Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has said that Jai Shri Ram slogan was not associated with the Bengali culture and it was Maa Durga that was an integral part of Bengalis. Speaking in Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, the celebrated economist said that Jai Shri Ram slogan was being used to beat up innocent people.
Sen, according to news agency PTI said, “Jai Shri Ram slogan is not associated with the Bengali culture.” He also conceded that now even Ram Navami was gaining popularity in the state even though he ‘never heard of it before.’
Sen said that he had asked his four-year-old grandchild who her favourite favourite deity was? “She replied that it is Maa Durga. Maa Durga is so much omnipresent in our lives,” he said.
He expressed his anguish that slogans like Jai Ssri Ram were being used as pretexts to beat up people.
The Bengal unit of the BJP reacted strongly to Sen’s comments. West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said accused Sen of not knowing Bengal well. “Amartya Sen probably doesn’t know Bengal. Does he know about Bengali or Indian culture? Jai Shri Ram is chanted in very village. Now entire Bengal says it,” Ghosh was quoted by news agency ANI.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh on Amartya Sen remark ‘Jai Shri Ram slogan has no association with Bengali culture’: Amartya Sen probably doesn’t know Bengal. Does he know about Bengali or Indian culture? Jai Shri Ram is chanted in very village. Now entire Bengal says it. pic.twitter.com/7BumOIb5YY
— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2019
Sen’s comments on Jai Shri Ram come amidst the alarming rise in the number of crime being committed by Hindutva mob by invoking Jai Shri Ram. A mob had recently killed a Muslim man Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand recently after forcing him to chant Jai Shri Ram. Days later, a madrasa teacher in Kolkata was pushed out of a moving train after he refused to chant the same slogan.