Ram Navami Celebrations in Bengaluru Amid Political Tensions in West Bengal

Ram Navami celebrations in Bengaluru and West Bengal become a political battleground between TMC and BJP, with both parties accusing each other of stoking communal tensions ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

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Ram Navami Celebrations in Bengaluru Amid Political Tensions in West Bengal

Ram Navami Celebrations in Bengaluru Amid Political Tensions in West Bengal

Ram Navami celebrations are set to take place on a grand scale in Bengaluru, with over 5,000 processions planned across the city. The festivities will include adorning the Ram Lalla idol with jeweled clothes and performing a sacred bathing ritual known as 'divine abhishek'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared visuals of the Ram Lalla idol receiving the 'Surya Tilak', a sacred mark on the forehead, highlighting the significance of the celestial event.

However, the celebrations have become a point of contention between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in West Bengal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Prime Minister Modi accused the TMC government of opposing the Ram Navami celebrations and allowing miscreants to pelt stones at rallies. The TMC, in turn, urged the Election Commission to curb attempts to use religious ceremonies for political polarization ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is set to lead the Sangh Parivar in holding nearly 5,000 events across West Bengal to celebrate Ram Navami, just two days before the first phase of voting. Mamata Banerjee, the TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister, asked her supporters to stay calm even if the religious ceremony was used to provoke and trigger riots.

The celebration of Ram Navami has gained popularity in West Bengal over the past few years and has often stoked communal tension, with violence breaking out in 2017, 2018, and 2023. The TMC plans to take out a few rallies on the occasion of Ram Navami, including one in Howrah, to prove wrong the BJP's allegation of being opposed to the religious celebration.

Several right-wing organizations are planning to take out processions across the state, and the police have been put on high alert to monitor social media and prevent any communal tensions, especially in districts that have experienced such issues in the past. The police have stated that no public display of weapons will be allowed during the processions, and all processions will be videographed.

The Calcutta High Court has granted permission to the VHP and Anjani Putra Sena to take out Ram Navami processions in Howrah on April 17, despite the state government's concerns about unrest during last year's procession. Chief Minister Banerjee also claimed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is selectively appointing officers to favor the BJP and that the "law and order of the state is being looked after by the ECI".

Why this matters: The Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal have become a political battleground between the TMC and BJP, with both parties accusing each other of stoking communal tensions ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The high-stakes political rivalry surrounding the religious festival highlights the complex interplay between religion and politics in India.

During the Ram Navami celebrations unfolding in Bengaluru and West Bengal, the police remain on high alert to prevent any communal unrest. The Hindu Jagaran Manch, affiliated with the RSS, plans to take out around 5,000 religious processions across the state. The Calcutta High Court has granted permission for processions in Howrah, subject to certain conditions. Prime Minister Modi has accused the TMC of trying to halt the festivities, while Chief Minister Banerjee has alleged that the BJP is planning to spark riots ahead of the elections.

Key Takeaways

  • Ram Navami celebrations planned on a grand scale in Bengaluru and West Bengal.
  • Celebrations become a political battleground between TMC and BJP in West Bengal.
  • Police on high alert to prevent communal tensions during Hindu Jagaran Manch processions.
  • Calcutta HC grants permission for Ram Navami processions in Howrah, with conditions.
  • PM Modi accuses TMC of opposing festivities, CM Banerjee alleges BJP plans to spark riots.