As per a latest ThePrint report, West Bengal and its capital witnessed a somewhat different Eid al-Adha on August 12 this year. Unlike previous years, there have been fewer complaints of cow slaughter this time around. Last year, 40 FIRs had been registered by the Kolkata Police based on complaints of cow slaughter. According to a senior Kolkata Police official, no incident of communal violence has been reported and there was no circulation of videos of cow slaughter.
According to The Print report, the West Bengal police and the state administration had taken some steps which have not gone unnoticed. Some police stations in the districts had circulated posters appealing to the Muslim community not to kill animals in the open. In the days ahead of Eid, the Baruipur police in South 24 Parganas district had circulated posters reading, “The main reason behind Qurbani is to convince Allah, but never to hurt anyone. We all respect the religious sentiments of our Hindu brothers and other communities. We appeal to all not to bring the slaughtered animals in public and post any video or images of the slaughter in social media. Islam means peace and love.”
Kolkata Police had also kept a strict vigil to ensure that no animal is slaughtered in a public place. A police officer said, “We did not put any posters or issued any advisory as such. But we knew the spots, locations and the groups. So we tried to bring down the number of incidents involving illegal cow slaughter by keeping a strict vigil.” Even Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim also appealed the Muslim community to be “restraint, sensitive and careful about others’ sentiments”
It must be noted that these attempts to woo Hindus have been made only after BJP’s historic rise in the state of West Bengal when it won 18 seats in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. TFIPost, had earlier reported that after Mamata’s massive loss in the Lok Sabha elections, in which she was reduced to 22 seats from her previous 42 in the state of West Bengal, the upcoming state elections have got her all riled up. The TMC leader has realised that her image was going to push the people towards BJP which has now emerged as the main opposition and only alternative to Mamata’s rule.
In order to counter BJP’s growing popularity in the state, Mamata Banerjee had sought the services of supposed ‘electoral wizard’ Prashant Kishor for the 2021 Assembly elections. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has been facing a strong anti-incumbency wave in West Bengal due to various reasons like deteriorating law and order situation. Out of all the critical issues, the pro-radical image of Mamata Banerjee and rampant appeasement of minorities have surely played a major part in bringing down TMC’s tally. At this moment, Prashant Kishor came into the picture to completely remake Mamata’s image. Some quick and shrewd thinking on her part led Mamata Banerjee to decide upon stabilising her position by rebranding her image. The massive image makeover exercise is being largely seen as the brainchild of political strategist Prashant Kishor. However, the overly Mamata-centric approach Kishor has adopted, the organisational strength and the lack of ideological inclination of the TMC, makes the success of this massive image makeover exercise highly improbable.