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Bengal post poll violence: Stages in which journalists, politicians, fact checkers and historians will cover this up

The first step is creating an enabling environment. This is why they use the ‘fascist’ label for every BJP supporter, every BJP worker and every BJP leader. To dehumanize them all.

Elections are over in Bengal and the promised “khela” has begun. Like a marauding medieval army, the victorious “liberals” have taken to rape, murder and arson to establish their rule over the defeated enemy. They take no prisoners. They show no mercy. It’s the Bengal model, supposedly the finest in the world. In 70 years, this model failed to give jobs, industry or a future. But it gave them a sense of belonging to a team that can beat up a numerically weaker team. Khela hobe…

But this is 2021 and almost everyone has a smartphone. The CPI(M) got away with 28,000 political murders, or about 4 murders a day, during the first 20 years of its rule. That is the official state government number, while the real number remains open to speculation. The ruling liberals of today are not so lucky. They can’t get away with doing likewise in plain sight. They will need a plan to cover this up and dress it up nicely for public consumption. This will require some doing, with journalists, politicians, fact checkers and historians all pitching in. Let me show you how.

The first step is creating an enabling environment. This is why they use the ‘fascist’ label for every BJP supporter, every BJP worker and every BJP leader. To dehumanize them all. Once you get people used to talking in a certain way about the BJP, it becomes easy for them to accept violence against any BJP supporter or BJP worker. Seeing the BJP as actual human beings can complicate matters.

In the last several years, they have laid the groundwork for this very carefully. They have been constantly talking to their supporters on social media and their sponsors in global media. Should someone in their circles raise the issue of violence, at most they will debate on whether it is okay to use violence to quell a “fascist.” It is easier on their conscience that way. By dehumanizing every BJP supporter as a fascist, they have manufactured consent for a purge.

But what happens when the purge actually begins? The journalists form the first line of defense. They ignore the events completely. They refuse to acknowledge it on social media and they refuse to file reports about it in mainstream media. This is very important. They are ensuring that references to the violence do not remain, at least not in writing. A couple of years down the line, neither historians nor the general public will be able to find evidence that such a thing ever happened. At least not in any “reputable” source. And since the liberal elite gets to decide which sources are reputable and which are not, they have got it all pretty much covered.

But in any collective action, there is always somebody who doesn’t get the memo. Someone who puts out a tweet, or a few lines in a report somewhere. When it comes to large scale violence, you can’t scrub the record totally clean. That is why you need the false narrative. The top leadership of the liberal party spelled it out the other day. Yes indeed, there has been a teeny tiny bit of violence, but that is just BJP workers killing each other for some reason.

It is a multi-layered process, like extracting the metal from the ore. At each stage, more and more impurities are removed. Like say half of people will not ask questions about the violence in Bengal because they don’t want to care what happens to “fascists.” But what about the remaining half? Some of those who remain won’t investigate further because the violence does not get covered in mainstream media. What about those still remaining? You turn away some of those by telling them the violence was just infighting in the BJP and so on.

What is the next layer? That is for the “fact-checkers.” Some videos and pics are going to slip through no matter what. There are many things they can do here. The most obvious one is to ask for sources. Remember liberals decide which sources are reputable, so that successfully discredits most of the evidence floating around.

Then, the fact-checkers can always accuse people of using fake or morphed pics. If 100 videos are floating around, there is a chance that at least one of them is misleading. You pick on that one and publish an article with a screaming headline of “No, this did not happen.” That way people will think all 100 videos have been discredited. In any case, if you cannot find a misleading pic or video, you can open an anonymous social media account and post a fake claim yourself. You can then debunk that and blame the other side. The false flag operation takes about five minutes to set up.

Since fact checkers are the new social media royalty, in bed with Big Tech, they can also shut down any opposing voices who may have fallen for one fake pic or video out of a hundred.

All these layers are for handling public memory in the short or medium term. What about the long term? That’s why they have “historians.”

To be honest, the historians have it easy here. No reputable sources have survived anyway. And as for social media claims, today’s equivalent of oral histories, the claims have been “fact-checked” out of existence long ago. The historians can write any fantasy tales of TMC’s kindness that they want. They are only limited by their imagination.

But there are some final checks here, intended to make the whole thing water-tight. A completely one-sided narrative written by a journalist today or a historian tomorrow might seem suspicious to readers. Say someone reads an account of these elections in the year 2071. Would they really believe the “official” account by a liberal historian that the TMC distributed sweets and chocolates to all dissidents? No. You actually need to insert flaws to make the story seem plausible fifty years from now.

Did you see how Congress and CPM handles were complaining about their offices were being attacked too? Many BJP supporters seem to think this backs up their claims. You don’t believe us? At least believe the accusations from your beloved CPM.

The thing is, they will believe the CPM. They will write in history that there were sporadic incidents of violence after the results came out. They will say that the TMC was aggressor and the Cong and the CPM were victims. The name of BJP and RSS won’t appear anywhere. They won’t let BJP survive either in the dominant narrative nor in the subaltern narrative of history. And with that, their project is truly complete.

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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.  

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