Updated: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 09:16 PM IST
Amid the row over the 'Smoking Kaali' poster, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra courted another controversy by terming Goddess Kaali as a "meat-eating and alcohol-accepting" goddess. Moitra said that every individual has the right to worship gods and goddesses in his or her own way. Moitra, during an event in Kolkata, said it is up to individuals how they view their gods.
"If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whisky to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whisky to your god as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous," she said. Moitra said that people have the right to imagine their gods or goddess in the way they want.
"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," the Krishnanagar MP said.
Moitra's remarks came after a poster of a film was shared by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, which showed Goddess Kaali smoking. "I have the freedom to do it (envision a meat-eating goddess) as much as you have the freedom to worship your god as vegetarian and white-clothed."
Soon after her remarks went viral, the TMC MP issued a clarification and attacked the Sangh Parivar. "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," she tweeted.
To all you sanghis- lying will NOT make you better hindus.— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) July 5, 2022
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
BJP attacks TMC over Moitra's remarks:
Soon after Moitra's comments, the BJP attacked the TMC-led West Bengal government and wondered the "insulting Hindu Gods and Goddess is the official stand of the party". In a sharp reaction, Bengal BJP vice-president Rathindra Bose said that this is not the first TMC leaders have hurt the sentiments of Hindu people in order to gain votes.
TMC leader Mahua Moitra disrespected Hindu goddess Maa Kali!— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) July 5, 2022
How much more will you disgrace the culture of Bengal, Hindu deities for appeasement politics? pic.twitter.com/VgyCCK3VnV
"TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should clarify it. This is not the first time that such instances have been reported. Earlier too TMC leaders have done the same. We think this is the official stand of the ruling TMC to hurt the sentiment of Hindus to get votes," Rathindra Bose, as quoted by PTI, said.
TMC issues clarification:
While the BJP went hammer and tongs against Moitra and wondered if it was the official stand of West Bengal's ruling party to insult Hindu gods and goddesses, the TMC distanced itself from the comment and condemned it. The Mamata Banerjee-led party said that the remarks of its MP were made in a personal capacity and are not endorsed by the party.
"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,” the party said in a Twitter post.
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 (@AITCofficial) July 5, 2022
All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments.
FIRs against filmmaker in Delhi, UP:
The Delhi Police and the Uttar Pradesh police have filed separate FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai over a controversial poster of her documentary 'Kaali'. A senior Delhi police officer said on Tuesday that from the contents of a complaint and the social media post, prima facie an offence under sections 153A and 295A of the IPC was made out and a case registered against Manimekalai at the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operation (IFSO) unit of the Special Cell.
In Lucknow, the FIR was registered at the Hazratganj police station against Manimekalai, producer of 'Kaali' Asha Associates and editor Shravan Onachan on Monday night, police said. The FIR was lodged under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections 66 and 67 of the Information Technology(IT) Act, the police added.
(With Agencies Inputs)