When it comes to legacy, rivalry and history in Indian football, few clubs, if any, come close to the Bengal pair of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The two clubs, once again proved their class, by offering Nobel laureate Abhijeet Banerjee a life-time membership.
Abhijeet, who recently won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, has shot into the limelight for his work in developmental economics alongside two other economists. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Abhijeet, like every other Bengali, chose one of the age-old teams of Bengal, in his case, the team being East Bengal.
The officials of East Bengal are quoted as confirming their intentions of honouring the Nobel Prize winner by offering him a lifetime membership on their 100th year anniversary. However, the date of the ceremony has not yet been fixed. Due to the busy schedule, the officials of East Bengal shall decide the dates of the ceremony as per the availability of the Nobel prize winner. As of now, they have officially mailed Abhijeet confirming their decision to offer him a lifetime membership of the club.
The other Bengal giant, Mohun Bagan, has not been far behind in their efforts to honour the achievement of Abhijeet Banerjee. They too have offered a lifetime membership to the Nobel Prize winner. Reports had suggested that Abhijeet was in a dilemma when Mohun Bagan officially mailed him their lifetime membership offer as his loyalties lie with the arch-rivals East Bengal.
However, as per a report in a Bengali daily, Abhijeet has decided to honour the club by accepting the offer. He said that it is an immense honour for him that both the Bengal giants have offered him a lifetime membership. To turn down any one of them would mean demeaning and disrespecting the age-old traditions and legacy that are associated with the club.
When put in the perspective of the bitter rivalry that these two teams share, it is a big step taken by both. It is one of those rare events that has united the bitter rivals of Bengal. Both the clubs recognized the incredible achievement of the Nobel Prize Winner, Abhijeet Bandyopadhyay and has decided to felicitate him with the highest possible honour that they have to offer.