Ajit Anjum has been traveling around Kolkata ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal, reporting on the mood of the public. While people have largely been reluctant to reveal their voting preferences, the ‘journalist’ has well and truly persisted in his attempts to glean any information he can.
However, Ajit Anjum failed spectacularly to prevent his political preferences from colouring his coverage of the mood of the public. While reporting from Bhawanipore, he went so far as to say that Jai Siya Ram is permissible but Jai Shri Ram is objectionable.
The discussion ensued after one of the individuals being interviewed said that there has been a change in Mamata Banerjee’s demeanour and under pressure from the BJP, she has started paying attention to Hindus and Hindi speaking residents of the state.
Ajit Anjum, taking a dig at the BJP, remarked during the discussion that he believed that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ should not be said at any political rally by any political party to which the individual remarked that the other side says ‘Jai Siya Ram’ which is the same thing.
As soon as the individual said that, Anjum jumped up saying that ‘Jai Siya Ram’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are not the same. “Jai Shri Ram is a political slogan and Jai Jai Siya Ram, it is something we have heard since childhood. Mandirs never used to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, not even in Ayodhya,” Anjum barked out.
The person coolly responded, “Jai Shri Ram has been politicised, Ram is not a political figure. One party would say Jai Shri Ram, the other would say Jai Siya Ram. They have to take Ram’s name, whether alive or dead. Ram is not tied to any political party.”
The interesting thing to note here is that Ajit Anjum has no words to offer regarding the fact that Mamata Banerjee has been going around chanting Chandi Paath and Durga Paath at her own rallies. Furthermore, it is Mamata Banerjee herself who has sparked the Jai Shri Ram controversy by opposing the slogan.
Shri Ram is a revered Hindu God and none should have a problem with Jai Shri Ram slogans just as nobody has a problem with Chandi Paath and Durga Paath at election rallies. However, the ‘journalist’ does not see it that way.
The people Anjum interviewed at Bhawanipore, Mamata Banerjee’s constituency, appeared reluctant to say who they were voting for. However, they did admit, at least publicly, that they believe Mamata Banerjee will return to power on the 2nd of May. Nonetheless, that is not indicative of their voting preferences itself because their words during the interview made it evident that they were unhappy with the ruling dispensation.