Assembly Elections in West Bengal along with Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry has been completed. The Bharatiya Janata Party did everything to win the state amidst criticism of Prime Minister Modi for conducting election rallies during pandemic in the country. Though Khela Hobe and Football is the new symbolism develop in the state. What is this symbolism?
Symbolism i.e Political symbolism is symbolism that is used to represent a political standpoint or party. West Bengal is a land of literature, poetry, graffiti and slogan even at political sphere. Political symbolism is quite common in Indian as well as international political rallies.
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Barack Obama’s ‘Yes, we can‘, religious slogan of Bharatiya Janata Party ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ are simple examples to understand the power of these slogan. These slogans later define the ideology of political leader or any party & they become memorable symbols of political victories.
Analysis of Khela Hobe
Prashant Kishor was the chief political strategists for Mamata Banerjee‘s Trinamool Congress in these assembly elections. He claimed that BJP cannot win seats more than 100 in the state. His confidence finally proved correct because BJP won only 77 seats.
Political symbolism, banners and how election should be conducted – all works are carried out under the supervision of such strategists. Khela Hobe means ‘Game On’ and it has a deep political meaning. Ruling BJP led by Modi is known for its aggressive political managements by using all available resources i.e. media [Print, Electronic and Social], social troll army, political leaders, strong cadre presence and central power.
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Trinamool Congress has to counter such aggressive attacks. ‘Khela Hobe‘ – the slogan used by Mamata Banerjee was soon become popular in entire political sphere. BJP, Congress and left parties started using Khelo Hobe in their political rallies too.
Khela Hobe and Paribortan hobe was used by Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh. ‘TMC ka khela shesh. Khel khatam, vikas shuru‘ – this is how Prime Minister Modi challenged Mamata Banerjee in a political meeting. It means Mamata’s slogan was used by her opponents and that made her opponents defensive.
Khela hobe was first used by Shamim Osman, a ruling Awami League lawmaker in Bangladesh in 2016. It was not used as slogan in his political rallies. But civil engineer-turned politician Debangshu Bhattacharya, 25, wrote the song “Khela Hobe [there will be a game]” in January this year.
Analysis of Football
West Bengal is also popular for its football. East Bengal & Mohun Bagan A.C are the renowned football clubs in the state. Mamata Banerjee in her one of the elections rallies threw football towards the public by chanting Khela hobe. This has a great symbolic importance.
At the initial stage of elections in the state, she was injured in an attack [as per media reports] by mob during her campaign at Nandigram. Her left leg, hips, arm, chest, neck and shoulder were injured in the attack. Left foot of the star player in the football match is always under attack.
Mamata’s left leg was injured. She was called Pissi in Bengal that means an aunt. In verbal jingling – Messi & Pessi has some rhyme established. Through this a new symbolism was established in West Bengal.
Football was given to the star player of Trinamool Congress with a chant khela hobe. She accepted the challenge by BJP and made the entire campaign revolved around this symbol and slogan. She fought election from Nandigram without contesting her safe seat proved her might in this Khela. Indeed she herself lost the election but won the heart of the people of West Bengal. Trinamool Congress is on its 3rd term in the state.