The Bengal BJP ledership on Wednesday sought the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus with her controversial remarks on Goddess Kaali.
The party said, if no measure was initiated against Ms. Moitra in 10 days, then it would move court alleging police inaction.
Ms. Moitra’s comments at a conclave courted controversy, while responding to a question on the Canada-based filmmaker Leena Manimekalai’s new film ‘Kaali‘, whose poster released on social media showed a woman allegedly dressed as Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette.
Police complaints were lodged against the filmmaker in Delhi and Lucknow on Tuesday.
Ms. Moitra allegedly spoke about the right of individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess, as each person had his or her unique way of worshipping deities.
Speaking at the conclave, Ms. Moitra is alleged to have said ‘If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whiskey to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whiskey to your God as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous,’ she said.
For me, Goddess Kali is a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess. And if you go to Tarapith (a major Shakti peeth in West Bengal’s Birbhum district), you will see sadhus smoking. That is the version of Kali people worship (there). I, within Hinduism, being a Kali worshipper, have the right to imagine Kali in that way; that is my freedom,’ said Ms Moitra.
This attracted the ire of the BJP and Opposition party members who questioned whether the ruling TMC had adopted a policy of ‘insulting Hindu gods and goddesses.’
‘According to the norms of the Sanatan Hindu dharma, Goddess Kali is never worshipped as a goddess who consumes alcohol and meat. Hindus had been revering Goddess Kali for ages as a symbol of power against evil. Her comments have hurt religious sentiments. We demand her arrest in the light of the statement against Goddess Kali,’ BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari said ‘The TMC government and the state police have been very active in seeking police action against Nupur Sharma. But they have not taken any action against Mahua Moitra. There can’t be a different set of rules for BJP and TMC leaders. We will wait for ten days and then move the court,’ he said.
The TMC meanwhile has distanced itself from the comment, stating that it does not endorse it.
‘The comments made by @MahuaMoitra at the #IndiaTodayConclaveEast2022 and her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are NOT ENDORSED BY THE PARTY in ANY MANNER OR FORM. All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments (sic),’ the party said on social media.
Ms. Moitra reacted with a furious tweet to the barrage of complaints saying, ‘To all you sanghis – lying will NOT make you better hindus. I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara.’
Police in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday registered a case against Ms. Moitra over the remarks. She was also seen to have unfollowed her party handle on social media, but still follows party chief Mamata Banerjee.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius