The Brigade Parade Ground was the site of BJP’s historic rally in Kolkata where Prime Minister Modi addressed a massive crowd, one of the largest ever, ahead of the West Bengal Assembly Elections. The ground occupies a unique space in Indian history and has been the site of numerous events on momentous occasions.
Alok Bhatt, founder of the adventure tourism venture, Nature Connect Outdoors based in Uttarakhand, recalled the historical significance of the Brigade Parade Ground in a Twitter thread on Sunday. The ground is under the control of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command Headquarters and has the iconic Victoria Memorial in the background.
The ground was initially meant to be the parade ground for British East India Company forces stationed at Fort William following their victory at the Battle of Plassey.
Britishers developed this ground as a parade ground for the forces stationed at Fort William after it began marshal long its troop there following their victory in the battle of Plassey (June 1757)- primarily towards second half of 18th century! pic.twitter.com/BI1jZZPB93— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) March 7, 2021
Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das organised a protest at the ground against the Rowlatt Act during the rule of Colonial India. After Indian independence, Prime Minister Nehru held a public reception for Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin at the Brigade Parade Ground.
On 25 Nov, 1955, sea of humanity on lush green Brigade ground hosted Bulganin & Khrushchev- the two men, who from that point onwards went on to write a new chapter in world history- with Nehru, Bidhan Roy and Ajoy Ghosh playing a perfect host! pic.twitter.com/9K8njGqRrq— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) March 7, 2021
Then, following India’s victory against Pakistan that led to the formation of the independent state of Bangladesh, Mujibur Rehman, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, addressed an event at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Rehman raised the slogan of “Jai Bharat, Jai Bangla” to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers towards the independence of his country.
West Bengal then was witness to the rise of the Left Front in the state. Communists organised numerous rallies at the ground, managing to fill the site to the brim.
Revolutionaries, professing allegiance to various branches of Left were spraying blood in the remote corners of the state and party leaders- led by Basu- kept filling Brigade ground with men & women holding red flag of liberation: this image from 87 defines that phase best! pic.twitter.com/LFvtDMApPg— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) March 7, 2021
Consistent with the revolutionary history of the Brigade Parade Ground, Mamata Banerjee organised a historic rally in November, 1992 as a leader of the Youth Congress. 19 years later, she would go on to become the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee organised one of the most talked about rallies of Brigade ground – youth Congress rally on November 25, 1992 and that was the start of Left’s downfall…… pic.twitter.com/nhiYkcRmbr— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) March 7, 2021
Many years later, Prime Minister Modi addressed a crowd with the smell of ‘poriborton’ in the air. It appears that the BJP is set to add another prominent leaf in the remarkable history of the Brigade Parade Ground.
A ground that has seen massive rallies for Indian independence to Communist rallies was on Sunday reverberating with slogans of Jai Shri Ram.