BJP and Bengal politics

Radhakanta Barik

Ajay Gudavarthy explains politics of Bengal in caste framework which is an absurd play. Caste is an identity in many societies which does not work in politics of Bengal or Odisha. Bengal one finds the inter caste marriages happen frequently both in urban area and rural areas. Forty years back I visited village in Burdwan and found a marriage between a Brahmin girl and Dalit boy. The village community accepted it. Yes in the village the Brahmin tola is in a separate lane and Dalits live in a separate lane of the village but intercaste marriage happens. That was the early phase of left politics but today situation has changed further into bring caste harmony and less caste conflicts on the issues of caste. Left politics got declined with the land question which became an important issue which shaped politics of Mamata Banarjee. She was on hunger strike over the issue but the day firing took place in Nandigram she turned into a top leader. She grew as a leader of Bengal politics but without using caste factor in politics. She replaced Buddhadeb Babu in a peaceful transition. Today Hindutva politics is growing trend in the Indian politics. Amorality and illegality are integral parts of Hindutva politics who can claim any thing except their leader Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Not referring to Shyama Prasad explains the rise of Hindutva politics in an irrational manner. They speak of Tagore and speak of Netaji and all these great people have no iota with the Hindutva politics. Right wing politics depend on amorality and money power as the Amit Shah claims that 18 thousand to each voter's account which is simply bribing a voter. They brought goonds from outside in Parliament election of 2019 and won some seats by doing violent activities and with the misuse of EVM. Ajay a young scholar from JNU needs to introspect and try to give meaningful analysis of Bengal politics not an easy method of caste politics. But yes caste is there as an identity but it is not able to enter into Bengal politics needs an explanation from him.

The BJP wants to use the Muslim card in Bengal politics which is not working in their favour. As Bangladesh has been created Muslims decided to stay back. Both have a good human bond which is sustaining the brotherhood. From the Left to Mamata all took up the issues related to development that is the only issue which is going to work in Bengal politics. Hindu Muslim and caste issue may not work in Bengal politics.

Bengal has a rich intellectual tradition which creates humanism rather than Hindu Muslim conflict. Poet Tagore questioned the religious basis of nationalism. Furthermore he questioned the nationalism in the place of humanism. This tradition has further strengthened with the rich poetic and literary traditions prevail in modern Bengal. Left politics is the result of cultural politics of Bengal which get articulated in theatre and yatra and cinema. All these creative works stand for humanism. Hindutva is fighting against humanism in Bengal rather than Hindu Muslim or caste conflict in a society.  It looks like the BJP is unable to penetrate to the soul of Bengal. It may remain as the fourth organization after the election result. It looks like either Mamata will form the government or at best there will be a coalition government. But, BJP does not have future in Bengal politics.

Prof Radhakanta Barik (retd), Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

Back to Home Page

Feb 24, 2021

Prof. Radhakanta Barik

Your Comment if any