Two months after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) swept the West Bengal State Legislative polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced to commemorate her election slogan in the form of ‘Khela Hobe Diwas‘.
While speaking about the matter in the state assembly, she said, “People have appreciated ‘Khela Hobe’, so we will have ‘Khela Hobe Diwas’.” Written by Debangshu Bhattacharya, Mamata Banerjee had coined the term ‘Khela hobe’ (we will have a match) as Trinamool Congress’ election slogan, ahead of the West Bengal Vidhan Sabha polls.
People have appreciated ‘Khela Hobe’, so we will have ‘Khela Hobe Diwas’: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in the Assembly (file pic) pic.twitter.com/ih5eIGEIKo— ANI (@ANI) July 6, 2021
‘Khela Hobe’ and the weaponisation of political violence
Initially, the slogan appeared as a harmless jibe against the opposition but soon started to showcase its true colours. At the very onset, TMC members made a wall painting in Bengal wherein Mamata Banerjee was seen hitting PM Modi’s head instead of a football. During her election rallies, the West Bengal Chief Minister continued to provoke her party workers to retaliate against the central armed forces and BJP workers. Several instances of violence were thus reported during the various stages of polling.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh alleged his convoy was attacked in Cooch Behar with not just stones and bricks but also bombs by TMC workers. The residence of scientist Govardhan Das was also ambushed by the miscreants, resulting in him being trapped in his own house along with other family members. Women in West Bengal have moved the Supreme Court narrating the details of the horrifying gang-rapes they were subjected to in the post-poll violence by the members of the ruling party. They had sought SIT probe into all the incidents as well as alleged inaction of the police.
‘Khela’ was bloody and violent in Bengal
During post-poll violence, over two dozen BJP karyakartas were killed. In a report submitted by the Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA), it was mentioned that those who suffered the wrath of TMC workers after winning the elections were from marginal sections of Hindu society who had voted for the BJP. Last month, the fact-finding committee, constituted to inquire about the post-poll violence in West Bengal following a Calcutta High Court order, revealed that the violence in Bengal was not sporadic or spontaneous but well-planned and premeditated.
Sharing further details, the committee informed that many supporters of a political party were forced to flee their homes due to a targeted attack. Houses were burnt and ransacked with the victims made to give in writing that they will not support a particular political party. The members further revealed that the perpetrators also disrupted the water connection and destroyed the bridge that led to a village as the villagers supported one political party. Additionally, the victims were denied work and made to apologize for their support to the opponent party.
How Mamata Banerjee plans on celebrating post-poll violence?
When the Trinamool Congress came forward with the ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan, little did the BJP know about the lasting implication of such a game of bloodbath. The slogan, though it sounds harmless, became a war cry for Trinamool Congress goons to loot, maim, slaughter, and rape the rival BJP workers in an act of political vengeance. The more the slogan was repeated by the highest echelons of the TMC, the party’s foot soldiers were more bolstered to go about their activities unabated.
Despite being well-aware of the implications of the slogan on the lives of countless people, the West Bengal Chief Minister has decided to set aside a day to celebrate her election slogan of ‘Khela Hobe’. An elected government doesn’t represent those who voted for it but also those who didn’t. But, keeping aside all moral and ethical obligations required to run a government, the Trinamool Congress dispensation has decided to celebrate the carnage that it successfully unleashed during and after the West Bengal Vidhan Sabha polls.