Amit Shah’s epic faux pas in West Bengal!

First his minions misidentified a statue as that of Adivasi leader as Birsa Munda, then they placed a picture of Munda at the feet of the statue for Shah to garland!

Birsa Munda

In a huge embarrassment, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is visiting West Bengal, came close to garlanding the statue of an anonymous Adivasi, when his party workers misidentified the statue as that of Birsa Munda. At the last minute, a picture of Birsa Munda was placed at the feet of the statue and Shah offered his respects to the picture instead of the statue.

This shows how little he or his party members know about the history and contributions of this legendary Adivasi leader who valiantly organised the first Adivasi rebellion against the British and was killed in June 1900, at the age of just 25!

Shah was visiting Bankura, an Adivasi dominated district as a part of preparations for the upcoming state assembly elections next year. The tribal vote is critical for the party, which is why a crash course in Adivasi history and some homework would have helped the BJP. But instead of drowning in shame, Shah tweeted the embarrassing photos of the event!



Needless to say, this has not gone down well among Birsa Munda’s followers, many of whom look up to him as nothing short of a divine figure.

NDTV reports that the Bharat Jakat Majhi Pargana Mahal, an organisation of tribal leaders, has found the entire episode deeply upsetting and they feel it is an insult to Birsa Munda. In fact, people from the local tribal community reportedly sprinkled Ganga water around the statue to “purify” it!

Sangiri Hembram, one of the leaders of Bharat Jakat Majhi Pargana Mahal, told The Telegraph, “In the official programme schedule circulated by the BJP, it was specifically mentioned that Shah would offer ‘floral tribute at Bhagwan Birsa Munda’s statue’. He then goes and offers tribute to that random statue of a tribal hunter. It clearly betrays a lack of knowledge of the basics of our culture and an unwillingness to learn.” He added, “He (Munda) is the only tribal leader whose portrait hangs in the Parliament museum. An international airport (in Ranchi) is named after him. This is serious,” and asked “This is unacceptable from the BJP. This is unacceptable from Shah. How is it (the mistake) even possible?”

This also gave the BJP’s political opponents, mainly the Trinamool Congress (TMC) enough ammo to launch a social media take down. TMC promptly dubbed Shah a ‘bohiragato’ or outsider.



Many others pointed out Shah’s mistake on Twitter too:



This is the second time when the BJP has had an embarrassing encounter with the statue of a respected icon in West Bengal. It may be recalled that in May 2019, during a rally by Amit Shah in Kolkata, party workers of the BJP vandalised a statue of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, an intellectual and social reformer known best for his campaign for Hindu widow remarriage.   


Vidyasagar Statue Row: Kolkata tense as Videos emerge showing BJP cadres desecrating statue

Violent clashes in Kolkata at Amit Shah’s Roadshow

When a War against Oppression First Began: The Santhal Rebellion



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