why violence

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 May 2018 12:00:34

THE ugly violence during the local self-government elections in West Bengal killing dozens of people and injuring countless scores of others in addition to causing severe damage to property including election materials such as ballot boxes, demonstrates how the State has acquired a deplorable electoral culture over the past fifty years. The violence, by the way, does not indicate the Government’s failure to check it, but shows its complicity in the act as a matter of political culture in which crass hooliganism is an important ‘virtue’ to achieve petty goals. Nobody would be able to give an example of one election in which there was no violence in West Bengal in the past quarter of a century. It is commonly believed that in West Bengal, electoral violence has an official patronage. This is one condition that is totally deplorable.

It must be admitted that this culture of electoral and political violence is an ugly gift of the Left politics to the State of West Bengal and wherever the Left parties have a dominance in the country. If West Bengal is one place, Kerala is another. when the Leftists ruled Tripura, for example, political violence was rampant everywhere as a means of attainment of petty goals. The politicians of the Leftist ideology have often used violence as a tool to furthering their objective of enjoying unfettered power.
Most unfortunately, the Trinamool Congress headed by Ms. Mamata Banerjee also has followed the same culture of violence in its political operations. When Left parties were in power, hordes of their goons ruled the roost. Now that Trinamool Congress is in power, its goons play havoc in villages and hamlets and towns and cities, particularly when elections are held. The use of violence is for obvious purpose of silencing the rivals and opponents. No matter how many people deplore violence, West Bengal’s electoral politics is often accompanied by much violence in which killing people is routinely done.

This was what happened during the current local self-government elections in which a re-poll has been ordered by the State Election Commission (SEC) in 568 booths. This re-election has been found necessary because fair-play was particularly absent in those many places. When repoll has to take place in so many booths, it is obvious that violence and undesirable activities have distorted the situation beyond repair through normal methods. This harsh reality cannot be lost sight of. For a person of the eminence of West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata, who also heads the Trinamool Congress, resort of such violence should be a matter of utter shame. There is no need for anyone to resort to violence when conciliatory democratic ways and means are available to sort out issues. yet, in West Bengal, political violence has become an every day routine, so much so that the common people do not travel even a short distance to Police Stations to register offence agianst those who indulge in violence. It is commonly believed that the cops do not register offence of violence because they have been told not to do so.

If there is even an iota of truth in this allegation, then it is truly a matter of shame for the rulers of West Bengal in the past fifty years or so. The recent Panchayat elections in West Bengal were being treated by political parties as a practice session before the next year’s Lok Sabha elections. In fact, similar idea prevailed in other places too where elections have taken place recently. In West Bengal, however, things are absolutely different and absolutely violent. For Ms. Banerjee, this is a matter of shame and utter failure in controlling crime and violence as part of a crass political culture in which tolerance of any other thought is never to be expected. This culture must be brought to an end once and for all. For, if democracy is really to succeed in India, its exercise cannot be conducted in the thick of violence by local goons.