Hindutva in Bengal

Watch: Ramnavami processions turn into armed marches in West Bengal

'Supporters' of all ages, including schoolgirls and schoolboys, came out on the streets with swords and tridents.

Play

There was a time when people marching on the streets with swords and tridents was not exactly a common sight. In fact, the police would probably not allow it.

Not any longer, if the myriad processions across the towns of West Bengal on the occasion of Ramnavami on Wednesday were anything to go by.

“Lord Rama carried a bow and arrow,” said West Bengal BJP president and senior RSS functionary Dilip Ghosh. “So how can his puja be done with empty hands? When Muharram is observed there is no talk of polarisation. When Eid or Christmas is celebrated, there is no talk of polarisation. But, when Ram Navami is celebrated, they say it will lead to polarisation. If Ram Navami does lead to polarisation, let it be. We will do it.”

Ghosh carried a sword while participating a Ram Navami procession in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district and this was his convoluted explanation for why close to 150 rallies took place across the state, in which RSS supporters of all ages took to the streets with chants of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Bajrangbali”, posters pledging the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, armed with swords and tridents. The video above is a compilation of these rallies.

Ghosh had signalled his intent at a talk at Jadavpur University on April 1, bristling at the idea of requiring police permission to carry weapons. “Who are the police to issue permission?” he said. “In Ram Rajya, people worshipped Ram for centuries. Do we have to take permission for that? It is ludicrous. People in Bengal will worship Ram and this time they will do it with arms. If we are few, only then will the law be used against us.”

While the video shows that the rallies were not exactly calm, according to a report in The Telegraph, the RSS claimed that close to six lakh people participated in “peaceful processions”.

While the Trinamool Congress also observed the occasion in different parts of the state, according to a Hindustan Times report, the Left and Congress stayed away. “One party had hijacked the Durga Puja celebrations and now another has hijacked the celebration of Ram Navami,” said Sujan Chakraborty, the leader of CPI(M)’s legislative party. “The latter kicked off the trend of taking out processions carrying weapons. This is not going to do Bengal any good.”

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Inspiration for the lazy, the casual and the gourmet home chefs alike

Discover, or rediscover the daily delight in food, one ingredient at a time.

It is known that home chefs can be arranged in a pyramid - the lazy ones at the bottom, the casual cooks in the middle and the gourmet experts at the top. While the challenges differ with each level, great solutions exist to make every meal an experience, regardless of the kind of cook you are. This guide to creating delightful food has something for everyone.

The lazy, hassled home chefs

You can ease into cooking by putting together meals that require minimal technique. Salads are a good place to start. Experiment with seasonal and exotic fruits and vegetables, tender vegetables and herbs, and artisanal breads as sides for a fresh, healthy and surprisingly gourmet experience.

Don’t be dismayed if you’re a non-vegetarian. There are still meals that require next-to-no prep. Think sausages that can easily be fried or grilled and cold cuts that pack a flavour punch. Health-conscious people can look for additive-free, preservative-free meat, bromate free bread and produce from free-range farms for assurance of quality. For variety, you can even put together a great Middle Eastern platter with fresh hummus and other dips.

For the casual cooks looking to impress

So, you can cook a decent meal but are looking to give your food that X-factor? To liven up regular dishes, experiment with superfoods which make your meals nutritious and novel. Try combinations like oats chila, quinoa or couscous upmas or a sprinkle of chia seeds in your breakfast pudding. Look for quality imports and efficient distribution for maximum retention of nutrients in superfoods.

Skilled enough to host people? An upgrade from basic ingredients is the most visible sign of your culinary progression. Experiment with exotic herbs like parsley, rosemary and sage as garnishing for intriguing flavours in your soups and salads. For lip-smacking desserts, use exotic fruits like kiwi, dragon fruit, acai berries and rambutan – your guests will be delighted.

For the perfectionist gourmet chefs

You’re quite the culinary expert in your circles, but want to leap to the next level? At the core of a successful gourmet creation lie the best ingredients. Seek a delicatessen which gives you only the freshest and most diverse range of ingredients. You’ll notice the difference in flavours as you move from garlic powder to actual garlic, and from chilli powder to real paprika in your preparations.

From the basic to the exotic, whatever ingredients you seek to implement the tips we just gave you are available at Godrej Nature’s Basket, the best store for fresh, quality ingredients. As the video below shows, their online and offline stores source and serves a wide variety of foods - fruits & vegetables, authentic delicatessen, the finest meats, irresistible bakery products, ready-to-cook sauces, healthy snacks and more.

Play

Health-conscious people can also be assured of unmatched quality. You can choose from pesticide free offerings, organic fruits and vegetables, steroid-free meats, first catch of the day fish and seafood, bromate free bread and the best dairy and cheese from all over the world.

With their collection of hors d’oeuvre, artisanal breads, confectionary and desserts, there’s really no limit to what you can achieve daily in your kitchen. What’s more, all these high-quality products come at great, affordable prices.

To elevate your cooking and discover a world where food is a delight every day, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Nature’s Basket and not by the Scroll editorial team.