A video has gone viral on social media where Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, could be seen getting down from her vehicle after hearing chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and confronting the people who shouted the slogan as her vehicle was passing by.
Mamata Banerjee hears some people chanting “JAI SHRI RAM”.
She gets down from car & confronts those people.
Location- Chandrakona, West Midnapore, West Bengal pic.twitter.com/ielx8NACKB
— SaahilMurli Menghani (@saahilmenghani) May 4, 2019
The video was shared on Twitter by Saahil Murli Menghani, anchor and senior correspondent at CNN News18. The events occurred at Chandrakona, West Midnapore.
Mamata got down from her vehicle, quite visibly displeased with the slogans, and yelled “Where are you running away? Where are you running?” The people who raised the slogan, apparently, did not expect her to and made a run for it considering the political climate of the state at the moment. They could not be seen in the video but the chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ were quite audible and it was raised by more than one person.
At the very end of the 23-second clip, she could be heard saying “Gaala-Gaali dichhey”, that is, she appears to claim that abuses were being hurled at her. From the video, its seems that people were only raising chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Thus, it begs the question, is ‘Jai Shri Ram’ an abuse according to Mamata Banerjee?
The West Bengal CM, who has been described as a ‘street fighter‘ by people like Shekhar Gupta, has been trying hard to shed her anti-Hindu image amidst rising polarization in the state. She has been chanting Mantras during rallies, made donations of Rs. 28 crores to Durga Puja committees last year and has been struggling hard to play the ‘Soft Hindutva’ card. However, she still appears to get irked when she hears the name of Shri Rama. It is unlikely to go down well with Hindus in the state.
The video aptly demonstrates the saffron surge in West Bengal. Narendra Modi’s rallies have been attracting huge crowds in the state and the Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to increase its seat tally by a significant margin. Political violence has been rampant in the state, so has been rigging. Therefore, it remains to be seen the extent to which this fervour translates into votes.