A statue of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was today vandalised by unidentified men in south Kolkata, police said. The statue was found partially damaged and its face blackened. A poster was also found from the spot with the word “radicals” written on it, they said.
The incident comes after a statue of communist icon Vladimir Lenin was pulled down in Tripura by BJP workers, a statue of Dravidian leader E V Ramaswamy, popularly known as Periyar, in Tamil Nadu was vandalized, and head of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar’s statue was severed.
Mookerjees statue was vandalised in Keoratala crematorium area near Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees residence.
Police arrested six members of the “Radical,” believed to be a pro-Maoist students body formed in Jadavpur University four years ago, over the incident at South Kolkata’s Tollygunge. The police have started an investigation into it.
Two days ago a finger of a BR Ambedkar statue was found broken in Aligarh, following which local residents had protested. Last year also there were reports of Ambedkar statue vandalism in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar.
Calling B R Ambedkar a “holy symbol”, Dalit activist John Dayal condemned the incident. He further said BJP should expel H Raja for his ‘casteist Periyar’ post, which was put up hours before the Periyar statue was vandalised in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier, Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan hit out at the Central government over the vandalizing of the Periyar statue in Vellore.
Addressing a press conference, he said, “There is no need to deploy police to protect the Periyar statue in Coimbatore. We Tamilians will protect it,” he said, alleging that this issue had been raised to divert attention from the formation of the Cauvery management board.
Senior BJP leader H Raja had posted the message on social networking site Facebook after alleged BJP supporters used a earth-mover to bring down a statue of communist revolutionary Lenin in Tripura, two days after the party won the assembly elections in the state.
“Who is Lenin? What is the relevance he holds in India? What is the link between communism and India? Lenin’s statues were destroyed in Tripura, tomorrow, in Tamil Nadu, casteist Periyar’s statues will be destroyed,” he wrote.
Later, Raja expressed regrets over his social media post on which denigrated social reformer Periyar E V Ramasamy. In a new message on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Raja blamed his associates for uploading the post denigrating Periyar without his knowledge.
EV Ramasamy Periyar is considered as the pioneer of Dravidian Nationalism. Historically, Periyar demanded a separate Dravidian nation, as late as 1962 C N Annadurai made a pitch for separation in the Rajya Sabha, and Dravidian politics has revolved around a fierce sense of Tamil pride. Hindutva as an ideology is seen as alien to the land and an import from Aryan culture.