: In West Bengal, banners displaying an image of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and his earlier statement on chants of 'Jai Shri Ram', seen in Kolkata.
On July 5 Amartya Sen had said, "I haven't heard Jai Shri Ram earlier. It is now used to beat up people. I think it is has no association with Bengali culture. Nowadays, Ram Navami is celebrated more in Kolkata which I haven't heard earlier."
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said the slogan, "Jai Shri Ram", is being used "to beat up people" across the country. "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 Amartya Sen at a public event.
Sen said he has never heard of Ram Navami being celebrated in West Bengal before, adding it has now gained popularity. "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 said.
His comments came days after a clash broke out between two groups over parking space and a temple was vandalised in Old Delhi.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh criticised Sen for this comments. "Amartya Sen probably doesn't know Bengal. Does he know about Bengali or Indian culture? Jai Shri Ram is chanted in very village. Now entire Bengal says it."