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Emerging Alternative Narrative in West Bengal Politics

Author: IPF      Date: 12 Jun 2017 16:09:01

First talk under the Series State Politics in India

Date: May 20, 2017

Venue: IPF Seminar Hall

 


The opening remarks were given by Dr. Rajvir Sharma. He berated the current political regime of West Bengal and its appeasement policy.

A Power-Point-Presentation was presented before the audience to understand the background of political and social history of West Bengal. The presentation was prepared by IPF research team and presented by Shri Siddhartha Shivakumar, intern at IPF.

Dr. Suvrajyoti Gupta, Assistant Professor, Jindal Law School and Senior Journalist Shri Jayanta Ghosal were the main speakers at the seminar, “Emerging Alternative Narrative in West Bengal Politics”, organized by India Policy Foundation on 20 May, 2017 at IPF Seminar Hall. The seminar was chaired by Dr Suman Kumar, Associate Professor, University of Delhi.

The first speaker was Dr. Suvrajyoti Gupta. He opened his speech with a brief political and cultural history of West Bengal including cultural renaissance of the land. He also recollected the role of Bengal in the Freedom Struggle. His main emphasis was on the political transformation of Bengal since 1970s. He talked on the emergence of Leftist politics, the continuous erosion of Congress to the emergence of Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee. He also highlighted the changing demography of Bengal, the ongoing religious conversions, illegal migrations from Bangladesh, human trafficking as key tools of West Bengal politics to grasp power. He focussed on a political alternative which leads to the formation of ‘Akhand Bharat’.


 

Shri Jayanta Ghosal opens his speech by agreeing to the observations of Dr. Gupta. But he specifically pointed out the culture of violence in West Bengal politics. He categorically mentioned the inherent tradition of violence witnessed by Bengal before and after Independence.  He also said the Bengal was always a seat of extremist political violence even before Independence and eventually after. In the post-Independence era, Bengal saw the rise of Leftist extremism which recurred the same old violence. He emphasised that TMC was employing the same tactics of violence perpetuated by the CPI(M) but the BJP or any other political party cannot use the same counter-tactics to grasp power in West Bengal. He categorically said that the RSS does not have this legacy of violence to siege power in Indian political history.

 

 

 


IPF Hon. Director, Prof. Rakesh Sinha and Dr Avnijesh Awasthi both interjected in the debate and emphasised that West Bengal has an enriched cultural history and human values while quoting personalities like Raja Rammohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Sri Aurobindo.

The session was chaired by Dr. Suman Kumar conducted a round of Question and Answers in which the audience enthusiastically participated. The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Alok Sharma.