Home NEWS ‘Harmad’ CPM to Bohiragato BJP’-Will Mamata’s new slogan work in 2021?

‘Harmad’ CPM to Bohiragato BJP’-Will Mamata’s new slogan work in 2021?

by Soumadeep Bagchi

Nirmalya Mukherjee

In 2011 Mamata raised the slogan of `Harmad (Pirate) CPM dur hato’. Ten years later she has raised the slogan `Bohiragato BJP dur hato’.
Her 2011 magic slogan worked wonders as CPM crumbled to pieces.
Political experts are trying to judge will Mamata’s new slogan work in 2021? Her MPs and supporters call BJP as `Bargi’ (freebooters) party.
For the past few years Mamata has become slogan oriented. Her welfare schemes are also drawn up in the form of slogans like `didike bolo’, `duare sarkar’, `paray sarkar’, ` ar noi anyay’.
In her ten-year rule she designed ten ‘sree and shathi’ schemes that speaks of empowering the girl child and women alongside employment, food, health and welfare.
Political analysts feel Mamata’s `Bohiragato’ slogan is awkward as it does not fit into the cosmopolitan political culture of Bengal. A party MP had coined the slogan for her use at the party’s martyr’s rally on 21 July.
In their opinion, the domicile slogan is reminiscient of what Jharkhand witnessed in year 2000 when it split from Bihar. A year long battle ensued between the Adivasi-Moolvasis of Jharkhand (tribals and bengalees) and the `Dikus’ or dacoit outsiders from Bihar.
Lives lost as both groups fought pitched battles on the streets of Ranchi and Dhanbad with traditional weapons like bows, arrows, spears and swords. The police fired to control.
The new Jharkhand government was forced to bring a domicile bill to stop the unrest.
In Bengal the political climate is on boil in villages and districts. A few have lost lives. However, it is unlikely to witness large scale linguistic unrest like Jharkhand given its rich cultural heritage.
In the 80s and 90s BJP used Lord Rama and Krishna as election candidates. Bengal is anthropocentric.
Therefore, BJP and TMC have dragged icons and luminaries like Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to the hustings to rebuild a sense of innate `Bengaliness’ in voters to win the elections.
The latest casualty is the 1998 Nobel winner Amartya Sen. His 125 decimal home compounds in Santiniketan includes 13 decimals of Visva Bharati University land. It is protected by a 99-year lease agreement drawn up during the1940s. Sen was not even 10 years. Seventy years later he is a political target.
Former Visva Bharati Vice-chancellor Rajat Kanta Ray once brought the issue to Sen’s notice. Going of the handle some faceless and small timers of BJP are foul mouthing Sen.
Experts feel as an `octogenarian man of letters and dignity, Sen, quite unwarrantedly has joined the rancour to defend himself.
Mamata has supported him. In 2011 Mamata had criticised Sen on the Singur land issue. Sen had supported CPM’s industrialization effort through his column in a Bengali daily.
Earlier, also, the same BJP crowd had foul mouthed the Nobel Laureate Avijit Vinayak Banerjee on personal issues. They had to be `up shut’ by senior party leaders when Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised him for his commednable work.
Sen had opposed the hawker eviction started by Visva Bharati in front of his home. He entered into a verbal duel with the University’s Vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty. It is commonly perceived that Chakraborty is aligned to BJP and RSS.
A platform of professors had opposed Visva Bharati’s allegations against Sen as ‘baseless’. Sen and his family are residents of Santiniketan for the past eight decades. Sen was born in the University campus in 1933.
Prime Minister Modi once took an indicative dig at Sen, a Lamont Harvard Professor and Trinity College Master at the University of Cambridge, UK. Modi said ` Hum ko Harvard nahi chahiye, hard worker chahiye’.
Sen was removed from the post of the Chancellor of Nalanda University when the government reconstituted its board in 2016. Sen did not seek on a second term after his tenure ended in July 2015. He joined in 2006.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are invoking icons like Gurudev Tagore, Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Subhas Chandra Bose to prove Mamata’ s observations on ‘Outsiders’ in Bengal as misnomer. An open fight has ensued between BJP and TMC on ‘hijacking Bengali icons and sentiment’ to meet political ends.
While the Prime Minister and the Union home minister is linking all Bengali iconic connections to national ethos, culture and tradition to disprove Mamata, she is not ready to share her Bengali sentiment. On occasions the Prime Minister has linked the iconic connections to Gujarat, his home state.
Mamata’s science and technology minister Bratya Basu, a playwright is upholding Bengal’s revolutionary period and its legacy to counter Modi and Shah.
This is the first time that Bengal is witnessing a fight of cultures between BJP and TMC where luminaries and icons are `helpless’ victims.


This news article is prepared or accomplished by Nirmalya Mukherjee in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of kolkatatoday.com


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