Even as the BJP is attempting to applicable Bengali icons, each spiritual and socio-political, the TMC is countering it with ethnic-Bengali Hinduism, centred on deities like Durga and Kali, a type of Hinduism the get together claims the BJP doesn’t subscribe to
A full-blown disagreement over spiritual identification has been unleashed in ballot-sure West Bengal.
This spiritual binary, nonetheless, for a change isn’t a lot inter-faith as it’s intra-faith, exposing the paradox of a bigger Hindu identification.
In this battle, BJP’s Ram centric Hindutva is countered by the ruling Trinamool Congress with ethnic-Bengali Hinduism, centred totally on deities such as Durga and Kali.
In the TMC’s narrative, BJP’s Hindutva is demonstrative and masculine that stands in opposition to goddess-centric Hinduism practised in this a part of the nation.
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“Religion is personal and festivals are universal. They (BJP) just say ‘Jai Shri Ram,’ but I say ‘Jai Siya Ram’,” West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee stated at a Television speak present final week.
In her election rallies too, Banerjee utters Sanskrit slokas that she claimed to recite day by day at her home whereas performing puja.
The message that Mamata needs to ship throughout is easy—she is merely in opposition to BJP’s Hindutva and never Hinduism per se. This is a aware try to dent allegations of Muslim appeasement in opposition to her.
According to her narrative the Hindutva of BJP is alien to Bengali articulation of Hinduism propagated and promoted by 19th century Bengal Renaissance heroes such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and others.
“We will not learn Hinduism from the BJP. We got our lesson on Hinduism from Ramakrishna, Maa Sharada and Swamiji (Vivekananda), Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (15th century Vaisnavite saint),” she stated at a rally in Birbhum.
That the BJP is on the again-foot after the sudden twist in spiritual politics was obvious from the current remarks on Goddess Durga by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.
To counter the TMC’s ploy of pitting Rama in opposition to Durga, Ghosh on the India Today Conclave East in Kolkata on February 12, stated: “Bhagwan Ram Raja the…Durga pata nahin kahan se le aate hain!”
“Bhagwan Ram was a king. Some consider him an avatar (incarnation). We know the names of his ancestors. Do we know the lineage of Durga?” he went on so as to add, giving additional ammunition to the TMC’s declare in regards to the BJP’s mix of Hinduism.
The TMC didn’t waste any time to make the remarks viral on social media, alleging that the remarks not solely manifested the BJP’s “disregard” for Durga but additionally all girls in common.
“Look at his (Ghosh’s) audacity. He insults Maa Durga, whom Lord Rama himself worshipped. They (BJP) have no respect for women and that’s why they make such comments against Maa Durga,” the chief minister’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee advised a rally in South 24 Parganas district.
“They say Jai Shri Ram but I challenge them to say Jai Siya Ram. First Sita and then Ram. They’ll never do it because they don’t respect women,” the TMC chief claimed.
A bunch of TMC supporters even tonsured their heads in Hooghly district on February 14 in protest in opposition to Ghosh’s comment and demanded an apology from him.
The state BJP places up a courageous entrance to defend its president recalling, “how during the TMC regime immersion of Durga idols was stopped due to Muharram.”
“It is just making an issue out of nothing. We know their love for Durga that made them stop Durga immersion for the Muharram,” BJP MP Locket Chatterjee stated referring to a TMC authorities’s order in 2017.
Many BJP leaders, nonetheless, in personal admit that the TMC’s regionalism narrative was one thing that the get together was attempting arduous to debunk.
In the BJP’s campaigns, its leaders make makes an attempt to applicable Bengali icons, each spiritual and socio-political.
It was with this technique in thoughts that necessary Bengali-Hindu pilgrimage centres have been included in the route map of the “Parivartan yatra” the BJP has embarked upon.
The programme was flagged off on February 6 by BJP nationwide president JP Nadda from Nabadwip, the start place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Another leg of the yatra was launched by him in Tarapith, one of many 51 Shakti Piths (shrines) and an necessary holy place of Shaktism.
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According to the BJP’s route map, one leg of the yatras will culminate at Belur, the place headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, based by Swami Vivekananda, is situated.
To know which of the narratives will finally prevail over the voters, now we have to attend for the election outcomes prone to be introduced in May.
But this election definitely has dropped all pretence of secular politics in Bengal as Hindu majoritarianism will get a serious push like by no means earlier than.