September 24, 2019
Vandalism of Vidyasagar statue was an attempt to erode Bengali culture: Didi
Bangla Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today paid her homage to Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at his birthplace Birsingha village in Ghatal. She inaugurated the 200th birth anniversary celebration of Vidyasagar today.
In her speech, the CM slammed the ‘evil forces’ who vandalised the statue of Vidyasagar in Kolkata few months ago. She said, “They wanted to erode Bengali culture. We have reinstalled the statue. History cannot be erased by vandalising a statue.”
The CM added, “It is our privilege today to be present at the birthplace of the creator of Barnaparichay. Even after 200 years, Vidyasagar is like a ray of light, guiding you in the path of life. Vidyasagar inspires you to come back to Bangla – he is beckoning you to come back.”
She showered praises on the polymath, adding, “Vidyasagar was a scholar in his own right. He was rightly called ‘Vidyar Sagar’ (sea of knowledge). He inspired people to give up superstition and regressive practices and embrace the path of progress by leading the movement against child marriage and institutionalisation of widow remarriage. He was intimidated and assaulted but he never gave up.”
She also mentioned that Vidyasagar helped us learn the Bangla language with his book ‘Barnaparichay’. “His contribution to the Bangla language is undeniable. Vidyasagar stood for secular values. He was a beacon of education and social reforms,” Mamata Banerjee said.
On the occasion, she also made the following announcements:
- We are setting up an academy in Vidyasagar’s name. We will set up a digital library of his works
- Sanskrit University has been set up. An archive is being set up at Vidyasagar College
- Vidyasagar Smriti Mandir has been renovated. His residence has been declared a heritage structure
- We will also set up a research centre in Vidyasagar’s name in Bangla
- We will develop Birsingha village as an educational tourist hub, just like Santiniketan or Jorasanko.