Malda flare-up: Why the BJP is making such an issue of it

Geographically, this is an area where the BJP and RSS do have pockets of influence.

Written by Subrata Nagchoudhury | Updated: January 12, 2016 4:55 am
The BJP delegation, with three party MPs and several state leaders on their arrival in Malda district of West Bengal on Monday to visit violence-hit Kailachak police station. (Source: PTI Photo) The BJP delegation, with three party MPs and several state leaders on their arrival in Malda district of West Bengal on Monday to visit violence-hit Kailachak police station. (Source: PTI Photo)

The BJP delegation, with three party MPs and several state leaders, visiting Kaliachawk in Malda district of West Bengal on Monday were bundled off by the Mamata Banerjee administration within a few hours of their arrival there. The team was confined to the railway station waiting room and not allowed to even move to the circuit house they had booked. Finally, they were made to board the next train to Kolkata after a meeting with district officials.

Read | Malda violence: BJP fact finding team turned back, move triggers verbal duel 

This was the BJP party’s second foray into a troubled territory, the first undertaken by the party’s sole MLA in Bengal – Shamik Bhattacharya – on January 6 which had met with the same fate.

The BJP delegation had two destinations in mind: one was Kaliachawk and the other, the TV screens and news pages of the national and regional media. While they failed to achieve the first, the team was more than compensated by the second, hogging media attention all day on Monday.

A major incidence of violence that assumed communal overtones in Kaliachawk in Malda naturally captured the attention of the ruling as well as the opposition parties in an election bound state. The BJP thrives in an environment of polarisation and the delegation’s Malda visit was to deliver a message to the Hindu community in Malda and the adjoining districts like Dakshin Dinajpur and Murshidabad.

Geographically, this is an area where the BJP and RSS do have pockets of influence. Leaders like Tapan Sikdar – once the BJP’s West Bengal state president and the union minister in the Vajpayee government– hailed from this district. Successive election results have also shown that the saffron brigade had more committed voters here than elsewhere in the state. This largely explains the BJP’s abiding interest in the region and the Bengal chief minister’s unspoken resolve to insulate it from the party.

In the past couple of days Mamata’s administration has been able to defuse another similar Muslim protest being organized in Chanchol, Malda district. She asserted her power and position to see that the political adversaries did not fish in trouble waters. The Bengal CM downplayed the communal angle saying that the violence had much to do with the animosity between the local people and the BSF.

Such an explanation is entirely plausible: Kalicahawk is often called the capital of India’s fake currency business. It is also an area with high criminal activity involving trans-border syndicates. The sequence of events on January 3 did show that one of the early targets of the belligerent mob was BSF vehicles. A large number of shops and establishments owned by Hindus were attacked later. It was learnt that members of the fake currency rackets and smuggling syndicates in Kaliachawk did use the opportunity of a religious protest to settle their scores.

This is where the Mamata Banerjee government can be found wanting as most of the 11 arrests made so far for the violence are said to be fringe characters and not the real culprits. The revelations so far indicate that the protest rally was not organized with the backing of any particular political party but had a mix of all – the CPM, the TMC and the Congress local grassroots level worker-leaders.

So, a serious clamp down on the real culprits would help her. Also, she has to restore the confidence of the panicked and shaken Hindu community in the area as quickly as possible.

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  1. J
    Jai Kumar
    Jan 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm
    May I ask how many people died in Malda and how many were killed in Beef eating violence. How many intellectuals termed Inda intolerant enHow many politicians went to UN. Any film actor wants to add something. My father used to say beat a bull as much as you want but do not touch a cow. It appears Muslims are ironically enough the Holy cow of politics. In a lighter note they could be clified as untouchables.
    Reply
    1. S
      Sirius
      Jan 11, 2016 at 6:13 pm
      Very poorly written article. No journalistic ethics followed ...
      Reply
      1. H
        Hhh
        Jan 11, 2016 at 11:51 pm
        Bengali terrorist camps must be neutralized.
        Reply
        1. I
          IslamForFoools
          Jan 13, 2016 at 3:37 pm
          Authors like these should b finished Isis style, they have no right to liv among humans. They survive on Hindu genocide in the hands of Muslims. Kil them wherever u find them
          Reply
          1. K
            Kashif
            Jan 15, 2016 at 4:09 am
            I've read article I've read comments below Now i know that everyone in this section is either Hindu or Muslim No one dare to say he is an INDIAN shame on all of you
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Jan 11, 2016 at 7:12 pm
              By all indications TMC has adopted Congress style of politics. Encourage a problem which is in its favor then muddy the water to a unrecogniseabkenstaye and then jump in with a priest-formula (or peace formula) blaming the Hindu communalism for the trouble. This is what is going to happen here and this is where Mamata's "skill" lies!
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Jan 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm
                Great possibility for stan now to clean its backyard and declare its land safer than India's. May be that is what will happen in few years time when stan will ask for help from international community to "fight terrorism" coming out of India and double its "income" on "legitimate" ground! Mamata indeed is a great opportunity!
                Reply
                1. M
                  MyTake
                  Jan 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm
                  If this "test" is successful, Didi probably is counting on making "good use" of this field tested "muscle power" in next election. Don't get surprised if similar other groups pop up in near future - it is didi's investment In her modern day "Bengali political capital" path of which was shown initially by the Commies!
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    MyTake
                    Jan 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm
                    In fact same BJP officials would have found it easier to visit stan or Bangladesh instead of Malda. So much for great Indian democracy where real problems are encouraged to be hidden or denied.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      MyTake
                      Jan 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm
                      After Pandit refugees from the valley next in line are Bengali refugees! Get ready India - didi will fulfill your wishes of embracing the death bed! Didi is great! Her higher qualification in Islamic history not to go in vain!
                      Reply
                      1. P
                        Preeti
                        Jan 11, 2016 at 11:13 pm
                        dont you see the problem with the fact that these people were not allowed to visit the place they intended to. Let us reverse the w scenario if it was a mob of Hindus who had burnt public property and the other parties were stopped to visit the site suddenly it would have been a case of BJP trying to shield the culprits ....do you guys see the flaws in your own argument, or you think the General public is ic to not see through your bias. The most unfortunate part of these incidents is the way Media takes sides rather than unbiased honest reporting!
                        Reply
                        1. U
                          US NRI
                          Jan 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm
                          because media like you are not giving truth. Indian English media is biased and prefers some political leaders and are opposed to certain parties. BJP is questioning double standards by media coverage and award returnees.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            alok gupta
                            Jan 11, 2016 at 8:54 pm
                            Oh look Bhakt central. A piece of real journalism got your RSS chaddis twisted? :D
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Anand Sudan
                              Jan 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm
                              When Hindus are attacked, no media , no so called secular parties will come in for their support. What a pity.This article is an example for the media's turn back to the Hindus' when they are being tortured.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Anand Sudan
                                Jan 11, 2016 at 6:10 pm
                                When the Hindus are on the receiving end, then too the media will blame the RSS and BJP! This article is an ample example for it
                                Reply
                                1. A
                                  ani
                                  Jan 11, 2016 at 7:02 pm
                                  How far up your did you shove your head to write this article?
                                  Reply
                                  1. A
                                    AruFist
                                    Jan 12, 2016 at 7:08 am
                                    Ya why are making a big deal, its Muslims on a rampage killing and destroying national property. If a Hindu involved its communal, otherwise its a secular event. Let's not look at it they were having fun so asking questions is a communal thing somehow
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      Arun
                                      Jan 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm
                                      This is how Bengalis left Bangladesh with no honor.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Ashish Jha
                                        Jan 12, 2016 at 10:08 am
                                        this is another example of media's hypocrisy. it is an issue, with a particular community involved you turn away your eyes. its clearly evident that this violence was committed by a particular community. hence even a illiterate person can conclude that its an issue of communal violence. but you soulless (irrational, unreasonable) media people couldn't see it.
                                        Reply
                                        1. B
                                          bharat
                                          Jan 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm
                                          It is important to expose the sickulars and the hypocracy! the way intolerant gang is quite and no headlines in the leading daily's/tv bares all of them naked.
                                          Reply
                                          1. D
                                            Dhurandar Bhatawdekar
                                            Jan 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm
                                            an FIR will be filed for this screen name for inciting communal disharmony
                                            Reply
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