The birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on Tuesday turned into another occasion of political muscle flexing with both the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organising road shows in Kolkata. Leaders of both parties visited the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda in north Kolkata’s Simla Street area to offer their tributes.
Along with the State unit BJP leadership, Union Minister for Culture Prahlad Singh Patel and Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Keshav Prasad Maurya were among those who visited Netaji’s residence. Dilip Ghosh, BJP State unit president and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya joined the road show organised from Shyambazar to Simla Street. “Every year we not only observe the birth anniversary of Swamiji but also try to live by his ideals. Suddenly we see that the TMC is trying to appropriate Swami Vivekananda,” BJP leader and former State president of the party Rahul Sinha said. The BJP held a number of other events across the State
From the TMC, several Ministers including party youth wing president Abhishek Banerjee and North Kolkata MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay were among those who visited Netaji’s ancestral home.
‘No moral right’
Abhishek Banerjee also led a road show from Gariahat to Golpark in south Kolkata. “They (BJP) have no moral right to hold road show by holding a photo of Swamiji…The communal divide which the party that is ruling country has created for its political interest is the most unfortunate,” Mr. Banerjee said after the rally.
Later in the day, the Trinamool Congress took exception to the video uploaded by West Bengal unit of BJP from its official Twitter handle. A number of TMC leaders, including Minister Partha Chatterjee and Firhad Hakim, took to social media stating that in the video “Narendra Modi was described as Ghorer Chele Naren , which loosely translates to ‘Son of our house’. It seems that BJP has forgotten that the people of Bengal consider only one Naren (who is popularly known as Swami Vivekananda) to be the ‘son of Bengal”. The pre-monastic name of Swami Vivekananda, who was born on January 12, 1863, was Narendranath Dutta.