Known for his controversial remarks, Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has criticised the Trinamool Congress for using ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan to counter the BJP’s ‘Jay Shri Ram’ chant.
In a series of Facebook posts, Roy kicked up a new row, saying that ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan was primarily associated with Bangladesh.
“‘Joy Bangla’ is a slogan associated with Bangladesh. An argument is being advanced that any Bengali can shout it, that it is not ‘patented’. This may sound idiotic, but it is probably not. It sounds deliberately seditious, designed to promote insidious sub-nationalism. Beware,” he posted on the social networking website.
How slogans are redefining politics in state
In politically charged Bengal, the TMC accuses the saffron party of using “Jai Shri Ram” slogans as a means to communalise politics, while the BJP accuses TMC of minority appeasement politics. The battle between “Ram” and “Bangla” was witnessed in Parliament earlier this weeks. The 18 new BJP MPs from Bengal were greeted with “Jai Shri Ram” chant by party colleagues as they took oath. As a comeback, Trinamool MPs took to the “Joy Bangla” slogan.
Roy’s comments come in the backdrop of Trinamool MPs taking to the “Joy Bangla” slogan, and an occasional “Joy Mamata” as well while taking oath in Parliament earlier this week.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had recently directed her party leaders and workers to chant ‘Joy Bangla’ and ‘Jai Hind’ from now as BJP made ‘Jay Shri Ram’ as its political slogan in the state.
“I am distressed at some members shouting ‘Joy Bangla’ in Lok Sabha. It is the slogan of a sovereign country Bangladesh. Those members might as well have shouted ‘God Save the Queen’ or ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. Is this the thin end of a wedge to promote Bengali sub-nationalism?” Roy wrote.
“‘Joy Poshchim Bongo’ will never be shouted. Because those who are yelling ‘Joy Bangla’ want people to forget that Poshchim Bongo was created so that Bengali Hindus can hold their heads high as Bengalis and Indians,” he added.
The Trinamool, meanwhile, slammed the Governjor for making his Facebook posts. “The West Bengal Assembly has passed Bangla as the name of the state. Then why is it difficult to chant ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan? There is Punjab province in Pakistan and also in India. Does that mean that one cannot say ‘Jai Punjab’ in India?” a senior TMC leader said.
After receiving flak in social media for his statements, Roy on Friday in another Facebook post wrote, “Some ignorant joker is howling on Facebook that my objections to some MPs’ shouting ‘Joy Bangla’, a Bangladeshi slogan made famous by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, are misplaced. Because the slogan was taken from a poem by the Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam which he penned in 1922!… There was only one ‘Bangla’ or Bengal in 1922. Today, there is Bangladesh and West Bengal. There is no Indian state called ‘Bangla’.”