Monday, 18 November 2019

West Bengal: Good lynching Vs. Bad lynching

By Ravi Mishra
Updated: August 22, 2019 11:08 am

In the recent few months, the word called lynching has once again started roving around us. Recently, some so-called intellectuals wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this issue. The important thing is that most of them are from Bengal. Now, the question arises: Are these intellectuals really concerned about this country? Or is it a selective outrage? For, these same people have always maintained a studied silence when there is a murder or riot in Bengal. According to a book, titled ‘Bleeding Bengal’, which has been published recently, there have been a total of 150 brutal political violence-related incidents in Bengal between May 19, 2019, and June 21, 2019. Although this book contains only one month of data, it doesn’t mean such incidents have stopped now.

In these violence-related incidnts, a total of 16 people were killed and 158 people got injured in 17 districts of the state. Most importantly, 16 of 17 who were killed in these incidents were from BJP and one from All India Trinamool Congress. Those who got injured are 136 BJP workers and 16 TMC workers.

Despite all these, we didn’t see any condemnation from this same group of people, as mentioned earlier. They didn’t write a letter to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. It might be because most of the victims are Hindus. So, they cannot give it a communal angle unless the victim belongs to minority. The Dadari incident happened in 2015, but it is still a matter of debate for some people. On the other hand, it does not matter how many people like Dhruv Raj Tyagi in Delhi are killed while protecting his daughter. It will not be a matter of debate.

In Bengal violence, the matter is about the silence of the government on these incidents  of bloodshed. No doubt, there are certain places in the state, where anti-social elements are active and they are deliberately supported by the people in the government.

According to the data, carried in this book, on June 2, in Bhimpur of Nadia District, a procession  of ‘nagar kirtan’, in which some of the participants were from BJP, was traversing through the village chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Then some members of AITC threw bombs at the procession. BJP workers also retaliated by throwing crude bombs. No injury was reported.

On June 10, the dead body of Samtul Dolui (45 years), a resident of Howrah, was recovered. Howrah rural BJP leadership claimed that the deceased was a BJP polling agent and was murdered by TMC members, as he chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’. The body was having strangulation marks around the neck and burn injuries on his both hands.

On June  21, Najibul Mondal (30), a BJP sympathiser, earlier CPI(M) worker, was beaten to death by TMC members. According to this book, Najibul had fled the area six months ago to avoid any further violence with TMC members after Panchayat polls in 2018.

“Apart from political violence and jihadi appeasement in the state, rampant corruption and squalid poverty have increased manifold so far as to the level that the collective moral compass of the people has decayed. A recent example for this degradation is Mamata Banerjee’s ‘Cut Money’ remark. Cut money is the percentage of money illegally charged by the government officials and TMC workers in West Bengal from ordinary citizens to deliver services to them,” writes J. Nand Kumar, an eminent thinker and convener of ‘Prajna Pravah’, a forum of nationalist thinkers.

Nowadays, activism is at its highest level, but it is most selective and prejudiced to benefit a particular agenda. And this same thing is happening with these intellectuals. They talk about democracy in BJP-led government’s regime, but they try ignore violence against BJP cadres in Bengal. The biggest concern with these so-called intellectuals is that they are unable to accept any kind of nationalist or indigenous ideas.

Recently, Goldsmiths University of London has banned beef from university cafes to tackle the climate crisis. Against this backdrop, for ages cow is assumed as a scarred animal in India and crores of people have faith in it. So, when the same measure were taken in some Indian universities, these intellectuals made a brouhaha claiming that it was an attack on their rights. These are the same intellectuals who talk about climate change and if any step is taken regarding this, they come on to the street and lodge their protest. And,  the same is the case with the selective outrage over lynching.

By Ravi Mishra

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