Communist Lives Do Not Matter for the ‘democracy lovers’: Balu Sunil
Let us have a quick recap of the events that have happened in West Bengal over the last two months to understand the viciously backstabbing nature of liberals and liberal media when it comes to the Communists of this country.
The first, of course are the communal clashes which erupted in Bengal as a result of the Ram Navami processions organized at large scale by the RSS-BJP. To counter the political impact of these processions, instead of organizing marches appealing for secularism, counter Ram Navami marches were undertaken by the so called “anti-fascist” TMC. A fact overlooked by most of the liberal commentators. The CPI (M) on the other hand, organized Ram-Rahim rallies appealing for brotherhood and communal harmony in the communally volatile regions like Birbhum. In Asansol, on the very next day after the riots, while the TMC had gone completely underground, the CPI (M) took rallies appealing for peace and secularism. Thousands of people participated in these rallies. Unfortunately, none of these events were covered adequately by either the liberal media or the other self proclaimed champions of secularism and democracy.
Then comes of course the mockery made of democracy during the nomination process for panchayat polls. Altogether, 34% of seats have gone uncontested in panchayat polls this year. In Murshidabad, where the Left Front-Congress alliance won 18 out of 22 seats during last assembly polls, the TMC has already won 46 out of 70 Zila parishad seats uncontested. [Editorial interjection by SI: LF and Congress entered into a political alliance during the 2016 West Bengal assembly elections. The Central Committee of CPI (M) saw it as a wrong step and called it ‘not in consonance with the political line of the Party’. While the recently concluded Party Congress of CPI (M) has ruled out any political alliance with the Congress Party ( it being one of the national parties of the ruling classes); it has called for joint actions in defence of democracy and secularism.]
It has won 42 out of 42 seats in Birbhum. These are unprecedented events in the history of independent India. Women activists of Left front were publicly molested when they attempted to submit nominations. Former Parliamentarians were beaten up in broad daylight. It was so outrageous that the media and some champions of democracy had no option but give lip-service statements. But then again, it would be qualified statements, equating the Left Front government with the TMC. The quintessential statement would be “You know what, this has also happened during CPM’s rule”. But when has such a situation ever arisen in Bengal during Left front’s tenure? The only time during Left Front rule when uncontested seats went above the normal was during 2003 panchayat elections (10%). However, when the results of the election came, Congress won Murshidabad Zila Parishad after several years and almost won Malda Zila Parishad. Even if there were some untoward and regrettable acts, it is non-comparable to the atrocities of the current government.
Violence during the polling day of Panchayat elections is in front of everyone. It began with a Dalit couple belonging to CPM burned to death in the darkness of night while they were asleep yesterday and has reached a toll of 20 as of now. Surprisingly only one BJP activist faced casualty in this rampage of “anti-fascist” TMC. Most of the members killed belong to the CPM. The usual suspects are yet again silent.
It is not the case that liberals and other radicals were silent throughout these two months. When the fictitious news about CPM-BJP alliance in some block in Nadia district was propped up by media houses, they went all out attacking the CPM. Once again, big essays proclaiming the death of CPM and its fascistic nature were written, despite clear-cut clarifications given by CPM state leadership. For these anti-Left forces, it was yet another episode to strengthen the narrative that has been constructed over the years, that the RSS and CPM are two sides of the same coin. The veracity of the matter bothered them little.
To sum up, liberals, post-modernists, ultra- radicals and other self-proclaimed champions of democracy are bloody backstabbers. Even when the most barbaric violence is unleashed on Communists of this country by RSS , TMC and other reactionary forces, these champions of democracy and secularism are just gonna keep their mouths shut . Even lip service solidarity cannot be expected from these opportunists.
[ Balu Sunil is a doctoral researcher in Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and his research interests include electoral system cleavages. He is also a political activist associated with Students’ Federation of India (SFI). This article first came as a FB note, which has been subsequently edited by SI.]