Both the TMC and the BJP have been courting Matuas for their vote. So, we travelled to Thakurnagar, the mecca of Matuas in West Bengal, to find out what they want this election season. People on the ground praise the Trinamool’s social schemes but are hurt by the party’s corruption charges. BJP on the other hand is promising citizenship which is a prime concern for this refugee population.
Matua is a religious movement of the Namasudras, a scheduled caste. It was started by Namasudra leader Hari Chand Thakur to foster equality. When India was partitioned, the areas of Bengal with Scheduled Caste strongholds became part of Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Following religious persecution, many have been fleeing to India over the years. So, most people from scheduled castes in West Bengal belong to refugee families.
Our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee spoke to BJP candidate Subrata Thakur and TMC leader Mamata Bala Thakur, both from the Thakur family. She also spoke to local Namashudra women about their hopes in this election.
Also, listen to The importance of CAA to Dalits in West Bengal