27th March, 2021
Every step Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes has many implications. PM Modi left for Bangladesh on Friday after four rallies in the last week in the Bengal assembly elections. His visit is eyeing the Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties. Well, why not? Because, on Saturday, the first phase of voting in Bengal is held on 30 seats, and on this day Modi will reach Orakandi in Bangladesh and will take his seat at the highest pilgrimage place of the Matua sect there. This temple is called Thakurbari. During this time, along with Matua Mahasabha chief and BJP MP Shantanu Thakur from Bangaon, Bengal will also be present.
To offer prayers at Harichand Thakur's temple
The electoral significance of PM Modi's arrival at Matua Thakurbari on the day of voting in Bengal can be understood. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister who will go to Orakandi to offer prayers in the temple of Harichand Thakur, the founder of the Matua community. He was born in 1812 at the same place in Orakandi, where Thakurbari is present. The Matua community considers him an incarnation of God. There is also talk of Modi meeting the people of Matua community there to address them. The Matua community on both sides are very happy about their visit. Harichand Thakur had established this sect to bring social equality to the Namasudras and had taken major initiatives towards social reform. Later his son Guruchand Thakur propagated this sect.
There are refugees who have not been able to get Indian citizenship till date.
After the partition of India, a large number of Matua migrated from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to Bengal. These are refugees who have not got Indian citizenship till date. Such Matua refugees are spread in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Cooch Behar and East and West Badradhaman districts. After the partition of the country, Pramatha Ranjan Thakur, a descendant of Harichand-Guruchand Thakur and his wife Binapani Devi alias Bado Maa united the Matua community in the state under the Kshatrachaya of Matua Mahasangh and made several agitations to get them Indian citizenship.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, PM Modi reached the feet of the elder mother and touched her feet. Later in the election meeting he promised that all of them would be given citizenship. It is believed that the amended Citizenship Act (CAA) was passed after that, but the Matua community was angered due to not being implemented. After this, in order to allay their displeasure, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had to convene at Thakur Nagar in Bangaon and said that he would be implemented after the corona vaccination. Now Modi is trying to win the heart of Matua community by going to Orakandi.
This is electoral mathematics
The Matua voter is dominant in 30 assembly seats in Bengal, while they have a sizeable population in a total of 70 seats. Although the population of Matua is said to be around two crore in Bengal, but it is said that their number is not less than one crore. All of them fall under the category of Scheduled Castes. There is about 25 per cent SC population in Bengal of which 17 per cent is the opinion of Matua.
Category: India: Election