Sunday, May 16, 2021
Home Opinions Why Mamata Banerjee should take entire moral responsibility for the violence in Cooch Behar

Why Mamata Banerjee should take entire moral responsibility for the violence in Cooch Behar

The incident in Cooch Behar, with four people dead, should have given her pause. It should have restored her with a sense of responsibility as a high ranking public representative. But Mamata Banerjee has already gone too far beyond the point of reason.

Losing elections is part of democracy. Inciting insurrection is not. The way the election has unfolded, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee clearly feels like she is in a corner. When she opens her mouth, it is either hate speech or wild conspiracy theories.

As she crisscrosses the state in her helicopter, she peddles all kinds of hateful stereotypes. The goons from UP and Bihar are coming. The businessmen from Gujarat and Rajasthan are coming.

Her ramblings border on the insane, but her message is the same everywhere. Be very scared. Become more hateful.

In between, there are vulgar street abuses. The Chief Minister leads by example. Other party leaders back her up, adding abuses of their own. In a heated election campaign, there might be a few verbal slips. But there are no slips here. The abusive language is deliberate, used over and over again at all levels of the party. The official social media handles of the party drip with similar hate, abusing Union Cabinet ministers and other Chief Ministers over their ethnic identities.

Of late, the conspiracy theories have taken an even uglier turn than usual. For a while now, opposition parties that keep losing elections have made allegations of EVM fraud. But Mamata Banerjee goes a step forward and accuses central forces of voter suppression. Much like her hate speeches, there is no filter. She tells people explicitly to round up the CRPF and resist them.

Now see what happened in Cooch Behar the other day. A rumour spread that central forces were stopping people from voting. A mob of some 150 people gathered and attacked the CISF. The jawans opened fire and now four people are dead. Their names were Jobed Ali, Chhalmu Mia, Amzad Hossain and Nameed Mia.

Mamata Banerjee has forgotten that she is a sitting chief minister. Even if she loses elections, well over a third of the electorate is still expected to vote for her. These people look up to her. They hang on to her every word. And what happens when an out of control chief minister tells her supporters to round up central forces and attack them? You get a tragedy of the kind that happened in Cooch Behar.

Let there be no two ways about this. The Bengal CM has been openly inciting insurrection in her rallies. And her supporters are beginning to listen to her. Is there a surprise here?

The incident in Cooch Behar, with four people dead, should have given her pause. It should have restored her with a sense of responsibility as a high ranking public representative. But Mamata Banerjee has already gone too far beyond the point of reason. She now labels the incident a “genocide.” Now put this together with her continuing tirade against “outsiders” and see how dangerous this gets.

So far, the Election Commission has been remarkably soft on Mamata Banerjee over her pronouncements. This is part of her liberal privilege. She has got a pass from the media, the EC and wider “civil society” over her hate comments against other ethnicities as well as her call to minority voters to unite behind her. This is despite the fact that these comments were very deliberate and repeated over and over again. Compare to how Yogi Adityanath was harassed all through the 2019 campaign because of one verbal slip where he said “Modi ji ki sena.”

But this softness of the authorities has only made her bolder. This is getting to the point of actual danger. Already, there are four people dead. I fear that Bengal could be on the brink of unimaginable tragedy in the remaining phases of the election and after the votes are counted. What will we do if Mamata Banerjee refuses to accept the result of the election and urges her supporters to start resisting on the streets?

In fact, she has already done that. But, the authorities have done nothing to stop her, or even censure her. The media and so called civil society have been indulgently silent. Will this help her get better or make her worse?

One final thing. Do not let anyone, from the media or otherwise, tell you that political violence is part of the culture of Bengal. You see, political violence is not something that occurs in nature. Neither is it some kind of legacy that the dead pass on to the living. For political violence to occur, there has to be someone doing it, someone encouraging it, and someone who is deliberately shutting their eyes to it.

Who are these three entities? For 70 years, the leaders who ruled over West Bengal encouraged this violence to suit their political ends. Their ground level cadres carried out this violence. And finally, there was the liberal media that covered up these stories.

Blame these three entities and what they did for 70 years, not the culture of Bengal. In an election where cultural pride has become such a hot button issue, the biggest insult to Bengali culture has gone unnoticed. Ironic, is it not?

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

Related Articles

Trending now

From ‘lagbhag mana’ to putting up poster by AAP leader as DP to attack PM Modi, things have come a long way for Rahul...

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had put up the poster and urged PM Modi to arrest him. It is imperative to note here that Rahul Gandhi himself is out on bail in the National Herald corruption case as well as many other cases.

‘F*ck the Jews’, ‘F*ck their daughters, mothers’: Viral video from London shows pro-Palestine protesters advocating rape of Jewish women

A video has gone viral on the internet that purportedly shows pro-Palestine demonstrators abusing Jews in the vilest of words.

Malerkotla: All you need to know about the 23rd district of Punjab with a Muslim-majority population

Muslim appeasement at display? Congress-led Punjab government announced Muslim-dominating Malerkotla as district

Understanding Cytokine Storm: What it is and how it may be responsible for Covid-19 related deaths

Cytokine Storm happens when the body releases too many Cytokine, it leads to immune system attacking own body cells

Rakesh Tikait threatens to defeat BJP in Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are slated for next year

The 'apolitical' farmer movement has been nothing but political from the beginning.

Far-left and Congress trolls display ignorance while targeting PM Modi, misinterpret data to claim Rupee weakening against Bangladeshi Taka

As the value of 1 Rupee is equal to 1.16 Bangladeshi Taka, trolls assumed Rupee is weak against Taka and targeted PM Modi

Recently Popular

Legendary Australian cricketer slams world media for ‘vulture’ journalism, says Incredible India deserves respect: Here is what he said

In a recent post, the former cricketer has expressed his overwhelming support for India and slammed international media for vulture journalism

How NDTV played with words to give impression that Kerala woman died due to Israel, deleted and reposted, but still did not mention Palestine

NDTV subtly peddled an agenda trying to paint Israel as the aggressors and Palestine as the victim after a Indian woman died in terror attacks

The Hindu quietly changes headline after columnist calls Tejasvi Surya a virus: Here are her previous problematic comments

The Hindu published an opinion-editorial by columnist Vaishna Roy on Friday where it called BJP MP Tejasvi Surya a virus.

Former pornstar Mia Khalifa falls for ‘toolkit’ again? Posts unedited tweet against Israel, later defends herself with bizarre explanation

Former porn-star Mia Khalifa accidentally revealed being part of an anti-Israel Twitter storm after she tweeted an unedited post

Charlie Hebdo cartoon mocking Hindu deities for Covid-19 crisis turns out to be fake? Here’s what we know

Some social media users pointed out the hypocrisy of these 'left-liberals', who were just a few months back attacking the same French magazine for publishing cartoons that were allegedly hurtful for Muslims.

Jerusalem conflict: The history of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount and the holiest Jewish temple that preceded it

The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock was built on the same spot where the Second Temple of the Judaism was located
- Advertisement -


Connect with us