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Turning arrogant, main West Bengal political parties facilitating communal division

By Harasankar Adhikari 

West Bengal, a state in eastern India, is historically, socially, and culturally an example of ‘unity in diversity.' Here, people regardless of their so-called identity live together, and all of them participate enthusiastically in the great autumn festival, ‘Durga Puja’ (popularly known as ‘Sharad Utsab’. Historically, ‘Shree Chaitnya’ started his movement for social and cultural integration to remove the darkness of extremism in racial dominance. Further, ‘Sri Ramkrishna’ and his great disciple, ‘Swami Vivekanand’ preached and worked for the coordination and integration of all religions under one umbrella because there is no difference among various religious faiths. Later on, Sri Rabindranath Tagore worked and warned about the dangerous evils of communal disharmony under the banner of religious differences. After independence, left-wing parties rule for 34 years significantly grounded it through democratic decentralisation of power at the grassroots.
But since 2011, this state has been in a crucial stage of communal division, and the state administration is sponsoring it for the very purpose of political gain. And the chief of the state is involved in promoting this evil division.
Labour statistics remind us that the majority of construction workers, dressmakers, and leather workers are from the Muslim community, and labourers from the Hindu community used to work under their supervision. In this state, the Muslim population is twice (28%) that of the rest of India (14%) (Census Report of India, 2011).
During the left's rule, there was no special, unwanted benefit showered on this minority Muslim population. They only used to take advantage of the same benefits as other underprivileged groups. There was no religious bias or favouritism. Due to poverty, illiteracy, and unplanned families, a significant section of this Muslim community engages in different indulgences. It has been observed that Muslim voters have a significant role in the elected democracy of this state.
At the end of the left's rule in 2011, the right wing (TMC and its allies) formed the government, and from the very beginning of the journey of this government, it was involved in religious favouritism. Many times, it was deliberate, with a clear intention to win the mind of the Muslim. The chief of this government (leader of the right-wing party) started to channelize without any opinion of this particular community, whether they needed any favour or dole. It gradually starts to promote communal difference and division. A peaceful state starts to witness communal conflict. There are many unnecessary benefits the government opens up for Muslims. For example, Muslim bikers do not need to wear a helmet, while others do. A special allowance to the ‘Moulabi’ (priest) is another. Politically, the members of this community are abused to organise tension and hooliganism. And the police are indifferent to arresting them because they have no order from higher authority. Therefore, it is very clear that the chief of state has taken it as a diplomatic strategy of politico-religious battle.
After an unexpected result in the poll in 2021, the chief of the state as well as the chief of the right-wing party have become arrogant and adamant about facilitating the communal division among the people of this state. She declared, ‘I would participate in "Iftahar" more and more.' But it is a personal choice for everyone. She reacted and publicised the chant ‘Jay Shree Rama’, and it is evident of a foolish deed by an administration. It is also enough to cultivate communal differences among others. Recently, the incidents of communal conflicts on the eve of ‘Rama Navami’ were nothing but a deliberate act of the ruling political party.
It might be concluded that the situation in this state reminds us of the incident of the ‘Great Calcutta Killing’ and it is under the connivance of the chief of the state as well as the chief of a right-wing party. There is a need for a joint movement of Hindus and Muslims against this, considering the history of peace in the state.

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