Governor CV Anand Bose performed 'Hatey Khari', a ritual to teach Bengali alphabet to a child
West Bengal Governor CV Anand Bose performed 'Hatey Khari', a ritual to teach the Bengali alphabet to a child, on the occasion of Saraswati Puja on Thursday in presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other dignitaries.
The governor, whose mother tongue is Malayalam, got the Bengali lesson from three children.
Bose was taught how to write the first letter of the Bengali alphabet by nine-year-old Diyangshi Roy, a class 3 girl of a convent school in Chandannagar, on a blackboard.
Ranjana Biswas and Subhajit Dhar, class 4 students of Raj Bhavan Free Primary School, taught him the meanings of two Bengali words - 'Maa' (Mother) and 'Bhumi' (Earth).
Bose presented them each a bag full of drawing books and one silver coin as "gurudakshina".
Soon after taking office in November last year, Bose expressed his interest in learning Bangla in order to pen a book. The retired Kerala cadre IAS officer of the 1977 batch has a number of books to his credit.
"Ami Bangla sikhbo, Bangla khub sundor bhasha, ami Bangla ke bhalobashi. Banglar Manush ke ami bhalobashi. Jai Bangla. (I'll learn Bengali. It's a nice language, I love Bengal and its people. Hail Bengal," Bose said after the 'Hatey Khari' event.
Interestingly, 'Jai Bangla' is a slogan used by the ruling Trinamool Congress ahead of the assembly election in 2021 while the BJP charged that the Mamata Banerjee-led party wants to turn West Bengal into Bangladesh by importing that slogan. "Jai Bangla" was a popular slogan during the Bangladesh liberation war.
The governor also announced that he would give one month's salary to outstanding students in the state.
Congratulating Bose for taking the initiative to learn Bengali, Banerjee addressed the programme initially in Malayalam and then in her mother tongue.
"I wish him all the best for the endeavour. It's a proud moment for us," she said adding that she knows the Malayalam alphabet.
She also gifted the governor "Barnaparichay", a Bengali primer written by 19th-century social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, to learn the alphabet.
Stating that Bengali-speaking people get "unlimited scope" around the globe, Banerjee said that Mahatma Gandhi started learning Bengali in 1940, while former state Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi also had learnt the language.
"Even today when we converse, Gopal Krishna Gandhi speaks in Bengali," she said.
The BJP skipped the 'Hatey Khari' event while veteran CPI(M) leader Biman Bose attended it.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)