Imagine the outrage by Secularists and Rationalists if a poster comes up which depicts Narendra Modi as a Hindu God destined to restore Hindustan to its former grandeur glory. Fingers would be working furiously on keypads and article after articles would be churned out lamenting the death of Secularism at length.
On the occasion of Durga Pujo, however, something very similar along these lines happened and that has conspicuously escaped the notice of our self-proclaimed enlightened rationalists.
One Durga Pujo at Chakdaha town, two hours away from Kolkata, has created an idol depicting the Chief Minister of the State, Mamata Banerjee as Maa Durga. Thankfully, the idol won’t be worshipped and there’s a separate idol dwarfed by the Mamata idol for the ritual worship. Small mercies.
Such fervent politician-worship is not new in our country. Indira Gandhi, Jayalalithaa, Narendra Modi all inspire great devotion in their supporters. But even under such circumstances, depicting Mamata Banerjee as Maa Durga comes across as utterly distasteful. Soumitra Bhattacharya, secretary of this puja, says: “We have turned Didi into Mother. People of Bengal will make her Durga.”
The personality cult that has developed around Mamata Banerjee is testament of the Dhimmitude Hindus are drowning themselves in. Mamata Banerjee and her administration postponed Durga Visarjan because the occasion clashed with Muharram last year and denied 300 Hindu families the right to celebrate Durga Pujo in their village because members of the peaceful community raised their objections and yet Hindus continue to idolize Mamata Banerjee and depict her as Maa Durga. The ignorance, the sycophancy, the stupidity is shocking and frankly depressing.
Islamic fundamentalism continues to thrive under Mamata Banerjee’s government, Hindus suffer from riots perpetrated against them by members of the Religion of Peace and the apathy of the political establishment with regards to their security and dignity and rights. The incident reveals that there is a genuine lack of solidarity among different sections of the Hindu population and political affiliation has successfully replaced civilizational solidarity.
The personality cult has been denounced by the BJP and amusingly, the Left. “This is a terrible example of that,” said the BJP’s Krishnau Mitr, adding: “It is the Trinamool’s USP. We have seen it with BSP and some parties in the South. It should not be encouraged at all.” Left leader Satarup Ghosh said: “Historically, leaders with dictatorial tendencies fan this personality cult. Worse. Mamata Banerjee is politicizing Bengal’s biggest festival and its culture.” It is amusing that the Left should complain about personality cults, considering its unfettered devotion towards Mass murderers like Stalin and Mao.
Secularists and Rationalists are conspicuous by their silence. They hardly wasted anytime in labeling every NaMo supporter as ‘Bhakt’ but seemed to have lost their creative linguisic capabilities when it comes to the supporter-base of their Secular darlings. The only reason they might be disgusted with the idol I imagine is because the idol lacked a Mahishashur with the face of NaMo in it.
However, there’s silver lining to these clouds as well. With great effort from Hindu Samhati and a legal battle that was fought in the Kolkata High Court, verdict was announced in favor of the Hindus at Kanglapahari, Nalhati, Birbhum as they were finally granted permission by the Courts to celebrate Durga Pujo in their village. Despite blatant attempt by the Mamata Banerjee administration to appease their minority votebank, determined Hindus of Kanglapahari prevailed over their adversaries. We congratulate the villagers from the bottom of their hearts on their victory and the grit and integrity they displayed when confronted by desperation and desolation.