Hindu-Muslim violence in Basirhat: How come to Bengal constantly on the boil? Full Analysis


The Basirhat of West Bengal burns up at the news headlines for an ongoing communal that has kept one person dead, dozens injured and ties between Hindu-Muslim neighbors in pieces. The problem is not unusual though in the eastern state bordering Bangladesh. West Bengal has been affected by communal violence sporadically, way more lately, raising concerns that their state is turning out to be a communal tinderbox.

A former principal of Presidency College, Amal Kumar Mukhopadhyay, said, “Bengal has not witnessed so many communal clashes over such a short span. This is the Dark Age and it doesn’t fit into the image Bengal takes pride in.” The facts carry out Mukhopadhyay’s debate. Through the CPI (M)-led Left Front’s 34-year rule, the state experienced communal violence that was few in number. On the other hand, 11 clashes have been witnessed in the last 11 months. The Hindus in certain pockets have often been at loggerheads with parts of Muslims who constitute about 27% of the state’s populace. But critics say that the problem has worsened freshly under the CM Mamta Banerjee’s tenure. The south Bengal secretary of the RSS, Jishnu Basu, the ideological parent of the BJP, alleges that “The situation was created after Mamata Banerjee came to power for the second time in 2016 and started appeasing one community. The results are evident”.

The saffron party is inspecting inroads into the state where it remains an edging player at this time. Critics say that it stands to get out by separating the state and has therefore ratcheted up its rhetoric against Banerjee for partisanship. “They are out to fish in troubled waters with an eye on votes,” said a leader of Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC). The CM has carefully developed her Muslim vote bank: she participates in iftars and Muslim religious functions covering her head, has released stipend for clerics, may positively promote Madrasas and is also often seen sharing the stage at general population functions with Muslim leaders. Her Pro-Muslim representation has apparently annoyed many in Bengal who is already feeling threatened by the arrival of undocumented migrants from Bangladesh. And also Prime Minister Narendra Modi tapped into the fears when through the 2014 election campaign, he accused TMC government of “turning a blind eye” to the infiltration from Bangladesh, putting in danger the lives of the people of the state.

Even though arch competitors, the CPI(M) is on a single page as Modi upon this matter. The CPI(M) politburo member and Lok Sabha MP Md Salim alleges that “Communal violence will not stop in Bengal because the government has gone into denial mode. Or else, the chief minister wouldn’t have described the Basirhat violence as a ‘minor incident”. Banerjee refutes being followed and has requested peace in the community. “To the government, all religions are equal. We believe in communal harmony and the need of the hour is to maintain it,” highlights state urban development minister Firhad Hakim. Even Muslim leaders reject that their state supervision is Pro-Muslim. “Muslims have never been appeased. They got some jobs, but not as many as claimed or believed. It’s true that the government built roads, provided potable water and set up hospitals in many areas. But even Hindus benefited from the projects,” utters Pirzada Jiauddin Siddiqui of Furfura Sharif village in Hoogly.

On the other hand, her political rivals persist she is merely paying lip service. The violence also observed Hindus retaliating. The general secretary of Hindu Samhati, Devdatta Maji, says that “Failure of the police compels Hindus to protect themselves”.

Lack of enthusiasm of state police

As communal tension has been produced in some of the border conditions in the wake of the BJP’s ambitious posturing because the TMC won a sensational electoral victory previous summer, the fresh circle of violence won’t do worthwhile to the in any other case nonviolent coexistence between Hindus and Muslims. This inability, or reluctance, for the state police to do something against trouble-mongers on the list of the minority community, is due to the “unstated” directive that they obtain every once in awhile from TMC politics bosses.

Conciliation of Minorities

The demand of appeasement of Bengal’s minorities is not without base. The CPI(M) and its own other Leftist allies have so in their heyday. Actually, Mamta’s political-electoral success could mainly be related to the strong support her party has received in two assembly elections from the Muslims, in Kolkata as well as the regions. As the CPI(M)’s hold over the condition loosened at the change of the 21st century, Muslims, barring those of Murshidabad and Malda where they prolonged to vote for the Congress, commenced flocking towards the TMC. This is no mean success, but the one which was fuelled by the good sprinkling of patronage politics and symbolism, outbidding even the Marxists in wooing and eventually protecting the Muslims’ near-total support.

The panic was reflected within the last set up election when the BJP, attracting upon this anguish, won only three seats, but were able to garner 10.14 percent of the votes when compared with 4.06 percent in the 2011 polls when it did not even open up its account.

Mission of BJP

After the last assembly elections, the BJP, imagining an opportunity, has embarked on a mission to improve its level in the state politics. The BJP affiliated organizations like RSS also took out processions on the eve of Ramnavami, with contributors wielding swords, tridents, and knives. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Jagaran Manch-sponsored representation were taken out at 22 locations in Kolkata. These parades are remarkable in West Bengal where Ramnavami has historically had no exceptional acknowledgment among eras of Bengali Hindus. Then again, Muharram parades and tableaus, complete with vast tazias and sword-carrying men, have been yearly occasions that Calcuttans have been used to.

The Religious Violence History

Lately, the nearest that Kolkata came to regard seeing Muslim-drove rioting and violence was in November 2007 when enthusiasts, under the aegis of the All-India Minority Forum, resorted to arson, requesting the ejection of Bangladesh writer Taslima Nasreen for “hurting the sentiments of Muslims” and “ridiculing Islam”. The CPI(M)-led Left Front government brought in 10 companies of the armed forces to suppress the violence. A year ago, Muslims went on a rampage after a critical remark against Prophet Mohammad was made by an Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha functionary. Calcutta had its own offer of Hindu-Muslim riots before the city was rechristened Kolkata. Notwithstanding the Left Front administration’s purported populism and secularism, parts of Kolkata were writhing in rioting, followed by police firing, which killed no less than nine people in the consequence of the demolition of the Babri mosque on 6 December 1992.

The Sikhs were also targeted by mobs after Indira Gandhi’s death on 31 October 1984. In the Great Calcutta killings of 16 August 1946, generally called “Direct Action Day”, when Hindus and Muslims took part in a bash of killing that kept going seven days, an expected 4,000 people died. Post-Partition Bengal and Hindu-Muslim relations picked up a reputation as far communal violence is concerned.

CPI(M)’s brand of politics followed by TMC

The Left Front could keep the communal genie suppressed till it started to lose political money in the wake of the TMC’s rise. Without a doubt, the CPI(M) politically “empowered” Muslims all over the state, yet did little to lift them out of neediness. It did nothing to enhance Muslims’ access to modern, secular education or jobs, which had the negative effect of driving them to the retrograde madrassa lifestyle. The TMC has taken after practically a similar brand of politics, including the minorities, finding a way to “welcome” illegal immigrants from Bangladesh among different choices which have not been taken kindly by a noteworthy section of Hindus.

To beat it all, the PM Narendra Modi government’s step to allow citizenship status to Bangladeshi Hindu migrants, settled in Kolkata and various towns of West Bengal, has absolutely increased Mamta’s hackles, forcing her to grasp Muslims always firmly.

Political interferences of Baduria

The violence in Baduria in North 24 paraganas and its leaking impact in other districts has political ramifications for Bengal. The level of Muslim interest in the violence will cause more noteworthy counter-polarization among the Hindus, a situation which does not look good for Bengal’s social texture which is as of now under strain. The TMC, which was re-elected on the promise of bringing on development, will have none to fault on the off chance that neglects to shun the costly politics of minority appeasement and does nothing to haul Bengal out of the economic slough. The saffron party is holding up by the wings.