It is quite well known that Left radicals and Islamists played a major role in the ascendancy of Trinamool Congress to power in Bengal in 2011. The Left radicals helped mobilise the masses in support of the Trinamool, and also fought the Communist Party of India-Marxist or CPI(M) cadres and police, in Nandigram and Singur.
The Islamists, on the other hand, leveraged the Sachar Committee Report that highlighted the sorry plight of Muslims in Bengal to garner support for the party among the Muslims.
Ultimately, sympathy for embattled land losers in Singur and potential land losers in Nandigram, and the support of Muslims who were told that they had been taken for a ride during the 34 years of Left rule in Bengal, turned the tide in the Trinamool’s favour and enabled it to sweep to power in the state in 2011.
Since then, while the Trinamool has actively wooed the Islamists to keep its minority vote bank intact, it sacrificed the Maoists at the altar of political expediency.
But once again, the Trinamool is now taking the help of the Maoists — this time to counter the growing influence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), especially in south Bengal.
This has come out clearly from last week’s incident in which Union minister Babul Supriyo was heckled and assaulted by Left radicals.
The party, including chief Mamata Banerjee and senior functionaries, did not condemn the assault. In fact, till date, none of the Maoists who assaulted Supriyo have been arrested despite the existence of photographic evidence and video footage of the incident.
The Trinamool’s failure to condemn the assault exposes the developing nexus between the Trinamool and the Maoists.
The understanding that the Trinamool is developing with Left radicals, or Maoists, is based on a simple rationale.
“The Left radicals will target BJP functionaries and abuse them physically and verbally. The Trinamool will not be blamed for that, but the backlash such abuse will trigger will be used by the Trinamool to paint the BJP in a poor light,” said a senior BJP functionary.
This is exactly what happened at Jadavpur University last week.
After the assault on the Union minister, incensed members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) stormed the Jadavpur University to protest against the Left radicals. It is said that the Maoists themselves, taking advantage of the situation, damaged some portions of the university.
The Trinamool was then quick to blame the ABVP and the BJP, thus trying to put the blame for the entire episode on the party.
Simultaneously, leftists and pseudo-liberals (who are concentrated mostly in and around Kolkata) jumped on to the condemnation bandwagon and started a campaign against the BJP by selectively highlighting the vandalism in the university.
They, too, did not have a word of condemnation for the detention and assault of the minister that triggered the unfortunate chain of events.
The developing nexus between the Trinamool and Left radicals is based on a mutually beneficial plan.
“This plan is exactly the same as the one developed between the two parties to target the CPI(M) in the past. The target now is the BJP,” said the senior BJP leader.
During the anti-land acquisition movements centred around Singur and Nandigram spearheaded by Banerjee, the Maoists carried out covert attacks on CPI(M) cadres. When the latter retaliated, the Trinamool chief quickly criticised the CPI(M) and blamed it for the violence.
The credulous pseudo-liberal and Left-leaning pseudo-intellectuals then bought into this narrative scripted jointly by Banerjee and Maoists and turned public opinion against the CPI(M). Both the Trinamool and the Maoists gained politically from this game plan.
The Maoists also went on a recruitment drive during these last days of CPI(M) rule and were able to attract impressionable youngsters by highlighting its covert role in the anti-land acquisition movements raging across Bengal at that time.
Simultaneously, the Trinamool encouraged Islamists — mainly hardline mullahs preaching intolerance — to assume leadership of the Muslim community.
These Islamists found a ready weapon in the Sachar Committee Report which revealed that Muslims in Bengal had not progressed much during the 34 years of CPI(M)-led Left rule in the state. Using the report as a handy tool, they carried out a covert but widespread campaign among Muslims to wean them away from the CPI(M).
A large number of potential land losers in Nandigram were Muslims, and they form a significant part of Bengal’s peasantry.
The fear of the CPI(M)-led Left Front government taking away fertile farmlands for industry struck a deep chord among them. And coupled with the effective campaign based on the Sachar report, Muslim disaffection with the CPI(M) was complete. The Marxists lost the support of the Muslims, who shifted allegiance to the Trinamool and helped its advent to power.
Since then, the Trinamool has been careful to keep the Muslim clergy by its side. But this clergy is mostly hardline and has been spreading the hardline and regressive Wahhabi Islam.
This has radicalised a significant section of Muslims, especially in the rural areas in the districts bordering Bangladesh that have been overrun by illegal infiltrators from that country. Today, they pose a grave threat to the security and integrity of India.
According to central intelligence agencies, the Maoists have gone on a massive recruitment drive in recent months. This has coincided with the new and covert understanding with the Trinamool.
The understanding is that the Maoists will target and attack the BJP in the state while the Trinamool government looks the other way and even provides protection to the marauding Maoists. Any retaliation by the BJP will be highlighted to show the BJP in a bad light.
The Trinamool hopes to stem the rise of the BJP in this fashion. It plans to repeat its strategy of dumping the Maoists and using the state machinery to eliminate its top leaders, just as it did after coming to power in 2011.
“But the Maoists are prepared this time and will not be taken advantage of in that fashion. The Maoists have recruited a large number of youngsters from in and around Kolkata in recent months and have built a very good support network among left-leaning intellectuals,” said a senior Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer.
This Trinamool-aided growth of the Maoists and Islamists in Bengal and the spread of their pernicious influence in the state have gravely adverse implications much beyond Bengal’s borders.
IB officers warn that Bengal will soon turn into a hotbed of anti-national activities that will be beyond the capability of the state administration to curb.
But the Trinamool is unlikely heed these warnings. Driven by its desperation to contain the rise of the BJP, the Trinamool is sacrificing the interests of Bengal, and of the country, by aligning with and encouraging Maoists and Islamists. This bodes ill for India.
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