Amartya Sen’s banners with his ‘Jai Sri Ram’ comment new bone of contention
Kolkata, July 12: A banners displaying the image of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and his earlier statement on chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' was seen in Kolkata. This has become the apple of discord now, the political battle between BJP and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has now turned into a poster war.
On July 5, the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen made a statement saying, "I haven't heard Jai Shri Ram earlier. It is now used to beat up people. I think it is has no association with Bengali culture. Nowadays, Ram Navami is celebrated more in Kolkata which I haven't heard earlier."
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said the slogan, "Jai Shri Ram", is being used "to beat up people" across the country. "I have not heard Jai Shri Ram before (in this way). It is now used to beat up people. "Jai Shri Ram slogan is not associated with the Bengali culture," he said, adding that even Ram Navami is "gaining popularity" nowadays and he had "never heard of it before".
Bengal minister Firhad Hakim said, "The poster of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has been put up by ordinary people of the city. We support Amartya Sen, the great son and pride of Bengal. By disagreeing with him BJP has insulted him."
West Bengal: Banners displaying an image of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and his earlier statement on chants of 'Jai Shri Ram', seen in Kolkata. pic.twitter.com/gTikc1uWEf— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2019
Hakim added, "Chanting Jai Shri Ram is not a crime, rather it is a pious mantra when we chant Jai Shri Ram from the core of our heart and mind. It purifies us from inside. But when Jai Shri Ram is chanted with the intensity of harming people its purity gets hampered."
"It is same as when we chant Allah o Akbar in a mosque or any religious place its chastity is restored but when a terrorist or a Taliban in Kashmir chants Allahu Akbar to kill innocent people, then they insult Allahu Akbar. I am not going to blame BJP directly but its supporters are claiming on social media, forcefully making people chant Jai Shri Ram."
This has left BJP, Left and Congress fuming and blaming the ruling Trinamool Congress for the same.
BJP MLA Manoj Tigga said, "Amartya Sen has spent more over time in America than in Bengal so the value of Jai Shri Ram is not known to him. If we don't chant Jai Shri Ram in Bengal and in India then should we chant it in Pakistan, Bangladesh and America?"
"Jai Shri Ram is with our soul, it comes from within our soul. If you go to Tamil Nadu you will see Ram Chandram if you go a bit forward in Karnataka then there is Ram Lingam and then come to Andhra Pradesh, there Rama Rao, so everywhere it is just Ram and Ram," said Amartya Sen.
Congress MLA Manoj Chakraborty said, "Ram Navami is another thing and beating someone on the chant and Jai Shri Ram is a completely different thing. Beating up people is making things grimy and is not all right."
CPIM MLA Sujan Chakraborty said, "Associating Amartya Sen with Jai Shri Ram is not correct. Amartya Sen has an opinion. I do not know who has put up the posters. But using the slogan to attack people is not the right thing to do. This is insulting Lord Ram. That is what Amartya Sen has said."