West Bengal to celebrate ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ today – Hindustan Times

Kolkata News

West Bengal will celebrate ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ on Monday, as announced by chief minister Mamata Banerjee last month. While addressing the TMC annual Martyrs Day rally on July 21, Banerjee announced that the state government would observe ‘Khela Hobe Divas’ on August 16 every year.

While addressing a crowd at Kolkata’s Netaji Indoor Stadium earlier this month, Mamata Banerjee announced a scheme under the same name. As part of the scheme, the West Bengal sports and youth affairs department will hand more than one lakh footballs to various sporting clubs. “The 303 clubs under IFA (Indian Football Association) are being given 10 balls each, and Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan, and East Bengal are being given 100 balls each as a token,” she said.

The term ‘Khela Hobe’ gained prominence during the West Bengal assembly elections this year. The Bengali words translate to ‘game on’ and Banerjee repeatedly used the slogan against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was the main contender against the TMC during the polls.

Banerjee renewed the battle cry she made during the state assembly elections in July, adding the fight will continue till BJP is ousted from power at the Centre. “Khela Divas, which will be marked by the distribution of footballs to needy children,” she said on July 21, according to news agency PTI.

TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh had said, “Khela Divas will be observed to promote sports among children and youth for character and nation-building. It is condemnable to see that BJP leaders have stopped to such a level that they are even politicizing it.”

The announcement prompted the BJP to equate it with the Muslim League’s Direct Action Day, which began on that day in 1946. BJP Rajya Sabha lawmaker Swapan Dasgupta said that the Muslim League launched its Direct Action Day and began the Great Calcutta Killings in 1946 on August 16. “In today’s West Bengal, Khela Hobe has come to symbolise a wave of terror attacks on opponents.” he tweeted.

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari met Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar last week with several monks and urged him to request Banerjee to shift the date of Khela Hobe Divas as August 16 coincides with ‘Great Calcutta Killing’ of 1946. Following Adhikari’s request, Dhankhar had also appealed to the West Bengal chief minister to change the date.

“Expect righteous call @MamataOfficial over date of “Khela Hobe Diwas” Sanatan Sages apprehend that Aug 16’ also known as “1946 Calcutta Killings” as ‘Khela Hobe Diwas” would be grim reminder of worst communal killings of thousands on Jinnah call of ‘Direct Action Day’,” Dhankhar tweeted. “Peace and harmony are vital to flourishing of democracy. All steps that have potential to generate divisiveness in society must be contained. Expect @MamataOfficial to rise over partisan stance and take urgent call as regards date #KhelaHobe with public interest in mind,” he added.


Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/kolkata-news/west-bengal-to-celebrate-khela-hobe-divas-today-101629074430829.html