A controversy erupted on Tuesday after TMC MP Mahua Moitra said she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess. The remarks invited sharp criticism from BJP, even as the TMC distanced itself from Moitra’s comment and condemned it.
Speaking at an India Today event, Moitra said, “If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whisky to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whisky to your god as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous.”
“For me, Goddess Kali is a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess. And if you go to Tarapith (a major Shakti peeth in West Bengal), you will see sadhus smoking. That is the version of Kali people worship (there). I, within Hinduism, being a Kali worshipper, have the right to imagine Kali in that way; that is my freedom,” she said.
The Krishnanagar MP made the remarks when she was asked about a documentary, ‘Kaali’, by a Madurai-born filmmaker. The documentary created a row over its poster showing Goddess Kali smoking and holding an LGBTQ flag. Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh police have filed separate FIRs against filmmaker Leena Manimekalai.
Moitra said people had the right to imagine their gods or goddess in the way they want.
“I have the freedom to do it (envision a meat-eating goddess) as much as you have the freedom to worship your god as vegetarian and white-clothed,” the TMC MP said.
After her remarks, BJP launched a stinging attack on TMC and wondered whether insulting Hindu gods and goddesses was the official stand of the TMC.
“TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should clarify it. This is not the first time that such instances have been reported. Earlier too TMC leaders have done the same. We think this is the official stand of the ruling TMC to hurt the sentiment of Hindus to get votes,” PTI quoted BJP state vice-president Rathindra Bose as saying.
Amid criticism, Moitra attacked the Sangh Parivar and said she never backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking.
“To all you sanghis – lying will NOT make you better hindus. I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food and drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara,” she tweeted.
The ruling TMC, however, said the comments were not endorsed by the party.
“The comments made by Mahua Moitra 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,” TMC tweeted.