In the last 70 years since independence, Hindu Bengalis of West Bengal has been by and large marked as ‘communists’ & ‘seculars’ and dragged criticism of being anti-Hindu by nature. While such statements ever remained oversimplification of the Bengali psyche, Hindu Bengalis finally refused to fit into this narrative in 2021 & consolidated behind BJP upholding values of Hindutva. ‘Jai Shree Ram’ became a commoners’ slogan in the land of communism to an extent that the anti-BJP lobby had to field Amartya Sen to orchestrate against the outcry of “Jai Shree Ram”. While BJP came out as the 2nd largest party in West Bengal Election with 2 Crores 28 lacs 50 thousand 710 votes & 77 seats, it was defeated by the ruling party TMC which got 58 lacs 84 thousand 710 votes in excess to what BJP got & won 213 seats.
While BJP didn’t practically garner any decent share of Muslim votes, TMC garnered 97% of them. While BJP’s presence was expected to polarize the Bengal Mass in religious line, it ended up in undemocratic regimentation of Muslims behind TMC. In any democracy, near 100% consolidation of any community is undesirable as that creates a war-like situation that West Bengal is presently facing. However, before inferring anything about the ongoing violence in West Bengal, it would be helpful to look into an analysis of Election data done by a competent authority accuracy whereof is like that of Exit Poll or a shade more precise as it has been done on data available mainly from two sources.
1. Booth wise election results (published by ECI)
2. Voters’ lists of corresponding booths
As ECI does not publish or have no such mechanism to determine community wise distribution of casted votes, the analysis has been done by thorough manual scrutiny of individual electoral rolls to derive community wise distribution of voters in our sampled booths. Community wise distribution thus obtained were then mapped over booth wise results published by ECI correspondingly for those sampled booths. Overall average voter turnout in West Bengal Poll 2021 has been assumed to be 75% as ECI didn’t publish the overall average voter turnout & WB’s religious demography of 2021 has been extrapolated from Census Data, 2011. Accordingly, total number of Hindu electorates of West Bengal has been extrapolated to be 67%, Muslims 31% & Other Communities 2%.
Finding 1:— Considering overall average voter turnout to be 75%, it becomes apparent that 45% of casted votes came from Hindus, 29% from Muslims & 1% from other communities.
Finding 2:— Out of 100% existing Hindu electorates of West Bengal, 41.6% voted for BJP, 10.9% to TMC & 14.6% to Lefts, Congress, ISF, NOTA & Independent candidates combined. 32.8% of Hindu electorates abstained from voting. This abstinence had deciding impact on the final electoral outcome which may be elucidated in a separate piece.
However, this shows almost 42% of West Bengal’s existing Hindus had consolidated behind BJP giving them a huge number of electoral dictates. Only 10.9% Hindus chose TMC. This explains post poll violence upon Hindus is most likely to be vengeance against Hindus. Once booth wise mayhem of violence be viewed and get regressed with electoral outcomes of corresponding booths, it would be crystal clear that the violence is anti-Hindu in nature as Hindus predominantly refused TMC this year. Thus, West Bengal Hindus finally refused to fit into the hackneyed & concocted narrative that Hindu Bengalis of West Bengal are predominantly ‘communists’ & ‘pseudo-seculars’. Only 14.6% of all existing Hindus of West Bengal voted the 3rd Front this year of which Communists were a mere fraction.
Finding 3:—Out of 100% casted Hindu votes, (i.e. considering all casted Hindu votes as 100% Hindu votes), 62% went to BJP, 16.2% to TMC & 21.8% to Lefts, Congress, ISF, NOTA & Independent combined. This implies BJP got approximately 400% Hindu votes of what TMC got. Those facing the wrath of the ruling party are also Hindus. Very few Muslims too being tortured are exceptions to prove a rule.
Finding 4:— 83.8% (62% + 21.8%) of Hindus who casted their votes, voted against TMC indicating huge anti-incumbency against the ruling party. In spite of such overwhelming anti-incumbency, TMC was back to power due to a number of some other factors which may be elucidated separately.
Finding 5:— Hindu voters aggrieved of TMC, voted unhesitatingly for BJP. 73.99% of all those Hindus who voted against TMC, voted for BJP. And 26.01% of anti-TMC Hindus voted for Left, Congress, ISF, NOTA and Independent combined.
Finding 6:— As per ECI, BJP accumulated 38.1% of the total casted votes of West Bengal Assembly Election 2021. Out of this 38.1% votes, 37.2% came from Hindus, 0.4% from Muslims & 0.5% from other community voters.
[32.8% of total Hindu Electorates didn’t cast their votes implying that those Hindu electorates who casted their votes, constituted 67.2% of total Hindu electorates. 62% of this 67.2% casted their votes in favour of BJP and overall average voter turnout was assumed to be 75%. Hence 62% of 67.2% of 67% out of total 75% = 37.2%]
Finding 7:— Considering 2 Crores 28 lacs 50 thousand 710 votes of BJP to be 100%, 97.6% of those came from Hindus, 1% from Muslims & 1.3% from other community voters. Ethically & morally BJP leadership cannot leave Hindus of Bengal to face persecution on their own.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath once asserted in a Media Live with great despair about Bengal, “jo log Ram ko bhula dete hain unka kya kehna?” Now that West Bengal electorate has evidently chosen the Party who claimed to be politically committed to re-establish RAMRAJYA in its present form, they can’t be deserted in the midway to die. It is responsibility of BJP to do justice to the political choice of 38.1% of the total electorates of West Bengal. Can BJP Central leadership shift the blame of defeat to State leadership? Answer is in negative as people of Bengal voted for BRAND BJP & hardly at State leadership’s facevalue.
(This article was originally produced on June 8, 2021, reproduced again on the 1 year of West Bengal Post Poll Violence)