Propagandist MK Venu, in his recent article for The Wire, has defended, even justified, the great violence that Mamata Banerjee has unleashed in West Bengal in her bid to retain power in the state. Venu’s article is only further evidence of the fact that the Left’s opposition to the Right is not on the basis of principles, it’s on the basis of the different visions for the country that the two factions have.
The article further reveals that liberals like Venu live in a world of their own, completely out of touch with ground realities. He writes, “Amit Shah’s protestations of innocence notwithstanding, it is now clear that the West Bengal voter’s sympathy in this regard will be with Banerjee, whatever spin the Bharatiya Janata Party might want to give through its embedded TV channels.”
Venu, quite clearly, has very little idea about the will and intent of the voters of Bengal and projecting his own desires onto the public. Of course, he would very much like it if it were so but “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”.
The writer then proceeds to assert that slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ justify the use of violence against those who chant it. He says, “Shah’s roadshow with saffron-clad youth aggressively chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was by itself provocative – it would have instilled fear and awe in the minds of people in any town in Uttar Pradesh. But then West Bengal is not Uttar Pradesh, and Banerjee too has learnt politics the hard way in the streets. The BJP has therefore met its match in the Trinamool Congress (TMC).”
‘Jai Shri Ram’ is a cultural slogan. Since long, it has been a manner of greeting each other for Hindus. Rama is extremely popular in Bengal as well. Therefore, it is bewildering that anyone would call the slogan ‘provocative’.
However, it provides us with a glimpse into the mind of the quintessential liberal. For such people, even the slightest public demonstration of Hinduism is cause enough to inflict violence upon the followers. ‘Jai Shri Ram’ would never have become the cry of protest for Hindus in Bengal if Mamata Banerjee had not pushed minority appeasement politics. It would never have picked up ground had it not been for Mamata Banerjee’s own conduct.
Bengalis took refuge in Rama because celebration of Durga Puja itself became problematic in Mamata Raj. And where else could they take refuge in if not at the feet of Rama who has provided the means for the establishment of political solidarity among Hindus transcending barriers of caste, class, creed, region and language?
The last time I checked we were still living in a country that at least claims to be secular. And yet, we have liberals like Venu who claim chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is cause enough to attack Hindus. It’s truly reflective of the opinions that liberals have of Hindus and the status they would relegate Hindus to if they had their way.
“Banerjee too has learnt politics the hard way in the streets,” says Venu. When she came to power, people had great hope and expectations. But now, the hope has faded and people have realized that Trinamool is just CPI(M) ‘goondagiri’ on steroids.
Throughout the article, Venu makes the claim that the Election Commission has unfairly favored the BJP over Trinamool. It appears consistent with the conduct of liberals in recent times who appear set to question the legitimacy of the results should Narendra Modi return to power. He has also questioned the timing of the EC’s decision to invoke Article 324 of the constitution and put an end to campaigning before the mandated time. According to him, the decision unfairly favours BJP and it will make the voters sympathetic to Mamata.
Venu does not have a single word to offer for the numerous BJP Karyakartas who have been murdered by goons allegedly associated with Trinamool. He has no words to offer the BJP candidates who have been attacked by goons associated with Trinamool. And like the chief of the Editor’s Guild, he is silent on the journalists who have been attacked by Trinamool goons as they worked to expose the manner in which Mamata’s henchmen were rigging the elections. Venu accuses the EC of unfairly favoring Modi but maintains stoic silence over the rampant polling malpractice that Trinmaool engaged in, often with support from the polling officers.
All of this reveals that it never was about principles. The Left bears a morbid hatred for anything and everything that is Hindu and will justify absolutely everything as long as it suppresses the Hindu revival that is underway. If liberals are going to justify the use of violence against Hindus for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, what else do you think justifies violence against Hindus according to them?
The article also reveals The Wire’s own ideological inclinations. It is hardly surprising considering only a few days back, they had provided a platform to a Kashmiri politician who equated cows to terrorists, attempted to undermine the legitimacy of anti-terror operations and hyped up the Hindu-Muslim divide without attracting any rejoinder from the media outlet.
Just a few days ago, Shekhar Gupta, the chief of Editors Guild and the head of The Print had justified Mamata’s violence in West Bengal too but calling her a politician who fights ‘fire with fire, venom with venom’.