‘Remove Mujibur Rahman’s bust from Kolkata hostel’
Minority body says Islam does not permit setting up of idolsAhead of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India next month, minority organisation All Bengal Minority Youth Federation (ABMYF) has demanded that the bust of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman be removed from the government-run Baker hostel.
Calling it “anti-Islamic”, the ABMYF’s State general secretary Md. Quamruzzaman told The Hindu that “Islam does not permit setting up of idols. Baker Hostel being a hostel for Muslim students, we think the statue of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman here is anti-Islamic.”
A white marble bust of Mujibur Rahman is installed at the entrance to the museum on the hostel’s third floor. It was inaugurated by then Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Dipu Mani, in 2011.
The 110 year-old-Baker hostel, which is located in central Kolkata’s Janbazar area, was home to Mujibur Rahman from 1945 to 1946. The well-maintained statue and museum here stand in stark contrast to the dark and damp corridor of the hostel.
Mr. Quamruzzaman said the statue becomes “even more objectionable” as there is a large mosque inside the hostel premises. Claiming that he was also a resident of the hostel when the museum came up, he said that he was not aware of the statue until he saw media reports on the birth anniversary of Mujibur Rahman on March 17.
Not aware, says TMC MP
Trinamool Congress MP and minority leader Idris Ali, meanwhile, said he was “not aware of the matter.” The hostel authorities, too, did not offer a comment.
The ABMYF now plans to write to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “We will write to the Chief Minister and communicate with Ms. Sushma Swaraj through email. We have also sought an appointment with Zaki Ahad, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh,” said Mr. Quamruzzaman.