Of course, Mamata Banerjee has to react, will react. More than any other chief minister/political leader. Whatever is left out of the Assam NRC has ‘Bengali’ written all over it. The Bengali of West Bengal will also for a time believe that it’s a programme against the ‘Bengali’. But there are subtle ways to offset such a feeling and a ‘West Bengal for Indian Bengali’ slogan could spark interest and more. A report, for Different Truths.
There are places on earth, where if you found the words, you could talk to the gods! Would Mamata Banerjee, been aware of such places, be talking of “civil war and bloodbath?” Mamata is a most down-to-earth person, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less a shrewd politician than the average. In fact, she could teach the best a lesson or two.
Thirteen years ago Mamata, a fiery MP with piercing shrill voice, stomped into the well of the Lok Sabha, throwing papers towards the Chair, demanding that Bangladeshi infiltrators be thrown out of West Bengal, pronto! Reason: The Left front was getting elected on the back of a vote-bank made-up of “illegal Bangladeshi migrants.”
Mamata’s shrill voice shook the aisles, and it was a sight. Etched in memory and in pictures that are now surfacing on social media, her scathing words at the time in 2005 rang truer than the Ganges – spoken like a true Indian, too, some would say. The indigenous Assamese liked her, and so did the ‘Hindu’ BJP.
But that was before ‘Didi’ got hold of the formula herself – a vote-bank that will vote for her for forever. So-called Muslim appeasement! The kind which the Congress she once belonged to could not do to her extent. Ever. For it’s a fact that a national party and a regional party are different. Mamata swears by “Mother India” but she wouldn’t go so far as to run out Bangladeshi infiltrators. That doesn’t figure in Mamata’s scheme of things.
Ever since she took charge “I’m Indian, look at me!” has been on many a Bengali tongue not born in West Bengal. The 2011 assembly elections were Mamata’s turning point. The TMC aped Left methods to the ‘T’ and won the elections with a ruthless display of tough electoral tactics. The “violent Left parties” did not know what hit them. One of the headlines that made the next morning’s newspapers were ‘Left in Bare Bottoms!’
Never was a lady politician seen more aggressive than Mamata Banerjee. But then, that is ‘Didi’. A black belt in street politics with the meanest kick in mixed martial political arts! To this day, the Left has not recovered from where it landed, on its rumps, bottoms scraped.
But then, the times they changed. 2014 saw Modi taking the ranking post in New Delhi – Prime Minister of India! And in the 4-and-half-years since, the BJP has swept into the northeast like on a swell of surf raised by a hurricane, winning state after state on the back of methods she copied from the Left.
Like they say ‘what goes around comes around’. Karma! O! Doesn’t mean the Trinamool Congress has lost West Bengal or is likely to lose ‘Bangla’ anytime soon, but Tripura was a hint of things to come. Not good tidings! And, now, the NRC in Assam depriving 40 lakh ‘Bengali’ branded illegal aliens the right to vote!
Take away voting rights of a big swathe of people, after declaring them illegal aliens, and the city on the hill is lost, Mamata’s most-terrifying nightmare. The Trinamool boss, who has been investing heavily in forming a grand alliance to take on the BJP, and succeeding too, is suddenly seeing red!
It’s an opportunity for her to consolidate her vote-bank. That is there, too. But what if the “indigenous people” of West Bengal start hankering for a “NRC for West Bengal”? It will break the back of her vote-bank and lay to waste the future of Trinamool in its only bastion. Not glad tidings! Unthinkable. The stuff of nightmares.
Of course, Mamata Banerjee has to react, will react. More than any other chief minister/political leader. Whatever is left out of the Assam NRC has ‘Bengali’ written all over it. The Bengali of West Bengal will also for a time believe that it’s a pogram against the ‘Bengali’. But there are subtle ways to offset such a feeling and a ‘West Bengal for Indian Bengali’ slogan could spark interest and more.
It’s a risk not worth taking. So, Mamata Banerjee is going all-out against the Assam NRC. She’s is talking of “over my dead body” and “if nobody else I’m ready to take in the 40 lakh” and “civil war” and “bloodbath”. The volatile politician that she is, with a penchant for grand alliances, ‘Didi’ is bringing all the states into play, from Gujarat in the West to Assam in the East; from Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Kerala in the South, warning every Indian of a civil war if the Centre goes ahead with its “India for Indians only” programme.
Mamata Banerjee is on fire and there is no more dangerous being on Earth than a woman on fire! Fiery Mamata, try as she could, seems to be unable to find the words to talk to the gods. That said, there’s a Spanish saying that a glad heart is all that one should ask of the gods. Glad tidings. Rabindra Sangeet and Rossogolla! Not civil war and bloodbath.
Photo from the Internet