Kolkata, Mar 5 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday remembered "Boro Ma" Binapani Thakur, matriarch of Matua community on her death anniversary. Taking to her Tweeter handle, Ms Banerjee said, “A year ago, Boro Ma Binapani Thakur, matriarch of Matua community, moved on. Our Govt in #Bangla conferred Banga Bibhusan on Boro Ma in 2018. For many years, we had taken care of her when she was ailing.”
“We are committed to the welfare of our Matua brothers and sisters. We have already set up a Matua Development Board. A university named after Harichand-Guruchand Thakur is also coming up,” she added. On this day in last year, Boro Maa died at Kolkata. Her funeral was held with full state honours on March 7 and a gun salute was given to her by the state government.
Born on 1918, was a matriarch of the Matua Mahasangha, a Hindu religious reformation movement. Her original name was Binapani Devi Thakur; the name "Boro Maa" translates to "elder mother", an epithet for universal mother. She established the community's new capital at Thakurnagar. The Matuas, who originally hail from Bangladesh, faced religious persecution in their homeland. Around 2 crore Matuas, mostly from backward communities, flooded into West Bengal after partition and even after the 1971 Bangladesh war.
Matuas are considered as a key political force behind Mamata Banarjee’s rise to power. The Matua community has influence on the outcome of votes in more than 70 assembly seats in the state, comprising seven Lok Sabha constituencies spread across three bordering districts of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. In all the constituencies, average voting percentage of Matuas are between 35-40 %. The community is the deciding factor in five assembly seats. (UNI)