Amartya Sen’s Remarks on ‘Jai Shri Ram’ Seen on Kolkata Billboards

The Trinamool has denied its involvement in putting up the billboards, but welcomed the comments on the board.

Published12 Jul 2019, 07:10 AM IST
2 min read

After a spate of clashes over ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in West Bengal, the latest controversy in the state involves Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as posters and banners of him and his remarks on BJP’s rampant sloganeering were seen across Kolkata on Friday, 12 July.

Earlier, Sen had said that unlike ‘Maa Durga,’the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan is not associated with Bengali culture and is used as “a pretext to beat up people.”

Sen had aslo said that the significance of 'Maa Durga' cannot be compared with Ram Navami.

Now, his remarks are being churned out and used in the political rivalry between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the state.

"I have never heard the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan before. It is being used to thrash sections of people. I feel this slogan is alien to Bengal's culture," reads the billboard, quoting Sen's comments that he made during an interaction at the Jadavpur University on 5 July.

The billboards are painted in blue and white — the favourite colours of TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Trinamool has denied its involvement in putting up the billboards, but welcomed the comments on the board.

‘Amartya Sen is Bengal’s Pride’: Firhad Hakim

The State Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister, Firhad Hakim has claimed that the civil society and citizens of Bengal have displayed the posters and praised this act.

“Amartya Sen is the pride of Bengal and pride of India. The BJP leadership does not believe it but we are not even concerned about it,” Hakim told the journalists.

Hakim claimed that the 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan was being used in a divisive manner to insult the people in the state.

Sen’s comments came days after a clash broke out between two groups over the issue of parking, and a Durga temple was vandalised in Hauz Qazi area of old Delhi.

However, his remarks were met with sharp criticism.

Meghalaya Governor Tathagatha Roy hit back at him on Sunday, 7 July, and said, "Are Ramrajatala and Serampore in West Bengal or somewhere else? Don't we say Ram-Ram when we are scared of ghosts? He won a Nobel Prize in economics, he should stick to his subject."

Earlier, Dilip Ghosh, the West Bengal chief also lashed out at Sen and said that he has no knowledge of Bengali culture and the people of the state disagree with him.

(With inputs from ANI, IANS)

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