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Hindu outfits expressed reservations about ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ date: Bengal Governor

The chief minister had earlier announced that her government would promote sports on ‘Khela Hobe Divas’, which will be observed in the memory of fans who were killed in a stampede during a football match 40 years ago.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
August 11, 2021 6:16:07 am
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and the representatives of several Hindu organisations with Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at the Raj Bhavan in Kolkata on Tuesday. (Express photo)

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday said representatives of various Hindu organisations have expressed reservations over the decision of the Mamata Banerjee government to observe ‘Khela Hobe Diwas’ on August 16, stating that the Muslim League had proclaimed ‘Direct Action Day’ on this date in 1946, leading to large-scale violence and bloodshed.

The chief minister had earlier announced that her government would promote sports on ‘Khela Hobe Divas’, which will be observed in the memory of fans who were killed in a stampede during a football match 40 years ago. ‘Khela Hobe’ (game on) was also the slogan of the ruling Trinamool Congress during the Assembly elections earlier this year.

“Representatives of Sanatan organisations called on Governor WB today to seek change in the date of ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ as it reminds the horrendous memories of Direct Action Day and ‘the week of long knives’ in 1946 that led to killings of thousands,” read a message on the Governor’s official Twitter handle.

Dhankhar also said that he would convey the concerns of the representatives to the government. “Their (Hindu leaders’) only objection was to the date of ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ Governor assured them that their feelings would be conveyed to the government,” read the post.

BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Suvendu Adhikari, who led the group of monks to Raj Bhavan, said any celebration on August 16 would bring back painful memories of a gory past. “Accompanied by revered monks, pleaded the Honourable Governor Shri Dhankarji to persuade the WB Govt to change the day of the proposed ‘Khela Hobe’ divas, as any celebration on this day would only make the Bengalis relive the pain of the gory past,” Adhikari said.

“The day is horrifically remembered as ‘Direct Action Day’ or ‘Great Calcutta Killings’ which saw the brutal killings of thousands of Bengalis. Many dead bodies kept lying on roads for days to be fed by dogs and vultures,” the BJP leader added.

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