‘Bengal wants its own daughter’ is Trinamool’s election slogan; BJP calls it an extended form of regionalism

Published : February 20, 2021 22:03 IST

Trinamool launches its new election slogan 'Bengal wants its own daughter', on February 20

‘Bengal wants its own daughter’ (‘Bangla Nijer Meye ke Chai’) is the slogan of the ruling Trinamool Congress for the upcoming Assembly election in West Bengal. The slogan, which was officially announced on February 20, projects Chief Minister Mamata as the only choice of the people in the electoral battle. Officially announcing the slogan, the ruling party said in a press release, “The slogan revolves around the sentiment that echoes across the State for the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, who is the daughter of Bengal and understands Bengal and its sentiments.”

Trinamool’s plan is to take the new slogan to every “nook and corner” of the State. “Further, campaign launch events will be organised at all district headquarters on 21st February 2021, followed by unveiling events at every Block headquarters and town headquarters to spread the unprecedented development work that Bengal has seen in the last 10 years,” the press release stated. Subrata Bakshi, State president of the Trinamool, who was among the top leaders present at the launch of the new slogan said, “This is not a tough fight but this is an election the whole country is looking at. This election will decide the fate of the Constitution of India.”

‘Bengal wants its own daughter’ is a loaded slogan as it serves to drive home the main thrust of Trinamool’s campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — that the latter is a party of ‘outsiders’ and is unacquainted with the Bengali culture and tradition. Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior central leaders of the BJP quote the words of Rabindranath Tagore and constantly refer to cultural icons and historical figures from Bengal, the party’s dependence on its central leaders in leading the election campaign, has given the Trinamool the scope to label it as a party of ‘Bahiragatas’ (outsiders). Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, who was present at the event to launch the new slogan, said, “Every person of Bengal trusts her daughter. Under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee Bengal’s culture has been protected. She will not allow misogynistic Borgis (a reference to the central BJP leaders overseeing the party’s election preparations in Bengal) attack the culture of Bengal.”

Another persistent allegation leveled against the BJP by the Trinamool has been crimes committed on women in BJP-ruled States, and the new slogan also highlights women’s empowerment through the figure of Mamata Banerjee. Introducing the slogan at Nagrakata in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, Mamata’s nephew and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee said, “One must not forget that she [Mamata] is the only woman Chief Minister in the country who is being targeted by the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, several Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers of several States. They are all saying that Mamata Banerjee must be removed from Bengal…. Those who insult Ma Durga, those who insult women, those who rule States like Uttar Pradesh where atrocities like the Hathras rape took place — do you want them in Bengal?”

The BJP sees Trinamool’s slogan as an extended form of regionalism and an attempt to divide the society in Bengal on ethnic lines. According to party vice president Joyprakash Majumdar, what the people of Bengal want most is “peace, prosperity and respite from pressures created by the ruling party”. “Bengalis know what they want. Trinamool does not even have the courage to say that Bengal wants Trinamool, and so they are taking recourse to projecting an individual. But in a democracy, it is the party that should take precedence over individuality; otherwise dynastic politics takes hold — Mamata and then her nephew. The BJP politics is not based on an individual, but on polity, development and building a future,” said Joyprakash Majumdar.