Bringing Back Bengal’s Lost Glory
West Bengal always tops the political violence chart in the country, especially during elections. The scenario has been no different during the 2021 Assembly elections. Everyday reports of political scuffle from various parts of the state are not only disturbing, but are also damaging the image of West Bengal beyond repair. Political analysts may not see anything extraordinary in political violence, but the fact remains that violence always leaves a long lasting scar in society. The increasing number of violent incidents in the state clearly proves that deploying more forces or holding elections in phases is not a potent weapon against such menace. Something more needs to be done. It is high time now for all concerned groups to sit together and find a way to prevent political clashes in the state once and for all, so that the image of the state can be repaired.
It’s a matter of shame that West Bengal which was amongst the front-ranking states in the country, has now earned the dubious distinction of being the most politically volatile state in India. This has been made possible by the political parties who have ruled the state since Independence. While in power, these parties indulged in violence to terrorise their political opponents with the help of state administration. Such misuse of power has almost become a tradition in West Bengal. This is why be it the regime of Congress, Left or any other party, complaints of intimidating political opponents always dominated the state’s political scene. A person lost his palm for voting for the opposition and many have found their houses burnt or looted for supporting a party not in power.
So, there is no wonder that the state’s chief minister was found stranded in a booth for hours amidst sloganeering by two rival political parties. The Chief Minister could reach safety only after heavy deployment of police forces. This horrific incident shows the absence of tolerance among various political parties having presence in the state. So the Boyal incident in Nandigram Assembly constituency is just the culmination of all such previous misdeeds. It appears that the political parties in the state have forgotten the golden rule of democracy. In a democracy election is a regular affair but the election result does not empower any party either to intimidate or to discriminate against any single citizen, questioning his or her loyalty. Until the political leaders and workers in West Bengal have learnt to respect their political opponents and the process of democracy, the state will continue to suffer from political violence. Clearly, such a mindset is completely against the Bengali culture. Political violence has weakened the state’s economy as industries were closed. It killed many youths who could have easily made the state proud if given a chance. In May, a new government will come to power in West Bengal, the immediate agenda of the new government should be to put an end to the culture of political violence if the government is interested in bringing back Bengal’s lost glory.