From Agartala to Kolkata

After Bharatiya Janata Party’s mammoth of a win, there reigns a sense of anarchy in north-eastern state of Tripura. Adding on the agony of the Left-Front party and its supporters in the state is the prolonged delay in the swearing in ceremony of the new Chief Minister of the state, Biplab Deb.

“I solely hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah responsible for the state of anarchy that rules Tripura now,” says Kolkata-based political analyst Biswanath Chakraborty. He adds, “When there is a change of guard, things like this does happen, but the span of violence committed is not this long. Between March 3 and 9, there were six days for the people to create chaos. With no one designated to give orders to police, they are bound to turn mute spectators.”

Speaking about the statue of Vladimir Lenin being dismantled in Agartala, he maintained that this was perhaps done by the neo-recruits of BJP post election declaration. However, according to him the repercussion to this action of the BJP cadets could have some major repercussion for the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Around five hundred miles away from Tripura, the after effects of the heinous act of razing down Lenin’s statue, can be felt in Kolkata, a former citadel of the communists in India. On Wednesday morning members of Radicals, a leftist student group from Jadavpur University defaced the stone bust of founding member of BJP, Shyama Prasad Mookherjee. The students were seen raising slogans against BJP. They were also seen demanding an explanation from the central government with regards to the statues of Periyar and Lenin being damaged. Kolkata police sprang into action and have detained six students including a girl for the same.

The development took place a day after Lenin's statue razed down in Agartala, following which social reformer Periyar E.V. Ramasamy’s statue was vandalised at Tamil Nadu’s Tiruppattur.

Also, on Tuesday, members of SUCI staged a demonstration at Dharmatalla Crossing in Kolkata, where they set a poster of the Prime Minister ablaze. Amitava Chatterjee, district secretary of SUCI, Kolkata, said, “We were protesting against the vandalism that is now ruling Tripura. The razing down of Lenin’s statue in Agartalla, is almost equivalent to the act of the Talibans and ISIS, who have been destroying historical monuments. Fanatics are rabid forces who need to be contained; else the nation will have to suffer. You, see, Lenin was a World leader and his statue being dismantled raises some serious questions about where the nation is heading to.” On being asked, what now, he said, “See, we would have protested even if the statue of any other world leader had been destroyed.”

However, he didn’t deny the fact that Leftist ideology is on the decline. “Yes, we understand that and will be doing a lot of ground work to resurrect the party once again,” he added.

On the other hand, Mohammad Salim, Member of Parliament and CPI (M) Polit Bureau, has sent off a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. In which he stated, “The Polit Bureau of the CPI (M) wishes to bring to your notice that after the election results to the Legislative Assembly in Tripura are out, the goons of the BJP have unleashed a reign of terror and all-round attack on the members and supporters of the CPI (M), their houses, Party offices and mass organization offices throughout the state.  514 individuals were injured, 1539 houses were attacked, 196 houses were set on fire, 134 Party offices were attacked and 208 Party offices were captured.  Many mass organisation offices also were attacked and captured.  The attacks are continuing.”

However, analyst Chakraborty on being asked to analyse the situation, stated, “There has always been a conflict in ideology of both RSS and Communists. The hate is mutually reciprocated. Also, you can’t compare the wiping off of Communists from Bengal. The change happened gradually in Bengal, Left was already on a decline when Mamata Banerjee came into power in 2011. But still if you can recall there were instances of violence.”

 On being asked what this means for the Communists in India, he said, “They have to change their objectives, characters and strategies. Most communists across the world have emerged as social democrats, which has a role in Indian politics. Communism won’t have any place in Indian polity now. So the Polit Bureau now has to undergo a major reform and reinvent themselves if they want to survive in Indian politics.”

RECOMMENDED STORIES