Slogan war erupts in Bengal as election fever soars

April 8th, 2009 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, April 8 (IANS) Some are saucy, some cheesy and some spirited. Slogans galore are being churned out by political parties in West Bengal in the hope of catching the voter’s imagination ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

“Hate boma, mukhe prem, Eer nam CPI-M (Bomb in hand, love on lips, this is the CPI-M),” says one by the Trinamool Congress.

The CPI-M or Communist Party of India-Marxist has one to counter that: “Unnoyonke bhot din/Abarodh aar nairajyake noy/bechhe nin, kara mitra, kara shatru”. (Vote for development, not for blockades and anarchy, choose who is your friend and enemy).

A full-scale slogan war is on as election fever soars. Parties are either blowing their own trumpet or poking fun at rival outfits through catchy slogans.

In this politically volatile state, slogans harp on anything from the India-US civil nuclear deal, secularism and the Third Front to local issues like land acquisition and industrialisation.

The CPI-M is focusing on four national level issues.

“We will focus on an independent foreign policy, unity and integrity of the country, pro-people economic policy and reduction in social inequality. Our slogans will be based on these issues,” Mohammed Salim, who was deputy leader of the CPI-M in the 14th Lok Sabha and is contesting from Kolkata North, told IANS.

Other national issues like peace and the fight against terrorism will also occupy centrestage.

One slogan says: “Americar hath I ekhon Congress er hat. Ei ‘hat’ e vote noy, hater ghashful e vote noy (America’s hand is now Congress’ hand. Don’t vote for this symbol, don’t vote for its ally Trinamool either).”

Another slogan says: “Deshe chai swanirbhar, janamukhi dharmanirapeksha sarkar, ejonne chai kendre Third Front (We need a self-sufficient, secular government at the centre, for which we need the Third Front)”.

One CPI-M slogan tries to show Trinamool as opportunistic by presenting its alliances with various parties over the years. It says, “Trinamool er jot rongo (Trinamool’s comic alliances): 1998 - Trinamool + BJP; 2001 - Trinamool + Congress; 2004 - Trinamool + Congress; 2006 - Trinamool + BJP; 2009 - Trinamool + Congress.”

The Trinamool Congress, which has been at the forefront of the anti-land acquisition drive in the state, has made “Ma, mati, manusher lorai” (fight for mother, land and common people) its poll agenda.

The party, which is fighting the election in alliance with the Congress, has come out with slogans like “Sokoler pete bhat chai, sakaler jonyo kaj chai (Food for all, work for all)”, and “Krishi, shilpo dui chai (We want both agriculture and industrialisation).”

Another Trinamool slogan, which is seen daily through television advertisements with party chief Mamata Banerjee’s voice in the background, runs like this: “Din badaler pala ebar, pala badaler din, tai to boli jot bendhe joraphul-ke bhot din (It’s the chance to change your present, It’s the time to change the regime, join hands to vote for twin flowers).” The ‘twin flowers’ are the poll symbol of the Trinamool.

The Congress is also framing poll slogans on similar lines. “Our main agenda is national security, communal amity and development,” Pradip Bhattacharya, the state working president of the Congress, told IANS.

Souvik Mishra, executive creative director, BATE Advertising, told IANS: “Political parties always try to make these slogans easy to recall, that’s why they always make rhymes, so that people can remember them without much difficulty.”

He said quite a large number of these were good and catchy. However, the trend of hiring big advertising agencies to frame these catchy lines has not yet caught on in Kolkata unlike in Mumbai or Delhi. So it’s mostly party workers who come up with the slogans.

(Aparajita Gupta can be contacted at

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