New Delhi: CPI(M) members in Lok Sabha on Thursday got support from major opposition parties, including BJP, SP and BSP, when they demanded that the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore on May 8 this year be declared a national holiday.

"Tagore was not just a poet, an author or a painter but a versatile genius and a multifaceted personality. He fought the British imperialism's attempts to divide the country and united the people across the country," senior CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said during Question Hour.

When he and his party colleague, Saidul Haque, demanded that May 8 be declared a holiday as national-level celebrations were being held to mark Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, members of BJP, including Yashwant Sinha, and those from SP, BSP, Left and some other parties stood up in support.

Haque said Tagore had given up Knighthood in protest against the massacre of hundreds of people by the British troopers in Jallianwalla Bagh in 1919. The national anthems of India and Bangladesh were among his path-breaking works, he said.

However, a few members of the Trinamool Congress who were present in the House at that time remained conspicuously silent.


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