What does the JOY BANGLA slogan remind you of

  • Article shares the deeper meaning behind some slogans used during the West Bengal election campaign and theory that Outsiders ruling West Bengal will adversely affect Bengali culture.

During the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections Didi repeatedly used the slogan Joy Bangla (victory for Bengal). As a non-Bengali saw nothing unusual about the slogan and thought it is a regional slogan. That is till I spoke with a senior Bengali friend say Rima.


Rima said, “Joy Bangla was really the official slogan of Bangladesh struggle for freedom during the 1970s. This was coined to emphasize the   ethnic/linguistic identity as against the marauding West Pakistan army and government who wanted to suppress Bengali culture, language etc. by forcing Urdu as official language. Jai Bangla slogan symbolizes this aspect.”


“The use of this slogan suggests uncannily the same intention of highlighting Bangla as against the domination of non-Bengali culture and other forces from Delhi where BJP Rules.”


Simply put the slogan implied BJP are outsiders (from Delhi) just like the Pakistan Army was in East Bengal who wish to impose their language (Hindi) on the Bengalis and thereby suppress Bengali language, culture. The word used by Didi to describe the BJP is “Bohiragoto”. According to a tweet by political commentator Sandip Ghosh ‘Bohir means outside, agoto meaning coming from.’  


Rima adds, “The narrative of outsiders being continuously repeated bring out this covert intention. The continuous refrain is we will not allow occupation of our land by outsiders and infringe on our language and culture. This is clearly similar to what happened in Bangladesh that is why the slogan Jai Sri Ram causes anger and disruption of political activity” even though Sri Ram is worshipped in West Bengal according to this article by Monidipa Bose.  


Insulting words are used against BJP leaders during the campaign, they are called a liar, a demon and a person who wants sell off India etc. “The underlying aspect is to highlight that BJP is trying to occupy and subjugate Bangla like the West Pakistanis did to East Pakistanis”. 


What the TMC is missing out that Kolkata is a cosmopolitan city. By virtue of being the capital of British India at some point, it attracted people from all over India. Rima says, “The Lake Market area is mostly inhabited by South Indians. Bhabanipur is known for its Gujarati and Punjabi Sikh population. Chinatown is where mostly Chinese live. Jews, Armenians and Anglo-Indians live in Kolkata too.” Not to forget the Marwaris. 


A resident Indian but non-resident Bengali says these communities have become more Bengali than him. They have become Bengali as the state’s culture and language has grown on and become an intrinsic part of them. 


Bengali culture has survived Muslim and British rule. Is it so weak that it will die if West Bengal is not ruled by a Jyoti Basu or Didi? To put it bluntly, has BJP rule in Delhi killed the culture of any Indian state? Further culture can survive when there is economic well-being (see link 3 at end of article).


In this election campaign communities living for generations have become outsiders in West Bengal. This could adversely affect social stability in the city. According to this ANI report of March 29 “Didi alleges Bengalis would be driven out of Bengal if BJP wins.” Such statements could polarize locals against the rest. 


Conversely, TMC has not made statements of their being outsiders against illegal Rohingya immigrants who have settled in New Town area or against the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Perhaps, because they are Bengali.


Over the years illegal infiltration from Bangladesh has made three districts namely Malda, Murshidabad and West Dinajpur Muslim majority. Not a word about these outsiders. More about this later.


During the fight for liberation of Bangladesh the local police fought with the Pakistani Army. Similarly incidents are seen today even though to a lesser extent for e.g. when senior police officer Rajiv Kumar sought to be apprehended for his alleged role in the Sarada chit fund case, he went absconding-the police cordoned off his residence and so on. It created a constitutional crisis. Fortunately courts intervened.


So also the West Bengal government refuses to implement Central Schemes like PM Kisaan and Ayushan Bharat Yojna. Reason one was to deny credit to the Central government. “The covert intention is to dissociate Bengal from India and create a new state where she can independently rule without challenge.” 

All these go together to give the impression that the ruling dispensation is intent on some kind of a state with little control from the Centre and where the plan to make West Bengal (part or full) a Muslim majority region can go on unhindered. If this happens then parts of West Bengal might become a part of Greater Bangladesh.


People outside West Bengal esp. those who are born post 1975 might not be aware that some of the elections slogan are related to Bangladesh Liberation Movement hence this article.


Excerpts from my essay on Bangladeshi Infiltration into West Bengal


“The politician who started it was Congress leader and former Union Minister ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury, who was king of Malda for over three decades till his death in 2006. No one could ever defeat him in any election, and to be fair, he worked wonders for his constituency and was loved by all. CPI (M) took the cue from him and continued his strategy in other border areas.


Table 1 West Bengal % of population Indian Religions vs Muslims







Indian Religions













We can see that the percentage of Muslims in West Bengal has steadily grown from 20.4% in 1971 to 27.01%.  


Table 2Percentage of Muslim Population in border districts                              





24 Parganas

West Dinajpur
































Note that 24 Parganas was divided into North and South 24-Parganas hence figures not comparable." 


If there were no Bangladeshis in West Bengal why would the Trinamul Congress engage Bangladeshi actor Ferdous to campaign for its Lok Sabha candidate from Raiganj in North Dinajpur district in April 2019. Source

Let us now move to Bangladesh. The population followers of Indian religions has continuously fallen. It was 23% in 1951, 14% in 1974, 11% in 1991, 10% in 2001 and 9.3% in 2011. Due to continued discrimination and harassment, very large numbers of Bengali Hindus and Buddhist Chakmas have fled to India.


These West Bengal Assembly Elections are thus of great importance to India. There is a national security angle. Another reason being that Bengal, which had produced many great leaders in the 18-19th centuries whose thoughts continue to inspire and guide all of India today, has stopped producing them.


Also read

1. All you wanted to know about Bangladeshi Infiltration into West Bengal 

2. Why has West Bengal stopped producing great leaders?

3Hear a well-researched and unbiased video by Mohak Mangal (Soch) on reasons for downfall of West Bengal

4. History of Joy Bangla slogan 

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