SANGH Parivar’s attempts to sow seeds of polarisation in West Bengal have elicited reactions from various quarters. RSS-VHP-BJP combine chose Ramnavami and Hanuman Jayanti to create tensions and disturb the environment. In many areas, they carried swords in religious processions. Instead of taking immediate steps, TMC leaders and activists joined them.
Left and progressive secular sections of the state have taken the challenge of resisting communal forces. Numerous rallies, processions have been organised throughout the state to condemn the provocation of Sangh Parivar. The struggle against communalism is intertwined with struggle for livelihood and peoples’ demands.
On April 7, a massive rally was held in Kolkata, at the call of leading intellectuals. The rally, without any flag of political parties, witnessed massive participation from all walks of life. Among the convenors of the rally were former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, leading film director Tarun Majumdar, thespian Chandan Sen, film director Kamaleswar Mukherjee and others. Leading figures from the world of art and literature were present.
A day before, tens of thousands of people marched through Burdwan town with red flags raising demands of the people of the district. The peasantry in Burdwan faced the brunt due to distress sale of paddy and rice. The industrial areas of the district faced deindustrialisation. The rally merged into a massive public meeting, one of the largest in recent memory.
Two consecutive rallies took place in Medinipore and Jhargram towns at the call of CPI(M), both attracting thousands of people. The district of West Medinipore has been divided into two recently. The rally in Jhargram took place just after this announcement and raised the voice of unity of the people. A large part of Jhargram is reeling under TMC and police terror for long. The rally signaled defiance by the people.
Central trade unions and Left mass organisations held two rallies from two ends of Kolkata, on April 10. The rallies clearly warned the communal forces that the working people of the state would not allow polarisation and unity of the people would be maintained at any cost. The trade union leaders said that the communal forces would have to be resisted through struggles on the question of livelihood.
On April 11, workers of Alloy Steel Plant in Durgapur observed total strike along with two other units of SAIL to protest against the government proposal to divest stakes in them. The strike was organised after continuous agitation in Durgapur. Central trade unions also held rallies in Kolkata in support of the movement in ASP.
State government employees organised a mammoth protest rally and demonstration under the banner of Coordination Committee in front of state secretariat in Nabanna.