Mamata Banerjee has made no bones about her appeasement of minorities in the past, but her ticket selection for the 2021 Bengal elections suggests she’s actively trying to spurn Bengal’s Hindu electorate.
Actress Sayoni Ghosh, who’d tweeted a photo of a condom placed over a shivling, has been given a TMC ticket for the Bengal Assembly elections. Sayoni Ghosh will fight the elections from Asansol (South) constituency.
In January this year, netizens had uncovered a tweet sent out by Sayoni Ghosh on 18th February 2015. “Gods cudnt have been more useful!” she’d written, while attaching a woman putting a condom over a Shivling. Her tweet appeared to be posted on the occasion of Mahashivratri, which was celebrated on 17th February that year.
When the tweet had been uncovered, it had led to considerable outrage online, with several leading figures condemning her views. Former Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy had tweeted, “Ms. Saayoni Ghosh,You have put a condom on a Shivlinga which we Hindus, including me, hold as holiest of holies!”. Another user wrote in Bengali, “Shame on your filthy mindset. Kolkata police, take appropriate action against her for distorting the image of Hindu Gods. We will not tolerate any insult to Hinduism anymore.”
At this point, Sayoni Ghosh had deleted the tweet. But bizarrely, she had gone on to claim that her account had been hacked, and the tweet had been sent out all those years ago by a hacker. “Dear all, a post from 2015 has been brought to my notice which is extremely obnoxious..for all your information, I have joined twitter on 2010 and after a brief use I lost interest in carrying forward however the account remained. After a while my PR Bhaska Roy intimidated me that my account has been hacked and we need to retrieve it immediately. For various reasons we could only do that after 2017 and I got back in touch with the Twitter world with a bang. We have skipped a few unnecessary post while deleting most and I would take strict measure to omit content which hurt religious sentiment of people beyond repair…I have asked for the link of the post and will delete it the moment we locate it. I hope not to be misquoted or misunderstood. My religion means a lot to me so does our unity in trying times,” she’s claimed.
However, her fanciful explanation hadn’t cut much ice with Twitter’s eagle-eyed sleuths. They’d discovered that on the very day she’d sent out the tweet of the condom over the Shivling, she’d also posted selfies of herself, and spoken about her spring cleaning, making it very unlikely that her account was non-functional and under the control of a hacker at that point.
That controversy had eventually died down, but with Sayoni Ghosh now becoming a official candidate for the Trinamool Congress from Asansol (South), it puts her tweet right back into the spotlight. For years, Trinamool has been accused of favouring minorities while ignoring and persecuting the Hindu community in West Bengal. And with the party now giving a ticket to an actress who’d demeaned a Hindu god in the most crass terms possible, Trinamool — and Mamata Banerjee’s — Hindu hatred appears to be right in the open.