By Arun Srivastava
BJP president Amit Shah’s loyalty to his boss Narendra Modi is so passionate that for promoting his political interest he is not only determined to go against the ideological and political ethos of the Sangh and the BJP but he can resolutely contrive to obliterate the fundamentals of Bengali cultural philosophy and social tenet.
Ever since he became the president of the BJP he has been instigating his cadres in West Bengal to adopt an aggressive attitude against the political parties in the state and promoting the culture of violence. In Bengal political violence has not been a new element. But what we have been witnessing in recent months, after Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister, is something spine chilling and dreadful.
For centuries non-Bengali people have been living in Bengal. Baring a small percentage of this population primarily residing and eking out their livelihood in the industrial areas of the state, most have got assimilated with the Bengali population. They are now the part and parcel of the Bengali population. They have adopted the Bengali culture. What has been most interesting is to listen to their boast of being the representative of the Bengali identity.
But Shah is out to wreck this cultural integration which has not happened in any other state. The intensity of this cultural and social amalgamation could be gauged from the simple fact not less than 60 per cent of the Calcutta population is of non-Bengalis. What happened on Ram Navami day and also a day before is really deplorable and outrageous.
Ram Navami, a celebration marking the birth of Lord Ram, claimed a life in Bengal, for the first time in recent memory as the BJP goons were busy demonstrating their devotion to Hindu lord Sri Ram. Sheikh Shahjahan, 55, of Purulia’s Bhursa village died when he was attacked by a mob while he was relieving himself near the village pond on Sunday afternoon.
Worst has happened in the coal belt of Raniganj and Asansol. In these areas the BJP used the Hindi speaking cadres to unleash terror against the Trinmool supporters and local people as the Bengali Hindus did not join the frenzy.
Three people were killed and nearly two dozen injured in clashes during Ram Navami processions at various places in West Bengal, including Purulia, Murshidabad, West Bardhman, Asansol and Raniganj. On Tuesday, Union minister and BJP’s Asansol MP Babul Supriyo was accused of adding to the communal flare up in his Asansol constituency.
Communal clashes that erupted on Sunday continued in Asansol and Raniganj on Wednesday with fresh incidents of violence being reported from the areas. Following fresh clashes, internet services have been suspended till Friday midnight. A team of senior IPS officers and a contingent of over 100 specialised police personnel have been sent to Asansol to control the situation. The goons even cut the hand of Asansol-Durgapur Deputy Commissioner of Police Arindam Dutta Chowdhury by throwing bombs on him..
In fact Trinamool Congress successfully hijacked what was meant to be a “saffron” show. However the BJP leaders responded through defiance, brandishing weapons. The Trinmool leaders justified their raising the slogan of Jai Sri Ram as “It was necessary to counter a BJP-RSS propaganda and a conscious effort to polarise people on religious lines. If Hindus can participate in Eid celebrations, Muslims can take part in Ram Navami rallies too”.
The BJP cadres took out armed rallies and flashed revolvers and pistols. Though carrying of arms is prohibited several rallies were taken out by Sangh cadres in various parts of the state, including Birbhum, West Midnapore, Howrah and certain places in Kolkata. Former aide of Mamata and BJP leader Mukul Roy however observed “No one carries arms in rallies to indulge in fights. I think the Trinamool government is trying to create an unnecessary controversy over the Ram Navami armed rallies.”
Meanwhile West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) has taken notice of reports of minors brandishing deadly arms in Ram Navami rallies. Communal clashes continued to haunt West Bengal as members of saffron outfits clashed with the police in Murshidabad and Bardhaman West districts.
In a sudden and strange move, showing utmost alacrity the Union home ministry has sought a detail report of the clashes from the state government. The state government would send the report, this move of the Centre has however exposed the biased approach of the Home Ministry. The senior Trinamool leaders nurse the view that the BJP leadership, especially Shah was contemplating to dismiss the TMC government on the plea of its incompetence and failure to control the violence.
In its communication, the MHA has asked the West Bengal government to send a report on incidents of continuing violence and tension in some districts of the state. While MHA sought a report from the TMC government over recent reports of arson and violence during Ram Navami processions, it did not serve any notice to the Nitish Kumar government of Bihar, where similar reports have emerged. The Home Minister, strange enough, instead of any clarification or report from Nitish government, has simply been monitoring the situation in Bihar.
This duality has been exposed by none else, but the BSP chief Mayawati, “taking out illegal armed processions every now and then had become a fashion among BJP leaders. The BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is adopting double standards while dealing with Bihar and West Bengal governments, as the former is led by their own coalition and the latter by Trinamool Congress’s Mamata Banerjee.” She added, “…in a similar case in Bihar, the government there is out to save the son of a Union minister.” (IPA Service)