New Delhi: A CPI(M) member on Friday asked the government to immediately install a statue of Rabindranath Tagore at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar to honour the Nobel Laureate who had renounced Knighthood after the 1919 massacre.
“I am raising this demand at a time when some non- sensical demands are being made for a ban on the eternal thoughts of Tagore,” Ritabrata Banerjee said during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
Raising the issue, he said more than 1,000 innocent people had lost their lives in the firing by British police in Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919. “Immediately after the incident, Tagore took no time in renouncing his Knighthood that had been conferred on him in 1915 by the British Crown to protest the extreme barbarism,” the CPI(M) member said.
Banerjee said “it is most unfortunate” that in the entire Jallianwala Bagh Memorial, Tagore “does not find a proper place of honour.” He said the installation of Tagore’s statue, along with proper and prominent display of the letter of renouncement of Knighthood will be a mark of respect to the man, who had throughout his life celebrated and championed the very idea of India.
Banerjee said he felt “deeply pained” to inform the House that this year, the Assam government has cancelled the holiday in schools and colleges on the birthday of Tagore. In his Zero Hour mention, Sukhendu Shekhar Roy (TMC) raised the issue of the plight of jute farmers.