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Bengal celebrates Vidyasagar birth anniversary; BJP, TMC blame each other for 2019 vandalism of bust

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid homage to the social reformer and said that West Bengal and Bengalis remain indebted to him for his teachings.

By: PTI | Kolkata |
Updated: September 26, 2021 7:19:43 pm
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid homage to the social reformer and said that West Bengal and Bengalis remain indebted to him for his teachings. (File Photo)

The TMC and the BJP blamed each other for the vandalism of a bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on College Street in Kolkata during a 2019 rally of Union Home Minister Amit Shah as West Bengal celebrated the polymath’s 201st birth anniversary on Sunday.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid homage to the social reformer and said that West Bengal and Bengalis remain indebted to him for his teachings.

“Homage to Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on his birth anniversary. He was one of the greatest social reformers who tirelessly fought for justice and equality. We remain indebted to his teachings,” she tweeted.

Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari, also paid tributes to him, tweeting, “A great man with many worthy contributions that have enriched our history forever. My homage to #IshwarChandraBandopadhyay On his Birth Anniversary.”

However, state minister Firhad Hakim launched a veiled attack on the BJP without naming it, alleging that the party was behind the 2019 vandalism of Vidyasagar’s bust which was later rebuilt by the ruling regime.

“Those who had vandalised Vidyasagar’s bust two years ago have no right to talk about him in glowing terms,” the transport minister told reporters.

Sharply retorting to the charge, BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh counter-alleged that TMC had “conspired to smash Vidyasagar’s bust and passed the buck to the saffron party for petty electoral gains.”


“This shows their level of respect for Bengal’s luminaries,” he said.

The former state BJP chief alleged that TMC workers had unleashed a “reign of terror” on women after assembly elections this year and it was hypocritical on their part to refer to Vidyasagar’s role in women upliftment.

Meanwhile, programmes were held across the state to mark the occasion. State Education Minister Bratya Basu garlanded the polymath’s rebuilt bust at Vidyasagar College and recalled his contributions towards social reform.

The bust was vandalised in clashes during Shah’s roadshow ahead of the last phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, triggering widespread condemnation.

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