Kolkata: The Left Front leaders of West Bengal on Wednesday organised a protest rally here against vandalising of Bengali polymath Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's statue during clashes at BJP chief Amit Shah's roadshow on Tuesday.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Left Front chairman Biman Bose led the rally started from College Square to Azad Hind Bag near Hedua.
The left leaders and activists participating in the rally termed the incident of vandalism and arson a ‘wound’ in the face of Bengal’s cultural tradition and urged people not to fall prey in the ‘trap of communal polarisation’ created by the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP.
“Vidyasagar was an important part of Bengal's renaissance. His social contributions changed the course of the national movement and ensured that India became free,” Yechury said at the rally.
“It is a very dismal show by both the political parties which claim to uphold the heritage and traditions of Indian civilisation and both of them are acting completely against that. I appeal to the people of Bengal not to fall prey in their trap of communal polarization,” added Yechury.
Noting that the incident of attack in an age-old institute like the Vidyasagar College was against Bengal’s cultural ethos, senior Left leader Biman Bose said that there should be a ‘proper and fair probe’ to find out who were responsible for the violence and demanded strict actions against the offenders.
“Vidyasagar College is an iconic institution with a glorious past. There are no words to condemn the act in a college of that magnitude and attack on Vidyasagar himself. We are ashamed to think that they are the people of Bengal. I do not think people of Bengal can do that and the matter should be probed to find out who committed the crime. The offenders should be given appropriate punishment. The incident is against the tradition of Bengal. It has pained the people and scarred our legacy. We strongly condemn the issue,” Bose said.
Yechury on Wednesday took to social media and said the saffron party was opposed to the very ideas propagated by social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
Yechury also claimed that that the BJP and the RSS together were destroying Bengal completely by their violent attacks on the common people and also on the legends of Bengal.
BJP and TMC supporters on Tuesday fought pitched battles on the streets of north Kolkata during a massive roadshow by Shah, who escaped unhurt but was forced to cut short the jamboree and had to be escorted to safety by police.
“Not about just a statue, but continous attack on Bengal. One of the biggest symbols of the Bengal renaissance is what BJP-RSS have attacked yesterday. These obscurantists have always opposed Vidyasagar’s ideas. But Bengal will not succumb,” Yechury tweeted.
While both the BJP and the ruling TMC have begun a blame game on the issue, Yechury said that the violent clashes between the two parties was ‘hitting at the heart of Bengal and its core.’
“Vidyasagar was conferred the title of the ocean of knowledge. A leading figure in the Bengal renaissance, he stood for progress, path breaking reform and enlightenment. It is very clear why the Sangh parivar would seek destruction of his ideas,” he tweeted.
While Shah on Wednesday said that the TMC was indulging in violence in the state and alleged that the Election Commission and the state police have been a ‘mute spectator’, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged that the vandalism was done by the ‘goons brought by the BJP from outside and also claimed that BJP is known for their violent politics'.