Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee are the two icons of West Bengal. Decades after they have ceased to dominate the state’s political scenario, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has come up in Calcutta High Court around an announcement aimed to commemorate Mukherjee’s contribution but a litigant has moved court apprehending that it is likely to put Bose’s efforts in the shade.
The PIL which is before the Division Bench presided over by Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court TBN Radhakrishnan has been triggered by an announcement of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. On 12 January, the Prime Minister announced that Kolkata Port Trust is renamed Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust.
The PIL stated that there should be no comparison made between eminent figures and one should not be placed on a higher perastal than the other. Kolkata Port Trust should either retain its name or renamed after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The petitioner, Naren Chattopadhayay , a leader of All India Forward Bloc, a political outfit Bose founded after he broke away from Congress, has contended that the announcement belittled Netaji and his contribution.
With two docks of KoPT named after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Prime Minister’s announcement of renaming the port after Mukherjee has turned out to be an act of disrespect towards a leader who left the country in disguise only to return at the head of an army which shook the foundations of the British Empire in India.
The renaming announcement, the PIL stated, is part of Sagarmala programme of the Union ministry of shipping. It envisages unlocking the potential of waterways and coastline to minimise infrastructural investnents. The official website of KoPT shows that its name still remains Kolkata Port Trust and not Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Port Trust, the PIL stated.
This indicates that the name change is yet to occur by way of any notification, it was stated underscoring it’s point.
While acknowledging Mukherjee to be an eminent figure in the nation’s history as an academic, lawyer, minister and Opposition leader after whom various institutions should be named, the PIL stated that with already two docks of KoPT named after Netaji, renaming KoPT would be demeaning to Bose by placing him at a lower position than Mukherjee, it was contended.