Mamata Banerjee stoking Jihadi fires at West Bengal’s own risk

By Priyadarshi Dutta
Niti Central
Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mamata Banerjee’s secularism has nothing to do with
promoting enlightenment or liberal tendencies amongst
Mamata Banarjee
The revelations in Burdwan blast have heaped more
ignominy on the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The exposé of
links between Saradha Group and Jamaat-e-Islami were
already damning for the party. The suspicion that Mamata
Banerjee is lording over a Government not merely pro-
Muslim but Jihad-friendly is gaining ground. And it has
the potential to split the party wide open on communal

The TMC, not the BJP, was the refuge of genuine
nationalists in West Bengal desiring to overthrow the
pernicious Left Front. Mamata Banerjee tapped the
indigenous cultural elements of Bengal. Her symbol –
grass and flower – was highly rooted. She used the slogan
‘Ma-Maati-Manush’ i.e Mother (land), Soil (or land) and
People. She quoted from Rabindranath Tagore. With her
poems and paintings, she refurbished her image. She
cultivated cultural personalities of Bengal – dramatists,
artists, painters – and even gave them
Parliamentary/Legislative Assembly tickets. The
pictures/photographs of national leaders, especially
Bengali leaders, are garlanded in Writers’ Building on
their respective births and deaths. Hindu TMC supporters
even chant ‘Vande Mataram’.

She thus created a cultural space in the politics of
Bengal. The West Bengal BJP never even thought about it.
They mistakenly thought a few slogans of nationalism and
a few faces borrowed from northern India would do the
trick. Mamata outwitted them by tapping the cultural
roots of nationalism. But ironically she also pampered
the typecast Muslims at the same time. The Muslims,
disgruntled with Left Front rule and desirous of wearing
their religious identity on their sleeves, joined her. So
for Hasibul, Rakibul, Animul, Riazul – Trinamool became
their party. Even Mamata Banerjee herself posed as
tendering Namaz (a photo her critics on Facebook have
made famous). The Burdwan blasts took place in the rented
accommodation a floor above a TMC office. Interestingly,
the TMC office was a busy hub of many Muslim TMC leaders
during Lok Sabha elections. Following the blast, the TMC
office has quietly been shut down.

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