Lashing out at the Congress party, BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the party's decision in 1937 to accept the first two stanzas and drop the remaining two stanzas of 'Vande Mataram' written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay started the appeasement policy and led to the division of the country.
“Had the Congress not committed this mistake, the country would not have been divided,” Mr. Shah said in Kolkata, delivering the first Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Memorial Lecture organised by Shyama Prasad Research Foundation.
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The BJP president said historians blamed the Khilafat movement or the Divide and Rule policy of the British for the country’s partition but as student of politics he felt that by “dividing ‘Vande Mataram’ the appeasement policy which the Congress accepted led to country’s division in future.”
Describing the decision of dropping the stanzas of the song as a “big mistake,” Shah said that the Congress party put a “blot of communalism” on such a pure work of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.
“The song is not related to any religion. There is no attempt to show anyone in bad light,” he said.
The BJP president said that it was the ‘cultural nationalism’ of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s ‘Vande Mataram’ which was borrowed by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in the years to come. “Vande Mataram is nothing but a reflection of cultural nationalism of the country,” he said.
Shah quoted literary critic Namwar Singh and Aurobindo Ghosh on how ‘Vande Mataram’ written in the novel ‘Anandamath’ in 1870 turned out to be the battle cry for the country’s independence. ‘Anandamath’ was published in 1882.
The gathering, seen by many as an attempt by the BJP to reach intellectuals from Bengal saw the presence of noted Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, academician and biographer of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay Amitrasudan Bhattacharya, professor of Bengali and formerVice-Chancellorr Achintya Biswas.
Amit Shah's posters removed ahead of his visit to the state
Well controversy erupted on Tuesday when the Municipal corporators of the North 24 Parganas district ordered the removal of Amit Shah's posters ahead of his state visit. Although the corporators claimed that the posters were removed as they damaged the natural beauty of the town. But the BJP alleged that the posters were removed as per the orders of the West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee.
Taking a dig at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for removing Amit Shah’s rally poster in Kolkata, BJP lawmaker Roopa Ganguly on Wednesday said doing something like this for a state government is quite stupid.
Taking to news agency ANI, Ganguly said, “doing something like that is quite stupid as far as state government is concerned & that too using corporation vehicle. I don’t think CM has instructed something like this. I think her people don’t listen to her.”
BJP chief Amit Shah on Wednesday arrived in West Bengal for a two-day visit. During the visit, Shah is expected to hold a series of meetings with party workers and intellectuals in Kolkata and Howrah. The BJP chief will also address the Purulia district, where three BJP workers were killed recently allegedly because of their political affiliation. He is likely to meet the families of the deceased party workers. On Thursday, the BJP President will head for Birbhum, where he is expected to offer prayers at the local temple, following which he will attend a rally in Purulia. Purulia, incidentally, is one of the districts where the saffron party made inroads during the recently concluded Panchayat polls.
Shah, during the two-day visit, will meet party workers from different levels of the organisational hierarchy. He will meet top leaders of the party, as well as key campaigners for each of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, and the party’s steering committee for the 2019 general elections. The BJP president will also meet party workers from each district who are responsible for digital communication through social media.