She did it last year. And now she has done it again. Mamata Banerjee has gone ahead and decreed that there will be no idol immersion after 6 pm on Dashami day to make way for the observance of Muharram.
Now, Mamata Banerjee going out of her way to appease Muslims is hardly a surprise. But what stands out about this decision is the brazenness with which Mamata Banerjee is defying all semblance of institutions, including the judiciary.
The TMC government had passed a similar order back in 2016 over Durga idol immersions. This order was not only flayed by Kolkata High Court, the language used by the court was quite extraordinary in that it specifically castigated the West Bengal government for “appeasing Muslims”.
Let us read here the words of the judge, which shows just how furious the court was with Mamata’s order last year.
Clear endeavor on part of the state government to appease the minority at the cost of the majority! Governments should not take decisions that pit one community against another! Irresponsibly brazen state government has infringed on fundamental rights of people worshipping Maa Durga!
These are not my words; these are the words of the Kolkata High Court!
The injustice that Mamata Banerjee is doing to the Hindus of Bengal is so obvious and so extreme that it seems even left wing anti-Hindu media could not find the words to defend her.
But not having the heart to condemn Mamata Banerjee for her actions, some in the media chose to blame “bad luck”! Yes, you read that right.
Oh Mamata Didi, you poor dear. You and your bad luck! Now they are going to create a grudge against you for doing what would have been “normal in other times in West Bengal” and postponing the immersions for a day to allow Muharram processions.
Apparently, the Firstpost journalist who wrote this was not informed (obviously) about what was “normal” at other times in West Bengal. Clearly, the journalist who “reported” on this story did not care to read the words of the court from last year (again, obviously):
I guess it was just the “bad luck” of the secular journalist that what she wrote was blatantly false.
I guess in “normal times”, secular media would have required that journalists reporting on a story actually be informed about it … or take 2 minutes to at least google the thing before shooting their mouths off on it.
And so did the “poor Mamata” trope continue to spread, with much hand wringing about Mamata’s bad luck giving big bad BJP another issue to capitalize on!
They don’t give a damn about the actual injustice. Their only care in the world is that BJP might benefit from it. Not for the first time though.
So what is Mamata thinking? It is doubtful that her decision will hold up in court this year, considering just how furious the court was in 2016.
One possible explanation is that with this public announcement, Mamata hopes to give a signal to her core constituency that Hindus will be systematically humiliated and subjugated under her reign. Due to recent events, the Islamic patriarchy has been feeling weak and needed an ego boost. Prominent Trinamool Ministers have refused to accept the authority of the Supreme Court in the triple talaq judgement and on the ground, the petitioner Ishrat Jahan, who lives in Bengal, is being harassed by the insecure and sore losers.
In the coming days, whether Hindus in Bengal are able to stand up for their rights and for the rights of Muslim women remains to be seen.
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.