New Delhi: Bengalis and Bengal politics have every reason to feel besieged these days. There is a race rather senselessly either to hail Mamata Banerjee as a neo-saviour of Indian democracy or to attack and expose her for her bad governance.
The Mukul Roy saga of trust, luck and betrayal has added only a new flavour. It has degenerated into a new low and shows how politics can end up becoming a dispenser of patronage and selfish means and ego battles.
In the book, ‘Who are the Russians?’, English writer Wright Miller had said: “A Russian can weep at a piece of poetry at one minute and kill an enemy on that same spot a few minutes later”. This applies to the saga of West Bengal’s defection saga this time.
The country has lived through ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’ a variety of politics. But the defection of the father-son duo within weeks of their election to the state assembly sets a new bar. Mukul Roy and his legislator son Subhrangshu’s defection – back to Trinamool Congress – which they called a private limited company – would be referred to in the country’s politics for quite some time.
What provoked this ‘desertion’ move by the ‘Senior Roy’, who was made BJP national vice president, and at this hurried scale is not known. One reason could be his ‘intolerance’ of Suvendu Adhikari, who was junior to him in TMC but now made Leader of the Opposition in the assembly by the BJP.
The second reason of course – as a doting father he wants to ensure a ministerial berth or proper rehabilitation of his son. There is also a pending state government-inspired CID inquiry against Mukul Roy.
Mukul Roy has been named by the CID in a case pertaining to the murder of a Trinamool MLA. His name allegedly cropped up during the course of the investigation. He has also been questioned by the CID and the former Union Minister had secured anticipatory bail from the High Court.
“At least 45 cases are pending against me," Roy had said in December 2020. Both the father-son duo won the just concluded state assembly polls on BJP tickets and thus all eyes are also fixed on their move on whether they would resign their respective seats. Senior BJP leader and a former Governor, Tathagata Roy has called Mukul Roy a ‘Trojan horse’ who has collected details from BJP’s inner circle and has now betrayed the saffron camp.
There is another sort of reaction. Bengal BJP unit chief, Dilip Ghosh, has said, “….We did not gain much from Mukul Roy’s presence in BJP, so I cannot say how much we could suffer as well”.
Russians and Bengalis share one thing in common and that is the dichotomy in behaviour.
On one front, they can be passionate, believe in openness and honesty and frank behaviours while on the other they can be passive, over-cautious and hypocritical. Does communism influence make a person like that? Roy has been anti-Left personally but as goes the belief that societal and environmental influences are also powerful elements. Such a dichotomy in a human being is often forged by history, environment and climate.
The absence of ethics is another factor.
Of course, BJP’s Dilip Ghosh is right when he says, anybody and everybody has the right to go “wherever they want”. But in all there are a few bitter lessons for the saffron party as well. Did the BJP’s ‘gullible leaders’ – a phrase used by Tathagata Roy – put too much egg in the Mukul basket?
"Clearly Mukul Roy was a Trojan Horse. After having been welcomed into the BJP,gained access to its all-India leaders and hobnobbed with state BJP’s gullible leaders and learnt all about the party and its innermost detail, he went back and leaked everything to Mamata," Tathagata Roy tweeted. Mukul Roy had promised to bring out about 100 legislators in Mamata camp in the previous assembly, but this did not happen. For her part, Mamata Banerjee had herself got a bitter taste of Mukul Roy’s big promise when her Ram Lila rally in Delhi in 2013 had flopped in a big way as not even a quarter of the spacious ground could be filled.
Mukul Roy like a few other Trinamool Congress leaders has different cases – from Sarada to Narada. But the backlog of cases in the court system and often delayed probes are convenient tools to bury the politicised scandals.
At least in Mukul Roy's case, the law must take its own course!