In a new decision to honor India’s freedom fighters, the Central Government under BJP has decided to rename the Bardhaman railway station in honor of Revolutionary Batukeshwar Dutt. The announcement for the renaming of the Bardhaman station was made by Union minister Nityanand Rai regarding which official instructions are expected to be released soon.
Nityanand Rai made this announcement while he was on a visit to the revolutionary leader’s house on occasion of his death anniversary. Nityanand Rai was also accompanied by Ex- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan of BJP as they visited Batukeshwar Dutt’s home in Jakkanpur, Bihar; where they met his family and paid tribute to the freedom fighter. Saturday, that is, July 20, marked the 54th death Anniversary of the revolutionary who was born in Bardhaman.
Batukeshwar Dutt who along with another revolutionary Bhagat Singh hurled bombs in protest against the colonial British government in the Central Legislative Assembly (New Delhi) from where he could have escaped easily in the resulting chaos if he had chosen to, however, he stood firm and raised slogans against the tyrannous British government. He was caught and later imprisoned for life and deported to the Cellular Jail, also called Kaala Paani, in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Batukeshwar Dutt was also successful in securing some rights for the political prisoners in Cellular Jail after he initiated an historic hunger strike while in Jail. The BJP government wishes to honour the freedom fighter.
This announcement by the Union Minister is sure to not go down well with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has already been struggling against the BJP in the state, and has taken an anti BJP stand on virtually every issue. Mamata Banerjee’s frustration with the rising popularity of the BJP, has on several fronts also translated into radical steps against the interests of West Bengal residents as in recently when the state decided to pull out of the Ayushman Bharat health scheme. After pulling from out the scheme which even Bill Gates had lauded, Mamata accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making “tall claims” under the health coverage programme and duping people.
In a tweet about BJP government’s Ayushmaan Bharat scheme, Bill gates had written “Congratulations to the Indian government on the first 100 days of @AyushmanNHA. It’s great to see how many people have been reached by the program so far. @PMOIndia”
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 17, 2019
Mamata Banerjee is expected to oppose this step to rename the Bardhaman station in honour of Batukeshwar Dutt. However, for CM Mamata Banerjee any opposition to this renaming would surely amount to political self-harm, as change of political winds in the state have indicated that the electorate getting disillusioned with the constant victim mindset which was instilled in them by the erstwhile Left government and the current Mamata Banerjee dispensation. This is also counter to the minority appeasement trend in Bengal which has led to continuous degradation of Bengal’s vibrant culture over the past few decades. As seen in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the West Bengal electorate has moved towards the BJP at a rate that is nothing short of alarming for Mamata Banerjee.
However, with this development, it remains to see how Mamata with the services of Prashant Kishore will be reacting. Earlier Mamata Banerjee government was under fire when TMC members had allegedly vandalized a bust of great Sanskrit Scholar and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. However, TMC attempting to save face had later blamed the BJP for the same. The bust was located deep inside the campus of Calcutta University, where only students which included TMC student union workers had access to, raising sharp questions on the level of politics the TMC had resorted too. Further, it would not be a surprise if CM Mamata staying with her anti-Hindu and minority appeasement course opposes this decision essentially disrespecting great revolutionaries like Batukeshwar Dutt and others.