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Letters to the editor: BJP failed to gauge Bengal's humanitarian soul

Readers write in from Calcutta

Published 29.08.21, 12:01 AM
Shivprakash speaks at a BJP meeting in Calcutta on Monday

Shivprakash speaks at a BJP meeting in Calcutta on Monday File picture

Sir — At last, someone in the saffron camp seems to have spoken the truth (“Wrong model”, Aug 26). The Bharatiya Janata Party joint national general-secretary (organization), Shivprakash, has allegedly admitted that “[p]eople [in Bengal] are mostly secular and hence, didn’t fall for the Hindutva brand of politics...” Unlike most of India at present, Bengal has still resisted activities like communal pogroms, murder in the name of cow protection, love jihad and so on.

Bengal is a place where Muslims donate money for the construction of Durga temples and Hindus part with land to set up graveyards. The BJP and its bhakts failed to gauge the humanitarian soul of Bengal. This is why, in spite of unleashing the entire power of the State machinery in Bengal before the assembly polls and churning out a deluge of communal poison, the BJP has received a severe thrashing from the electorate. Yet, far from accepting this defeat gracefully, the BJP is not only making every effort to demean Bengalis, but there was also a proposal to divide West Bengal. The party seems hell-bent on dividing the people, one way or the other.


Moreover, fake assertions of “assault” on Hindu festivals in Bengal are laughable. With each passing year, the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi, Ram Navami and so on are becoming more boisterous. No place in the world is free from sectarian tensions, and in Bengal, too, stray instances of communal tension may have been reported in some places. But compared to the rest of the country and many parts of the globe, Bengal remains an oasis of communal harmony.

Given their mindset, BJP leaders and bhakts are requested to refrain from invoking the name of Swami Vivekananda — the epitome of communal brotherhood. This humanitarian worshipped a four-year-old Kashmiri Muslim girl during Kumari Puja at the Kheer Bhawani temple in 1898. The BJP should pay heed to what Shivprakash has to say and imbibe the essence of humanity from Bengal.

Kajal Chatterjee,

Sir — While most people are celebrating the admission of the BJP functionary, Shivprakash, what is striking is that hardly anyone is surprised by his open acceptance of the fact that the party and its Hindutva brand of politics use the communal card to win elections. This resignation about the poor state of affairs in what is purported to be a democracy is unfortunate. Neither the electorate nor the politicians seem bothered about the narrow means being employed to win elections. Rather, in most parts of the country, it appears to be reaping rich dividends. Why is the government not being held accountable for its failure to provide jobs, economic stability and food to the masses?

Rashmi Singh,

Faulty model

Sir — The Alipore zoo is all set to be modernized in the model of the Prague zoo — new animal species are also to be brought in as part of an exchange programme as per an agreement signed between the West Bengal state forest department and Prague zoo authorities. This is encouraging. But what must not be forgotten is the difference in climatic conditions between Bengal and Prague. Animals used to European weather will invariably be ill at ease in the tropical heat. Earlier, the government’s attempt to turn Bengal into London had failed. One hopes the same does not happen this time.

Ashim Mukherjee,

Parting shot

Sir — It is heartening that the police and civic officials will resume visits to markets to remind traders and customers to wear masks (“Market mask policing to resume”, Aug 28). The other day, I went to the New Market area for some work at the municipal office and was shocked to see that both sellers and those shopping had done away with even the pretence of wearing a mask. Earlier, there was much mirth about masks hanging from ears and around the chin. Now, people seem to be carrying on as if the pandemic has passed. This can be dangerous when a third wave is being expected.

Rima Roy,

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