Mahua Moitra unfollows TMC on Twitter amid Goddess Kaali row
As Mahua Moitra said Goddess Kaali, to her, is a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess, the Trinamool Congress condemned the comment and said it was not endorsed by the party.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra seems to have unfollowed the Twitter account of the Trinamool Congress on Wednesday, a day after the party's Twitter handle put out a statement distancing itself from Mahua Moitra's comments on Goddess Kaali. With around 653.4k followers, Mahua Moitra used to follow only two accounts on Twitter -- the account of Mamata Banerjee and that of the party. On Wednesday, she was following only one account and that is of West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee. However, Mahua has not commented on this yet.
Taking part at the India Today conclave, Mahua Moitra on Tuesday said Goddess Kaali, to her, is a meat-eating, alcohol-accepting Goddess. The comments came amid the ongoing row over the poster of a documentary film by Leena Manimekalai where a woman has been shown in the costume of Goddess Kaali, smoking a cigarette in the background of a pride flag.
As the poster triggered a massive backlash, two FIRs against the director in Delhi, UP and several complaints in Bihar, Toronto's Aga Khan Museum and Toronto Metropolitan University -- both issued apologies after the issue was taken up by the Indian High Commission with the Canada authorities.
The issue led to a political storm after Mahua Moitra's comment on the 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 Kaali people worship (there). I, within Hinduism, being a Kaali worshipper, have the right to imagine Kaali in that way; that is my freedom,” the TMC leader said.
Mahua Moitra also said that in Bhutan or Sikkim, deities are offered whisky which will be considered blasphemous in Uttar Pradesh.
The party issued a statement clarifying that Mahua Moitra's stand is not the party's stand. "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.
Mahua Moitra clarified that her comment was not in the context of the particular film and she did not mention any film or the word 'smoking'. "I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kaali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara," Mahua tweeted before posting the National Emblem with 'Satyamev Jayate' inscribed.
The BJP criticised Mahua Moitra's comment and demanded action against her from the party. West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari asked the government whether a lookout notice will be issued against Mahua Moitra as it has been done for former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. West Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar said the TMC can't just dissociate itself from Mahua Moitra's comments. "If TMC actually doesn't endorse it, they should take action - they should either expel her or suspend her from the party for a few days," Sukanta Majumdar said.