Saugata Roy speaks on the Delhi genocide

Namaskar Sir, thank you. 

I rise to speak on the Delhi genocide. I am not speaking in a happy frame of mind because the Delhi genocide happened 72 years after Gandhi ji was murdered in the same city by a Hindu fanatic. Gandhi ji has been murdered again in Delhi by you know who, Sir. 

Sir, I was listening to one of the Honourable Members. Her speech, if made outside, could be termed as a hate speech. I have seldom heard such a biased, communal speech. I do not know whether this should go up in the House records. The Member was forthright in her defence of a man who went to Maujpur with 300 people and started the riots. She spent five minutes defending the most hated man so may I quote Shakespeare and call her ‘the devil’s advocate’. She is the best devil’s advocate possible. She has also been an advocate for Delhi Police, which has shown total inaction and ineptitude in this whole riot in Delhi. Unfortunately, there are not many takers for Meenakshi ji’s speech.  

Sir, this is what our leader Mamata Banerjee has said, that the Delhi riots were “a planned genocide”. So I must explain why she described it as such. She called it “a planned genocide” because there was gradual build-up to the hatred that led to the riots. First, there was the action taken in JNU against the students. Then, the police went to the Jamia Millia Islamia University and beat up students inside the library. Then, one after another, in the run-up to the Delhi election, one person said, “Goli maro”, and used some other words. Then another said, regarding the Shaheen Bagh protesters, that people will go and do all sorts of things to them. Then the Honourable Home Minister said, “Aap itna zor button dabao ki Shaheen Bagh mein current lage”. Lekin unka baat koi nahi suna, party haar gaya, woh toh dusri baat hain. But he did say, “Itna zor button dabao ki Shaheen Bagh mein current lage”. The hate was being built up, and then this man Kapil Mishra openly said that if the road was not cleared, he shall go with 300 people to clear it up. 

Then what happened, Sir? I’m not counting Hindus and Muslims, because I quote John Donne, who said: “any man’s death diminishes me,/ because I am involved in mankind./ And therefore never send to know for whom/ the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”. This was quoted by Ernest Hemingway in his famous novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Sir, I am not counting though I know that out of the 53 people killed, there were two policemen, and 11 belonged to the majority community and 40 to the minority community. I am not naming any community but it’s obvious that the minority community suffered more. And what’s more, thousands of people have fled from the affected areas and gone to their villages in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, or are living with relatives elsewhere in Delhi.

In this city of Delhi, areas like Maujpur, Chand Bagh and Jamuna Vihar were wholly affected. The other areas wholly affected, if I may mention, were Jaffrabad, Seelampur, Babarpur, Gokulpuri, Khajuri Khas, Karawal Nagar, Bhajanpura, Maujpur and Shivpuri. For three days, there was a naked dance of communalism in the streets of Delhi. How did it start? On the 23rd, Kapil Mishra came with a pro-CAA procession and there was a meeting in Jaffrabad. First, a clash took place between pro-CAA and anti-CAA protestors. Women have been sitting at Shaheen Bagh since December 14 but there was no violence. However, BJP leaders kept instigating them, saying “Yeh Shaheen Bagh, yeh deshdrohi hai, isko goli maro, ura do”, aur yeh ghrina charo taraf failne laga. Yahan Meenakshi Lekhi ka jo speech tha, waisa hi sab speech log bahar mein de rahe the

On the 23rd and 24th, the actual rioting started. I was looking for our Honourable Home Minister, and I saw him sitting in a front row sitting in the front row at Motera Stadium welcoming Mr Trump. When he should have been in the police control room he was welcoming Mr trump at Motera. On the 24th, which was a Monday, Mr Trump came to Ahmedabad and then he undertook a romantic visit to Agra, and our Home Minister attended Motera and came back to Delhi, but there was no order for the police. On that day, five people were killed including one head constable Ratan Lal. The violence was escalating, but still there was no clear instruction from the Honourable Home Minister. He was busy at Trump’s meeting. Then on the 25th things went out of control. Armed mobs fought with each other on the streets of Delhi. As the Honourable Member referred to earlier said, Molotov cocktails, stones, bombs and other things were thrown, and ultimately the death toll has gone up to 53. The Honourable Home Minister then had a meeting with the Chief MInister of Delhi and others on the 25th – mind you, not on the 24th when the riots started. He had the meeting on the 25th. And only on the evening of the 25th were the first orders given for imposition of Section 144 and for shoot-at-sight. Still, the violence went on throughout the night of 25th. Only on the 26th did peace return. The police had taken some action. The useless commissioner of Delhi was removed and a new man was brought in. 

Now it has been questioned as to why did the NSA visit these affected areas on the 26th? What was the Home Minister doing? The NSA is supposed to keep track of the threats to the country. But he is going to Kashmir, he is going here and there. Is it his business to control the internal law and order situation? Why was the Home Minister absent from action? There was no explanation for the same. 

When Ajit Doval went, he said, “Jo ho gaya so ho gaya, now there will be peace”. Uske baad se mera ek kavita yaad aya — “Panchi jo udti hai chaman badal giya/.Haste hai sitare gagan badal giya”. Aj shanti, khamoshi bata rahi hai laash wohi hai sirf kafan badal gaya. Kafan badal gaya kyun ki Ahmedabad wapas aya. Sir, Naroda Patia wapas aya; we haven’t forgotten. But the now Honourable Prime Minister said in 2002, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, quoting Isaac Newton. 

At this stage, I feel bad standing face-to-face with the Honourable Home Minister. You are still young, you have a good future if you accept responsibility for your failure to control Delhi riots, if you acknowledge your responsibility for failing to bring peace within three days. You were busy with Trump, so you could not do it. Acknowledge the responsibility in the name of god and go, don’t sit in the Home Minister’s position. If you go now, maybe you  will recover, otherwise you will have to lead the rest of your life with the stamp on your forehead that this is the man who could not prevent the riots in Delhi, just 10 km from the Home Ministry’s headquarters. If you could not control Delhi, how would you control this huge country? 

Sir, I demand a judicial enquiry into the riots by a sitting Supreme Court judge, not a retired judge. I demand total rehabilitation for all those affected by the riots, and lastly, with all politeness at my disposal, I ask the Honourable Home MInister, in the name of god, to go. 


Mamata Banerjee to inaugurate Uttarbanga Utsab today

The week-long Uttarbanga Utsab is set to start from January 20 in Siliguri. This has been an annual fixture for the last few years and is eagerly awaited by the people of the region.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate the festival at the Kanchenjunga Stadium. A host of cultural and political personalities will grace the occasion.

The event is aimed at showcasing the rich and diverse culture, art, craft, music, songs and other performing arts of north Bengal. This is the ninth edition of the festival. 

A mega sit and draw competition and felicitation of meritorious students also form part of the festival. Eminent persons excelling in different spheres hailing from north Bengal will be conferred the Banga Ratna Award. 

Invest in Bangla, where there’s scope for the future: Didi’s call at Bengal Business Conclave, Digha

Bangla Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today inaugurated the Bengal Business Conclave at Digha. Held at the newly inaugurated Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, the two-day programme is being attended by industry representatives and diplomats from around 20 nations.

Here are the excerpts from her inaugural speech:

In Kolkata, there is a big convention centre. I am proud to say that it is one of the biggest convention centres in the world. It is a destination for industry leaders and everything related. Digha is not too far away from Kolkata. Road connectivity is there for tourism and industry. What we have started today will work for tomorrow. Adjacent to this convention centre is a hotel with 70 rooms. Corporate houses, industrial houses can organise seminars or their office meetings here.

Digha is a beautiful place. You will appreciate that within these 8 years, Digha has been developed like anything. I am proud to say that a promenade like Marine Drive is coming up. The road is already complete. Two bridges are being made. It is adjacent to Puri. Puri has a famous temple. A temple is also coming up here, the Mashibari Temple. A port is coming up at Tajpur.

Representatives of 20 countries are present here. They are from the UK, Poland, Australia, the Netherlands, Argentina, South Korea, Singapore, UAE, USA, Australia, France, Russia, Italy, Thailand, Germany, Japan, China, Bangladesh and Bhutan. Also present here are representatives of the United Nations and a team from the World Bank. The Asian Development Bank also gave us Rs 150 million for a project. We want to congratulate them. Industry depends on the economic situation. Economic situation is something very important nowadays.

After 34 years of Left misrule, our State has overcome the situation. Now if we see the GDP growth, in the second quarter of 2016-17, it was 8.87 %. But in the second quarter of 2019-20, the rate dipped to 4.55%. Industry growth has also gone down. In 2015-16 it was 9.58 %, which in 2018-19 dipped to 6.86%. Manufacturing growth rate also went down from 13.06% in 2015-16 to 6.94% 2018-19. Industrial production growth rate went down. In September 2018, it was 4.63% while in September 2019 it is -4.27%. FDI growth rate is also down from 22% in 2014-15 and 35% in 2015-16 to 1% in 2018-19. Even unemployment rate is also highest in last 45 years.

But I am proud to say that in Bangla, we have decreased unemployment by about 44%. It depends on attitude, working capacity and government policies.

Why you should come to Bangla? If you compare, you will see that Industrial production IIP of India was only 30.6% in 2018-19, exactly double that of India. Poverty rate decline in Bangla is highest among all the states. Through the social security scheme, poverty has declined by 6%. This means that we have worked hard. State Plan Expenditure is six times higher. Social Sector Expenditure has grown by 4.5 times. Physical Infrastructure Expenditure has grown by 5 times.

We are No. 1 in this country. We are the No. 1 in lending by banks to MSME, skill development, in rural connectivity and rural housing, in generation of 100 days’ work for the poor people, in expenditure outlet for 100 days programme. We developed in so many areas because of our intention and integrity.

We want you to invest in Bangla. Choose your place where you have the scope and future. We will get the opportunity to employ people. We are not only proud of Bangla because we stay here. Bangla is not only the gateway for Bangladesh, Bhutan and North-Eastern countries; it is the lifeline for the business of the nation. It is the lifeline for the Asian countries also. Bangla has potential enough to do business.

Anyone can say anything politically. But no one can deny the fact that we have done for Bangla in the last 8 years. Bangla is now a model for the industrial development and every other development. We don’t divide the people. We never utter a single word against any cast, religion or community. We believe in togetherness. We feel we are the same family.

More than 13 lakh people are already employed in the tourism industry. My young generation is getting employment. In the hotel industry, the investment was about Rs 39,800 crore. Every year almost 16 lakh tourists are coming up in Bangla. And 8 crore domestic tourists are coming up. Our airport has grown by 178 %. International passengers have grown by 135 %. You can see the highest growth rate of passengers at Bagdogra Airport.

Our workforce is very good. In the last 8 years we have set up about 300 polytechnic and ITI colleges. We have all that you need to invest. We agree to cooperate. We have Land Bank. We have also Land Utilization Policy. We have IT Policy and Tea-tourism industry too.Along with all these we have talented students. Our young generation is working from Uk to USA to NASA to Japan, everywhere.

I will request you to invest in Bangla. We promise to give you full assistance. More than 200 acres we have allotted for silicon valley, IT sector. Our transport sector is a very potential sector.

I have the readymade business in every corner of the State. You have to use it. Invest your money for the betterment of the future. I can tell you that the Bangla will be the NO 1 destination for the world one day.

One country had said, I will not take the name that the Bangla will be on NO1 within 20 years.

We have set up 26 helipads already. We are trying to make the Air connectivity better also. I will request my UK friends to give some direct flights. There was British Airways previously. Now we are giving the fuel subsidy too. I will request you, if there is any opportunity you can pursue the matter. Airports at Balurghat, Malda, Coochbehar Airports are also coming up. Airport in Durgapur is almost ready.

There are so many areas where you can invest your money. You can enjoy our hospitality and friendship. Bangla loves all of you.

Bangla is the cultural capital of India. You can experience good culture, good behaviour, good transparency and good accountability from us. Our credential is our credibility.

I welcome all my friends from 20 different countries , my diplomats, my counsellor general and all. Thank you so much for coming here. Enjoy our hospitality. You give us business, we will offer you our all support with smile. Our country is your country too.

The next summit will be on 15-16th December, 2020 in Kolkata. I extend my open invitation to all of you.

Tourism festival to be held in North Bengal this winter

For the first time, the State Government will organise a tourism festival this winter in North Bengal. It will showcase the local traditions, cultures as well as offbeat destinations.The project was approved recently by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The details of the festival were outlined by the Tourism Minister. The festival will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 15 to December 21.

The first edition will be held at the offbeat destinations of Meteli, Gajoldoba (Jalpaiguri district) Rajabhatkhawa (Alipurduar district), Sitong (Darjeeling district), Pedong (Kalimpong district) and Talidighi (Dakshin Dinajpur district).

The festival will lay stress on low-cost homestays, resorts, Swiss tents as well as local art products, cultural performances, jungle safaris and travelling to various locations (at Jayanti Forest, Chilapata, Buxa Fort, etc.), bird-watching, adventure sports, activities around bonfires at campsites and of course, gastronomical experiences. The venues will host blog writers, tourism experts and celebrities during the course of the festival.

Importantly, the festival will be an eco-friendly, plastic-free event. Medical support and ambulances will also be present at the venues. Pick-ups from and drops to the local airport and railway stations will be available. Token memorabilia will also be given to the tourists.

Each venue we will have accommodation for around 125 guests, of whom 25 will be accommodated in tents and the remaining 100 in home stays, on twin-sharing basis. Guests will be charged Rs 1,250 per person per day.

The State Government has allotted a budget of around Rs 2 crores. Booking for the festival can be made online through the WBTDC website and the official portals of the districts.

Water conservation: ‘Jalatirtha’ scheme going strong

Jalatirtha, one of the flagship schemes of the Trinamool Congress Government, was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on this day in 2015 to run water conservation projects across the red laterite zone that comprises the districts of Bankura, Jhargram, Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Paschim Bardhaman and parts of Birbhum.

The Jal Dharo Jal Bharo Scheme, announced in 2011, received a boost with the Jalatirtha Scheme, which is the signature scheme for the red laterite zone. Under both the schemes, water retention structures like ponds, tanks, rivulets have been created to hold water. Steps have been taken so that evaporation does not take place.

The Water Resources Investigation and Development (WRI&D) Department runs both schemes. It has taken up schemes linked to water conservation across a total area of 1.45 lakh acres. The water level is extremely low in these zones and water extraction is very difficult.

Under Jalatirtha, as many as 13,945 projects have been taken up in the last eight years (since 2011) in the red laterite zone, of which 141 are solar-powered.

Among the almost 14,000 projects, more than 900 – structures like watersheds and check dams – have come up under Jalatirtha, including 176 in Bankura, 57 in Birbhum, 75 in Jhargram, 427 in Purulia and 224 in Paschim Medinipur.

The Department has now extended Jalatirtha to the saline zones, particularly in pockets of the Sundarbans, which include both South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas.

Honouring the legacy of Swami Vivekananda

The great follower of the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is, she has named various schemes and places after this great son of Bangla. She has also ensured the renovation of buildings that have a historic connection to the great sage.

Here is a list of works of the Bangla Government done to preserve the legacy of Swami Vivekananda:

* Making Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago address part of the syllabus for schools under the Madhyamik Board

* Giving autonomy and special status to educational institutions run by Ramakrishna Sarada Mission

* Allotting 5 acres and allocating Rs 10 crore for the Centre for Human Excellence and Social Sciences being built by the Ramakrishna Mission in New Town, as a replica of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Vivekananda delivered his famous speeches in 1893; it has been named ‘Vivek Tirtha’ by Mamata Banerjee

* Acquiring and handing over of the premises adjoining Vivekananda’s ancestral house to Ramakrishna Mission

* Renovating ‘Mayer Bari’ in Baghbazar, Kolkata, where Maa Sarada, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna lived, at a cost of Rs 30 crore

* Acquiring Sister Nivedita’s house in Baghbazar and handing it over to Ramakrishna Sarada Mission, and giving it heritage status

* Allocating Rs 2 crore for the renovation of Roy Villa in Darjeeling, associated with Sister Nivedita, and handing it over to Ramakrishna Mission

* Building a skywalk connecting Dakshineswar railway station to the famous temple there; it was named Dakshineswar Rani Rashmoni Skywalk by Mamata Banerjee

* Renaming Yuba Bharati Krirangan after Swami Vivekananda, as Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan

* Naming the self-employment scheme run by the Self-Help and Self-Employment Department as Swami Vivekananda Swanirbhar Karmasansthan Prakalpa

* Naming the scholarship for students from economically disadvantaged families as Swami Vivekananda Merit-cum-Means Scholarship

* Organising Vivek Chetana Utsav from January 10 to 12 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda across the State (January 12 is celebrated as National Youth Day, being the birthday of Swami Vivekananda)

* State Assembly passing Bills for the setting up of two private universities – Sister Nivedita University (Bill passed in 2017) and Swami Vivekananda University (Bill passed in 2019)

Bangla Govt celebrates anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s historic Chicago speech

Today, September 11, marks the 126th anniversary of the famous address by Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament of Religions, held at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1893. This address set the tone for the worldwide fame of Swami Vivekananda and the spreading of Vedanta philosophy across the world.

The Bangla Government is organising programmes to mark this historic day, in association with the Ramakrishna Mission. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would be leading the celebrations.

Various programmes including seminars in public halls and schools would be held to uphold the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, which are relevant for all times.


Training to make Jangalmahal youth employable

In a unique initiative to provide employment to the youths of Jangalmahal, the Bangla Government has decided to introduce a one-year training programme so that they can be inducted in ITI colleges across the State.

The Technical Education & Training and Skill Development Department will start the induction training soon. The idea is to ensure that those who have not cleared the Class VIII examination get the opportunity to take part in the programme.

Those who will successfully complete the training will be able to enrol themselves with the ITI colleges. After successfully completing the ITI course, lots of opportunities will open up for getting employment.

While announcing the details of the training, the departmental Minister said that students are admitted in ITI colleges in two categories – under one, the applicants have to clear the Class VIII examination, while in the other, they have to clear Madhyamik.

The scheme has now been made easier for the former group through this one-year course.

Source: Millennium Post

State Govt gives traditional treatment methods a fillip

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is creating more avenues for traditional methods of treatment to contribute towards health care delivery. The State Government has taken several more initiatives recently in this regard.

Hospitals and courses

A yoga and naturopathy degree college and hospital will be set up in Belur in Howrah district at an estimated cost of Rs 67 crore. It will have 100 beds with an annual intake capacity of 60 students.

A 50-bedded integrated AYUSH hospital is under construction in Medinipur town. It will become functional in this financial year.

The State Government has also given consent to provide 10 acres in the premises of Kalyani TB Sanatorium for a Central Research Institute on Yoga and Naturopathy at Kalyani in Nadia.

Pathological and biochemical tests are now being done free of cost at Viswanath Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya and Hospital in collaboration with private laboratories.

Two new postgraduate courses have been started, each with six seats – ‘Practice of Medicine’ at Calcutta Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital and ‘Materia Medica’ at Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital.


The Trinamool Congress Government has laid enormous stress on the development of infrastructure in the AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy) sector. The AYUSH method of treatment is also cost-effective.

The Government created the AYUSH Branch under the Health and Family Welfare Department. Many AYUSH hospitals have also been constructed in different parts of the State.

State Assembly passes 2 Bills to set up universities

The State Assembly passed the Hindi University Bill tabled by the Government on Thursday to encourage Hindi-medium education in Bangla. The State-aided university will be set up in Howrah.

Commenting during the tabling of the Bill, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Bill was introduced because “there are several Hindi-speaking people staying in Bangla” and that it “will show us a new path” and “will stand for harmony and unity”.

She also requested the Education Department to quickly initiate the construction of the university on the land that has been already acquired. The name, she said, will be decided after talking to all communities.

A day earlier, the Assembly had passed a Bill to enable the setting up of a university in the name of Swami Vivekananda.

This self-financing private university will be set up in Barrackpore, North 24 Parganas. The proposed university would deal in various specialised fields like science, technology, law, management, social sciences, medicine, education, humanities and performing arts.