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Jai Shri Ram: A slogan that changed political contours of India

While the entire BJP and its ally Shiv Sena uses Jai Shri Ram slogan as a battle cry, their opponents, particularly West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign against it.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Jai Shri Ram was a frequently used slogan in BJP’s rallies during 2014 Lok Sabha elections
  • Jai Shri Ram has become the cry for BJP party cadres against TMC in West Bengal
  • It started being identified with BJP around 1990-92 Ram temple movement launched by VHP

ai Shri Ram literally means victory to Lord Ram, the prince of Ayodhya mentioned in various versions of Ramayana. This slogan is in the news for long. Jai Shri Ram slogan trends every other day on social media in India. In recent times, this religious slogan has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Raising this slogan is no longer considered religious, it is a political slogan to further the agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

While the entire BJP and its ally Shiv Sena uses Jai Shri Ram slogan as a battle cry, their opponents, particularly West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched a massive campaign against it.

During Lok Sabha election, Mamata Banerjee was seen stopping her car to slam those shouting Jai Shri Ram. Her irritation with the slogan has taken an unusual turn where her opponents have started teasing her by shouting Jai Shri Ram if they see her at an event.

In May, days after Lok Sabha election results were announced, seven people were arrested in Bengal for shouting Jai Shri Ram as Mamata Banerjee’s cavalcade passed through their area.

To counter the BJP’s charge of Muslim appeasement, Mamata Banerjee flagged off Jagannath Puri rath yatra last week. She was greeted with chants of Jai Shri Ram from the crowd and a section of BJP supporters.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, too, has joined Mamata Banerjee in raising his voice against Jai Shri Ram slogan saying it is not part of Bengali culture.

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