We must highlight India's true documented past: Mamata Banerjee on Netaji's birth anniversary
Kolkata/UNI: There is a need to highlight the true documented past of India without tampering with the country's history, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Monday, apparently taking potshots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central and state governments accused of rewriting Indian history.
"Republic Day cannot be the only day when we become patriotic and commemorate the heroes of our freedom struggle. On every occasion, We must highlight the actual history of India, the true documented past of India. We should not tamper with our history, and the history of independent India," said Banerjee at a function celebrating the 126th birth anniversary of revolutionary leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Describing Netaji as the guiding light, she took a jibe at the Narendra Modi government which had renamed two islands in Andaman and Nicobar as Shaheed Dweep (Originally Neil Island) and Swaraj Dweep (originally Havelock Island).
Banerjee reminded the audience that during his visit to Andaman and Nicobar in Dec 1943, Netaji had named the cluster of islands Shaheed and Swaraj Deep.
"To earn fame, someone can say that they have made the 'Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.' But let me make it clear, it was done by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose during his visit to Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands, " Banerjee said.
Banerjee again made a veiled attack on the BJP-led central dispensation by mentioning that it was Netaji's idea to form the first Planning Commission in India even before independence.
"But sadly, the same is no longer functional. There is no commission and only non-planning. I do not understand why this decision was taken," he said.
After coming to power, the Modi government discarded the Planning Commission and set up the NITI Aayog.
She also said the Indian Army should remember the slogan Jai Hind coined by Netaji, who had formed the Indian National Army to take on the then-British rulers.
"We salute our army and urge them to remember the Jai Hind slogan. This slogan united India and destroyed the forces that tried to break us. "
Slamming the central government, she said central agencies were being used in states ruled by the opposition parties, which was a violation of constitutional principles and democratic spirit.
"Unlike others, we do not run away fearing the agencies. Use as many agencies as you want. But remember, this is a democratic nation. Here, we have a constitution. If someone violates the constitution, they violate the rights of the people," he said.
Banerjee also scoffed at the BJP, saying central teams were being dispatched to Bengal at the drop of a hat, but no such teams were sent to states like Uttar Pradesh despite serious incidents occurring there only because they were being ruled by the saffron party.
"Even for things as small as an insect bite, they want a central team to be dispatched to Bengal. More than 50 central teams have been sent to Bengal in the past three months. But how many were sent to Uttar Pradesh?"
"They are trying to defame Bengal in every possible way. But when it comes to themselves, they pretend to be saints. How many central teams were sent to investigate when a woman was dragged by a car? How many central teams conducted an investigation when a student was dragged away? Law cannot different for different people. It cannot discriminate." she said.