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Political savagery taking revenge at idols

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Political savagery taking revenge at idols
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Any senseless move to establish supremacy by bringing down the statues erected by opponents - the very moment when the atmosphere turns in their favour - can only be viewed as as a sign of a bellicose culture.

With BJP coming to power ending the 25-year long LDF rule in Tripura, the incidents of violence and destruction of statues unleashed by their supporters point towards the looming turbulence. The world watched through the visual media a mob of attackers bringing down the statue of Vladimir Lenin which was unveiled by senior CPM leader Prakash Karat a few months ago in Belonia near the capital city of Agartala, with the help of bulldozers and celebrating it by shouting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. The reaction of BJP spokesperson Subrata Chakraborty was that it was the ‘public fury’ towards the CPM that became evident in Belonia and that the people of the area wanted to see instead the statues of national heroes like Swami Vivekananda and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel erected. After the incident, State Governor Tathagata Roy had opined that ‘what one democratically elected government can do, another democratically elected government can undo and vice versa’. The fact that he made those remarks and when they triggered a controversy he tweeted condemning the attacks raises doubts whether even those who should ensure law and order are not getting engaged in the game of politics.

The Hindutva party, which squander money from the exchequer to construct a statue of Sardar Patel by spending crores, should not have any objections against the culture of idols. The politics of intolerance that cannot even look at the figure of those who differ in ideology is a sign of Fascism. That was the reason why BJP national secretary H Raja called on the supporters to raze the statues of Periyar E V Ramasamy - who promoted the ideology behind Dravidian politics - and subsequently the statue in Tiruppattur Cooperation office was brought down. Leaders like Raja who turn blind with communal views might not learn the role played by Ramasamy Naicker in fostering self respect among the Dravidian population against upper caste supremacy. The Ministry of Home Affairs had released a press statement which said Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the incidents of statue vandalism. But it was only after reports of Jan Sangh founder Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee’s statue also being razed to the ground that the Home Ministry issued the press release.

In this tragic juncture when violence and aggression have become an integral part of our political culture, it has to be feared that the bellicose Sangh parivar ideas permeating to the already violence-ridden Northeastern states, will cause grave outcomes. The BJP is treading with its deeply divisive approaches into the conflict zones of the country's borders where violent methods are resorted to for protecting racial and tribal identities. The ally of the BJP, Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) is the political incarnation of the secessionist National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT). And their strength is their armed guerrillas. The country is concerned about what is going to happen with such sections gaining a share of power in the new power equations. Reports indicate that extensive attacks were unleashed against CPM workers and Muslim minority, causing heavy losses. Power is passing to the hands of those striving to grab party institutions of opponents, and to take on adversaries fully armed. Venture

The CPI, though now thrown out of power, does continue to exist there as a strong force with a vote share of 43 per cent. If it is decided to settle matters through muscle power, the result would be a stream of blood. For that very reason, the Centre has a no small role to play in restoring peace to the state. The state governor Thathagata Roy, who even earlier used to vitiate the atmosphere through controversial statements, has by now proved himself to be one with a very partisan mentality. As such, those who take decisions would do well to ponder whether his continuation in the Raj Bhavan in the new political circumstances would be in national interest.

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