Kolkata, November 17, 2023: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of saffronizing the Indian cricket team’s practice jerseys, alleging that the party is trying to impose its ideology on the country’s national sport.
Speaking at the inauguration of a Jagadhatri Puja in Kolkata, Banerjee said, “They (BJP) are trying to paint the entire country saffron. They have even introduced the saffron color to the practice jerseys of our cricket team.”
Banerjee further stated, “The jerseys used to be blue, but now they are saffron. This is unacceptable. We should not allow any political party to use our national sport for their political gains.”
The Chief Minister’s remarks come amid growing concerns about the BJP’s alleged attempts to saffronize various aspects of Indian society and culture. The party has been accused of using its Hindu nationalist ideology to influence government policies and institutions.
The saffron color, considered sacred in Hinduism, is also the official color of the BJP. The party’s use of the color has been criticized by some as an attempt to homogenize India’s diverse population.
Banerjee’s accusation has sparked a debate on social media, with some supporting her views and others defending the BJP’s decision. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not yet responded to Banerjee’s remarks.