Saturday, November 27, 2021

Why Mamata won’t pay respect to martyrs

A piece in Swarajya magazine highlights the insensitive official reaction in Bengal  politicians when two of their martyred soldiers in Uri attack in Kashmir were brought to Kolkata this week.

The bodies of Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai and Gangadhar Dohri were brought and cremated but Bengal’s politicians chose to look the other way—none of them turned up to offer grief or sympathy. This from a land of Subhash Chandra Bose!

This attitude on martyred soldiers by Bengal politicians is nothing new. During the Kargil conflict, from May to July 1999, when bodies of soldiers were being flown in regularly, then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu religiously kept himself away from placing a wreath.

Swarajya magazine, observes a pattern from early 1960s onwards when Communism made an advent in Bengal. “India’s communists had belittled the country’s freedom struggle and run down the whole galaxy of India’s freedom fighters from Mahatma Gandhi (they labeled him a bourgeois pacifist) to Netaji (castigated as a fascist)…They played an insidious role during the 1962 border war with China. To the communists, their party and ideology, and not the nation, comes first.”

Bengal’s rulers didn’t celebrate Army Day; the 1971 victory in the form of Vijay Diwas is unattended by Bengal’s politicians; Kargil Diwas (July 26) remains confined to army bases in the state.

Besides, few Bengalis today join the armed forces; and most of the ones that do are non-residents of Bengal.

History textbooks in schools, under the state’s education board, talk glowingly about Marx, Mao and Lenin but don’t have any mention of the many wars that the country has fought.

The communists no longer rule Bengal, but Mamata Banerjee has chosen not to be any different.

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