Kolkata and Bengal saw the true face of BJP yesterday. In an apparent show of strength, they had announced a Lalbazar Abhijan, the political agenda purpose of which was never made clear (Why Lalbazar? Tea with the Commissioner perhaps). What was clear from the bellicose language of their leaders was that they wanted trouble, were ready to create trouble, and the only agenda of this Abhijan was trouble.
True to form, as soon as the BJP rally met the police barricade in Bentinck Street, a bomb was hurled from the rally towards the police, which unsurprisingly injured BJP workers before the barricade. Fairly obvious that this is not a party which cares for its own, as long as the objective is achieved. What followed was expected, pitched fights with the cops who met it with a lathi-charge. What was astonishing (and rapidly turned disgusting) for Kolkata citizens was watching on TV a Kolkata Police car well away from the police zone being vandalised and put on fire (video can be seen on Kolkata Police twitter handle) and then other private cars being vandalised by the mob. This was clearly not a political rally, but a mob fest.
Whither hypocrisy, ask you? Well for starters let’s got back a few months to Ram Navami this year. Ram Navami is essentially a North Indian celebration; in Bengal, we worship Shakti as manifested in our Durga Puja and Kali Puja. However, suddenly this year we saw an explosion of Ram Navami celebrations on the ground and exhortations to attend them on social media. Bengal was also treated to processions of young women carrying swords and daggers (NOT part of Bengali culture) on this day. I have met countless villagers in different districts who do not belong to the BJP but told me they were enticed to come for a Ram Navami celebration on the exhortation that they were Hindu and it is a Hindu celebration. Yesterday the mask dropped. The slogan of Ram Navami was ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and slogan yesterday throughout the BJP rally as they got into a pitched battle with the cops was ‘Jai Shri Ram’. They have deliberately used a religious slogan to first attract people who would otherwise not come to their tent, and then made the same into a political one. What difference then from Muslim fundamentalist parties elsewhere?
Hypocrisy again. If you throw stones at Kashmir Police you are an anti-nationalist. If you question the Prime Minister of India you are an anti-nationalist. If you question government promises/declarations/achievements, you are an anti-nationalist. However, if you are BJP in Kolkata and you burn a Kolkata Police officer’s car it is cool.
This new sanctimonious hypocrisy where the Sarkar is always right except for when it is not my Sarkar, is a recurring example over the last three years. The Haryana riots and its inept handling by the BJP govt was washed over; the mob killings in Jharkhand recently (under BJP govt) find no mention from the Prime Minister though he is concerned over the terrorist attack in Manchester.
Of course, the hypocrisy in burning a Kolkata Police car pales in comparison to the inauguration of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in Assam. The longest bridge in India, it was approved in 2009 by UPA, physical work started in 2011 under Tarun Gogoi govt. Today it is being inaugurated and dedicated to the people of India by the Prime Minister as an achievement of 3 years of Modi Sarkar!
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