The town has been abuzz with a new hero. The badass new icon of anti-faashist voice, who showed exemplary courage to stand up to the faashist regime. Our liberals and media circle can’t get over. One has lost count of the number of times in the past several years, our media has made a hero out of mediocre individuals. Somehow, our elites extend to them the liberty of being vilely out of tune with reality, the privilege of making statements without any solid backing, and of course the right to be shameless hypocrites without making an issue out of it. Yet, when the liberals and our elites taste defeat for the nth time, it’s always the fickle-minded and gullible (if not uneducated and communal; never mind that an India-Today- Axis finding showed BJP’s vote share amongst graduates is double of that of its nearest rival – the Congress) and not them with whom the problems lie. The classic textbook examples of the grapes-are-sour syndrome. As for our new poster-child, I agree with her totally. India is going the fascist route all too soon! Well, quite honestly- the Lutyen’s gang has found their new poster child for a while. For a few days, our elites who subscribe to Left of Centre views would suddenly go about all around the town with the bandwagon airing the views of their nth new found voice of reason and balance during turbulent times. Ms Moitra would be called to constitutional clubs, where the rich discuss poverty and fascism along with cocktails, reproach about the expanding silhouette of unreason and post-truth times. All these are mere consolation prizes our liberals can afford for themselves given that the grip over public opinion, sentiment and thinking they held for too long has now loosened and become more democratic. Continuing on this tirade, once again they would cede their already marginal remaining space to their rivals and also, lose the trust and faith of the apolitical and swing voter for being short-sighted and glorifying anyone as long as it’s an anti-Modi voice. Once people reject Mahua Moitra as well (I’d be happier if the Indian liberalism finds better voices, and as of now goes ahead denouncing her as well), she’d go down the way every poster child of liberalism has gone down in recent past- Dr Kanhaiya Kumar, Mr Siddharamaiah, Prakash Raj, etc. and fade into oblivion.
For a moment let’s leave everything and concentrate on what she has said. Something that no elite elated by her speech has done yet. Ms Moitra went about on a tirade against the anti-Muslim NRC. Conveniently forgetting that NRC has been a demand in Assamese politics for over four decades. The current NRC tribulation was ordered by the Supreme Court, and in fact, more Hindus than Muslims haven’t found their place in NRC, I’d go ahead and say not bringing in NRC would soon bring back outfits like ULFA and other such insurgents back whom the durbaris who love Ms Moitra for her anti-fascist voice would never have to face, face to face. So much for the boogeyman of deporting innocents, since December 2017, when the first draft was released not a single individual has been deported due to NRC. On the contrary according to MHA reports cited by the Congress itself- between 2005 and 2013, more than 80,000 were repatriated to Bangladesh, a number which in the first four years of NDA stood at 1,822. In fact, the majority of the 40 lakh are on standby due to administrative and judicial clearances. Guess who the worst collaborator of this drive is? The government of West Bengal headed by her party Supremo. West Bengal government whose leader is the so-called Lady Protector of Bengalis is the biggest defaulter in the verification process for NRC.
The second was her warning on ‘early signs of fascism’. Fascism for all reasons has been reduced to the go-to word when one is unable to find any form of articulate criticism. More about that sometime else, but in this case, I agree. Over the last few years, her Supremo has led the most authoritarian regime in independent India’s history. This political clout has been extended to law enforcement agencies so much so that people have lost all faith in the public system of the state, even if we give her Supremo the benefit of doubt in the CBI fiasco. So much so that over the last few years, the NCW has been turned away on multiple occasions during its investigation into the excesses and complete shambolic law and order in Bengal. So much so that the NCW had to remark – West Bengal in bad shape, all human rights under threat: NCW .
The same police force last year shot down two during a ‘school students’ protest’. So much for patronising of Islamic radicals, for the first time, Kolkata saw protest marches by radicals in support of Bangladeshi War Criminals. Every single riot whether in Nadia, Howrah, Basirhaat etc was blocked off from the media. The poor boy of Bashirhaat hasn’t been able to return yet and has found refuge amongst the ranks of Hindu Samhati who helped him continue his education. The police stood mute and instead blocked the entry of journalists. On multiple occasions, most recently in Kalichak and Bashirhaat, mobs went rampage much to the mute spectatorship of the police for ‘blasphemous posts on social media’. While her own party men tried to reap dividends on camera. If this was enough, on multiple occasions her party men were caught proxy voting- whether during Panchayat polls or the General Elections.
This much for the charge of intertwined religion and government, and control of mass media.
Last but not least, we all know too well how her own Supremo has treated any form of criticism, jailing people for sharing posts, jailing cartoonists, her MLAs caught warning the police, her party men caught on camera intimidating, assaulting people for the crime of coming out to vote, burning of ballot boxes, hurling petrol bombs so much so that the EC allowed nominations by Whatsapp during Panchayat polls. The sudden obsession with the ‘outsider vs insider’ war, which was punctured by doctors’ agitation and by senior doctors across the state who’ve studied and worked all their lives in the state, to her own nephew and colleague’s daughter joining the protest. During the protest, it was a sorry and shameful display of how weak the West Bengal police really is, when they stood as if comrades in arms with party goons and mobs who not only assaulted but threw petrol bombs amongst other things right under their watch. Had it not been for the decentralization of the media due to the advent of social media and video sharing, our liberals would’ve either silently the issue brushed under the carpet or weaved a sinister narrative. Time probably would’ve stood still in remembrance to the times when the Left Front in the same iconic city had declared industrialists, businessmen, and certain sections of the bureaucracy as the class enemy.
Ever since the end of the election, violence has continued unabated, which her Supremo instigated on several occasions. Recently, a 14-year-old succumbed to bullet injuries due to police firing. So, I completely agree with her. She has shown exemplary courage to stand up against this. One thing, the anti-government voices could do is protect the credibility which in eyes of the people, they have woefully little left. They should do this by picking voices who build their case. There are many individuals who could do justice and provide a solid opposition much required at this moment. The silence of the liberal class brought the BJP to Bengal. Despite everything, Congress was the 2nd largest party in 2016, while BJP’s vote share plummeted compared to 2014. But, when their own cadres were killed, Mr Adhir Rajan Chowdhury, couldn’t convince the Delhi Durbar of Congress to not support Mamata whether politically or in court. The results are clear, Congress and CPM both have ceded their place. Am I weary of Modi? Yes. I too fear a lot of things- homogenization, polarization etc, but being watchful and losing perspective are two radically different things. Everything that our media circles and liberal class fear Modi would do, has already been done under the watch of Madam Mamata.
The obsession of our liberal elites to create leaders who remain mere puppets is nothing new. Once upon a time in 2009 in the Nuclear Deal fiasco, they had in fact desecrated Dr Singh of the holy grail of liberalism as well. In the exuberant display of hypocrisy and lack of leadership, our elites in the last few years have gone from glorifying the US, to jumping over to Canada. If Prime Minister Trudeau’s antics couldn’t cover up enough for his hypocrisy and ludicrous functioning, they found their new hero in President Macron of France who too they deserted not too long after when the ‘vest-protest’ broke out. Our liberals are painfully unreceptive to a truth which stares them at their face- the fact that their monopoly of view and infringed right to weave a narrative is now dead.