The West Bengal unit of the BJP has issued a response to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Bohiragoto’ (outsider) jibe at the party. It has released a new campaign ad titled ‘Ei Banglay Bohiragoto Tara’ (‘In this Bengal, they are the outsiders’) featuring artists from the Bengali entertainment industry and students.
The ad features actress Payal Sarkar, a candidate for the party in the elections, as well and other luminaries such as Pandit Santanu Bandyopadhyay from the Bishnupur Gharana and actress Tanushree Chakraborty.
Pandit Santanu Bandyopadhyay says in the ad, “Those who have ignored Shri Ramakrishna and Maa Sarada and imparted Marx in education, those who have sidelined Vivekananda, Aurobindo and converted Ramdhenu into Rongdhenu, in this Bengal, they are the outsiders.”
“Those who have never heard Krittibas’s Sriram Panchali, those who are agitated by the chant of Jai Shri Ram, those who have forgotten whom Ramakrishna and Chaitanya adored, in this Bengal, they are the outsiders,” says Payal Sarkar.
Actress Tanushree Chakraborty says, “Those who banished Taslima (Nasreen) by passing a Fatwa, those who are the masterminds behind the Marichjhapi massacre, those who brutally burnt the Anandamargis, in this Bengal, they are the outsiders.”
The campaign ad also rakes up the issue of the persecuted Hindus in Bangladesh. Singer and Composer Raj Sarkar says in the ad, “Those who remain silent when Hindus are killed in Bangladesh, those who cheer when Hindus are disrespected, those barbarians who fed the mother the blood of her son, in this Bengal, they are the outsiders.”
The appearance of prominent artists from the Bengali entertainment industry as well as widely respected luminaries such as Pandit Santanu Bandyopadhyay in the campaign ad highlights the fact that the BJP is no longer considered an unacceptable choice in the Bengali corridors of power. The video was posted on the YouTube channel of state BJP president Dilip Ghosh on the 17th of April.