It started with Bachchan’s comments on freedom of expression and reached a crescendo when Arijit sang ‘Rang de tu mohe gerua (colour me saffron)’, which many linked to the ongoing controversy over a saffron costume worn by Deepika Padukone in ‘Pathaan’. That this came after West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee asked him to sing added to the debate. “Bachchan’s words couldn’t have been more prophetic since they were spoken in Kolkata, with Mamata Banerjee on the dais. It is like holding a mirror to the tyrant,” said BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya. Actor and TMC MP Nusrat Jahan was quick to respond.
“Signs of tyrannical rule include banning movies, detaining journalists, and punishing common people for speaking the truth,” she tweeted. Nusrat alleged that BJP was “capping” freedoms “while Malviya is busy accusing others”.
On Friday, TMC spokesperson Riju Dutta tweeted an old video of Union minister Smriti Irani wearing a saffron attire, apparently during the Femina Miss India contest. BJP’s Locket Chatterjee hit back, tweeting, “Shame on Mamata for appointing such a misogynist man as TMC’s national spokesperson.”