Strongly criticising the central government over the launch of a new booklet by its Ministry of Ayush that advises pregnant woman to shun sex, non-veg food and indulge in pious practices, opposition parties in the state claimed that such advises are a reflection of Centre's cultural imperialism.
Denouncing the recommendations for the would-be mothers, as given in the booklet, state Congress President Adhir Chowdhury accused the Centre of trying to impose its own idea of the way of life on the people.
"India is a country of many religions and communities. In such a country, the Centre is trying to impose its own idea of what to eat, what to speak and how to lead a life on everyone. This is a form of cultural imperialism, to say the least," Chowdhury alleged.
Echoing Chowdhury, the Trinamool Congress termed the instructions in the booklet as "unscientific" and urged people not to follow them.
"It is certain that they are saying unscientific things. We can obey if something is scientifically proven. But if what they are saying has no scientific background, then we surely can't follow that," a TMC leader said.
The Left Front, on the other hand, called the guidelines "a nasty tendency" to intrude in the personal life of pregnant women.
The Left Front Legislature Party leader Sujan Chakraborty claimed the advices in the booklet to be "a reflection of Prime Minster Narendra Modi's medieval mindset".
"In the name of Ayurvedic research, the Centre is trying to bring forth the medieval ideas of the Prime Minister. There is also a nasty tendency to intrude into the personal lives of pregnant women," Chakraborty claimed.
Coming out in defence of its government, the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership argued that the instructions in the Ministry of Ayush booklets were not mandatory.
"This is just debating for the sake of it. The advices are not mandatory for anyone to follow," state BJP leader Shamik Lahiri claimed.
"For the first time the country has got a central government that is respectful of ancient Indian civilization and its cultural heritage," the leader added.
The booklet published by the ministry-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy was released on June 9 in the run-up to the International Yoga Day.