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Identity politics: Rename West Bengal to 'Bangla', says Trinamool MP

This comes at a time when Mamata Banerjee has raised the issue of Bengali identity as a means to counter the BJP's increasing influence in the state

Business Standard 

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. Photo: PTI
Mamata Banerjee

Rajya Sabha member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy on Thursday demanded in the House that be renamed Bangla in three languages — Bengali, English, and Hindi — in deference to Bengali identity. At a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has raised the issue of Bengali identity as a means to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party’s increasing influence in the state, Roy said the Assembly in July last year had passed a resolution to change the state’s name and it was pending with the Centre. Roy said it seemed the Centre was “not keen” to rename the state. "The word Bangla, or the territory called Bangla, is believed to have been derived from Banga, a Dravidian tribe that settled in the region 1000 BCE,” Roy said. After Roy ended his speech, to the pleasant surprise of his party’s MPs, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu responded with the slogan Joy Bangla, or victory to Bengal.

A quote book on swacchata

The government has ambitious plans to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. In 2014, the prime minister launched the “Swachh Bharat” campaign on October 2, the birth anniversary of the Mahatma. Now, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has printed 20,000 copies of the prime minister’s quotes on swacchata, or cleanliness. According to sources, the Jal Shakti Ministry, which comprises the ministries of drinking water and sanitation, water resources, and Ganga rejuvenation, is planning to distribute these booklets gratis. In his speeches in Parliament on the motion of thanks to the president’s address earlier this week, the PM appealed for taking forward the water conservation and cleanliness campaigns. His “Mann ki Baat” radio broadcast this Sunday is likely to touch upon some of these issues.

PUBG diplomacy

News of the continuing love affair between a significant number of young, urban Indians and the hit mobile game PUBG has reached other countries. While parents and policymakers continue to raise hell about the negative impacts of the violent game, faraway Taiwan — a hub for mobile gaming — has used it as a peg to promote economic ties. On Wednesday, the country's top official in New Delhi, Representative Ambassador Tien Chung-Kwang, told a large gathering of youths that Indians were instinctively good at it. Taiwan is promoting both its gaming software and hardware in the country and a Taiwanese mobile gaming rig is set to begin its 60-day journey to small towns in India. Good hand-eye coordination and a fast-paced culture are important for national development as well as good gaming, Kwang advised youngsters. "I hope you keep on winning," he said.

First Published: Thu, June 27 2019. 21:18 IST