RSS-BJP has planned a massive expansion programme in West Bengal and communal polarisation is, as usual, the method they have chosen. In a latest attempt, Ramnavami festival has been organised politically with the Sangh backing. Viswa Hindu Parishad has decided to take lead and they have planned rallies throughout the state for five days. Rallies will be taken out in Kolkata too.
Ramnavami is not a very big religious festival in Bengal, though it is observed in some quarters. But politicisation of the festival has led to huge campaign by Hindutva forces. UP election results have energised them. The festival is being organised with the declared goal of Hindu solidarity. In the typical style of Sangh Parivar functioning, organisers have assumed different names in different areas. Slogans also took different forms considering the demographic character. Issues like Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, infiltration, beef eating are common. RSS, in their last national council meet, has adopted a separate resolution for West Bengal, clearly indicating that they would step up their activities here. BJP has also declared that 40 all India leaders of the party would come to the state to intensively campaign in 40 parliamentary constituencies. The focus, as already mentioned, is on communal polarisation.
Sangh Parivar is speeding up with the TMC administration virtually helping in the whole game plan. Apart from polarisation, much of the TMC has already succumbed ideologically to Hindutva onslaught. In many areas, TMC leaders are actively participating in Sangh backed programmes.
CPI(M) and the Left Front has decided to unleash an all-out campaign against communal forces. A large rally was organised in Kolkata with the call of peoples’ unity. Rallies, meetings were organised throughout the state. CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra called for strict vigil to thwart any attempt of communal disturbance.
ATTACK ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS EXPOSES TMC
The assault on senior lawyer and civil rights activist Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya by TMC cadres in Goghat area of Hooghly district once again exposed the jungle raj in West Bengal. The attack took place when former mayor of Kolkata, Bhattacharya along with members of a human rights forum, Save Democracy, was on his way to the Bhabadighi village in the district which has been on the boil for the last few weeks due to the ongoing agitation against construction of a railway track in the village. The villagers are up in protest against filling of a large water body which actually is a source of their livelihood. Villagers have alleged that land mafia is behind the move. TMC leaders have attacked the village earlier and faced stiff resistance. The entire village is virtually surrounded by police and ruling party gangs, forcing villagers to stay within the boundary of the village only. Even after that, police has registered false cases against them. Bikash Bhattacharya and others were going to the village to discuss about legal help to them.
The delegation was stopped nearly two kilometres ahead of Bhabadighi. TMC activists gheraoed the cars. Bhattacharya was pulled out of the car. TMC cadres snatched Bhattacharya’s mobile phone, and then pushed and shoved and punched him. He was pushed on the street. Other members of the delegation, including lawyer Bharati Mutsuddi, artist Deepali Bhattacharya were manhandled too. All these happened in the presence of police, including officer-in-charge of the local police station, who did not try to stop the attack. The delegation was forced to return back and lodged their protest to SDPO in Arambagh.
The attack on Bhattacharya particularly looked pre-planned as the ruling party was looking for an opportunity to target him due to his role in the Saradha scam and the Narada sting operation cases. “But I will not back down and will fight the atrocities and corruption of TMC in court,” he said.
The attack on human rights activists was followed by a barbarous attack on CPI(M) leaders in Bankura. TMC armed gang attacked a Party education class in Khatra with bombs and mercilessly beat up Party leaders and activists. CPI(M) district secretary Ajit Pati, state committee member and former minister Deblina Hembram, CITU leader Kinkar Poshak were among those who were injured.
Statewide protests took place against these attacks.