Trinamool Congress' new women outfit Banga Janani Vahini on Thursday held a protest in Kolkata against Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy's shocking comment that Bengali boys are working as sweepers and the girls as bar dancers in other states.
In a series of tweets posted on June 4, Mr Roy, a former BJP leader, had argued that Bengalis' opposition to learning Hindi was political and claimed that many boys in Bengal are "now sweeping floors" in other states, while the Bengali girls are working as "bar dancers" in Mumbai.
Protesting against Mr Roy's statement, senior women Trinamool Congress leaders, including state Minister Sashi Panja, Jaynagar MP Pratima Mondal, Barasat MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, accompanied by the party's women activists held a sit-in at South Kolkata's Hazra crossing on Thursday afternoon.
The women, dressed in white and red sarees, blew conch shells and held up placards condemning Mr Roy's comments.
"There is a fundamental flaw in BJP's ideology. They will never be able to respect women. They always try to divide people and have a condescending attitude towards the women," said the state Minister for Women and Child Development Sashi Panja.
"Every Indian has the right to choose their profession. Those who are making derogatory comments about somebody's profession do not even have the minimum education," Trinamool leader Chandrima Banerjee said.
Mr Roy had made the comments in question while arguing that learning Hindi was necessary for everyone, including Bengalis.
"... There is no great opposition. They only make noise for political reasons. Assam, Maharashtra, Odisha are also non-Hindi speaking states but they don't oppose Hindi. The 2nd argument is Bengal is the land of Vidyasagar, Vivekananda, Rabindranath and Netaji so why should Bengalis learn Hindi," he tweeted.
"What is the link between these great men and opposition to learning Hindi? Secondly, who will explain to them that the era of these stalwarts is long gone, and the greatness of Bengal is gone too. Now from Haryana to Kerala, Bengali boys are sweeping the floors in homes and Bengali girls are bar dancers in Mumbai, which was unthinkable before," he wrote.