Twitter erupted yesterday as a video of the demolition of a statue of Lenin at Belonia, Tripura went viral. As expected, people on both sides of the fence had strong opinions on the matter. The detractors commented that such vandalism should not be encouraged and the demolition of a statue sanctioned by a democratically elected government must be condemned. On the other hand, supporters of the demolition are quite elated at the destruction of a symbol of tyranny that has oppressed the citizens of Tripura since decades.
One obvious thought that plagues my mind is the utter lack of criticism or condemnation at the sheer existence of such a statue dedicated to a mass murdering dictatorial lunatic. Why should a statue of a genocidal Russian dictator exist on Indian soil in the first place?
It is bewildering, really, at the silence over the existence of such a statue. It is quite interesting that there will be no outrage against dedicating such names to places as ‘Stalin Nagar’ or ‘Lenin Sarani’, streets named after genocidal maniacs. Outrage will be reserved only for occasions when actual actions are taken to rectify the historical error.
One could concede the point that the demolition of the statue was vandalism and vandalism is wrong. However, the matter should be viewed with a little bit of nuance. According to the Left, nuance should be considered only when the objective is to whitewash the crimes of genocidal maniacs. And the actions of the unwashed masses deserve no such serious contemplation.
However, if we indeed opt for a nuanced view on the subject, we shall find that the actions of the people of Belonia is in concordance with the actions of people all across the world moments after they have been freed of oppressive rule.
The inconsistency in the ideology of Indian liberals stands thoroughly exposed when one considers the enthusiasm with which they cheered for their counterparts in the United States of America as statues of Confederate leaders were brought down.
It is truly remarkable that the demolition of a statue in Tripura has attracted more condemnation from liberals than the actual murders of BJP karyakartas in the state. Interesting, is it not, that the demolition of the statue of a genocidal maniac inspires more rage in the hearts of Indian liberals than actual political murders by communists wherever they rule?
The track record of communist rule in Tripura is truly horrible. Political intimidation and violence, corruption, threats, censorship and general misrule has been the hallmark of Leftist rule in Indian states. People, in general, were frustrated and fed up of the entire situation. Government schools were in a horrible state with no teachers to attend them. People often felt compelled to attend rallies of the Communist party as they feared repercussions should they skip them.
There was a general sentiment that it was impossible to secure a job in the state government without being a cadre of the ruling party. Then, the appointment of thousands of teachers were disqualified by the High Court of Tripura since the state government had not followed proper recruitment procedure. Then there was the Rose Valley scam and others which further fueled negative sentiments against the ruling CPI(M).
Feelings have been on the boil for a long time and they were suppressed, often violently, by the cadres of the party. With the defeat of the Communist Party, the feelings finally found expression in the destruction of the statue of Lenin.
Moreover, in the run up to the elections, the BJP says as many as 12 of its leaders were murdered by cadres of the communist party. Days before the state went to polls, Madhu Deb, booth president for the BJP at Ramnagar constituency was found hanging from a tree. Amulya Malakar was another BJP worker who was found brutally murdered. There was another instance when a student was forced to drink urine by member of the SFI for refusing to accept its membership.
Such atrocities committed by communists combined with decades of misrule was bound to cause the citizens to seethe with anger. And one would have to concede, destroying the statue of a genocidal maniac is a rather constructive way of venting out their frustration. Even the most vociferous of detractors must concede that there must have been something horribly wrong with the Communist regime that people are taking to demolishing monuments of their legacy with hammers and tongs as soon as they are out of office. This has been happening since the fall of Berlin wall, almost in every part of the world.
I would concede that the demolition of the statue was vandalism. However, that statue should not even have been there in the first place. In my list of things to outrage about, demolition of a statue of a genocidal maniac will certainly find no mention. And really, that statue was absolutely hideous, much like the ideology the man espoused. And everyone should be grateful now as the space previously occupied by the statue of a tyrant can now be used to build a daily clinic for the poor instead.