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TMC's Countermove to RSS Sees Light of Day as it Inaugurates All-women Banga Janani Committee

The BJV, an all women’s brigade, has been roping in women at the block levels in districts across West Bengal.

Prema Rajaram | News18

Updated:June 7, 2019, 12:39 PM IST
TMC's Countermove to RSS Sees Light of Day as it Inaugurates All-women Banga Janani Committee
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI Photo)

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Thursday inaugurated the Banga Janani Vahini(BJV), the Mamata Banerjee-led party’s response to the growing influence of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the state.

Parliamentarian Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar has been appointed to head the BJC as its President.

The BJV, an all women’s brigade, has been roping in women at the block levels in districts across West Bengal.

The party has also set up the Jai Hind Vahini for men, which plans to undertake similar work. This JHV will be headed by Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.

Mamata Banerjee in a public meeting at Naihait on May 30th announced her decision to set up these two committees. May 30 was the day when Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister in a ceremony that Banerjee chose to skip.

She sparked another controversy when she lost her cool at BJP supporters, who were shouting “Jai Shri Ram” slogans. Mamata stopped the car on the way to Naihati and confronted the saffron party supporters.

The move in all likelihood was prompted by the BJP’s sharp rise in the state in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. The saffron party managed to raise its tally from a measly two to 18 seats.

The BJP had managed to capitalise on a considerable chunk of the state’s population being close to the saffron party’s ideology.

This, however, wasn’t without the BJP’s vociferous bid to ignite a pro-Hindutva sentiment, which was symbolic in its efforts to rally around “Jai Shree Ram” slogan.

The party has also repeatedly hit out at the West Bengal CM saying that she was only trying to appease the Muslims.

“Who says we don’t believe in Hinduism. It is only because gossip mongers who are trying to misguide the people of Bengal and the rest of the country saying that Mamata is anti-Hindu. We have to undo the damage being done by them.” said President of the BJV Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar while talking organisation’s mission.

Calling the Jai Shree Ram slogan anti-Hindu and anti-democracy she further said, “The day Babri Masjid was demolished, this slogan which is Jai Shree Ram was coined which is an anti-Hindu slogan, anti-democracy and anti-Indian culture. We are trying to remind people that this kind of division is not to be accepted, this kind of rioting in society and trying to impose an autocratic culture.”

Although the Jai Hindi Vahini and BJV’s work has not been etched out yet, it signals TMC’s concerted move towards trying to counter the big BJP challenge in the state ahead of the Assembly elections. Adding to their list of concerns is the defection of several TMC members to the BJP after the Lok Sabha polls. Now, will the formation of the two new committees be strong enough to combat the might of the RSS, which has been around for decades?

The BJP thinks it is not that simple as RSS is an old, structured organization with a flesh-out and determinate ideology. The TMC, however, is trying everything in the book to regain the confidence of their supporters and leaders, in an attempt to curb the saffron ideology from spreading its roots further in the state.

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