West Bengal will soon have a state anthem. An all-party meeting, called to discuss the contentious issue of the state foundation day, also saw proposals for a state anthem. States like Odisha and Maharashtra already have state anthems.
Two possible songs were proposed at the meeting, attended by politicians, scholars, ministers, MLAs, educationists, citizens and bureaucrats.
An official decision on whether it will be Banglar Maati Banglar Jol or Dhono Dhanno Pushpey Bhora will be taken after the matter is discussed in the state assembly.
Dhono Dhanno Pushpey Bhora is a patriotic song by Dwijendralal Ray, a poet, playwright, and musician. He was known for his Hindu mythological and nationalist historical plays and his songs are known as Dwijendrageeti.
Banglar Mati Banglar Jol is a patriotic song written by Rabindranath Tagore, the composer of the national anthem – Jana Gana Mana. It was composed in 1905 and was written in support of the “Bangabhanga Rodh Movement” in Bengal.
Tagore also started “Raksha Bandhan Utsav” on 16 October 1905 to reunite Hindu and Muslim Bengalis protesting against the Partition of Bengal (1905).
Most participants at the all-party meeting opposed the union government’s choice of June 20 as the statehood day or state foundation day. They also said the move, without consulting the state government, on a such a culturally sensitive issue was untenable and would have to be strongly opposed, through protests if necessary.
This year Governor Dr CV Ananda Bose had celebrated the day despite Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s strongly worded letter opposing the decision.
“The state was not founded on any particular day, least of all on any 20th of June… The pain and trauma of Partition was such that people in the state have never commemorated any day as Foundation Day since India’s Independence,” she had written in a letter to Governor CV Ananda Bose.
While the CPI(M) and Congress skipped the all-party meeting for political reasons the West Bengal BJP backed the union government’s decision to observe June 20 as statehood day.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, West Bengal BJP President and MP Sukanta Majumdar said, “Your letter speaks volumes about how you are not ready to have a discussion on statehood day with openness. Hence, we boycott the meeting. We won’t go to the meeting.”
“West Bengal is the homeland of Bengali Hindus which was formed on 20th of June, 1947,” Mr Majumder added.