Riots in West Bengal Should be Stopped Through People's Resistance

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

West Bengal again went through a communally charged carnage in Baduria-Basirhat region within a span of few months since the flames of the Dhulagarh riot was ignited by the RSS. In the case of the communal riots in Baduria-Basirhat of North 24 Paraganas, it was not just a sheer lack of administrative control over the law and order situation since the beginning, which led a simple Facebook post sharing by a 17-year-old to snowball into a week-long conflict between radicalised Hindutva terrorists and Salafist goons, rather it was a planned communal violence engineered by the Modi government and its ideological mentor, the RSS.

Mamata Banerjee cannot beat off the dust of responsibility from her sleeves by blaming the BJP for the communal tension in the state. It's true that the BJP, with the support of its paternal organisation, the RSS, and other Hindutva terror appendages, and with the help of the Modi government in the centre, is trying to fan communal conflicts in all parts of West Bengal, but it could not have mustered the spirit to destroy the social and communal fabric of the largely peaceful and hitherto immune state to communal politics without considerable tacit support and patronage from the ruling party and its support base.

Panicked by the history of glorious militant class struggles waged by the heroic workers and peasants of West Bengal, united across communal and caste lines, the comprador capitalists, the foreign monopoly and finance capital, and the feudal landlords of West Bengal entered into a pact to drive a wedge between the two prominent communities of the state - the majority Hindus and the minority Muslims. As the majority of the comprador capitalists of West Bengal are non-Bengali, upper-caste Hindus, especially Marwaris and Gujaratis, they naturally inclined towards the North-Indian Hindutva fascist BJP as the party of their choice since a long time.

Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress did a volte-face on the promises of providing a democratic and liberal atmosphere in the state, soon after usurping power in 2011 following a huge anti-incumbency tide against the then ruling Left Front government. Rather her government stretched the tyrannical rule that the Congress and the CPI(M) carried on during their period in office. The reluctance of the Trinamool Congress-led state government to let democratic atmosphere prevail in the state brought it close to its erstwhile partner-in-crime, the BJP, which wanted to be a chief opposition party in the Eastern state that it wanted to transgress into.  

The Trinamool Congress government on one hand focused extensively to carry forward the atrocities of the erstwhile Left Front government in the Tribal heartland of West Midnapore district's Lalgarh, where the state machinery violently suppressed a genuine mass movement of the people, while on the other hand, it also focused on diminishing the opposition space in politics and turn the state’s political arithmetic into a bi-partisan system like that in most states of North India. Mamata preferred the BJP over her old bete noire - the parliamentary left-to ensure that the working class movement is curtailed in the state.

In the BJP, her former aide and close partner, Mamata Banerjee found the ideal components of the opposition that she was seeking, as the party is highly communal, eternally fascist and exists on the doctrine of hatred only, which it uses to drive a wedge between the poor people of the country to ensure a smooth exploitation of manpower, land, water and natural resources of the country. The unapologetic corporate appeasement of the BJP makes it a better choice than the parliamentary Left Front due to the lack of any ideological baggage to be the principal opposition party in the reign of Mamata Banerjee.

Since coming to power, or to be precise - since the anti-Left Front movement by a large section of the Muslims of Kolkata, following the brutal murder of Rizwanur Rahman, a software engineer killed in an honour killing incident by a CPI (M) supported upper-caste comprador capitalist, Mamata Banerjee and her party forged close alliance with the utmost reactionary sections of the fundamentalists of Salafist, Deobandi and Barelvi sects and used their influence among the Urdu and Bengali speaking Sunnis of West Bengal to bring them under the banner of the Trinamool Congress.

Devoid of any substantial content that could change the extremely backward condition of the Muslim community in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress-led government's policy remained exclusively a replica of the age-old  policy of the Congress Party, i.e. appeasing the most reactionary fundamentalists of the Muslim community and through them entangle the community in medieval religious practices and deny them a scope of economic, political and social aggrandisement. 

The communal riots in Baduria- Basirhat area of North 24 Paraganas again exposed the complicity of the Trinamool Congress government in the RSS’  scheme of promoting communal violence in the state. If Mamata Banerjee's government was concerned about the communal harmony in the state, it would not have allowed thousands of Hindutva Akharas formed by the Bajrang Dal, Hindu Samhati and other fascist outfits to operate in the state, where children from middle-class Hindu families are lured with the bait of sword playing and other forms of physical activities and then radicalised gradually with the venom of Hindutva doctrine. Mamata Banerjee's government would not have allowed the fascist outfits like the Hindu Samhati, notorious for spreading bigotry and Islamophobia in the state, from operating with such impunity that the police officials will voluntarily prostrate themselves before the might of its thugs.

The utmost reluctance of the West Bengal government in enforcing law and order during incidents of communal violence and its lacklustre attitude in booking the Hindutva terrorists during their rampage provided the much-required impetus to the RSS-led groups to carry out violence in Baduria-Basirhat areas during the last few days. If the police, which would otherwise curb the democratic spaces available to the people of the state - suppress genuine mass movements of the workers and peasantry against injustice, kill and injure students protesting against the tyrannical Mamata Banerjee-led government, arrest and incarcerate professors for sharing a cartoon on Ms Banerjee and her team, could at least show an iota of such proactive approach in curtailing the communal violence, if the government of Mamata Banerjee would have ordered a violent crackdown on the communal bootleggers in Baduria-Basirhat, like she did to suppress the genuine mass movement of the tribal people of Junglemahal, the violence and the communal tensions in the region would have been addressed within few hours, if not minutes.

Rather than firing bullets on the farmers agitating against the land-grabbing attempt by the government of West Bengal in the Bhangar area, rather than slapping the draconian UAPA on farmers’ movement activists, rather than sending her mercenaries and killer-police to suppress the mass movement of the people against destroying the water body of Bhava Dighi, Mamata Banerjee, if she was as concerned for the safety and security of the minority communities and for preserving the communal harmony in West Bengal, would have sent her contingents of counter-terror forces to crack down the Hindutva cells that are threatening the peace and tranquility of the society in West Bengal and is trying to build up large-scale communal carnage to sweep power in the state by 2021.

Neither Mamata Banerjee nor her government would do anything such to prevent the recurrence of the violence and riots, fuelled by the RSS in Baduria-Basirhat region of West Bengal. As more the riots, more are her chances to polarise the Muslim voters by frightening them with the Hindutva threat and also to polarise the progressive Hindu voters, who are staunchly secular and against all forms of communalism under the banner of the Trinamool Congress, as the Left Front and the Congress are now thrown in the oblivion and cannot demand a moral upper-hand in the secular polity of the state due to their past complicities.

Unless this government, which has unleashed military terror on the people of the Darjeeling hills demanding separate statehood but remained indifferent to the communal rioters who created ruckus in Baduria-Basirhat, is not changed through massive popular democratic revolutionary struggle, unless the overwhelming majority of West Bengal - i.e. the workers and peasants are not united with a revolutionary democratic agenda to bring forth a total change in the way politics is done in the state, there can be no resolution to the ongoing communal riot instigating agenda of the RSS that is now receiving huge funding from the US-Israel lobby and the Indian big comprador capitalists.

To leave West Bengal at its own mercy and to avoid playing an active role to smash the conspiracies hatched by the corporate-feudal sponsored Hindutva camp in connivance with the Trinamool Congress will amount to promoting several Baduria-Basirhat type communal carnage in West Bengal and paving the way for the rise of the BJP as the ruling party by 2021. History will never forgive us and will condemn us if we overlook our conscience and let the fascists have their way without facing the strong resistance. It's time we either act or we won't be in a position to act ever.

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