West Bengal political violence and overwhelming instances of politisation of the entire police machinaries in the state is slowly drifting towards a war which no one probably wanted and – no one can win it in the ultimate.
The Mamata regime is again under fire. This time for helping a Trinamool leader Mohammad Sohrab’s son “escape” – after he was allegedly involved in a hit and run case that left an Air Force personnel dead. The BJP took the battle to the President as also on January 16, 2016, actress Rupa Ganguly – women wing chief of BJP Bengal – led party protestors in a street-side demonstration in front of Lal Bazar.
Police deny there’s any cover up efforts. “We are not concerned about how many people were inside the car. Right now, our main target is to nab all the three accused (Ambia Sohrab, Sambia Sohrab and Sonu). We’ll only be able to throw more light in the case once we have them in our custody,” a police officer said.
Rupa Ganguly of Draupadi fame in TV serial acidly also made a veiled attack on the Left parties on the site of protest when she said CPI(M) was “number 1” – to be blamed for the deteriorating law and order situations and “police inactions” in Bengal. “Trinamool Congress is something much bigger and even above that number one,” she said.
I have maintained at times in these blogs and elsewhere that the illustrious Bertrand Russel is out of fashion these days. Some decades back he had put it quite graciously: “Indian democracy was intended to serve as an example of the possibility of economic emancipation without the sacrifice of democratic forms”.
Well, West Bengal is a test case of utter FAILURE of this definition!
In 2011, Mamata Banerjee ousted the Leftists ending their 34-year-old monopoly on Bengal politics but with often harmful and yet contagious and menacing influence on Bengali mind. So much was Bengal pushed to an ideological bankruptcy that it did not mind embracing someone called Mamata Banerjee – a product of Congress backyards – as the alternative and perhaps their savior. Nothing changed on ground. Nothing could have changed. It has turned worse, according to many.
I know of Trinamool Congress law-makers, who say privately, “I will win no doubt…that’s my good luck. But that is also the ill-luck of Bengal”. “…..eitai Bangla-r dur bhagya,” he had said precisely and did not lament – I suppose.
Let us come back to blankness of Bengali mind however punctuating with my confession on own onetime favorite liner during younger days in St Anthony’s High School – “ami monei praney communist (I am communist by heart)”.
Since World War II – that is 1940s- the world had understood that Marxism as an analytical guide to politics is OBSOLETE. But thanks to propaganda machines and ‘frog-in-the-pond’ and ‘know-all’ virtues of Bengalis and not forgetting equally amiable Mallus – Marxism survived and thrived in parts of India.
Thankfully it got carried over to my in-law’s land: Tripura too! And I assure you there are lot many ‘smart frogs’ in that world. Sadly, the political culture of the Congress and the socialists – Janata parivar – in national spectrum moved into Leftist trappings. Harkishan Singh Surjeets could decide India is ‘safe’ under H D Deve Gowda.
Therefore the moral of the story is Triumph over Communism in 2011 while was Mamata’s ‘Her-story’, it did not mean a paradigm shift of Bengal politics and administration. Like all greatness about Bengalis, Bengal and Maxism under that illustrious Bhadralok Jyoti Basu – who easily threw up adjectives like ‘barbarous’ on BJP – Trinamool dispensation under Didi also bequeathed a series of conflicts for the people.
The indifference to ‘religious doctrines’ evaporated the faith and fear of value system and the lack of it. This opened room for goondaism in gully politics, Puja pandals and in rural Bengal.
It also heralded appeasement of a community calling themselves ‘minority’ and yet their struggle towards a better life never found emancipation in the administrative rule book of Jyotism and later under Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
There was innate parochialism . This meant only Bengalis could criticise Bengal. L K Advani as India’s Home Minister could not nor could Khushwant Singh – if he happened to make some remarks on Rabindranath Tagore’s skills on writing fictions.
When the plot changed after 2011 – the scenario suited Mamata Banerjee. She displayed Bengali culture when she sold paintings for huge amount, she displayed courtesy of ‘Sonar Bangla’ when she said her police force could tie Narendra Modi in a rope on his waist. She threw names like ‘Haridas Pal’ on politicians of other hues. Bengal was rising?
With the death of Lenin, his followers almost gave up the slogan: ‘the workers have no fatherland’. Mamata redefined that with her ideology and in the context of motherland India. Thus she finds logic when natives of Malda can have “conflicts” with Border Security Force.
From Burdwan district to Malda, border areas became hyper sensitive.
Have not we heard such statements from insurgency-hit northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir? So what was really happening around Malda? Fake currency, opium cultivation. Is Mother Saradha above having her share of smiles?
TMC leader's son Ambia Sohrab (Facebook)
I compliment Kerala for not discovering their version of Didi. Mamata Banerjee has contemporaries in Kerala politics like soft-spoken K V Thomas. Both came to Lok Sabha first in 1984 – 8th Lok Sabha.
Prof Thomas, a committed Congress politician, often shares jokes with us on the intellectual demise of Marxism. But he says rightly, this does not entail the end of communism. Sadly even if it does – Bengal has produced its illustrious Didi – who will ensure that ‘the communist directive for political action’ as was enunciated by famous Jyoti Basu will continue to orient the political passion of the masses.
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