Maharashtra, Bengal capable of leading India even today: Sharad Pawar

The programmes to revive the ties between the two leading states will begin on the death centenary (August 1, 2020) of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Mumbai, 29 July 2020: Maharashtra, Bengal and Punjab have played a major role in building India till this date. These three states have the capability to lead the country even today, said Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo and former Union cabinet minister MP Sharad Pawar.

He was speaking at the formal inauguration of reviving of the Maharashtra-Bengal Friendship organised by Pune-based NGO Sarhad here on Wednesday. A small programme was held at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre, where noted filmmaker Nilesh Navalakha, Dr Amol Deolekar, organiser Yuvaraj Shaha, Vikas Sontate and other dignitaries were present.

The programmes to revive the ties between the two leading states will begin on the death centenary (August 1, 2020) of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. A people’s movement in the fields of literature, art, culture and social relations will be launched in these states.

Recalling the historic Congress session in Mumbai, Pawar said, “The triumvirate Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal) had played a major role in freeing India from the foreign yoke. There was an outbreak of plague at the time of the foundation of the Indian National Congress (INC). Hence, the venue of the first session had to be shifted to Mumbai from Pune. A similar condition is prevailing today. This inauguration was supposed to take place in Pune. However, it is being held in Mumbai today. We are living in tough times as people cannot mingle due to physical distancing in the backdrop of the Covid-19. However, this programme is proving to be a silver lining to the dark cloud. It is bringing two states closer, which is very important. This initiative by Sarhad is a movement that puts a noble thought into practice.”

“The Lal-Bal-Pal trinity added a new dimension to the freedom struggle. It carried forward the tradition of exchange of ideas started by Sant Namdev. This tradition continued afterwards. Satyendranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore’s elder brother, had worked as an IPS officer in Maharashtra. He had translated Tukaram’s ‘abhangs’ in Bengali. He also translated Tilak’s ‘Gitarahasya’ in Bengali. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had inspired Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Rabindranath had a strong influence on writers in Maharashtra. It is significant that these historic relations will be revived through these programmes. Bengal has a rich heritage in the fields of literature, films and music. Maharashtra has also contributed majorly to these areas. We should all get involved in this exchange through Sarhad’s programmes,” he said.

Commenting on the Lal-Bal-Pal’s contribution and the foundation of the INC, Pawar underlined the need for a movement to connect people to each other as humans first. He emphasised that a new thought centre has to come up to give a positive direction to the country.

The flow of Rabindra Sangeet, Bengali literature has increased in Maharashtra of late. This initiative would give a definite direction to this exchange. Over 50 books will be translated. Exchanges in the fields of music, literature and others will take place between the two states, said Dr Deolekar.