War of words in Bengal over Dilip Ghosh’s Durga remarks

Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) The recent remark on goddess Durga made by Dilip Ghosh, the President of BJP’s West Bengal unit, has sparked a raging controversy in the poll-bound state with the ruling Trinamool Congress taking up the issue by attacking the saffron brigade on its own ‘Hindutva’ ground.

At an interactive even organised here on Friday, Ghosh had said that Lord Ram was an emperor and people considered him as an ‘avatar’ (incarnation).

“We know the names of his ancestors. Do we know the same about goddess Durga? So, he is considered as maryada pruoshottam, an ideal king. Here in Bengal we also have the Bengali version of Ramayana that is Ramcharit Manas,” the BJP state unit chief had said.

The statement has triggered a serious verbal war with the Trinamool Congress dubbing it as an “insult” to the religious sentiments of the Bengali population.

“This is unthinkable. Dilip Ghosh has insulted goddess Durga from the pious soil of Bengal where people worship the goddess as mother, a symbol of strength and inspiration. People who claim to be the saviours of Hindutva are now insulting goddess Durga,” read a statement issued on Trinamool Congress’ official Twitter handle.

Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday came down heavily on the BJP at a rally in South 24 Parganas district, saying that the saffron party says ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and not ‘Jai Siya Ram’ because it has no respect for women.

“He (Dilip Ghosh) said that people know about Lord Ram’s ancestry but not that of goddess Durga. Are they not ashamed of what they have said? The Lord Ram they talk about had himself worshipped Maa Durga. He had even offered his eyes to the goddess because he had immense respect for women,” Banerjee said, throwing a challenge to the BJP to chant ‘Jai Siya Ram’ instead of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

Questioning the audacity of Ghosh, the Chief Minister’s nephew said that when a girl child is born in Bengal, people call her mother. “Disrespect for women is disrespect for Maa Durga,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Ghosh at a public rally in West Midnapore on Saturday said that the Trinamool Congress is trying to play politics over Lord Ram and goddess Durga to create political disturbance ahead of the Assembly elections. He though tactfully bypassed the controversial statement while criticising the state’s ruling party on corruption issues.

“People should understand that politics is not the place for Durga-Kali. Let them remain in the temples so that people can offer pujas. I would urge them to come fight a political battle and announce the name of their idol,” Ghosh said.

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