The Trinamool Congress Party has long been accused of harbouring perennial hatred for Hindus and Hinduism. Be it Mamata Banerjee’s objections to the Jai Shri Rama slogans or the state government’s imposition of restrictions on the Hindu festivals, the TMC, has time and again, manifested their contempt for Hindus in the state. Recently, this disdain for Hindus, Lord Rama and Hinduism was writ large when TMC MP Mahua Moitra attempted to take a swipe at UP Yogi Adityanath after he addressed a rally in Bengal’s Purulia.
Ahead of the upcoming polls in West Bengal, UP CM Yogi Adityanath was in the state as a star campaigner for the BJP. Yogi, in his characteristic demeanour, promised to establish a UP-like culture in West Bengal, should the BJP gets elected in the state. He added that the culture of violence that has been endemic to the TMC rule will be over, and all the goons patronised by the party will be punished.
Yogi’s assertions evidently grated on the TMC MP’s nerves and she was quick to issue a riposte. Perhaps, Yogi’s remarks on the culture of violence fostered in West Bengal under the TMC regime had set Moitra’s teeth on edge. However, in a bid to run Yogi down, Moitra ended up insulting Hindus and their culture.
In a tweet shortly after Yogi’s rally, Moitra tweeted that his “thok do culture” from his “vanar sena commune” wouldn’t work in West Bengal. “So Yogi CM comes to WB today, says he will kill “TMC goondas” one by one, Gudduji – listen up – your thok do culture may work in the vanar sena commune you ruled, doesn’t work here,” Moitra tweeted.
With her tweet, Moitra insulted the vanar sena or the army of monkeys that accompanied Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman on their way to Lanka and which also played a pivotal role in defeating Ravan’s humongous army. Not only did Moitra insult the vanar sena, but also the sentiments of Hindus who venerate the army of monkeys for assisting Lord Rama in the pursuit to find his abducted wife. Hindus hold the army of monkeys in high regard, especially for their leader Lord Hanuman, who is revered as Lord Rama’s supreme devotee and is also worshipped as a god.
While pious Hindus living in Uttar Pradesh and Yogi Adityanath would not be bothered by Moitra’s reference to the state as a vanar sena commune, considering that the army of monkeys was incredibly disciplined, manifestly courageous, and fought from the side of dharma. However, it is not lost on the Hindus that the comment by Moitra was made in a pejorative sense. It once again brought to fore the disdain and the contempt that TMC harbours for Hindus and their dearly-held beliefs.
TMC’s disdain for Hindus, Lord Rama and Hindu festivals
It is also worth noting that this is not a single-off incident where Hindus and their gods have been insulted. Recently, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee took offence at the chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ or ‘Glory to Lord Rama’ slogans. Banerjee, who was sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial for Netaji birth anniversary celebrations, lamented of “being disrespected” because she could not stand the slogans of Jai Shri Ram, Bharat Mata ki Jai, etc when she was invited to address the event.
Lashing out after hearing ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans, Mamata Banerjee lamented before walking off the stage: “Inviting people and then disrespecting them does not behove the government. This is a government programme, not a political party’s programme”.
Also, in TMC’s West Bengal, Hindus are reduced to second-class citizens, relying on the mercy of the state government to celebrate their festivals. When festivals of two faiths converge on the same day, it is inevitably the Hindus who are told to stop their celebrations while people belonging to other faiths are free to do as they wish on their festivals. In 2017, the Mamata Banerjee-led government banned Durga idol immersion on October 1 to make way for Muharram. Hindus were told to celebrate their festival some other day because it clashed with the Islamic festival of Muharram.
Pot calling the kettle black: Moitra disparages UP for “thok do culture” while turning a blind eye to political violence in WB
Besides, it is also a bit rich coming Mahua Moitra when she slams Uttar Pradesh as a lawless state with pervasive “thok do culture”. It is West Bengal which has become a touchstone of a dystopian state under the rule of TMC. The state has witnessed increasing levels of crimes and widespread incidents of violence, and yet Moitra has the gall of accusing other states of being unruly.
TMC, which has allegedly institutionalised the use of violence against their political opponents in West Bengal, should be the last party to criticise others on the condition of law and order in their respective states. For far too long, political violence has been used by TMC as an instrument of state policy to suppress dissenting voices.
There have been umpteen incidents of violence reported in West Bengal when people not conforming to the TMC worldview are harassed, hounded, and subsequently killed. Some of these killings have happened in broad daylight, others have been in the dead of night. In most of these cases, the victims have been vocal critic of the TMC leaders and their rule and had paid the price with their lives for speaking against the state government.
There are numerous allegations that the wet-work to eliminate the dissidents is often carried out by goons that enjoy special patronage from the TMC. On some occasions, the TMC government had even been accused of using the state police force for inflicting violence against their opponents. Let alone grassroots workers, even senior opposition leaders were not spared the wrath of the TMC supporters and goons. A few months back, the convoy of BJP president JP Nadda was attacked in West Bengal. Many leaders, including senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, had sustained injuries in the attack.
So, before mocking and hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus and ridiculing Uttar Pradesh’s culture as “thok do culture”, Mahua Moitra should read up on the pervasive culture of persecution of Hindus and the prevalence of violence in West Bengal. Perhaps, that would bring a sobering realisation to the TMC MP about why is there an air of parivartan flowing in Bengal.