She urged him for the Constitutional amendment during the ongoing session of Parliament, required to change the name of ‘West Bengal’ to ‘Bangla.’
“You are probably aware that for quite a few years now we have been seeking a change in the name of our state. The present name ‘West Bengal’ is in English and ‘Paschim Banga’ in Bengali and does not bear the testimony of the classical history that our state has,” she writes in the letter.
“Name of a State should invoke a strong sense of identity among its people and this identity can be formed if the State’s name carries the signature of its history and authentic culture.”
“I would again request you to kindly accept the wishes of the people of West Bengal, as enshrined in the resolution of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and in the proposal of the West Bengal Cabinet to rename our state as ‘Bangla’ in English, Hindi, and Bengali,” she has written.
“This re-christening will be in consonance with the history, culture, and identity of our State and will reflect the aspirations of our people. I would request you to kindly get this amendment done accordingly in the current session of the Parliament.”
Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had rejected Mamata’s proposal. The MoS (Home), Nityanand Rai, while speaking in the Parliament specified that there is no question of a changing the name of Bengal to ‘Bangla’ because as per the HMO it needs a constitutional amendment.
The Chief Minister reminded the Prime Minister that on August 19, 2011, in a meeting attended by all political parties in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, it was decided that the State would be spelt as ‘Paschim Banga’ in both English and Bengali.
“On August 29, 2016, the West Bengal Legislative Assembly carried a resolution proposing that the name of the State should now be ‘Bengal’ in English, ‘Bangla’ in Bengali and ‘Bangal’ in Hindi. The Government of India was requested accordingly in September 2016. We, however, received intimation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, that the new official name of the State has to be same in all three languages,” she said.
“The State Cabinet on August 8, 2017, decided that the name of the State should be ‘Bangla’ in all languages. The West Bengal Legislative Assembly also followed it up by a resolution on July 27, 2018.”
Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to rename the state as ‘Bangla’ have been going on since facing obstacle from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). On March 29, 2017, the Union Home Ministry had written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), sharing concerns that the new name may sound like Bangladesh and it would be difficult to differentiate the two at international forums.
In November last year, Mamata in her Facebook post had accused the central government of “stonewalling” her government’s decision to rename West Bengal as Bangla.
Attacking the BJP, she wrote: “Whether a political party with zero strength in the state (BJP) will decide the name of our state or the unanimous resolution passed by our state assembly in accordance with the Constitutional obligations and federal structure should be respected?
Ironically, BJP made a historic invasion into West Bengal after securing 18 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, leaving Mamata Banerjee completely flustered.
Since then Mamata Banerjee has been getting more and more prickly due to the unfaltering pressure built on her by BJP’s victory. To save her identity, now she has been trying to adopt new techniques. She has been trying to impress the Bengalis in the state by portraying “how Bengal and Bengali culture are different from what is being displayed by the BJP”.
She had on June 5 announced that Trinamool will hold a door to door campaign to ‘save Bengali culture’.
Moreover, during the recent impasse between the medical fraternity and the state government in West Bengal, which had turned into a national outrage, Mamata had issued an ultimatum asking people residing in West Bengal to learn and converse in Bengali if they wish to continue living in the state.