West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday broke her silence on the Gandhi look-alike asura idol created during Durga Puja in Kolkata terming it a “shameful act”. The Chief Minister further said that she was disappointed but didn’t say anything because there could have been protests during Puja.
“During Durga Puja, an idol resembling Mahatma Gandhi was showcased in place of Asura. What punishment should be given to them? The public will reply to such a shameful act. I was disappointed but didn’t say anything because there could’ve been protests during Puja,” said Banerjee.
Durga Puja Pandal organised by the West Bengal unit of Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha in Kolkata’s Ruby by-pass had an idol of ‘asur’ that resembled Mahatma Gandhi.
West Bengal Congress leader Koustav Bagchi had also filed a complaint with the Kolkata Police to file a Zero FIR in connection with the matter.
However, changes were made to the idol of asura following the intervention of the Kolkata Police. Chandrachud Goswami, who is the organiser of the puja and also the state working president of the Hindu Mahasabha, had admitted to portraying the asura as Mahatma Gandhi and said that they do not accept the “forceful” changes.
Speaking to Agencies today, Goswami had said, “The idol of Asura did resemble MK Gandhi, we do not deny it. It has been changed. We have not made the changes. We received a lot of calls. We have been made to change it forcefully. We do not accept the changes. Our freedom of expression has been curtailed.” Goswami had denied calling Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation, and said that the organisation would “spread the word about Gandhi’s activities” among people in the future.
“People should know that nobody called Gandhi the father of the nation. There is no such resolution passed in this regard. We do not consider him as the father of the nation because of these activities. What he did to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh ji, has to be condemned. After pressure was put on us, Kolkata Police supported us and requested to make the change. So forceful changes have been made. We do not believe in this change. We will spread the word about Gandhi’s activities among people in the future. He is the person who divided our country,” the organiser said.