”Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high ; where knowledge is free , where the world has not been broken into fragments by narrow domestic walls , where words come out from the depths of truth , where the clear stream of reason has not lost ……………, my Father – let my country awake.” (Tagore)
Mamta Banerjee, no doubt,won the Bengal Assembly elections consecutively for the third term and the proverbial ‘nothing succeeds like success and nothing fails like failure’ would , as a natural corollary , not only be applicable in her case but she proved that right by employing great Acharya Chanakya’s famous policy of ”Saam, Damh, Dandh and Bedh” as would befit to take ”Khela Hobe” to logical ends . At the end of the day , what matters is who succeeded, not necessarily how. Should such a success by whatever means achieved, make the victor humble, kind, passionate and empathetic or otherwise, depends upon various factors. In one of the write ups through these columns, immediately after Bengal poll results and large scale violence , this writer had analysed that ”Didi wins but Bengal loses” and the National Human Rights Commission commenting upon the large scale violence that lasted several days that “this was retributive violence by supporters of the ruling party against supporters of the main opposition party” – must hang those prejudiced heads in shame who perpetrated the violence as also those so called champions of secularism , democracy and tolerance who remained silent and did not oppose it taking a firm stand not to speak of making the pointed place of consequential ravage a political tourism . Now, there is the other side of this victory as Mamta Ji claims “the game not yet over and the game will continue until the BJP is uprooted from the centre” . As such , she has started nursing the ambition of coming on the national scene or in other words, taking her “popular” Khela Hobe pitch to the national stage. For that matter , anyone in India is eligible and entitled to that but if the motive is limited to settling political scores and giving a clarion call only to defeat Modi and end BJP rule , the aim becomes suspect and has all the potentialities to prove counterproductive , if not extensively boomeranging.
Her call to ‘dethrone’ the BJP in 2024 general elections for which she urged the opposition parties to unite against Narendra Modi government ”keeping aside all other interests” depicts her priorities and preferences, if not desperation . We would like any leader from any part of the country to replace constitutionally and democratically Modi Ji in case the incumbent was more efficient, equally honest, fearless in taking decisions, more charismatic, possessing better leadership qualities and being increasingly antagonistic to policy of appeasement, not protecting and preserving vote bank politics at the cost of others and the like. Could Mamta Ji name just one leader from those opposition parties whom she wants to unite ”keeping all other interests aside” to be a better choice ? Claiming that in all the states “Khela Hobe” will be witnessed until BJP government gets , what she says, derailed in 2024 could be her wishful thinking as Indian voters are to decide who rules India. Worried that only two and a half years limited time is left now , she has exhorted all opposition parties to start planning right from ”now” for defeating the BJP. By all accounts, this period seems not that ”limited” as it looks to her but making preparations so early stretched over nearly three years definitely means the ”question paper feared likely to be difficult” and no scope for energising on rote” to answer that.
She chose July 21 which is commemorated as ”Martyrs’ Day” by her party TMC to make known her ambition to play decisive role at the centre stage of Indian politics. It was on this day in 1993 , when leading a huge rally as Youth Congress President in Kolkata – ”capturing” Writers Building (the secretariat) ”democratically” was resisted by the then Comrade Jyoti Basu government to the extent that police firing took place in which 13 protesters were killed. The Left Front Government even had rejected to institute any judicial probe into the police firing. Does she exhort the Party and the followers of that political group even to rally behind her to “end the BJP rule and defeat Modi ? She talks of “saving the country” but from whom? – from ever increasing threat of terrorism and enemies from within or from Andholan Jeeves who have made it a routine to agitate and disrupt normal life? Saving the country from whom- China which is not putting to any hold its ever expansionist ambitions laying claims on more and more areas that belong to this country? Saving from whom – who wittingly or unwittingly disrupt the proceedings of our Parliament where each minute of running cost is Rs. 2.50 lakh paid by us -the ordinary people – from out of our hard earned money, is just wasted on storming the well, sloganeering , chanting , displaying placards and causing spate of adjournments? Saving the country from whom – those in West Bengal where fake vaccination camps were in operation sending waves of panic around? Save from whom – alliances of opportunism? Save from whom- who treat illegally entered Rohingya Muslims as having ancestral right to settle in India and resist every move for their deportation?
Mamta Ji says that ”democracy is in danger in India and we have to save it”. Could she specify how ? Perhaps, rightly democracy was in danger since her government was not dismissed under Article 356 of the constitution for sheer lawlessness and large scale violence that was witnessed following her winning the elections? Where was the democracy when thousands of supporters of the BJP or who were “suspected” of having voted for that party were systematically and in well orchestrated manner attacked? Were was her idea of democracy when women were physically assaulted right in their homes by the goons believed to be TMC supporters? Where was her democracy when incidents of post poll organised violence of murders, rapes and destruction of property took place for days together in the state ruled by her ? Where was democracy when thousands of Bengalis had to flee to neighbouring Assam to save their lives and honour just because they had not voted for the TMC?
The seven member committee of the NHRC constituted on the directions of the five judges Bench of Calcutta High Court to examine cases of human rights violations has submitted its report to the High Court? The Report says that there is the “Law of the Ruler” and not the “Rule of the Law” in West Bengal and has thus recommended CBI investigations in cases of rape and murder. Mamta Ji must clarify whether exercising constitutional right of voting for a candidate of voter’s choice (and not the TMC’s) was a crime and endangering democracy for which Modi needs to be defeated in 2024, if impossible to do that immediately? The NHRC has reported about ”Appalling apathy of the government towards the plight of victims”. Did Mamta Ji even once visit the devastated homes which perhaps appeared to have been identified and duly marked for heaping violence? Did these victims not deserve the kind treatment even a bit of as much shown to Bangladeshi and Rohingyas “guests” who having entered illegally in Bengal now call the shots only to ‘save democracy’ in Didi’s way of thinking? Seven member NHRC report further says, “there have been several sexual offences but the victims are scared even to speak out , loss of faith in state administration among victims is very evident, the people (victims) were left on their own to protect the violation of their human and fundamental rights , including right to life, liberty, dignified life and health.”
We do not want such a type of ” democracy ” to be brought on the national scene by Mamta Ji and those who lend support to her in “Khela Hobe in every state” for which a clarion call is given by her . We do not want a Kitchdi sarkar every three , six months at the centre to destabilise and weaken the country , we do not want any block to unite as she wants which furthers her agenda . We do not want the cult of violence to be made as a deciding weapon to elect governments. We do not want those leaders to rule India who have no known and firm stand on and who keep mum knowingly and deliberately on issues of national importance – Population Control, corruption, Agrarian Reform Laws, Uniform Civil Code, Education and Health, conversions by deceit and coercion, Terrorism and associated religious hate, Pakistani hostilities and liberation of PoK, Deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants, Return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits etc to name a few . Last but not the least, we do not want any “khela Hobe” in any state as envisioned by Mamta Ji, and never upon this earth – the Law of the Ruler and not Rule of the Law.