Decades after Independence, India is still afflicted with slave mentality by certain political leaders to achieve self-centred political goals. Instead of giving priority to the concept of Nation First, these political leaders have formed a unity to create disintegration among the society. The concept of rashtravad (nationalism) is the key to adhere to the fabrics of patriotism. Nationalism does not denote to any political group but an age-old theory in India to create a thread of oneness, one family for a strong developed nation. But it is very unfortunate to see the recent unholy alliance of Mahagathbandhan in the name of secular alliance, which aims at dethroning Modi and giving a bad name to our democratic institutions.
In this perspective, dharna led by Mamata Banerjee to prevent the CBI from questioning the Police Commissioner of Kolkata Rajeev Kumar shows the breakdown of the Constitutional system in West Bengal. It is for the first time in the Constitutional history of our nation that the CM of a state has gone on an indefinite dharna with a public servant of her state. Although Mamata Banerjee has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP president Amit Shah of trying to organise a coup, one can’t deny that the way she adopted to stand for democracy and the Constitution is unlawful. Why is she so agitated regarding the interrogation of Rajeev Kumar, alleged to have a connection with the chit fund scam? To maintain the integrity of the state police and the administration, at the first place, she should not have staged the dharna, or before the intervention of the Supreme Court, she should have ended it and remove the police force deployed outside the CBI’s office. However, it cannot be gainsaid that this incident has been a blessing in disguise, because it has exposed and brought to light the hatred of Banerjee against Modi and one of country’s institutions. It has given a clear picture of who actually respects the Indian Constitution and upholds it and who pays mere lip service. For, Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, had set an example for everyone during the SC-monitored SIT investigation into the Gujarat riots. Every single time he was asked to appear before the SIT, he turned up. Not for once did he make any excuse. All other officials and bureaucrats of the Gujarat government, summoned by the SIT, were also prompt in their deposition and replies. Never did anyone complain about non-cooperation from the state administrative machinery. Yes, Modi did target the UPA government for all these but never ever did he cast aspersions on the intent and competence of the SIT. SIT’s orders and summons were adhered to and obeyed unquestioningly. This goes on to show who actually respects the Constitution.
On the other hand, the drama of dharna, enacted by Mamata Banerjee, was just a political drama and it had nothing to do with spirit of democracy, Constitution or democratic traditions. Yes, it is true that under all circumstances, Constitutional rights of state governments have to be protected. But my query in this context is this: Was Mamata Banerjee shielding a corrupt police officer in the process of drama? I think it is the democracy in our country that will be weakened by such avoidable confrontations between the Central & state governments. In this context, I feel confrontation between the Centre and the West Bengal Chief Minister was a game of power politics. One does not need a political commentator to say that in such uncalled-for confrontations between the Centre and state, no one would be a winner, but there would be a major loser: India’s democracy and its traditions. But who cares? Against this backdrop, there is no denying that the CBI has seemingly lost its credibility as an institution, as it has been politically used by the Central government on different occasions for political vendetta, irrespective of parties in power. However, this may have happened for the first time in independent India, where a sitting chief minister has not only indulged in obstructing the CBI from its official functioning but also goaded the state police force to resort to scuffling with the CBI officials. It is noteworthy that the CBI, on record, had sent summons to the Kolkata Police Commissioner for interrogation but he refused, presumably under the instruction of CM of West Bengal. Now, the question is: Can an acting CM do this? She might have raised her fingers against the biases of the CBI, but is it the procedure? The sitting CM of Gujarat was also questioned earlier but he did not try to obstruct the SC-monitored SIT. He fought it out politically, lawfully. In this perspective, it may be added that TMC is now “Trina Mullah Congress”. So, how do you expect Mamata to do anything good at national level, seeing the violence her party workers unleashed in Panchayat polls. Then she talks about democracy and Constitution! While INC and Left are tasting a part of their own medicines during their rule, poor BJP had to face this violence being democratic. Mamata will face the wrath of the people in the 2019 general elections, as the Panchayat election in the state was a farce, and now add this dharna by Mamata Banerjee.
By Deepak Kumar Rath