While all Indians are worried about covid, we the people of West Bengal are not only worried about covid but also we are terrified because of the ruthless aggression of the ruling party in the state. It is high time to bring the attention of all Indians towards West Bengal because the Bengali Hindu community in West Bengal are fighting the battle for their existential crisis and afraid to face the same treatment that has been done with Kashmiri Pandits.
Our state WB contributed around 40% to India’s GDP during 1960 which gradually dropped to around 4% at present. Continuous promotion of violence among workers, inefficient land policies, derogatory comments on industrialists, no administrative, legal and financial reforms, and complete absence of logistics, technology and financial hubs converted this fertile state to a sterile land. West Bengal became a sick state after suffering three decades of communist rule and Mamata Banerjee government has fared hardly any better.
As soon as Mamata Banerjee came to power, she stopped SEZ and took a stand against FDI. The land is not being allotted; even the port construction on the Bay of Bengal has been stopped. There are no four-lane state highways; the land is not being allotted for national highways. Jiagunj-Azimgunj bridge construction has not finished in 10 years due to legal problem with only 1 Katha of land! Metro rail was not allowed to invest 50% (like in other states) nor is the land being allotted, airport expansion was halted. The land was not provided for Kolkata Delhi freight corridor. No significant investments have come in even after 4 industrial summits. Bengalis cannot set up a business within their own state. Syndicate, non-payment, high handedness is constant impediments that vitiate the environment. Scores of industrious Bengalis have gone bankrupt due to these troubles, what has the government done to improve the situation?
Neither industrialization has taken place, nor is there focus on infrastructure development. The last hope people had was government service. Now with the rampant corruption, that has also become a distant not so feasible dream for most. You may be surprised to know that for last several years, WB Government did not recruit teachers in Government schools, so due to lack of teachers and deficit in infrastructures, parents are afraid to send their child to there. So, the only alternative is to send kids to private schools and while the schools are closed during this pandemic, the owner of the private schools did not show any sympathy by reducing their fees. The little children below 10 years of age were forced to take online classes. Can anyone explain the pedagogical relevancy of such online classes for those little kids? This was just for money.
You might be surprised to know that on the day of our independence one person was killed because he wanted to host Indian flag! Since the 2019 General election more than 100 innocent BJP workers have been murdered in the state. Recently one elected MLA was hung near his own house and without any investigation the state administration initially declared it as a suicide. One woman was shot for being a member of BJP Mahila Morcha and she is still fighting with her life in hospital. Two days back, one elected counsellor from BJP party was shoot to death in front of the police station. Apart from those reported numbers of murders, countless numbers of common people like me without any political affiliations have been threatened for raising their voice against the anarchist government. Several cases of rape of women were reported and our chief minister considered those cases as either small incidents or stated one two incidents can happen here and there. Before this, MP from her party Late Tapas Pal said in a rally that he will send boys to the house of opposition party workers to rape women.
Since the beginning of this pandemic WB government is utterly failed to provide basic health care to its resident. While the government hospitals are running out of bed, the private hospitals charge several lacs to treat covid patient as per many media reporting. The discrepancy in the results of covid testing also vouches for the fact that many testing centers are not even doing the testing properly and instead, they just put random positive results to admit people to their hospitals and to get money from them.
You all know that Durga Puja is the biggest festivals in West Bengal and unfortunately foe last couple of years, we had to go to court take permission to immerse our Maa Durga because our Chief Minister’s minorities appeasement policy. While our state Government allowed other religious festivals to carry on during this pandemic, they intentionally implement state wise lockdown on 5th August on the day of Ram mandir Bhumi Puja. Common people have been sent to jail for chanting “Jai Shree Ram”.
One after another, terrorists have been captured from different places of West Bengal and our chief minister is busy in fighting with the central Government to mislead everyone by saying central has no right to interfere in state administration. What is her problem to cooperate with National Investigating Agency (NIA) to find out those terrorists from our state? Not only that, this government is reluctant to take any action against any minority people because of vote bank. Several riots have been taken place in different areas of West Bengal and the government maintained absolute silence to keep their vote bank safe.
In demand of free and fair recruitment of educated youths in Government jobs, “BJP Yuva Morcha” held a rally “Nabanna Cholo” on 8th October. Spontaneous participation of common people was brutally thrashed by state administration. Many MPs of BJP and other top leaders like Kailash Vijayvargiya were beaten by the administration. Shri Balwinder Singh, the personal safety officer of BJP leader Shri Priyanshu Pandey, was mercilessly beaten by police and his religious symbol ‘the holy turban’ desecrated. Shri Singh was later arrested by police in charge of possessing illegal firearm. It is worth mentioning that Mr. Singh, who is an ex serviceman of the Indian Army, holds a firearm with nationwide valid license. His glorious career spans from taking part in Operation Vijay in Kargil 1999 and being a member of the elite Para SF and NSG over the last 44 years. Continuous oppression of voice became a neo normal for the people of WB. To get rid off the terror of communist party, we voted for TMC government which run the government in same communist style with special emphasis on minority appeasement! The situation is alarming, and it is nothing but an organized plan to destroy Bengali Hindu community from the state.
Under this circumstance, my humble question to my Prime Minister Modi Ji, why are you silent on violation of our all fundamental rights? Once Swami Vivekananda said “We have to give back to the nation its lost individuality and raise the masses. The Hindu, the Mahommedan, the Christian, all have trampled them under foot. Again the force to raise them must come from inside. i.e. orthodox Hindus.” That Narendra left us with his vision but we have another Narendra who is trying his best to fulfill that dream but as you said many times without developing West Bengal, it is not possible for India to be the number one in the world. So, please do something before the descendant of Swami Ji becomes wipe out from the soil of West Bengal.
Rudra Prasanna Banerjee,
Researcher, University of Alberta, Canada.