The political battle between BJP and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has now turned into a poster war. Some of these posters are using Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's photos to talk on the issue of Jai Shri Ram slogans.
A recent statement made by the Nobel laureate has been used on these posters to spread his take on the Jai Shri Ram issue.
"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".
"What I feel is slogans like Jai Shri Ram are used as pretexts to beat up people," the economist had said.
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."
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."