Track down invisible instigators
Asim Kumar Mitra
For the last one week a group of people belonging to a particular community of minority section has created a riot-like situation in several parts of Kolkata and different areas of the state. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has personally appealed to the public in general, not to be involved in such activities which are nothing but suicidal. On 22nd March 2012, Chief Minister Ms. Banerjee said: “Mischief makers are trying to foment trouble by morphing a controversial picture over which there was trouble already in the city on Monday (19. 03. 12)” She further said, “Under no circumstances would we tolerate the communal harmony in the state to be disturbed”.
On March 19, a picture depicting a Pak cricket player offering Namaaz by sitting before an image of Hindu God Vishnu, while the Pak cricketer was in a Namaaz-posture of ‘pranam’ very much popular among Hindus, a model girl named Poonam Pandey who was completely nude, held the picture by her hands—was published in a Kolkata based daily English newspaper. In fact this picture was not new to those who browse internet regularly because it was circulating through Twitter and Facebook for quite some time. This particular picture sparked off a riot-like situation in different parts of Kolkata and in several areas of West Bengal.
The incidents which were already taken place is not only unfortunate but alarming for the simple reason that one particular community of the minority group was involved in it. And more so, even after the repeated appeal by the Chief Minister to maintain peace and tranquility in the society went unheeded for quite some time. Ultimately, administration had to come down to take stern action against the trouble-makers. Now, of course, everything is under control.
Regarding this incident, few very important questions have surfaced: one, Mamata’s secularist attitude and magnanimous offers towards a particular community have made their heads swelled and they have developed a “don’t care attitude”. The Forward Bloc MLA Ali Imran Ramse went on to comment that “there is no administration in the state for the simple reason that there is only one post in the state that runs the show, all others are nothing but “lamp posts”. Is it not a fact that Mamata’s magnanimity is being misunderstood by this particular community? Or they are all out to take advantage of the situation? Two: It was obvious that the said photograph which was published in a Kolkata based English daily newspaper, was an outcome of the well thoughtout conspiracy to destabilise the current government headed by Mamata.
Third very important question is whether time has not come to edit the materials circulated by Facebook, Twitter, Orkut; LinkedIn etc. are not only risky but also dangerous for the security of the country? These types of unedited copies and photographs have already created havoc in different parts of the world. Should we allow them to happen here?
In this connection let me put forward another for the kind perusal of our readers that provoking riots among communities in our country used to be a favourite game of certain foreign countries. Of late Indians could understand that riots do not pay. So the people of India watch it with utter surprise that there was not a single riot in BJP-ruled Gujarat for the last ten years whereas riots used to be an yearly affair in that state. Those ill motivated persons of yester years were out to do this mischief during the recent Literary Conference at Jaipur. In this conference, Salman Rushdie was invited as a guest. But the Muslim community raised a strong voice of dissension against Rushdie. They were opposed to his visit to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The Congress-ruled state administration was in total dilemma because Rushdie was the person who wrote many things against Muhammad in his book “The Satanic Verses” published a decade ago and that book was banned in India. The newspaper like Hindustan Times in its editorial made a comment saying if he was allowed to visit India then there would be riot throughout the country. Because secular India would not tolerate this. But when MF Hussain painted Hindu Gods and Goddesses with filthy motives this newspaper welcomed it saying artists have democratic rights to express their opinion— (But this does not apply in the case of Rushdie because he wrote something against Muhammad. What a pity.)
During Jaipur literary conference instigations were there to break a riot throughout the country. But it was foiled for the simple reason that good sense prevailed upon the people. These undaunted invisible instigators were very much active here in West Bengal just to crumble the social fabric of the state as well as India. They have miscalculated the character of Mamata Banerjee. No doubt she is a strong secularist, but she is an Indian first unlike the Left Front minister Kalimuddin Shams who said “I am Muslim first and then Indian”. Now the question is what is their next target?