BJP chief Amit Shah on Saturday paid tribute to Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee for his contribution to modern India. He said that Mookerjee will be remembered for “three major achievements” — ensuring that West Bengal remains in India, “integrating Jammu and Kashmir with India’’ and forming the BJS.
“A Bill was brought in the West Bengal Assembly in 1940. It was a proposal for Islamisation of education. The Bengal Assembly did not pass it only because of his (Mookerjee)’s farsightedness,” Shah said at the release of a book, Syama Prasad Mookerjee: His Vision of Education. “How many here are aware that West Bengal is in India because of Mookerjee?” he said. “If Jammu and Kashmir is our part today, the maximum contribution is of Mookerjee’s.’’ He added that Mookerjee’s “sacrifice ensured that we Indians do not need a permit to visit Kashmir”.
Shah attributed the BJP’s presence across the country to Mookerjee’s “farsightedness” that he formed BJS, the parent party of his party. “The Congress was the biggest party in 1950s. There was no possibility of any party coming to power soon. He formed a new party, despite knowing that it would not come to power in his lifetime,” Shah said. He added that Mookerjee knew that the country needed different policies.
Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy, BJP vice-president Shyam Jaju, Indian Council of Social Science Research chairman BB Kumar were among others present at the release of the book.