The video tweeted by Ali Sohrab is clipped and he has falsely attributed the quote the Smriti Irani. She was actually reading out the statement of JNU students.
Ali Sohrab tweeted a 35 seconds long video of union minister Smriti Irani in which she can be heard saying "Durga Puja is the most controversial and racist festival in which a beautiful Goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native Mahishasur. Mahishasur, a brave self-respecting leader tricked into marriage by Aryans. They hired a sex worker called Durga who killed by after 9 days of honeymooning during sleep".
You can watch the video here:
Smriti Irani didn’t call goddess Durga a “sex-worker”. In Parliament, Smriti Irani was actually reading out the statement of JNU students. We were able to find the full version of the video.
“A statement by the minority, SC, ST and OBC students of JNU. And what do they condemn, an attempt, like I said this very pamphlet on the 10th of February highlights, what the communist leaders call Mahishasur martyrdom day. And may my god forbid me for reading this,” she says before reading out those controversial remarks about goddess Durga.
In the end, she says, “This is freedom of speech ladies and gentlemen. Who wants to have this discussion on the streets of Kolkata, I want to know. Whether Rahul Gandhi is for such freedom I want to know. These are students with a depraved mentality. I have no answers for this”.
There is a closed petition on change.org to ban Durga Puja and other festivals of Hinduism. The petitioner argues:
Durga Puja is the most controversial racial festival where a fair skinned beautiful goddess Durga is depicted brutally killing a dark-skinned native named Mahishasur. according to popular folklore, Mahishasur was a brave and self-respecting leader of Dravidians, who wad tricked into marriage by Aryans after they failed to defeat him. They hired a sex worker called Durga, who enticed Mahishasur into marriage and killed him after nine nights of honeymooning during sleep. Every year thousands of pooja pandals are erected with idols of goddess Durga astride a lion, killing Mahishasur in the most gory and cruel manner.
Such hatred is not only limited to students. A DU Professor had called Goddess Durga a prostitute in 2017.
This false interpretation of Durga Puja was first published by an obscure hate magazine named “Yadav-Shakti” in April 2011. The theory was written by N. Yadava. It was then republished by an evangelist Christian magazine, Forward Press. You can read more about this controversy here.
In the same petition, they have written about Holi:
Holi is celebrated in the name of Holika who was cruelly burnt down for allegedly trying to kill her own nephew. This is debatable as no aunt would try to kill her own nephew.
Perhaps the petitioner needs to read our history which is filled with instances where a son has killed his father to become king.
Conclusion: The video tweeted by Ali Sohrab is clipped and he has falsely attributed the quote the Smriti Irani. She was actually reading out the statement of JNU students.
Whether the Adivasi community actually believes in such theory or not is beyond our capabilities to answer as of now. However, we promise to publish more about it in the near future.
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