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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

WB syllabus committee chairman compares Partha Chatterjee to Nelson Mandela

A prominent official with the West Bengal Education Department on Monday compared former state education minister Partha Chatterjee — an accused in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission recruitment irregularities scam, with the legendary leader of anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

Sounds unconceivable! But none other than the state syllabus committee chairman, Avik Majumdar has drawn this conclusion at a press conference on Monday with the incumbent West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu seated next to him.

Ever since Chatterjee was detained by the Enforcement Directorate in connection to the scam, the Opposition leaders have been demanding removal of Partha Chatterjee’s name from a chapter in the syllabus of the state secondary examinations.

After coming to power in West Bengal for the first time in 2011, the Trinamool Congress government introduced a new chapter in the syllabus on the party’s movement against land acquisition for Tata Motors’ Nano factory at Singur in Hooghly district in West Bengal, considered to be playing an important role in the ousting of 34-year-long Left Front rule in West Bengal.

In that chapter, Partha Chatterjee’s name was mentioned as the- then leader of the opposition in West Bengal assembly.

On Monday evening, when mediapersons asked Bratya Basu some questions on the matter, the state syllabus committee chairman replied: “Whatever is there in the chapter is true. When the chapter was included, it was written based on the realities which are historically true. You might recall the life of the leader of anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, Nelson Mandela. His wife was Winnie Mandela. But later, she got divorced after some charges of corruption were raised against Nelson Mandela. She was even expelled from the party. But the history and the website of the South African government still refers her name as an inseparable aide of Nelson Mandela in the anti-apartheid movement there.”

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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