West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is the next ‘Icchadhari Hindu’ in the making. Ahead of the 2019 general elections, she has played the ‘soft Hindutva’ card. Mamata Banerjee has announced a donation of Rs 10,000 for each of the 28,000 puja committees in the state. A total of 28 crores would be spent on this appeasement drive from the state exchequer.
There are 3000 Durga Puja committees in Kolkata and 25000 across the state. State government will provide Rs 10,000 each to the Puja Committees under community development programme. A total amount of Rs 28 Crore is required for this: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata pic.twitter.com/ujDWV7Lpao
Not to forget, West Bengal is the same state which is infamous for denying religious rights to Hindus in the past. In 2016, the West Bengal government issued orders to curb traditional festivities associated with the immersion of Durga idols because Muslims would celebrate Muharram the next day. Multiple reports of communal disturbances emerged from the state during Durga Pooja celebrations, but the government dismissed these reports, just as it refused to accept cases of riots in Dhulagarh, Nadia and Kaliachak. Mosques have proliferated, while Hindus are facing increasing restrictions on performing their rituals. Earlier, Noakhali riots took place on the day of Kojagiri Pooja, the riots in Dhulagarh took place on the auspicious day of Margashirsha Pooja. In Deganga, riots took place in 2010, over attempts by Muslims to prevent the annual Durga Pooja procession. In 2017, Tehatta High School in Uluberia stormed into public limelight when its Hindu students protested for being denied the permission to celebrate Saraswati Pooja.
Mamata Banerjee’s tenure has been marred with many other anti-Hindu riots and poll violence. The latest move of Mamata Banerjee is a pathetic attempt to appease the Hindu community who are deserting Mamata Banerjee and embracing the BJP. Mamata Banerjee in her entire tenure has worked against the interest of Hindu community and appeasing Muslims at the cost of culture, tradition and lives of Hindus. It is on her watch that lakhs of Muslims marched in Kolkata, the site of the infamous killings in 1946, supporting Bangaldeshi war criminals who had ethnically cleansed millions of Hindus in Bangladesh. It is on her watch that Imams were offered stipends by the state government. And it is on her watch that the state government attempted to shield the accused of Burdwan blasts by blaming R&AW.
It’s all because of her cheap appeasement politics that now the people of West Bengal are looking for other options to remove TMC from power just like they did with communists. People of West Bengal are slow in embracing change in political power and prefer status quo but when they decide to break the status quo and bring the change, the change is always catalyst in nature, and Mamata Banerjee also knows it very well. Her latest move is result of apprehensions of losing power in the state. She is trying her level best to save her fort.
The BJP has been making deep inroads in West Bengal. In the 2016, West Bengal assembly elections, the BJP secured 10.2% vote share for the first time in the state. In 2018, BJP emerged as the second largest party in the Bengal Panchayat polls despite attacks, threats and violence against BJP candidates and all sorts of malpractices employed by the TMC from booth capturing to the looting of Ballot paper boxes to win the elections. Panchayat poll results showed that the BJP has gained a significant clout in the former Maoist stronghold- districts such as Purulia and Jhargram. The BJP has won more than a third of the gram panchayat seats in these two Maoist stronghold districts that too with the backing of the tribal population. This means that the BJP has spread its wings beyond the urban centres. It is all set to emerge as the principal opposition party in the state before the 2019 parliamentary elections.
Recently, people in Bengal participated on a grand scale in Janmashtami processions. On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, thousands of shobayatras (celebration marches) were carried out across the state with the help of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal. The kids dressed as Lord Krishna and took to streets to celebrate the Janmashtami festival. Around 70 shobayatras were carried out in and around Kolkata. Devotees were even demanding for Ram Mandir. VHP and Bajrang Dal ensured that more and more people attend celebration marches. DJ, dance, singers, and kids dressed as Krishna Bhagwan, saffron flags, large photos and idols of Krishna Bhagwan were seen almost everywhere in the state. The rise of the BJP in the state also played a significant role in the Hindu renaissance in the state. In areas such as Purulia where in recent time BJP has made deep inroads, TMC members organized Janmashtami celebrations. TMC led by Mamata Banerjee is doing anything and everything to appease the Hindus and trying to hold her fort from falling before the BJP.