BJP mixing religion and politics with 'Jai Shri Ram': Mamata
The slogan 'Jai Shri Ram' has taken center stage in West Bengal politics. In the last couple of days, workers of BJP mouthed the words in front of several Trinamool leaders, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee, on the other hand, gave knee-jerk reactions by "scolding" those who raised the slogan. As the controversy raged, Banerjee took to Facebook to reveal her thoughts.
Backstory: Banerjee lost her cool when people chanted Ram's name
Just last week, a video emerged on social media wherein Banerjee can be seen "threatening action" against those who heckled her convoy by chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. Notably, in recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, BJP made inroads in Bengal by winning 18 seats. These new developments in the state only hint that in the upcoming electoral battles, Bengal will see divisive campaigning.
Banerjee's reaction drew deep lines on social media
Quite understandably, social media couldn't stop talking about the entire furor. Political experts concluded that Banerjee's reaction was childish. They said BJP wants her to do something erratic, and she is giving the saffron party what they want. Meanwhile, profiles of some BJP supporters were filled with 'Jai Shri Ram' slogans. They wanted to tell Banerjee that praising the deity is not a crime.
BJP's Tajinder Pal Bagga also mocked Banerjee
BJP supporters are spreading hatred, claimed Banerjee
On Sunday, Banerjee took to Facebook to write a long post in which she slammed BJP. She began her post by claiming that BJP supporters are spreading "hatred ideology through one section of media". Giving the example of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Banerjee said Bengal has always seen harmony. But BJP is targeting Bengal in a negative manner, she wrote.
Banerjee said every political party has slogans
In an attempt to set the record straight, Banerjee wrote every party has their own slogan. "My party has Jai Hind, Vande Mataram. The Left has Inquilab Zindabad," she wrote and added they respect each other. "Jai Sia Ram, Jai Ram ji ki, Ram naam Satya hai etc. have religious and social connotations. We respect these sentiments," she went on.
Respect emotions, not this 'forcible environment', added Banerjee
"BJP is using religious slogan Jai Sri Ram as their party slogan in a misconceived manner by way of mixing religion with politics. We do not respect this forcible enforcement of political slogans on others in the name of so-called RSS which Bengal never accepted," Banerjee's post read.
"Have to oppose such moves of BJP very strongly"
Banerjee asked political workers to exercise restraint and stay away from activities which "create unrest, chaos, violence". "We have to and would oppose such moves of BJP very strongly in order to keep secular character of the country as enshrined in our constitution," she added. She asked countrymen to reject what she called "politics of hate" and told them to respect India's glorious heritage.
Here is her complete post
Meanwhile, Sakshi Maharaj claimed Banerjee belonged to Hiranyakashyap's family
Banerjee may have expressed her opinion, but it seems the controversy won't die anytime soon. On Sunday, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj, who won from Unnao, said Banerjee belonged to the family of Hiranyakashyap. As per Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashyap was a king who imprisoned his son Prahlad for believing in Lord Vishnu. Lord Ram is believed to be a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Maharaj looked towards Hindu mythology to slam Banerjee
"There was a rakshasa (demon) called Hiranyakashyap. His son said 'Jai Shri Ram' and the father shut his son in jail. The same thing is being repeated in Bengal and it looks like Mamata belongs to the family of demon Hiranyakashyap," Maharaj told ANI.
Separately, Babul Supriyo plans to send 'Get Well Soon' cards
It looks like BJP is all prepared to ambush Banerjee using 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan. Asansol MP Babul Supriyo said he will send "Get Well Soon" cards to Banerjee because something is wrong with her. "She is an experienced politician but her behavior is abnormal and bizarre. She should keep in mind the dignity of the post she holds," the singer-turned-politician said.