Grassroots of middle fingers

Note: This post is being written immediately after a trip to Kolkata, where I was greeted by the photo of Mamta Banerjee pretty much everywhere in the city. When I first saw those photos on Thursday night, I thought I’ll liken them to the photos and cutouts of Mahinda Rajapaksa that I saw all over Colombo on my visits there in 2010 and 2014, but then yesterday’s election result perhaps makes that comparison moot. 

There is a special relationship between Mamta Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the middle finger. First, almost a decade back, quizmaster Derek O’Brien, who is now a Rajya Sabha member and a spokesperson for the Trinamool congress, held up his middle finger in the middle of Landmark Quiz, Bangalore, in response to some negative feedback from bloggers following his handling of the same quiz in Chennai earlier that year.

Now, another spokesperson of the same party, Mohua Moitra, has shown that she is not one to be left behind. On Arnab Goswami’s Newshour show last week, she held up her middle finger. And I must say that this is one level better than Derek, for while Derek used his middle finger on a bunch of hapless unsuspecting quizzers, Mohua used hers on Arnab, the greater news anchor of them all, and on prime time television.

Considering that the Trinamool Congress is a breakaway of the Indian National Congress (the name gives it away), it is appropriate that the party chooses an election symbol that reflects that it was one part of the INC’s “Hand”. Considering its spokespeople’s fondness of display of this body part, may I humbly suggest that the Trinamool Congress adopt the “middle finger” as its party symbol? The flower-and-grass symbol the party currently uses seems too tame for it!


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