Sadly, in the last four decades, there has been a continued and concerted effort to turn the land of renaissance into a graveyard of nationalist ideals.
The brutal and audacious attack on senior BJP leaders, including BJP president J.P. Nadda, party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and other senior functionaries, by the Trinamool Congress cadre betrays the intolerance of the political dispensations that is ruling Bengal. This has been the hallmark of Bengal politics ever since Independence. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool has inherited this bloodstained legacy from the CPM-led Left Front government. Scores of activists belonging to rival political parties were either maimed or murdered by the CPM cadre. Even lawmakers belonging to rival political parties were not spared. Even as they projected themselves as the champions of democracy and free speech, in Bengal they were reaping the harvest of violence.
The Marxist Chief Minister, Jyoti Basu, had a Stalinist streak in him. His government gave orders to open fire on Bangladeshi Dalit refugees, called Namasudras, who had made their home at Marichjhanpi in the Sunderbans, on Saraswati Puja day in 1979. The Basu government unleashed a brutal crackdown on Anand Margis, a Hindu cult. Several members of the cult were killed in cold blood.
THRIVING CULT OF VIOLENCE
The year 2011 has profound significance in the history of Bharat, as it saw the transfer of power from the Left fascists to an anarchist party in Bengal. After 34 years of Left Front rule, marked by violence, bloodshed, interminable illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and scientific poll rigging, the Trinamool Congress captured power, upstaging its predecessors in their own game. Criminal gangs who carried out nefarious activities on behalf of the CPM, the lead partner of the Left coalition, changed their loyalties overnight. And through these hoodlums, the Trinamool Congress perpetuated a state of anarchy and hopelessness. And now it has transformed political violence into the fine art of clinging to power. Democratic opposition was never tolerated by the ruling party. It’s unfortunate that Bengal, once the fountainhead of Indian renaissance and which excelled in all aspects of national life, from nationalism to spirituality, from art to science, is in such a pathetic state of deprivation. Gopal Krishna Gokhale had once said: “What Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow.” Bengal gave our nation the most powerful vision of Vande Mataram, about which Sri Aurobindo wrote: “The supreme service of Bankim (Chandra Chatterji) to his nation was that he gave us the vision of our Mother… It is not till the Motherland reveals herself to the eye of the mind as something more than a stretch of earth or a mass of individuals, it is not till she takes shape as a great Divine and Maternal Power in a form of beauty that can dominate the mind and seize the heart that…the patriotism that works miracles and saves a doomed nation is born…” Sadly, in the last four decades, there has been a continued and concerted effort to turn the land of renaissance into a graveyard of nationalist ideals.
Exploring the issue, one may easily conclude that it was the Communists who injected the culture of violence into the body polity and allowed it to trickle down when they were calling the shots for more than three decades. Violence is inbuilt in the ideological architecture of Communism. Left politics always revolved around exploiting fears, insecurities and hatreds of the common people for grabbing power. Apart from mainstream Communist parties, Maoist-Naxalite houtfits also continued to use violence in a big way as a tool of political activity. Government data show that the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency that began in the 1980s has claimed more than 13,000 lives so far. Reliable accounts suggest that more than 40,000 of hapless Hindu refugees from Bangladesh were massacred in cold blood in the Left Front government-engineered pogrom in Marichjhapi on 31 January 1979. The “genocide” was so dexterously executed that the perpetrators did not leave any trace of the massacre.
One of the macabre crimes of the Left that would put even the cruellest Islamic State jihadis to shame was the incident in which Communist goons force-fed an old woman food laced with the blood of her son brutally murdered by them.
According to an article in the Left-leaning Mainstream published in 2010, between 1977 and 2009, when the CPM-led Left Front coalition was in power, the Communists committed over 55,000 political murders. They used innovative methods to kill and dispose of dead bodies. (The current Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan is alleged to be such an admirer of the Bengali-Communist method of execution that he asked Kerala CPM cadres to learn from their Bengali counterparts.)
In Bengal, the present law and order breakdown of the state is a collective responsibility of both the CPM and the Trinamool Congress: if the former sowed the seeds of political violence, the latter is reaping the harvest. In the last two years, more than 90 RSS-BJP workers have been killed in the state. On 8 June, four workers of the BJP were shot dead by members of the Trinamool Congress in Basirhat’s Sandeshkhali. Their crime: they chanted Jai Sri Ram. The BJP’s victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has unnerved the Trinamool Congress cadre who unleashed violence in North 24 Parganas, Coochbehar, Howrah and West Burdwan, resulting in many deaths and injuries. Media reports suggest that most of the violent incidents had taken in Bangladeshi Muslim-infested areas of the state. Since 2011, 380 Hindu temples have been reportedly vandalized and 2,134 confirmed rapes by Bangladeshis have taken place. Several border villages have witnessed Kashmir-like ethnic cleansing of Hindus; yet such incidents failed to find space in the columns of the left-liberal media. The media outlets that mustered some courage to show the atrocities on Hindus by TMC’s radicalised Bangladeshi Muslim cadre, were slapped with cases by the Mamata government.
Islamisation of Bengal
“I appease Muslims…. Will do it a hundred times as there is no harm in being kicked by a cow that gives you milk.”
This was the response of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee when she was asked about allegations of Muslim appeasement. Before Trinamool came to power, CPM used to tap into the electoral catchment area of Bangladeshi illegal infiltrators. With general voter disenchantment, the rise of BJP and shifting of Muslim vote base in favour of Trinamool, CPM has become electorally insignificant. Mamata is bending over backwards to appease Muslims, who account for more than 30% of the total population of the state. Many political observers say that the state is heading for a “demographic catastrophe”, thanks to unbridled illegal infiltration and non-existence of family planning among Muslims. According to 2011 Census, Murshidabad (64%) and Malda (52%) have already become Muslim-majority districts. Besides, Uttar Dinajpur, North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Hooghly, Howrah and Birbhum have a high Muslim presence. In more than 100 seats Muslim votes will decide who will be the winner in the elections.
A close study of the 2011 Census shows an exponential growth in Muslim population of Bangladeshi origin over the last census in several Bengal districts. Some estimates show that more than 5 crore illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators have made India their home. Some observers view this issue through a humanitarian prism. However, there is more to it than meets the eye. The article, “Greater Islamic Bangladesh: A Serious Threat to Indian Integrity, Sovereignty and Hindu Majority” by US-based jihadi watcher Pamela Geller states: “The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has smelled a deeper conspiracy of the establishment of a Greater Islamic Bangladesh hatched by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) of Bangladesh with other terror modules engaged in the Burdwan blasts. The revelation through recovered documents by the NIA suggest that a bigger conspiracy was being materialised in different parts of Burdwan, Murshidabad, Birbhum, Nadia, Jalpaiguri and in different madrassas stretched out in the border areas of West Bengal.” In the proposed Greater Islamic Bangladesh, jihadis plan to re-establish the erstwhile princely state of Nawab of Bengal Sirajud-Daulah (1733-1757), spanning Bangladesh, Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and parts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha.
To appease the Islamic radicals, the Mamata government imposed restrictions in some areas where Muslims have considerable presence. To “secularise” the language, the government removed all words which have a semblance of Hindu influence from textbooks. The West Bengal Council for Higher Education has replaced the Bengali word for rainbow, Ramdhanu (Ram’s bow) with rongdhanu (bow of colours). Mamata has taken a cue from Islamists in Bangladesh who junked many Bengali words to erase all traces of Hindu influence. According to Bengali scholars, there is no word called rongdhanu in Bengali lexicon. In the chapter titled Barnali in the textbook for Class VII, Environment and Science, it is mentioned that a rongdhanu has aasmani—the Urdu word for sky blue that is widely used in Bangladesh—as one of its colours. The state education department has done away with the Bengali equivalent akaashi.
KALIACHAK COMMUNAL RIOT
The communal riots that took place in January 2016 at Kaliachak, a town close to the Bangladesh border, should serve as an eye-opener for all. The national and Bengali language media have largely turned a blind eye to the issue, notwithstanding the fact that it had huge consequences on national security. Out of the 4 lakh population of Kaliachak in Malda district, Hindus number fewer than 50,000. There seems to be a sinister design behind choosing Kaliachak—for, there aren’t many towns in the district with this much Hindu presence. Media reports suggested that more than two weeks’ preparation had gone into the planning and execution of the riot. WhatsApp and social media messages were given to Muslims in nearby towns and district to assemble at Kaliachak Taxi Stand to stage a protest demonstration against Hindu Samaj Party chief Kamlesh Tiwari’s alleged derogatory remark on Prophet Muhammad. The government did not take any preventive action to stop any untoward incidents in this sensitive town. Instigated by provocative speeches, Muslims targeted the police who fled the spot. They burnt down the local police station and documents pertaining to several sensitive cases were lost. They set on fire a Border Security Force vehicle. They selectively attacked Hindu shops, business establishments and houses. Hindu men were brutalised and women were molested. Finally, several battalions of the Reserve Armed Force were called to control the violent mob of about 2 lakh people. Despite all these violent incidents, the state government continues to be in a denial mode, and the police arrested a mere nine persons.
THE WAY FORWARD
The only remedy to the ongoing anarchy and the deterioration of law and order in Bengal is to reinstate democracy and the supremacy of the Constitution. It should get rid of the politics of appeasement and embrace politics of development. For that, Bengal has to go back to its cultural roots and reclaim the values of Hindu renaissance spearheaded by Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Rabindranath Tagore, etc. Only a government with a national perspective can undertake this historic task.
J. Nandakumar is an RSS ideologue and All India Convenor of Prajna Pravah.