Alipurduar (West Bengal), March 29 (IANS) Attacking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue of minority appeasement, BJP President Amit Shah on Friday alleged that she was trying to impose Urdu in schools.
The BJP chief also said the budget for Madarasa education was more than the higher education budget of the entire state.
“Mamata, who talks about Bengal culture, is trying to impose Urdu in schools. Even in schools where there are no Urdu students, she is recruiting Urdu teachers,” Shah said while addressing an election rally in northern West Bengal’s Alipurduar.
Shah referred to the incident in a school in North Dinajpur district’s Islampur where two former students were killed allegedly due to police firing, following protests against the recruitment of two new teachers, one of them for teaching Urdu.
A section of the students and alumni of Darivit High School had clashed with the police demanding teachers in literature and science subjects.
“There was so much protest against this in Islampur. When two of our activists Rajesh Sarkar and Tapas Barman, protested against it and demanded teachers for Bengali instead, they were shot dead in broad daylight,” Shah said.
“What was their fault? Their only fault was that they wanted the kids in the school to learn Bengali,” he said, asking the audience whether such a rule can continue.
The BJP leader said he had no problem with Banerjee giving honorarium to Imams (Muslim priests), but Hindu priests should also get the same.
He said the budget for Madarasa education was Rs 4,000 crore, while “the higher education budget of entire Bengal is less than Rs 4,000 crore”.
“I can tell you that only one person can save Bengal from Mamata’s rule, he is Narendra Modi,” he added.
Dismissing Shah’s charge that the state government was “imposing Urdu”, Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said the state had a clear cut policy that a language would be recognised as a medium of instruction in a particular region if 10 per cent of the population speaks that language there.
“There is no question of imposing Urdu. We have so far given recognition to 16 languages. Any region… where ten per cent of the population speak in any of these languages, that language will be given recognition in that region,” said Chatterjee.