Jai Shri Ram now used to beat people up, has no relevance in Bengali culture, says Amartya Sen in address at Jadavpur University

Kolkata: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Friday said that Jai Shri Ram slogan is nowadays used "to beat up people" across the country and has no association with Bengali culture.

"I have not heard Jai Shri Ram, before (in this way). It is now used to beat up people. I think it has no association with Bengali culture," said Sen, while speaking at a public gathering in Jadavpur University.

He also said that he has never heard of Ram Navami being celebrated in the state before, adding that it has now gained popularity.

 Jai Shri Ram now used to beat people up, has no relevance in Bengali culture, says Amartya Sen in address at Jadavpur University

File image of Amartya Sen. AFP

"I had never heard of Ram Navami before. I asked my four-year-old grandchild who is your favourite deity? She replied, Maa Durga. The significance of Maa Durga cannot be compared with Ram Navami," said Sen.

"If people of a certain religion are scared to move freely or are fear-bound, it is a serious matter," he added.

Speaking on poverty, Sen said only rising income level of the poor people would not reduce their plight.

"Poverty can be reduced by basic healthcare, proper education and social security," he added.

His comments came in the backdrop of a section of people in several parts of the country heckling others to chant Jai Sri Ram and beating them up if they refuse to do so.

The latest of such incident was reported in Hauz Qazi area of Delhi, where a clash broke out between two groups over the issue of parking, and a Durga temple was vandalised.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had reacted sharply to Jai Shri Ram slogans at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas district in May. Workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP have sparred over the chanting of Jai Sri Ram over the past few months.

Updated Date: Jul 06, 2019 09:06:04 IST