A week after Nobel laureate had said that the slogan ‘Jai Sri Ram’ had no connection to Bengali culture and was used only as a pretext to beat up people, hoardings with Sen’s photo and quote have appeared all across Kolkata.
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
Sen had said it was ‘Maa Durga’ who was omnipresent in the lives of Bengalis. He made the remarks while speaking at a programme in the Jadavpur University here.
“Jai Sri 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”.
“I asked my four-year-old grandchild who is your favourite deity? She replied that it is Maa Durga. Maa Durga is so much omnipresent in our lives... What I feel is slogans like Jai Sri Ram are used as pretexts to beat up people,” the economist said.
The ruling Trinamool Congress has said it has nothing to do with the billboards.
Bengal minister Firad Hakim told India Today, “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.”
The hoardings come close on the heels of BJP chief Dilip Ghosh lashing out at Sen.“He (Sen) stays abroad, he is not aware of the ground realities. It will be good for everybody if he continues to stay abroad,” Ghosh had said.
(with PTI inputs)
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.