Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Home Opinions 'Chup Chaap Kamal Chhaap': The slogan that changed Bengal politics forever

‘Chup Chaap Kamal Chhaap’: The slogan that changed Bengal politics forever

Whether this victory will translate into a sweep in the 2021 Assembly elections is yet to be seen. Perhaps BJP would need to develop a greater grassroots connect and certainly, find dynamic local leaders who find resonance with the local population.

The verdict is out and Prime Minister Modi led BJP is set to form the government with a thumping single-party majority. BJP managed to bag a whopping 303 seats all on its own, making the need for alliances redundant. This brute majority sees BJP better its 2014 score and a major role in this thumping victory has been played by West Bengal which is currently ruled by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal has 42 Lok Sabha constituencies. Of those, TMC managed to bag 22 seats while BJP won 18 and Congress managed to win 2. While on the face of it, it would certainly seem like TMC has held on to its bastion, BJP winning a massive 18 is no mean feat. With a brute majority of 213 out of 295 Assembly seats, in 2014 General Elections, out of 42 seats, TMC bagged a whopping 34 seats while BJP bagged only 2.

West Bengal has traditionally been a communist bastion which shifted en masse to TMC in the hope of a better future. Unfortunately, what the state got was communism gift wrapped by TMC with a sheet of renewed, more severe violence and intimidation.

The promise of ‘Maa, Maati, Maanush’ was lost. Mothers were made to drink urine and their sons thrashed simply for praising the Prime Minister in a Facebook post. The maati, earth, was soaked with blood often and the maanush were lost in a sea of illegal immigration. In all, the Bengali mostly felt like motherless children.

Often, several Bengali Hindus spoke up and demanded change. But that change was also demanded in hushed conversations. The fear of their rebel against TMC being known shuddered their soul. Nobody wanted a broken house, bashed up children, the fear of goons hitting out at your workplace, or worse, the state government using the police machinery to throw you in jail.

The fear that Bengal lives through could be unfathomable to ones who live in other parts of the country. But it was real and palpable.

With BJP, the saffron party getting 18 seats in 2019, many in Bengal are shell-shocked. For every voter that went and reposed their faith in the Lotus, it was a personal rebellion, one they weren’t sure others would partake in.

How did the BJP manage to craft this victory? One that not even the people of Bengal saw coming? The voters led a personal rebellion on an organic level. None of them anticipated this Tsunami and none of them really believed that others felt the same way.

One slogan that became extremely popular in West Bengal in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha elections was ‘chup chaap kamal chhaap’ (silently, press the Lotus button). Essentially, BJP and volunteers told Bengalis (and I include the Marwari, Gujarati, Sikh community of Bengal in this) that they don’t need to risk their well-being by declaring how their allegiance has shifted from TMC to BJP, but just go vote for BJP.

It was a silent bond of trust that BJP managed to build with Bengal. ‘We understand you are scared, we will help you through this’, the slogan essentially said.

When OpIndia spoke to a volunteer from West Bengal, he said, on the condition of anonymity that for a large part of Bengal, the feeling was that BJP did not understand their plight, with this slogan, they began to trust the party.

There were numerous anecdotes about how some brave citizens started chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ on the street when convoys of TMC leaders passed. This came from a few brave quarters who had had enough of the tyranny.

While Bengal is the land of Maa Durga and Maa Saraswati, ‘Jai Shree Ram’ soon became a symbol of political protest.

One recalls how Mamata Banerjee got riled up when some youth yelled ‘Jai Shree Ram’ as her convoy passed. She got out of the car, threatened them, and claimed that they abused him.

TMC knew that their regionalism on television channels was not helping. They knew that their assertions that Lord Ram will not find resonance in Bengal were hogwash. More than religiosity, it was the political rebellion that Jai Shri Ram symbolised.

Bengal has traditionally shifted its political allegiance after several years of silent tolerance. It happened with the Communists. They lost the faith of the people and the people of Bengal never looked back. It seems to be happening with TMC now as well.

Whether this victory will translate into a sweep in the 2021 Assembly elections is yet to be seen. Perhaps BJP would need to develop a greater grassroots connect and certainly, find dynamic local leaders who find resonance with the local population.

However, a political revolution has begun. Bengal is ready to move as far away from communism (yes, even TMC’s brand of it) as possible. Bengal yearns for change. It took a step in that direction in this general election. Now it is up to BJP to live up to the faith Bengal has reposed in it.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

Trending now

Despite the negative media attention, RSS forges forward: Here’s why

It was none other than married women who were a part of the RSS that stepped up and made sure surveys were conducted in multiple villages across India.

Mughal descendant Prince Tucy calls Owaisi a ‘joker’, says it is his family’s wish to build the Ram Mandir

The self-proclaimed Mughal heir, Prince Tucy called AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi a joker for objecting to PM Modi's visit to Ayodhya for the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Mandir

Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister of UP banned the 84-kosi parikrama around the Ram Janmabhoomi. Read details

Akhilesh Yadav tried his best to prevent Hindus from practising their religious faith with regards to Shri Rama at Ayodhya.

Five forms of apartheid that were wiped out when Article 370 was removed

It will be a year since Article 370 was abrogated and Jammu & Kashmir finally became an integral part of India without any riders attached.

Ram Lalla is not ‘Sabke Ram’, such claims are designed to weaken the Hindu claim to their own Gods

Ahead of the Ram Mandir Bhoomi Pujan ceremony, a narrative of 'Sabke ram' is being created to deny the Hindu claim to Rama.

Breathtaking visuals of the proposed structure of Bhavya Ram Mandir released by Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra

Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra today released first visuals of the proposed Bhavya Ram Mandir structure.

Recently Popular

Here is why #BabyPenguin is trending on Twitter, and why Aaditya Thackeray is called so by some

Yuva Sena registered complaint against twitter user for calling Aaditya Thackeray "Baby Penguin" and Uddhav Thackeray "Aurangzeb"

How one call from Chief Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi changed my views from ‘Why Ram Mandir’ to ‘Mandir Wahin Banayenge’

As we get closer to the dream of Bhavya Ram Mandir coming true, my perception of importance of the Ram Mandir underwent a transformation

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has a prolonged meltdown, announces a movie on Arnab Goswami, “Arnab, The News Prostitute”

Ram Gopal Varma vented his spleen against the Republic TV Editor-in-Chief in a series of tweets on Twitter.

“Will believe in coronavirus if Amit Shah dies”: Shaheen Bagh ‘activist’ Aiman Rizwi urges Muslims to pray for his death

Rizwi also strongly believes that Coronavirus is a myth and propagated to conceal failures of Modi government.

Delhi Police confirm OpIndia report, say that Tahir Hussain has confessed he had planned the Delhi riots to teach Hindus a lesson

Tahir Hussain confesses before Delhi police that he had planned the Delhi Riots, collected materials in advance for the same

Why it’s wrong to call Aatish Taseer a ‘bastard’ even if he is one

All Amit Shah ever did to Taseer was revoke a privilege that allowed him to circumvent the usual visa application process that common people go through.

Indian Union Muslim League calls emergency meeting over Congress support for Ram Mandir

IUML has called an emergency meeting of its top officials on Wednesday after learning about the statements by several Congress leaders in favour of Ram Mandir.

On the anniversary of 370 abrogation, Pakistan releases new political map claiming Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat’s Junagadh as its own

Abrogation of Article 370 continues to sting Pakistan as it releases a new political map, laying sovereign claim on Jammu and Kashmir and thereby junking its long-held position of fighting for the self-determination of Kashmiris

Despite the negative media attention, RSS forges forward: Here’s why

It was none other than married women who were a part of the RSS that stepped up and made sure surveys were conducted in multiple villages across India.

‘Naam mita do Babur ka’: BJP leader Vijay Goel recommends renaming ‘Babur road’ in Delhi

The politician superimposed a poster that read '5 August road' on the signboard that earlier carried the name of the Mughal tyrant Babur.

ISIS terrorist from Kerala involved in Afghanistan suicide bombing in Jalalabad: Reports

On Sunday, a terror attack perpetrated by the Islamic State (ISIS) at a prison complex in Jalalabad in Afghanistan has reportedly led to the escape of 300 inmates.

Meerut: Sohail posed as Hindu, tried to kidnap Dalit girl when exposed, family alleges police of inaction

The family alleged that Sohail was posing as a Hindu to befriend the Dalit girl from Meerut for the last six months.

‘Stones and bottles are not firearms’: Indira Jaising defends Jamia hoodlums in Delhi HC, seeks inquiry on ‘police brutality’

Indira Jaising and other attorneys today submitted their argument in Delhi HC seeking independent inquiry into the alleged police atrocities in the Jamia Millia Islamia University.

Delhi: Anwar pretends to be a Hindu, befriends a woman and rapes her for months on pretext of marriage

As per a report by Jagran, Anwar even took lakhs of rupees from the woman under the pretext of marriage.

Mughal descendant Prince Tucy calls Owaisi a ‘joker’, says it is his family’s wish to build the Ram Mandir

The self-proclaimed Mughal heir, Prince Tucy called AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi a joker for objecting to PM Modi's visit to Ayodhya for the bhoomi pujan ceremony of the Ram Mandir

Sushant Singh Rajput case gets murkier: As Maha govt puts hurdles in front of Bihar Police, Bihar govt recommends CBI enquiry

Earlier, the Mumbai Police had claimed that the files of the investigation into Sushant's ex-manager Disha Salian's alleged suicide case have been deleted "accidentally".

Related Articles

Connect with us

238,826FansLike
421,305FollowersFollow
289,000SubscribersSubscribe