Violence in Kolkata - The Battle For Bengal

November 22, 2007

The Calcutta (not Kolkata) violence didn’t come as a surprise. Several foreboding omens of Muslim discontent had indicated what to expect. It was planned well, executed perfectly, and extracted the desired harvest.

The script unfolded in the lanes and bylanes of east and central Kolkata, where police were cramped for space. Fearing they would get trapped, the forces didn’t venture into the lanes.

The attacks, too, were planned in a manner that they could be countered only by opening fire. This was a risk police were not ready to take — especially after the high court’s strictures on the Rizwan case and Nandigram.

The Quivering Buddha quickly called in the Army to take charge. This sudden zeal to action was flagrantly absent during the recent Nandigram bloodbath unleashed by his own party’s goons. Buddha could ill-afford to let his goons retaliate now because the Muslims openly rioted as a specific religious group under the aegis of the All India Minority Forum (AIMF).

The slaughtered Muslims (also the refugees) in Nandigram provided another pretext to these organizations to renew what they are historically adept at: hollering that minorities are in danger. Nandigram was the excuse the AIMF and others gave for starting the riots. A long-forgotten Taslima Nasrin suddenly, mysteriously resurfaced on their radar.

Earlier in the day, activists of the All India Minority Forum protesting the violence in Nandigram and Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen’s visa extension on Wednesday indulged in brickbatting, blocked roads and clashed with police.

The Left in West Bengal is deservedly reaping the bitter rewards of indulging the Mullahs. The Jamiat Ulema has already thundered.

"We want the Centre to invoke Article 356 in West Bengal. We also want Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to go. He is an arrogant and stubborn leader. Let a sincere leader come as the chief minister. Please remove him. The United Progressive Alliance government should take action to send message to the poor people that they care," says Maulana Mahmood Madani, All India general secretary, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind.

The most stinging slap comes later, the ultimate insult to Indian secularism, as is.

...Buddhadeb has made a Gujarat out of West Bengal. I do agree with the view. Some murderers regret the crime and some feel proud of what they have done. Buddhadeb and Narendra Modi are proud of what they have done. Buddhadeb is saying that the killings are a fitting reply to whatever happened in the last 11 months. Buddhadeb and Modi both have no regrets for violence and that makes them similar to each other.

He is right in many ways. Madani has--perhaps unwittingly--awakened to the fact that the Indian Left has always politically manipulated the Muslims. The most illustrative instance of this points to the evidence-gathering phase of the Ayodhya debate. The Left, which had promised the moon to the Muslims scampered when their "evidence" amounted to naught.

The current violence in Calcutta has historical precedents mostly in intent and method. An oft-recurring feature of the freedom struggle was the threat of unprovoked violence issued by Muslim organizations of this nature to ensure that their demands were met. Till date, the appeasement-precedent that Mahatma Gandhi set continues almost unaltered.

Hardly any condemnation emanates from the mainstream media, liberals, intellectuals, or keepers of the society’s communal conscience. No outraged editorials against the AIMF or allied organizations. Eminent bloggers who relish taking regular potshots at the BJP, and condemn the wholesale selling of hate are not bothered to even alert us to this shameful incident. I guess their energies are solely reserved for overactive activism on the Gujarat riots.

It is bad enough that this has happened but it infinitely sad that it happened in West Bengal. In a perverse twist of fate, the land that gave India an entire galaxy of freedom fighters, thinkers, philosophers and poets is today steeped in comprehensive depravity. In less than a hundred years, the extent of West Bengal’s turpitude makes us wonder if Bankim, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Tagore, et al were real men.

Sandeep works as a writer in an IT Services company based in Bangalore. Blogging is his latest and severely active hobby.
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Deepti Lamba
November 22, 2007
06:50 AM

I believe Taslima Nasreen has not ventured out of her home in weeks fearing her life.

The Kolkata cops already asked her to leave the city and she refused and government too may carry forth the same request.

It would be a crying shame if another writer or artist is thrown out of the country. India is not a country ruled by goons and thugs and the government should not give in to this kind of mob mentality.

I agree with Deepti Lamba
November 22, 2007
07:41 AM

I always like to watch Muslim news too. And if i have time, I will go to www.muslimonly.com for chatting to other Muslim friends online, I feel very happy with them.

November 22, 2007
08:38 AM

In India, if you want something to be done, you will have to be strong, very strong. Some leaders are strong and some are not.

November 22, 2007
09:22 AM

Clearly CPI-M are scrambling to suck up to their vote bank, after having antagonized it with their pogrom in Nandigram. So they're offering up Taslima's head on a platter, as a sop. Another demonstration of the corruption of the Left.

November 22, 2007
09:42 AM

Hello Sandeep,

Very thoughtful and well-written essay on the deep abyss that CPM has managed to sink WestBengal into. I agree with you totally.

As Taslima wrotes something like this: I sit here with my cup of tea, my hands waving imaginary flies away. But this is Sweden, there are no flies here. What am I swatting, sadness?


November 22, 2007
10:19 AM

Let Taslima Nasreen move to gujarat.
If even one muslims dares to bark, NARENDRA MODI, chief minister of gujarat will publically hang the muslims.. he is what west bengal needs.

Bong buster
November 22, 2007
10:45 AM

Another 'Direct Action Day' is waiting to happen for the coward Bengalis.You will be amazed to see the self hate of these Bengalis .They are just waiting to be slaughtered and removed from West Bengal,just like they were from East Bengal.There is a bengali doctor is desicritics who is always concerened about 'poor' muslim victims at the hands of Hindu 'fanatics'.After the horrible genocide of Hindus in East Bengal (Noakhali etc),the resulting hate was chanelled towards by self hate by the commies.That's why Bengalis are the most self hating people in this country.

November 22, 2007
11:25 AM

Talebanization of Bengal--> Its scary how Tasleema got pulled into Nandigram on behalf of the minorities... also its an amazing spectacle to watch how muslim communalism gets into it(lets call a spade a spade).

What scares me is that tommorow... if i accidentally draw the ire of some small mullah sitting in his madrasa in some remote corner of india and he cries out for my blood.... there wont be anyone to help me.India as a free country is an illusion.

Bengal is the opposite pole of Gujrat, geographically and politically... i wonder where the so called secular voices are in this case.. probably hiding in the pretext of ignorance.. selective secularism is a fashionable thing to wear :)

Asha Dhody
November 22, 2007
11:49 AM

What has happened yesterday makes every Calcuttan with dignity hang his head in shame.Living in Calcutta has become a nightmare,The artcle written by Sandeep has illustrated the Calcutta of today very well.I hope the minorities and their leaders are taken to task in an appropriate manner.
Where are the leaders and artist who condemned Nandigram ,why are they silent today.
The police watched helplessly,whvo has given these people the right to generate lawlessnes and literally get away with murder.The look of the chlidren stranded in their schools is frightening and depressing.
Is it asking for too much if WE have a uniform legal sytem applicable for Indians as a whole.
The muslim law allows a man to marry 4 times, please calculate the number of ofsprings the men is capable of having----these children are brought up in madrassas ,receivng doles,hating the very country they are born in, Soon secular India will become Muslim India .please wake up before these kind of episodes become rampant all over the country.The Taslima episode might have been triggered by infiltrators from across the border or by power hungry vote seekers .Bengal has been the hub of peaceful coexistence let us get together to generate a healthy atmosephere and not retaliate.

November 22, 2007
12:37 PM

Taslima Nasreen has been flown out of Kolkata, which the BBC still calls Calcutta, to Jaipur, after 'some initial grumbling'.

November 22, 2007
01:17 PM

BBC: British Broadcasting still in Colonial era :)

How can BBC foget that the mofos had the capital in Calcutta... and Not Kolkota as those brown aborigianls call it :)

Ref: Rudyard Kipling: white man's burden of not being able to pronounce indian stuff.

November 22, 2007
10:59 PM

Once again where are our alleged HUMAN RIGHTS wallahs and their feminist Cassandras?Probably hiding under some leftist pile of dung.

November 23, 2007
02:05 AM

Its not going to be long before W Bengal becomes India's NW Frontier Province. WHat the politicians are indulging in is a dangerous game.

Soham Roy
November 24, 2007
03:45 PM

The riots in Kolkata were organized by Idris Ali of the Congress (I) and Sultan Ahmed of Mamata's Trinamool Congress.


The areas where the riots happened are mostly populated by illiterate and impoverished minority migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bangladesh (most poor people in Kolkata are from those two states and Bangladesh). These areas in Kolkata are well known tinderboxes as illiteracy, social backwardness and religious fundamentalism form a dangerous mix. Politicians of all parties use them as votebanks. The current riots were an attempt to break the CP(I)M's grip on the minority votebank by the opposition Congress(I) and Trinamool Congress of Mamata.

In the end the common people had to suffer because of the votebank politics of these parties.

Mamata didi and her hooligans stand exposed today because of these riots. She has time and again bloodied the common man's nose in her attempts to capture the throne. The intellectual bankruptcy and double standards of the CP(I)M was also exposed which sometime back defended Karunanidhi's name calling of Lord Rama as free speech and secularism and yet today asked Taslima not to hurt religious sentiments and threw her out of the state! The BJP stands exposed when Advani ji said that he had never seen such violence as in Nandigram (he conveniently forgot about Gujarat riots the ratha yatra riots and the Babri riots engineered by the BJP).

West Bengal and India are indeed cursed because of these political parties and leaders.

November 25, 2007
06:54 AM

Tasleema episode is not the work of Muslims, but of the communists who organized it in the name of Muslims. As far as Nandigram read this article TOI.

November 25, 2007
07:01 AM

Muslims in west Bengal needs a party who do not handle Muslims with Kid-Gloves, they need a anti-Muslim party, presumably BJP, then it is good for Muslims, they would wake up to reality and work for their REAL empowerment and education.(Gujarat has highest Muslim literacy rate and they are relatively prosperous than their counterparts in other states)
And what happened in Kolkatta is still not the end of the world for kolkatans. How good would be if Muslims read what Taslima wrote, being a Muslim I do not find it any way Anti-Islamic. She actually never challenged the core beliefs of Islam....

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