In a bid to reach out to the state’s Hindi-speaking people ahead of 2021 Assembly polls, the Trinamool Congress on Monday restructured its Hindi Cell and made TMC Rajya Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi and party leader Vivek Gupta as its chairman and president respectively.
“The All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) under the guidance and inspiration of party chief Mamata Banerjee is pleased to appoint Dinesh Trivedi as the chairman and Vivek Gupta as the president of the West Bengal Trinamool Congress Hindi Cell,” said a statement released by the party.
TMC’s Hindi Cell will have three-tier committees at state, district and block levels. The members of these committees would be announced in due course.
“It was the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government that first gave Hindi the status of an official language in West Bengal. In one of her first decisions as the chief minister, she had announced her intention of giving an official language status to the language. This promise became a reality in 2012 when Hindi was made an official language in districts or sub-divisions or blocks or municipalities with over 10 per cent of Hindi-speaking population,” the statement added.
With her latest announcements, Mamata Banerjee is trying to erode the BJP’s support among Dalits, Hindi speakers, and Brahmins. In 2012, she had announced an allowance for imams and muezzins, but ignored a similar demand from Hindu priests. It remains to be seen if this will help swing the BJP’s votes in this community towards the TMC. The decision to revamp the Hindi Academy and the TMC's Hindi cell is aimed at Hindi speakers as a significant number of them are BJP voters. At least eight districts share borders with the Hindi-speaking states of Bihar and Jharkhand.
The party also observed Hindi Diwas on Monday.
In September 2019, the West Bengal government had passed the Hindi University Bill, paving the way for the establishment of a Hindi university in Howrah for the benefit of Hindi-speaking people.
After TMC came to power in 2011, West Bengal got its first Hindi-medium General Degree College at Banarhat, Jalpaiguri, which started functioning in 2014. A second Hindi-medium College Birsa Munda Hindi College in Hatighisa, Darjeeling, was also established in 2018.
According to party insiders, the Hindi Cell will help the party make inroads into the state’s Hindi belts where a saffron surge has been witnessed after 2019 Lok Sabha polls. For example, Hindi-speaking belt in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district witnessed a turf war between TMC and BJP after former ruling party leader Arjun Singh won Lok Sabha polls from there on a BJP ticket.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee gives equal respect and recognition to all languages. We don’t discriminate when it comes to languages. But the Centre has not included Bengali as one of the classical languages in NEP 2020. We feel JEE and NEET exams should be conducted in Bengali from next year,” said Dinesh Trivedi during a virtual news conference.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines