The BJP is now using Rabindranath Tagore in political slugfests to gain in West Bengal, as was apparent from recent past elections in the state.
Apart from Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee and even CPI-M leader Surya Kanta Mishra, who both highlighted Tagore’s song or his ideology in different times during their speeches, especially before elections, BJP top brasses have started showing interest in Tagore during their speeches in various programmes.
The reference to Tagore is not just limited to slogans. Famous lines from his poems are being used by Prime Minister Modi and WB chief minister Banerjee to take potshots at each other. Modi recently quoted Tagore’s lines “where the mind is without fear” to take a dig at Banerjee for the alleged use of terror tactics by the TMC.
The BJP’s leaning on Tagore is slowly appearing crystal clear as its district unit in Nadia launched a massive membership drive from their party office in Krishnagar by singing one of Tagore’s popular songs – ‘E Desher Mati Amar’. The party’s Nadia North district president, Ashu Ghosh said, “They have a target to do 10 lakh memberships ahead of the forthcoming assembly election. In the state, the target is to make 3 crore members through this programme”.
The ‘much designed’ membership programme, interestingly, started on 22 Shravan, the death anniversary of Tagore in Kolkata where the party’s state president Dilip Ghosh informed that one can give a missed call on the party’s number, log onto the website and register as a member.
“Bengali’s have been maligned everywhere. Now they say, Bengalis resort to fights. We are referred to as a non-Bengali party. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was from Bengal itself, he asked Rabindranath Tagore to give a lecture in Bengali because of him,” the BJP leader said.
Many people, however, opine BJP’s leaning on Tagore is to counter the TMC supremo’s strategy of labelling them as a party of the Hindi heartlands.