Monday, March 30, 2020
Home Variety Culture and History I am a Bengali 'Jai Shri Ram wala', and I am offended at Pritish...

I am a Bengali ‘Jai Shri Ram wala’, and I am offended at Pritish Nandy’s disdainful attempt to divide Hindus in the name of Gods

It could very well have been 'Joy Maa Tara' or 'Joy Maa Kali' instead, however, Shri Rama has become a symbol of political solidarity cutting across every fissure within Hindu society. Therefore, we chant 'Jai Shri Ram'.

Also Read

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

After dividing Hindus along the lines of caste, class, creed, region and language, it appears attempts are underway to divide Hindus along the lines of the Gods we worship. ‘Eminent journalist’ Pritish Nandy took to Twitter today to vent his frustration towards ‘Jai Shri Ram walas’.

First things first, it’s really annoying when you have people of a particular political dispensation claiming to speak for an entire community, especially when the individual concerned is a bald idiot.

It’s not too difficult to see what Nandy is trying to do here. It’s quite a sneaky attempt to pit Bengalis against Hindus from other regions of the country on the basis of the Gods we worship. Of course, the probability of him succeeding in his endeavour is a thousand times less than that of Rahul Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister in 2019, but that’s beside the point.

- article continues after ad - - article resumes -

The reason why Nandy makes no sense is that for Hindus, the Multiplicity of the Divine is not a mere platitude but words we live by every single day. We are polytheists, we believe in the plurality of Gods and we worship Them all. Nandy gives the impression that Hindus worship Maa Saraswati and Durga but not Shri Rama. That’s quite evidently false. Rama has as many devotees among Bengal as any other Hindu community.

The disdain with which Nandy refers to devotees of Shri Rama is infuriating. Because I am a Bengali and I am very much one of those ‘Jai Shri Ram walas’ that he speaks so lowly of. To give people a hint of how popular Shri Rama is among Bengalis, there is a popular four-line rhyme that is taught to children who are afraid of ghosts. It was taught to me as well when I was a kid. It goes, “Bhoot amar poot, Petni amar jhee, Ram Laxman shaatey aachhey, korbey aamay ki?” It roughly means, “Rama and Laxman are with me, what could ghosts ever do to harm me?”

To give further context to the intimate relationship that Bengalis share with Shri Rama, the Krittivasi Ramayana, a rendition of the Ramayana in Bengali, was composed by the famed Bengali poet Krittibas Ojha in the 15th century. Then there is a neighbourhood in Howrah, Ramrajatala, where the residents conduct a three months long worship dedicated to Shri Rama and Sita Mata every year at the local Ram Mandir. The tradition dates back centuries. There are numerous Ram Mandirs in Bengal as well. More significantly, Hanuman has always been immensely popular in Bengal. Where there is Hanuman, could his Lord ever be absent?

Nandy also gives the impression here that it’s only the Feminine forms of the sacred that we worship. It’s quite evidently false. Narayan is still worshipped, Hanuman is immensely popular among Bengalis. Ganesha is worshipped as well and so is Shri Krishna. Mahadeva creates quite the fervour among Bengalis too. Therefore, the impression that Bengalis only worship Goddesses is demonstrably false. We are Hindus, We worship Gods in their many forms.

There’s also an arrogant insinuation in the tweets that people who raise slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ do not worship Goddesses and don’t respect women. Again, it’s a false assertion. Narendra Modi, a ‘Jai Shri Ram wala’ himself, is an ardent devotee of Maa Bagalamukhi. Navratri is celebrated with great fervour by ‘Jai Shri Ram walas’.

To give a hint of the invisible threads of Dharma that bind our country together, Maa Bagalamukhi is one of the Dasa-Mahavidya, the ten aspects of Adi-Parashakti and a form of Maa Parvati. In Tripura, Bengalis and the resident tribal communities, worship with great devotion Maa Tripura Sundari, another manifestation of Shakti, at the Temple known locally as Matabari.

Then, we have Maa Kali and Maa Tara, extremely popular among Bengalis, who are aspects of Shakti as well. There is Maa Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Bhuvaneshwari, Dhumavati and others who are worshipped all across India by every single community. There are Temples dedicated to all the Goddesses across the lengths and breadths of India. Therefore, to make the assertion that Bengalis are somehow different from ‘Jai Shri Ram walas’ because we worship Goddesses is mental retardation of the highest order.

To give further context, Yogi Adityanath, the Peethadhish of the Gorakhnath Mandir in Uttar Pradesh, is a revered Monk of the Nath Sampradaya. There is a huge number of followers of his sect among Bengalis in Tripura where he is widely revered due to the association. Thus, only a fool or a clown would attempt to insinuate that the Bengali community has fallen from the skies without having many commonalities with our fellow Indians.

As for ‘Jai Shri Ram walas’, too, the traditional slogan is, of course, ‘Jai Siya Ram’ where the name of Sita Mata is taken before Prabhu Rama. Another popular slogan is ‘Siyavar Ramachandra ki Jai!’ Again, Shri Rama is referred to as the Husband of Sita Mata. Therefore, to claim that people who raise chants to Jai Shri Ram do not worship Goddesses is plainly false.

More importantly, where there is Shri Rama, there will be Sita Mata. They cannot ever be viewed in isolation. Their destinies, their fate, their lives were forever entwined with each other. The Gods themselves cannot separate them, we are mere mortals. Therefore, unless Shri Rama is depicted in his warrior aspect, Sita Mata is always by His side along with Laxman. And when we eventually build the Bhavya Ram Mandir at Rama Janmabhoomi, Sita Mata will reside there as well and will be worshipped because we hold her in regard just as high as we do Rama.

The elitist disdain that people like Nandy hold for North Indians and Gujaratis and Marathis is quite obnoxious. Will Nandy ever accuse the Abrahamic of not respecting women because they worship a male god? Of course, he won’t. Because he is a hypocrite.

As a ‘Jai Shri Ram wala’ myself, however, I have much more in common with fellow Hindus regardless of their community than I could ever have with liberals like Nandy. I am much more comfortable in the company of South Indians, North Indians, Odiyas, Delhiites and others who worship the same Gods that I do than I would ever be in the company of liberals. The crux of the matter is, Bengalis, like people from every other community, may be different on the outside but the core of the matter, our beliefs are just the same.

I can agree with Nandy on the point that the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become politicized. But that is because Hinduism is currently facing an existential threat from political forces. Under such circumstances, it’s natural for Hindus to rely on our Gods to see us through. What actually frustrates Nandy is the fact that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become Bengal’s ‘Bidrohor Chitkar’ (Cry of Protest) amidst a saffron surge in the state.

It could very well have been ‘Joy Maa Tara’ or ‘Joy Maa Kali’ instead, however, Shri Rama has become a symbol of political solidarity cutting across every fissure within Hindu society. Therefore, we chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. But Nandy need not worry, Bengalis have nothing to worry about. Because we do not worship jealous Gods.

- Support OpIndia -
Support OpIndia by making a monetary contribution

Trending now

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

Latest News

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand goes into isolation with his harem of 20 concubines in Germany, books an entire luxury hotel

Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn has booked out the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Bavaria, with permission from local council

Latest updates and important links about COVID-19 coronavirus

Live statistics and tracking of news related to COVID-19 coronavirus with focus on India.

Pakistan heaps praise on China amid Coronavirus pandemic, Imran Khan’s advisor says stranded students in Wuhan grateful to Pakistan for not evacuating them

The world has a lot to learn from China regarding the prevention and control of communicable diseases: Imran Khan’s adviser said

UP Govt takes over Jaypee Sports City to house migrants returning from Delhi in quarantine

Authorities in Noida have decided to take over the Jaypee Sports City in order to house the migrants fleeing to UP from Delhi.

Coronavirus fight: Assam man offers to donate 4 acres of land to build a hospital for treatment of COVID-19 patients

Krishna Mahanta has written a letter to the Kaliabor Sub-Divisional Officer offering to donate land for COvid-19 hospital

Centre directs States to seal borders and prevent outflux of migrant workers in the wake of coronavirus lockdown

Migrant workers who have violated lockdown guidelines and travelled to other states are to be kept under quarantine for 14 days.

Recently Popular

Infosys employee Mujeeb Mohammad arrested for asking people to ‘spread the virus’ by sneezing in public, fired by the company

Although earlier Infosys said that it could be a case of mistaken identity, later they admitted he was their employee & fired him

PM Narendra Modi launches “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund” to receive public donations for fight against Covid-19

This fund will enable micro-donations and large number of people will be able to contribute with smallest of denominations

Manufactured crisis? Delhi govt cut electricity and water supply of migrant workers​, told them buses were waiting for them at UP border

Essentially, it seems like the Delhi government manufactured a crisis and forced migrant workers to flock to the UP border amidst Coronavirus lockdown

Ramayana in the digital​ age: The first​ episode crashes Doordarshan website, top searched in India on Google

As the first episode of Ramayan went live, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayana on Doordarshan become the top search on Google in India

Abu Khalid al-Hindi who attacked Sikhs in Afghanistan was one Mohammed Sajid from Kasargod ISIS module, Kerala: Here is all you need to know

Terrorist who attacked Sikhs in Afghanistan was one Mohammed Sajid Kuthirummal who had escaped from Kasargod, Kerala in 2015 to join ISIS

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each morning, get an email to keep updated with all the news, opinions and analysis published by OpIndia.

Connect with us

216,583FansLike
265,434FollowersFollow
208,000SubscribersSubscribe
Advertisements