Updated: July 31, 2019 1:57:37 pm
Amidst all the idols being prepared for Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Puja at Kolkata’s Kumortuli, there is a Ram idol that is creating quite a buzz. This huge fibreglass statue in the workshop of artist Raja Paul has not been commissioned by the BJP, but the ruling Trinamool Congress. It is part of a set which also includes Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman.
“Although most might think — owing to the political situation in the state — that the idols are commissioned by BJP, that is not the case. The order has been placed by TMC MLA Paresh Pal,” said Paul at his workshop where the 11-foot idol is currently being constructed. The order, placed around three weeks ago, should be completed in another 20 days or so.
“Work on the 10-foot Sita idol is underway and a smaller Hanuman sculpture is almost ready. Soon, the work on the second statue of Lakshman will start,” the artist added, saying each idol roughly costs around Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000.
MLA Pal told indianexpress.com over telephone that the statues will be set up near Kadapara area. However, he didn’t delve into further details and it is not clear how the statues will be used.
In May, during the Lok Sabha election campaign, a video of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee getting angry at some people chanting Jai Shri Ram had taken social media by storm. She was met with similar slogans on many other occasions.
TMC leader Madan Mitra had earlier this month planned to organise a Rama-katha in the city on July 24 but cancelled the programme. Mitra said: “I can’t comment about others and their plans. I have spoken about my proposal and why I cancelled it owing to the current situation. But I hope he [Paresh Pal] will take permission from the party while doing everything.” There were reports that Mitra backtracked because of internal pressure in the party.
West Bengal BJP General Secretary Sayantan Bose welcomed the move by Pal. “We have no problem if a TMC MLA wants to establish Ram idols, it’s a good move. This is nothing but ‘Bhooter Mukhe Ram Naam’. The question here is will they be able to chant Jai Shri Ram in front of the idol,” said Bose.
“The public is not foolish, they know it’s all being done for votes. One leader is already on the backfoot after he suggested Rama-katha, hope this will not invite any miseries for him from his party,” Bose added while talking to indianexpress.com.
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