While I appreciate that BJP of late is trying to highlight the plight of Hindus under the mercy of Jihadi mobs in West Bengal, let me be blunt and say that the Bengal can not be won with Twitter friendly slogans like #SaveBengal, especially when you shout these slogans from the streets of Delhi or for that matter even in Kolkata.
Bengal can not be won with launch of online campaigns, which will be attacked by the cheerleaders of secular-liberal establishment and thus shifting the debate to a ‘representative image’ shared by a BJP guy from the riots that happened after an image was shared by a 17 years old boy, for which he is still in jail.
Bengal can not be won when you try to remain politically correct and do monkey-balancing to appear secular (we will get to this later in this article). It can not be won with Amit Shah visiting the state once in a while for inspection.
To win Bengal you need to get your hands dirty.
To win Bengal, you need a fiery ‘khati’ (core) Bangali, who is a robust fighter, an unapologetic character, and one who is not afraid to speak his/her mind out. It needs a local saviour around which the campaign to save Bengal can be launched and mobilised, not in Delhi or just in Kolkata, but in entire Bengal.
“An appeaser is the one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
“No man survives when freedom fails, the best men rot in filthy jails. And those who cry ‘appease, appease’ are hanged by those they tried to please.”
The above two quotes describe the conditions of modern India due to systematic appeasement by the elite liberal and certain section of the political class. But it particularly applies to the Bengal under Mamata Banerjee’s jaamati rule.
But is she so ignorant? Does she not know that she is feeding the crocodiles that will only get more hungry and will bite her one day? She is playing with fire and already Bengal has seen peace go up in flames multiple times. When will she realise?
I think she knows it very well. She knows that her disastrous appeasement policies will have a serious national impact. But she doesn’t care a bit. She is too intoxicated by power she is enjoying and the questions that are never asked to her as she is seen someone who is a challenger to Modi. To keep this power and status intact, she seeks the blessings of that particular community, which is around 30% of Bengal population.
In my previous articles ‘Making of a ‘New Bengal’ by Mamata in Modi’s New India‘ and ‘Steps for De-Radicalising Bengal‘, I had tried to highlight the sinister designs of ruling TMC govt, and how it gets support of the media to keep the flawed and preposterous ‘secularism’ intact. I had also stated how the central govt needs to counter it and prevent the rise Islamic fundamentalism in Bengal. This can be achieved if the BJP grows strong in the state.
But coming to BJP’s chances in the electoral politics of Bengal, I am not optimistic about it. There are various reasons for it:
- BJP appears to ride on the anti-incumbency factor as Mamata Banerjee is in her second term. That isn’t going to happen. Bengal is historically different. Bongs are patient and willing to give chance. They let the communists rule for 34 long years and they could have ruled for another 10 years, if not for Nandigram and Singur. Rest of the people might believe that Politicians are a lot like diapers, which should be changed frequently, and for the same reasons. But bhadraloks don’t appear to think that way.
- Lack of rural base: BJP has virtually no rural base. Large parts of rural Bengal are not aware of the existence of BJP. Yes, that’s the harsh reality. RSS is trying get a foothold, but is finding it difficult due to government control over its activities as well as populist schemes of Mamata government, such as Kanyasree which is a massive hit in the rural belt.
- Trying too hard to remain ‘secular’. Recently in one of the debates on an English news channel regarding Basirhat riots, Rajya Sabha MP and a prominent face of Bengal BJP Roopa Ganguly’s opening remarks were about how she was secular and had many friends from the minority community and blah blah. This is the condition of entire state unit of the party. They are not bold enough to say what must be said. The political correctness will not help.
- Lack of enthusiasm to take the initiative. One classic example of the state unit’s failure was during Amit Shah’s visit in May. Shah started his Bengal campaign from the infamous Naxalbari. He held rallies, visited homes, and had lunch at house of Raju and Geeta Mahali, a Dalit couple who ‘were’ supporters of Modi. It was a part of the Dalit outreach, which forms a considerable chunk particularly in South 24 parganas. A few days after Amit Shah left, the Mahali couple joined TMC. Yes certainly there could have been pressure on the poor couple, but wasn’t it the duty of the state unit to look after them? Such a massive PR failure hints at lack of alertness and enthusiasm in taking an initiative forward.
- And most important factor. Absence of a strong local Bengali leader. No, not even Amit Shah’s crafty organisational skills can fill that void. As I had said in the beginning it requires a local saviour. It requires a leader who makes the Bengalis rally celebrate their lost pride and forgotten heritage and rally them like a captain in a battle. Much like Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena revived Marathi asmita. The character of Bengal is changing fast under Islamist and Jamaati politics, and this needs to be conveyed.
There is one person who is trying that. Mamata Banerjee went to the extent of threatening to ban his organisation. It is ex-RSS man Tapan Ghosh and his organisation Hindu Samhiti. His Twitter profile says “Uncompromising Hindu activist of Bengal. Determined to fight against Islamic aggression & expansion.”
As blunt as it gets.
It is his organisation that relentlessly talked about Malda and Dhulagarh riots, which were, as usual denied by the Mamata government and its news suppressed by the mainstream media. Tapan Ghosh was also the one to highlight the issues in Tehatta where Islamist mobs had laid siege over a school and Saraswati Puja was not allowed.
Few months ago, he organised a massive rally in Kolkata, which really shook the TMC cadre. They had thought that the rally will be a flop.
As mentioned earlier, in the same debate in which Roopa Ganguly took part and started with listing her secular credentials, Tapan Ghosh minced no words. He went on to say, and I am quoting him, “When thousands from the Muslim community take part in violent activities, entire community has to come forward. If they are quiet, it means they are supporter of violence.”
BJP needs to indulge in such plain speak. It needs that firebrand leader who doesn’t care about what tags the media uses about him or her. It needs someone who cares about what is happening on the ground.
The party needs to realise that talking about ‘Sarada’ & ‘Narada’ scam will not dent Mamata’s popularity nor it can uproot her from the throne of Bengal. To snatch Bengal from Didi, it needs an uncompromising fighter, much like she had been when communists ruled.
As said before: you need to get your hands dirty.