‘Tui’ refrain on Mamata lips for PM Modi

'The PM should do 1 lakh squats, holding his ears for suggesting her party was responsible for the desecration'

  • Published 17.05.19, 2:11 AM
  • Updated 17.05.19, 3:14 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Narendra Modi at a rally in Mathurapur on Thursday. (PTI)

In a “tu-taadi” unlikely to sit well with Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee apparently referred to him on Thursday as “tui” during a diatribe against the Prime Minister over the vandalisation of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s bust.

The Trinamul chief also said the Prime Minister should do “one lakh squats holding his ears” for suggesting her party was responsible for the desecration.

The Prime Minister had in a “completely no-political” interview with actor Akshay Kumar last month claimed that he and Barack Obama are on “tu-taadi” terms with each other.

On Thursday, he was at the receiving end of a “tu-taadi” — “tui-tokari” in Bengali — of a very different sort when Mamata addressed a rally in Mathurapur, South 24-Parganas.

“He (Modi) has said in an Uttar Pradesh rally that he will have a statue (of Vidyasagar) made. Tor-ta thodai nebo amra (As if we are going to take yours),” a furious Mamata said after Modi ended his silence on the Vidyasagar idol’s destruction during BJP chief Amit Shah’s Calcutta road show on Tuesday.

Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Mathurapur on Thursday.
Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Mathurapur on Thursday. (PTI)

English has no equivalent of “tu” or “tui”, which implies proximity or intimacy and/or the speaker’s superiority of age, status or class. The class-neutral and age-agnostic “you” lacks these connotations of “tu” and “tui”.

Although Mamata has often attacked Modi and Shah, this was the first instance in recent memory of her going from “apni” or “tumi” to “tui”.

Sources in her party said the Trinamul chief was livid at Modi’s apparent damage-control attempts on the Vidyasagar bust’s vandalisation and wanted to counter it immediately. They said she was unwilling to yield any ground to the BJP on the issue that seems to have resonated with Bengalis worldwide, cutting across political and other divides.

The Prime Minister has been alleging since Wednesday that it was not the supporters of his party but those of Mamata who were responsible for the vandalism that sparked widespread outrage and threatened to derail the BJP’s campaign for the final phase of polling.

“You destroyed the heritage of 200 years. We have all videos for evidence. And you are saying Trinamul Congress did it. Have you no shame?” she asked.

“This Prime Minister should do squats, one lakh squats, holding his ears, for lying. Either prove your allegations, or we will drag you to prison. Because we are not the sort who will let you escape after this. We have evidence. The evidence will speak for itself,” Mamata added.