Campaign to save Bangla

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By GAUTAM SARKAR
  • Published 27.08.02
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Raneshwar (Dumka), Aug. 27: They have chosen Teacher’s Day to teach the government a “lesson”. Angered by the alleged hostile attitude of the government, which had “uprooted” Bengali from schools by introducing CBSE curriculum, Bangla Basha O Sanskrit Raksha Samity has decided to intensify its “save Bangla” campaign on September 5, the birth anniversary of former President S.P. Radhakrishnan, celebrated as Teacher’s Day.

Residents of the Raneshwar block in Dumka, the epicentre of the Bengali language movement in Jharkhand, are up in arms against the government’s alleged hostile attitude towards Bengali.

Activists of the Bangla Basha O Sanskrit Raksha Samity, which is spearheading the language movement, has decided to intensify the agitation.

According to Gautam Chatterjee, secretary of the Samity, a dawn-to-dusk agitation programme has been lined up for September 5. The agitation programme will be also be held in Masalia, Kundahit, Nala and Jamtara.

Chatterjee said non-availability of NCERT books in Bengali had adversely affected Bengali students in 203 blocks under 22 districts. He said Bengalis constitute about 44 per cent of the total population in the state.

“The government’s decision to introduce NCERT books in the state at the coast of nearly Rs 70 crore was aimed at depriving Bengali students,” he alleged. Lakhi Kant Pal, the chief patron of the Samity, lambasted the government for its alleged indifferent attitude.

Despite assurances by human resources development minister Chandra Mohan Prasad that medium of instructions in Bengali would be provided to students, nothing has happened, though five months have passed in the current academic session.

He said during the Dumka byoll campaign, chief minister Babulal Marandi and Prasad had assured the Bengali-speaking people of promoting the language.

“They tried to woo the largest community when the Samity gave a call to boycott the polls in protest against the hostile attitude towards the Bengali-speaking people,” he said.

According to president of the Samity, Abdul Rashis Khan, since not a single Opposition party in the state has backed the language movement, including a dozen legislators whose mother tongue is Bengali, they had no option but to intensify the campaign.