With an intention to powerfully assert Bengal’s unique culture as one that’s distinct from northern India, chief minister Mamata Banerjee these days is busy composing a state song and an emblem for West Bengal. As per Indian Express, the move comes as a part of Trinamool Congress’ effort to counter the push of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state. The TMC has alleged that the saffron party is somehow trying to import an alien culture into West Bengal.
Speaking to Indian Express, a source close to Banerjee said, “The song will have three verses. It is being written and composed by Mamata Banerjee. The idea was to find a song that would capture the essence of Bengal.” It is also being said that West Bengal CM was in the process of selecting candidates to give voice to the song, with a popular playback singer among those being considered.
“The central theme of the song will be that Bengal has a unique identity. This identity is tied deeply to its values of secularism. The people of Bengal have never been divisive. Kolkata was the first cosmopolitan city, like the state, it always welcomed differences. That will be the underlying theme of the song,” the source added further.
The theme is said to be a strong political message for the BJP-led Central government and its aggressive attempt to promote Hindi and Hindutva in Bengal, a TMC insider told Indian Express. Expressing his views on the same, a senior TMC leader said, “Over the past few years, the BJP has been attempting to curb the rights of Bengal — starting from financial deprivation to cultural corrosion. For instance, people have started saying ‘Dhan Teras’ while forgetting their own ‘Traidoshi’, which, in fact, is where the word ‘teras’ comes from. All this is a very dangerous form of cultural assimilation.”
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The sources have also informed that the work on Bengal’s state emblem that has been worked upon since months is about to be completed. In February this year, Banerjee had asked her officials to come up with suggestions for the emblem.
A West Bengal secretariat official has also informed Indian Express that state government’s Biswa Bangla logo was among those being considered for the emblem. The latest draft of the emblem is a combination of both Biswa Bangla logo and the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath.
This is not for the first time that a state is going to adopt a song. Earlier, Tamil Thai Valtu which was written by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai and composed by MS Vishwanath became the state song for Tamil Nadu. Even various other states including Gujarat and Odisha have their own state songs.