oppn parties Communal Politics Harming Bengal

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  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
  • PM Modi asks ministers to focus on exports and new areas and sectors
  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
  • The government decides to double the testing of corona suspects from 10000 now to 20000 in the next three days
  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
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Communal Politics Harming Bengal

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-07-07 10:43:27

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
What is happening in Bashirhat, about 100 kilometres away from Kolkata in West Bengal, is shameful and dangerous. After the Muslim community took exception to a post about Prophet Mohammed on Facebook, things went out of hand and both communities indulged in arson, looting and rioting. Claims and counter claims abound about who attacked first, who suffered more and why things went out of hand. The role of the local MLA, former footballer Dibyendu Biswas of the TMC, the local administration and the police has been questioned. Biswas has been summoned by the TMC brass to Kolkata to answer about his alleged involvement in allowing musclemen from one community to target people from the other. The police have been alleged to have favoured one community. The TMC has alleged that local and national BJP leaders made provocative statements that inflamed passions in the area. This is certainly not the way things should have been handled.

When the defamatory Facebook post surfaced, the police and the administration should have anticipated a flare-up. They should have called local Muslim leaders and made it known to them that they were taking all steps mandated by the IT Act and IPC to bring the offender to book. They should have also pressed upon them the futility of organizing local street protests about something that did not have local connotations. Simultaneously, they should have called local Hindu leaders to tell them about Muslim grievances and the need to assuage feelings. But nothing of the sort happened. Rowdies in both communities were given a free hand and things went from bad to worse within a short span of time. Neighbours living in harmony for decades turned enemies for no reason at all.

Mamata Banerjee’s government has a good record of maintaining communal peace. But first Howrah and now Bashirhat have raised questions about the intentions of the administration. As the BJP jostles to gain political space in the state, the large Muslim community feels its political importance will be reduced. At such a time, the TMC feels that it should side with the community. But this move is backfiring as more and more people think it is a policy of appeasement. Of course it will work to BJP’s favour as it wants to consolidate the Hindu vote in the state. Didi has a tough job on her hands as she needs to keep her Muslim vote bank intact without further alienating the Hindus. But this communal politics is eating at the vitals of Bengal.