us save our Bangla language. In Bengal, people should proudly speak in Bengali.”
When asked about Shah’s pitch for Hindi, he said, “He actually meant unity in diversity. We believe in one nation, but we also celebrate other languages. This is the beauty of Bharat. He never meant to impose Hindi on anyone. He said that Hindi unites us, may be because a majority of people in our country speak in that language. But that does not mean that we will forget or will not celebrate our mother tongue.”
A senior state BJP leader said, “Friday’s event is certainly going to clear the confusion among the people of Bengal that we are not against Bangla. Why should we be? It is our mother tongue. It is our identity.” Besides many speakers, Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh will also be present at the event.
Ever since Shah spoke in favour of Hindi as part of the ‘one nation, one language’ vision, a number of state-level BJP leaders have expressed their apprehension about how it could affect the party's prospects as the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress has already started speaking out against the issue. Earlier too, TMC leaders have accused the BJP of forcibly trying to push Hindi on various platforms and urged people to fight for their identity.
“My best wishes to all on Hindi Diwas. We should respect all languages and cultures equally. We may learn many languages but we should never forget our mother-language,” Banerjee wrote on Twitter.
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