Ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bolpur in Birbhum district on December 20, a controversy has erupted over the BJP’s posters in which the photo of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore has not been given as prominence as that of Shah. At the bottom, the posters have a photograph of BJP leader Anupam Hazra.
The posters have come up in and around Santiniketan, a neighbourhood founded and developed by members of the Tagore family. Santiniketan is also the home of Visva-Bharati University, which was founded by Tagore. Shah is scheduled to address a roadshow in Santiniketan.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) was quick to criticise the BJP, accusing it of disrespecting Tagore and Bengali sentiments. In a tweet, the TMC said, “Amit Shah ji and BJP Bengal, it’s high time you know your limits! How dare you insult Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore AGAIN? Extremely shameful to see that you have placed yourself above Gurudeb! People of Bengal will NEVER forgive this!”
TMC district president Anubrata Mondal said, “Union Home Minister Amit Shah is coming to Santiniketan. Anyone can come here and pay respect to Tagore. But by putting up such posters, the BJP has insulted Tagore’s image and Bengali culture as a whole.”
Anupam Hazra, however, claimed that the party did not put up the posters. “It is pre-planned by the TMC to disrupt our programmes here.
The party has used a ghost organisation to put up such demeaning posters across Santiniketan,” Hazra added.