Millennium Post

Mamata Banerjee to call her new office ‘Nabanna’

West bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has christened her ‘temporary’ office ‘Nabanna’, to symbolise growth.

Mamata, on 7 August, had announced her decision to shift the seat of power from the grand, colonial structure, Writers’ Building, to the almost abandoned 14-storey HRBC building off the Second Hooghly Bridge. Her original plan was to shift out the state secretariat on 1 October, which she has deferred as per her astrologers’ advice.

Sources said that the chief minister had also sought astrological opinion on naming the HRBC building, which is said to be her office for the rest of her tenure.

The chief minister chose ‘Nabanna’ — also spelt ‘Navanna’ — since the name gives out a very positive message. ‘Nabanna’ is the harvest festival, which is extremely important for farmers. It also synchronizes with Mamata’s party slogan, ‘Ma, Mati, Manush (mother, soil and humans)’.

‘Navanna is dedicated to goddess Laxmi who is the symbol of wealth and fertility. Even as the festival takes place in Aghranhya (November-December) when the new rice crop is harvested, the chief minister wants an eternal ‘Nabanna’ for Bengal,’ said a source at Writers’ Buildings.

According to folklore, a community can’t enjoy the new rice crop until the new rice or ‘Nabanna’ is first offered to goddess Laxmi. The ritual goes like this — the farmer cuts and husks the crop and prepares payesh (rice pudding) with it. The farmers’ wives also greet the moon with diyas. Children are offered gifts and sweetened milk. The new rice is offered to the crows. Folklore also has it that the flight patterns of birds that pick up the food foretell a community’s fortunes. Sources said all these little, little rituals that add to the ‘Nabanna’ will be depicted in form of murals inside the HRBC building.

Mamata intends to shift only on 5 October, the day after ‘Mahalaya’ (as per her astrologer’s advice). But most departments will have moved out by September-end. The police directorate, for instance, will shift on Saturday. The minority affairs department will move out subsequently, and so on.
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