During her three-day Mumbai visit earlier this week, Mamata Banerjee met several political leaders and members from Bollywood. On Wednesday, she held a meeting with several ‘entertainers’ – a few from Bollywood including Swara Bhasker, Javed Akhtar, Mahesh Bhatt and other alleged comedians who had tried to make a career by deriding Hindu beliefs and using expletives for Hindu deities.
Showering praises on the West Bengal Chief Minister for defeating the BJP in the assembly elections, Swara Bhasker made an appeal to her for “protecting the democratic principles” of Bharat. “Everyone in this room is doing their bit. There are older, illustrious people who have spent their lives on it,” said an excited Bhasker. She then said that these young people had ‘risked their employment and lives’ to give resistance to the ruling BJP government.
Naming the likes of Agrima Joshua and Munawar Faruqi who are infamous for denigrating the Hindu faith and deities in their stand-up acts, Bhasker claimed that these Hindu-hating bigots were narrating the “real story of India to the world” and fighting to preserve the ‘idea of India’, and complained that ‘Hindutva mobs’ were using measures to curb freedom.
A habitual Islamist apologist, the self-styled activist alleged “There is a state which is distributing the UAPA and sedition charges as a prasad from a God we don’t want to pray to.”
Much like the anti-Hindu ‘comics’ she supports, in her lengthy and baseless monologue she insulted Hindu religious beliefs connected with Prasāda, a food offering to Hindu deities, which is later shared with worshippers.
Such cringe-inducing analogies imply that PM Modi is acting like a God, and whoever does not bow before him is being charged with sedition. But the reality is very different – BJP workers are being murdered with impunity, whether it is West Bengal or Kerala. Aware citizens would know the orchestrated bloodbath that took place in West Bengal after May 2 and the exodus of Bengali Hindus from their state.
Op-eds of newspapers and digital media articles from propaganda sites like The Wire routinely besmirch and mock the PM. Much-needed farm reforms were just revoked due to intransigent and often violent protests by a section of farmers from Punjab, Haryana and West UP. The CAA law is in cold storage.
Yes, there is a section of BJP which has created a personality cult around Modi, but it is nothing compared to the obsequiousness shown by regional parties like TMC, RJD, NCP, YSRCP towards their supreme leaders and/or first families.
All impressed by the flattering of the controversial actress-activist, the Trinamool matriarch encouraged Bhasker to join politics. This does not come as a surprise; Banerjee is known to extend her support to actors that abuse and disparage Hindu deities. Shortly after Bengali actress Saayoni Ghosh shot to infamy for her “condom on lord Shiva” tweet earlier this year, the TMC included her in the party and gave her a ticket to fight during the 2021 elections. Despite her disgraceful defeat, she was made the President of West Bengal Trinamool Youth Congress. It will not be a shocker if Bhasker too is invited to join the TMC anytime now after her public adulation of Mamata Banerjee.
Netizens also observed how senior political advisers like Sudheendra Kulkarni, who had once worked with national leaders like Vajpayee and Advani, were moved to the 8th row of the event while the front rows were occupied by the ilk of Swara Bhaskar and Munawar Furuqui. This is what anti-Modi animus and secularism mania has reduced them to.
That Mamata Banerjee can protect the ‘idea of India’ is a travesty of the great idea that Bharat is, given that the seasoned politician who has served as a Union Minister in the past and is serving as a state CM for the third time, failed at reciting the National Anthem of this country with the respect it commands. While wrapping up the program, Banerjee tried to recite the National Anthem – she started her recitation while sitting on her chair, stood midway and stopped before completing the anthem.
We are left wondering if this behaviour complies with the Code of Conduct for the National Anthem. For someone who takes pride as a Bengali and propagates Bengali nationalism through her party and its slogan “Jai Bangla”, it is an utter embarrassment that Banerjee failed to give respect to the National Anthem penned in Bengali by one of Bharat’s finest poets, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
BJP slammed Banerjee for this utter disrespect and Vivekanand Gupta, a leader of Mumbai BJP, lodged a police complaint against her for “showing utter disrespect to national anthem” for singing the national anthem while sitting and then “abruptly stopping after 4 or 5 verses.” He further stated that Banerjee had committed an offence under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.