Kolkata, June 20 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken strong exception to Governor CV Ananda Bose’s alleged decision to observe ‘Bengal Foundation Day’ on Tuesday.
“I am stunned and shocked to know that you have decided to organise a programme on June 20 at Raj Bhavan, commemorating what peculiarly chosen to describe as ‘the state foundation day of West Bengal’.
Since independence, we in West Bengal have never rejoiced over or commemorated or celebrated any day as the foundation day of West Bengal. Rather, we have seen the partition as a result of unleashing of communal force that could not be resisted at that point in time,” Banerjee wrote to the governor in a letter.
“In this regard, kindly refer to our telephonic discussions today when you admitted that the unilateral and non-consultative decision to declare a particular day as the Foundation Day of the State of West Bengal is not warranted. You were kind enough to assure us that you would not proceed to hold the programme, the chief minister wrote the letter on Monday, which was circulated to the media last night.
” I would like to state that West Bengal was carved out of the undivided State of Bengal in 1947 through a most painful and traumatic process. The process involved uprooting millions of people across the border and death and displacement of innumerable families.’
” The economy of Bengal was destroyed and devastated, and the truncated State of West Bengal suffered a sudden disruption of communication and infrastructure, too.”
She continued saying “The slicing out of West Bengal was seen as a historical necessity at that point of time, but it was also known that it was a tragic destiny for the people of Bengal. The State was not founded on any particular day, least of all on any 20th of June. Contrarily, the State was formed through the infamous Radcliffe Award, which was given legitimacy by the departing colonial/imperial government.”
” Since Independence, we in West Bengal have never rejoiced over, or commemorated, or celebrated, any day as the Foundation Day of West Bengal. Rather, we have seen the Partition as a result of the unleashing of communal forces that could not be resisted at that point of time.”
Mamata Banerjee said ” We have been born and brought up hero and have never commemorated any State Foundation Day for the aforementioned reasons. This may at best be a programme of a political party, driven b) vendetta, but not of the people or its government.
” Bengal has a rich and diverse culture and a long history of brotherhood. It is Bengal from where freedom struggle, renaissance and social reforms were started. Such an action on your part will create avoidable confusion, mistrust and political animosity’.
She said ” In sum, it is an unprecedented step of yours which has been done unilaterally by you without following any procedure of obtaining necessary consent of the State Cabinet and the State Legislature. This act on your part would hurt the sentiments of people and insult and defame the millions of people in West Bengal on Tuesday.
” Insofar as any communication of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on this subject is concerned, we strongly protest against this ahistorical, unconstitutional and unilateral decision of the Government of India to commemorate the so-called “Foundation Day of the State of West Bengal” on 20th June.
As agreed by you, I request you kindly not to hold any such programme which will rekindle the bitter memories of crores of people in West Bengal and re-incite undesirable forces.”