Updated: May 11, 2021 8:38:53 am
On May 7, the people of West Bengal marked Tagore Jayanti, an occasion to recall the great thoughts of the man who said, “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.” Unfortunately, in today’s West Bengal, the minds of the people are not free and our heads hang in shame at the situation, which is a textbook case of what fascism looks like. A sitting Union minister was attacked by goons associated with the ruling party. This was not an isolated phenomenon. Across the state, violence continues unchecked.
Victory, it is said, brings humility. Shri Ramakrishna taught us all: A tree laden with fruits will bend more. The West Bengal elections have concluded and the results are for everyone to see. The people of the state have given a clear mandate to the TMC to govern and not unleash terror across the state. There is a lot that has to be done on the governance front — Covid has to be brought under control. But TMC cadres, supported by their top leadership, are doing everything possible to destroy the culture of democracy in the state. So busy was the West Bengal Chief Minister in her rallies that she did not find it prudent to attend the recent Covid meetings called by the Prime Minister.
After the results were declared on May 2, TMC cadres got clear instructions to intimidate the political opposition in the state. They went about their work with clinical precision. Dozens of our party workers have been killed, thousands forced to flee their homes. Nobody has been spared — women, children, farmers, poor or the young. TMC has violated every tenet of our Constitution. So ungrateful are the TMC cadres that they have attacked the remaining few offices of the Left and Congress in the state. This, when both parties did everything possible to embolden TMC to defeat BJP, even if it meant their own tally drops to zero.
The people of Nandigram gave TMC and their leaders so much affection. Had it not been for the movement in Nandigram, TMC would never have won in 2011. Today, because Nandigram has seen through the failures of TMC and rejected the party, their cadres are taking revenge on the people here. Elected representatives are being attacked.
Some people who have ideological differences with the BJP were elated over the West Bengal result. But their silence on the TMC-sponsored violence is deafening. Not a word to criticise the aggression of TMC cadres. Not a word on the lives lost. Not a word on the women attacked. They leave no opportunity to talk about their “idea of India” but conveniently shut their eyes and ears while this very idea of a liberal democratic India is being sullied in West Bengal.
Assam is not very far from West Bengal. Did we see such violent triumphalism in Assam after the NDA was re-elected? Did we see such aggression in Puducherry where the NDA will form a government? The clear answer is no. When the TMC is defeated in an election, they leave no opportunity to blame the EVMs. Did we hear the BJP blame the EVMs in West Bengal? This time, the TMC launched an offensive against the Election Commission and central forces. But, if I remember correctly, the TMC always wanted phased elections so that democratic aspirations can be manifested. TMC always wanted proper security for the voters before they cast their vote. What has changed now? The answer is obvious.
Lord Curzon and H S Suhrawardy would be very proud of the antics of today’s TMC. The party is laser-focused on destroying the united fabric of West Bengal. If they are doing so much just after victory, imagine what they can do in the coming days. As for the BJP, our tally has shot up to 77 from three. Certainly, not the result we would have wanted but we are here to stay for the long run and will bring back the glory of West Bengal. Today, silence is not an option. We will continue resisting the money and muscle power of the TMC. If the TMC continues like this, the fate of the Left front awaits it very soon. That is when the dream of a Sonar Bangla will be a reality.
This column first appeared in the print edition on May 11, 2021 under the title ‘Betraying Bengal’s mandate’. The writer is the newly elected BJP MLA from Nandigram and Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly
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