The political battle over the violence and vandalism during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday sharpened to a Bengalis-versus-outsiders conflict. The BJP had brought in goons from outside the state who know nothing of Bengal’s history and culture, which led to the vandalism of the statue of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar at the college named after him.
BJP workers broke the statue and it is not new for the BJP in doing such infamous activity. The BJP has asked the Election Commission to ban Mamata Banerjee from campaigning for the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Sunday.
TMC also went to the Election Commission with what it claims is an authentic video of the vandalism. TMC leaders have added Vidyasagar’s image to their Twitter accounts and are holding a rally on the route Amit Shah’s roadshow took on Tuesday evening — past the Calcutta University and Vidyasagar College.
The violence and vandalism hurt the very ethos of Bengal. It was seen the attackers were shouting a slogan while they smashed the statue Vidyasagar shesh (over). Where’s the josh? The police admit 58 people have been arrested for the violence, the arrested are not residents of Bengal.
The vandalism has become an emotive issue in the state. Iswarchandra Vidyasagar — a 19th Century educationist, reformer and a key figure of Bengal renaissance — had started widow remarriage and women’s education, opened schools and colleges and started the use of the Bengali language as a vehicle for literature.