Nobel laureate Amartya Sen at a public event in Jadhavpur University said Jai Shri Ram slogan has no association with Bengali culture and added that it was being used as a pretext to beat up people. Sen said among deities it was Maa Durga who was omnipresent in the lives of Bengalis.
He said Ram Navami was also gaining popularity in the state and that he had never heard it before. Referring to his four-year-old grand-daughter he said her favourite deity was Maa Durga which showed that she was omnipresent in people’s lives.
Sen added that the significance of Maa Durga with Ram Navami was incomparable. He said if people of a certain religion were scared to move freely or were fear-bound, then it was a serious matter.
His comments came in the wake of a section of people in several parts of the country forcing others to chant Jai Shree Ram and beating them up if they refuse.
West Bengal has been on the boil since the beginning of the election season with clashes between BJP and Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers surfacing every now and then, leading to an increasing number of deaths of BJP and TMC workers because of communal ire.
BJP West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh criticised Sen for his comments claiming Jai Shri Ram was chanted in every village and that Sen didn’t know anything about Bengal and its culture. Last month he had claimed that Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was attempting to transform the state into West Bangladesh by aiding infiltration from across the border from Bangladesh.