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From Chittaranjan Das to PM Modi: The long and illustrious history of the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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