By DN Singh
Issues are being dragged to such extreme and at such a desperate way that, a debate has surfaces as who is more relevant to the polls politics in West Bengal(WB)- whether it’s lord Ram or Godess Durga!
And a dichotomy has been created in between that, who owns whom! Whether it is a legitimate claim by the WB state BJP unit to use the name of Lord Ram for political purposes or whether the Trinamool Congress(TMC) is right in playing up the virtuosity of Godess Durga in wooing voters.
It was more surprising when a BJP leader from WB, Dilip Bose was heard as saying in a television debate that, Durga cannot be compared with Ram as the former has no history to fit into the scheme of poll planks whereas, Ram had remained a king and revered as “maryada purushottam”, so it is logical to use His name in poll politics.
One doesn’t know if anything can be more regressive an argument to be used in politics of WB for wooing voters. When there are umpteen number of issues to become poll planks.
It is hard to believe that the BJP central leadership can condone such an argument by Bose or not. Obviously not.
Who can enlighten such leaders those who are ignorant of the legends that, according to Ramayan, the holy epic, Lord Ram derived the strength and blessings of Godess Durga before the final onslaught on the demon Ravan.
Such narratives from individual leaders like Bose may add to the perception that, WB may turn to be right wing hub if the culture of accountability is not imposed on people like Bose.
It is an unfair and avoidable monotheism at any juncture to shake the social fabric for political ends.
Godess Durga is worshipped by one and all as the presiding deity since time immemorial and it’s not only in WB where Her divine aura exists. Nor lord Ram has any history to be area specific and seen as a nomenclature to tailor any particular campaign design.
Any party is free to use any name for political gains given the freedom of expression but, it is always prudent if such extremes do not have wider ramifications of divides in the social fabric.
Even depiction of religious symbols in campaign strategy would, obviously, not go with the ethics as it doesn’t govern the practical aspects down on the ground.
Slogans are okay but drawing a comparison between the two those who so dear and revered to each Indian is blasphemy, it is simple and clear.
If any such sloganeering is tantamount to be provocative in essence then the Election Commission has a job in hand to prevail upon.
About the Author:
DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.
This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com