Recent reports of violence and tension between two communities is highly observed on and most discussed in the Bengal political environment. From locales to West Bengal government, people are doing their best to reduce tension in the area Baduria and its adjacent places in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. A clashed broke out between two communities When Souvik Sarkar, a 17 year old boy from Rudrapur village of Baduria Thana posted a ‘highly objectionable’ image about holy sites of other religion. Angry mob immediately took to the street and demanded immediate arrest of the boy.
But some people went too far in creating violence and targeting houses and shops according to the Financial Express. Police kept the boy in some unidentified location for security reasons and normalcy is gradually returning to Baduria area.
Facebook, from which the controversy begun, is being used again by the Sanghi parties to spread further violence and hatred. Local activist Malay Tiwari, analyzed how even before the Facebook post was made by the boy, Sanghi people already started the process of spreading hatred by spreading false news. In a BJP favored newspaper Shankhayug, a reporter named Porimal Dey reported that Muslims during Eid ul Fitr have waved Pakistani flag in the idgah. But it was the Islamic flag with green color and white crescent. Local masjid committee has actively objected to the news and the newspaper fired the reporter to save its face. However, the harm needed to incite a communal violence and tension is already been created and it’s too late before there could be done something to prevent it.
Image of the newspaper where Islamic flag is termed as Pakistani flag
Viral Image taken from Vijeta Malik’s post, which claims Muslims are harassing Hindu Women
Those who have seen the photo-shopped image are saying that the image was terribly violent and it could trigger immediate outrage. People are questioning how a 17 year old boy could manage to photoshop such image in such a way.
While the ruling party in West Bengal Trinamool Congress trying to reduce the tension with opposition parties like CPIM, National Congress and others, BJP stands on the other side of the pole. Rather than trying to reduce the tension between the two communities, they are constantly engaged in spreading more hatred and false news. Even the state chairman of BJP West Bengal Dilip Ghosh triggered more controversy by showing unverified video footage in a press conference claiming it is ‘riot’ affected area. While all the other parties in Bengal condemned the action.
Not only this, BJP let IT personnel are constantly uploading disturbing video and footage in different right wing extremist Facebook groups which creates more violence. Just like doctored video of JNU has been broadcasted and shared widely to accuse JNU students of sedition but which turned out to be false. But the harm is already done.
Communal Situation in Baduria:
Baduria is like rest of West Bengal where people of both religions have resided peacefully throughout the centuries. In this area of North 24 Parganas, the well-developed district of West Bengal is less developed. Many of the people are still living below poverty lines, with low percentage of education. Therefore, it is not unusual that people will instant get irritated when one’s religion is insulted. According to Kolkata 27*7 news channel, it were Muslims in the village who saved the boy Souvik and called the fire brigade.
Intellectual bodies and public media of West Bengal are constantly calling for peace and harmony and not listen to rumor and fake news. Locales and religious leaders have also joined hand to bring peace in the disturbed area. But BJP seem to be not happy when both of the communities are coming to a point of peace. People related to BJP and other Sanghi organizations, care constantly in process of spreading more tension.
The real problem is that BJP is getting success of polarizing the two communities. They are projecting one community as victimized and other community as perpetrators. People with simple faith in religions are easily getting trapped and reports of more tension are coming from other from parts of the state. Therefore, BJP, as usual getting success in creating an atmosphere and uncertainty and gaining people’s mind. BJP playing the game from the both side—creating pressure on CM Mamata Banerjee though the governor of West Bengal Keshari Nath Tripathi; politically making hate speech and holding protests, and IT cells sharing false news and images. In this game, BJP has profit from both of the sides— if the governor proposes president’s rule in West Bengal, it would be easy for BJP to defame Mamata Banerjee. On the other hand they are constantly accusing CM of appeasing one particular community. This particular rumor that CM is appeasing a particular is also angering the majoritarian religious group in Bengal and that’s where BJP beats ball. Another BJP leader Rahul Sinha claimed that the governor is a foot soldier of Narendra Modi. The problem is that, people are becoming victims of BJP’s gruesome game and if BJP succeeds, a dark future lies ahead for West Bengal.
Picture credit Hindustan Times