TMC’s “colourful” senior leader Madan Mitra, who has been in the news for his intimate viral pictures with young women accused of being escorts and his daughter-in-law’s allegation of domestic violence, has made it to the headlines again for a derogatory act. We must remind our readers that the Trinamool stalwart was also arrested in 2014 by central agencies as an accused in the Saradha chit fund scam and was charged for cheating, misappropriation of funds and involvement in the criminal conspiracy.
But his recent action, driven out of sheer political spite, has stunned Bengalis and gone viral across the state:
In the video, the TMC MLA from Kamarhati can be seen tearing apart a couple of lotuses while stating that in West Bengal the lotus will no longer be offered to the Goddesses. Speaking at Belgharia 17 Pally in Kolkata, the politician brought a tub with lotus plants, then fanatically tore the flowers one by one and threw those on the ground. He accused the BJP of ‘insulting the Bengalis’ by offering only Padma awards to Bengali singer Sandhya Mukhopadhyay, Tabla player Anindya Chatterjee, and former Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and declared that he is boycotting the national flower for good.
Mitra questioned, “How will Modi feel if he is decorated with the Bharat Ratna 500 years after his demise. They are insulting Bengal and Bengalis. We will not accept this. During Saraswati Puja, I will accept the challenge of offering prayers to Maa Saraswati without lotus. We shall see what happens.”
The BJP had accorded the Padma awards to the said Bengali artists and former CM but all three of them have refused to accept the awards citing various reasons. The government at the centre accepted their refusal, which seems to have irked Mitra. The Padma awards are not conferred by any political party but the democratically elected government of this country. Hence, it would appear that it was Mukhopadhyay, Chatterjee, and Bhattacharya who had insulted the institution and not the other way round.
It is safe to conclude that it was only out of his desperate hatred for the saffron party that Mitra crushed the lotus flowers – lotus is the symbol of the BJP. What levels has our political discourse sunk to? If one can publicly destroy a flower that holds such sacred symbolism, we can only imagine the lengths such fascist political leaders can go to in order to harm people from the other side of the political spectrum.
The Lotus – our National Flower with especial significance in Hindu Dharma
The lotus is not just the political symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party but also the National Flower of Bharat and it was adopted as such long before the BJP even came into existence.
By crushing the lotus flowers, Mitra has also shown disrespect to various Hindu deities and rituals to which the flower is closely connected. The goddess of prosperity, Maa Lakshmi sits on the lotus and holds one in one of her four hands symbolizing fortune. Bhagwan Vishnu also holds a lotus in his fourth arm as an embodiment of purity and transcendence. The goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Maa Saraswati is depicted sitting on a lotus.
The insult shown to this sacred flower by the TMC leader was not taken kindly by netizens.
Keya Ghosh, the Vice President of BJP Mahila Morcha West Bengal, also came down heavily on Mitra’s shocking action:
The state of West Bengal is also synonymous with the grand celebration during Durga Puja to which Hindu Bengalis connect deeply. A garland of 108 lotuses is offered to the Goddess Durga during the Pooja of Mahashtami.
The flower, hence, has been an integral symbol of Hindu Dharma and Bharat since antiquity. By insulting the lotus, TMC’s senior leader has insulted Hindu Dharma and the nation.
However, knowing the ideology and cultural decay in the political party he represents, his crushing the lotus doesn’t come as a surprise.