KOLKATA: Even as BJP is focusing on using Ram Navami festivities to mobilise the youth support, ruling Trinamool Congress has also jumped into the fray to worship Lord Ram to deny the saffron party any political mileage during the festival.
The result of this political race has sent large parts of West Bengal into the frenzy to prepare to take out the
processions on Sunday.
As opposed to the north Indian 'Ram Navami', the Bengal based TMC has attempted to indigenise the festival as 'Ram Puja'.
"We don't need to learn Hinduism from BJP. While that party has originated in 1980s, our Hinduism has existed for centuries," TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been telling repeatedly over the past one year.
Taking cue from the party supremo, TMC workers are now busy at idol making workshops directing the artisans on making the blue coloured Lord Ram idols.
"This is new but we are generally making the idols of the size of Lord Kartik of the Durga Puja. For the face, clothes and accessories we are taking reference of photographs," Birbhum-based idol artisan
Samaresh Pal said.
"Even if they (the idols) do not emerge as very good this year, they will be good next year," Pal added with a disclaimer.
Local TMC workers are also optimistic about the festival. "Masses will come out in our support in the processions that we will bring out from urban and semi-urban areas," a TMC leader said.
The Chief Minister recently declared that only Ram Navami processions being brought out over the past one decade would be allowed to carry arms and asked police not to allow new processions.
The state BJP said that it will bring out processions with arms which it claimed are 'part of its culture'.
Police had last year caned a BJP-organised Ram Navami procession in Birbhum's Siuri. The administration has assured adequate security measures to deal with all situations.