A giant flex in the heart of West Bengal’s counterpart to Silicon Valley, the sector five of Salt Lake City has stirred a major controversy. The hoarding that has been put up near the sector five bus stand, features images of iconic people from Bengal in various fields, from literature to freedom struggle.
Among those whose photos appear in the flex are Bengali socio-religious reformer Ram Mohan Roy, Bengali polymath and introducer of widow remarriage in Bengal Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, author of India’s national anthem Vande Mataram Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, legendary Bengali poets Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt and Kazi Najrul Islam, famous Bengali physicist Satyendra Nath Bose and versatile scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose.
Nineteenth century ascetic Ramakrishna Paramhansa, his disciple and founder of Ramakrishna Mission Swami Vivekananda, freedom fighters Subhash Chandra Bose and Chittaranjan Das, and former state chief minister Bidhan Chandra Roy also feature in the flex. However what has caused controversy is the fact that the last person to be featured in the hoarding is none other than the current Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee herself.
People of West Bengal have reacted strongly on social media against the flex which puts Banerjee next to all greats of the land. Some also pointed out that while Banerjee is featured in the hoarding, other greats like Rishi Aurobindo or Shyama Prasad Mookherjee are missing.
Sri Aurobindo, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Sri Jatin Da could not find a place in this tableau of "Famous Bengali Legends" but @MamataOfficial put herself in the Poster.
— Akshay Singh (@Akshaysinghel) March 7, 2019
Posters spotted in Kolkata where Mohtarma Mamata Aapa has been kept in the class of famous Bengali legends, but SP Mukherjee the creator of West Bengal is missing along with Rishi Arabinda, Satyajit Ray and the 'tiger of Bengal' Ashutosh Mukherjee. pic.twitter.com/Z02iyUoD6V
— Voice of Bengal (@Buzz_in_Bengal) March 7, 2019
— Rahul (@iamkingrahul) March 6, 2019
— Rohit Agarwal 🇮🇳 (@ragarwal) March 7, 2019
News agency IANS tried to get in touch with several Trinamool leaders. Bidhannagar municipality chairperson Krishna Chakraborty parried the question saying the area where th flex appears was outside the purview of the civic body.
State Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose denied existence of the flex. “I don’t know any such flex has been put up. I have no idea about its existence. How can I comment on something unless I can confirm that it exists?” Bose replied when IANS pointed out to him that it has the photo of the flex.