Politics of 'Bengaliness' breaks out after Kulgam attack
Within hours after the Kulgam attack on Tuesday that killed five labourers from West Bengal working in Kashmir, politics of a different nature raised its head in the eastern state focussing on Bengal, Bengali and Bengaliness.
In the middle of night, at 1.20 a.m. on Wednesday, ruling Trinamool Congress's defacto No 2 and party MP Abhishek Banerjee took to Twitter to harp on the "Bengaliness".
"5 innocent BENGALI labourers brutally killed in J&K on a day a delegation of parliamentarians from the European Union visited Kashmir to get first-hand knowledge of the situation," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew tweeted.
"Isn't it the right time for a befitting Air Strike or we wait till the next MCC comes into force?"
The word 'Bengali' in all-caps was to stress the victim's origin and espouse the cause of "Bengaliness" that the Trinamool have been consistently at -- ever since the BJP made inroads in West Bengal.
The reference to 'MCC' which is an abbreviation of model code of conduct was an insinuation that the government takes out on bombing terror hubs, as was during the Balakot strike, keeping elections in mind.
However, Mamata Banerjee was much more restrained in her reaction, limiting it to expressing "shock".
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress reached Murshidabad early on Wednesday, where the five victims hailed from Sheikh Kamrudin, Sheikh Mohd Rafiq, Sheikh Murnsulin, Sheikh Nizamuddin, and Mohd Rafiq Sheikh.
He reached out to the families of the victims. Earlier, on the intervening night of October 29 and 30, Chowdhury posted a couple of tweets -- in Bengali, to drive home the point.
He said, "Those victims are from my Murshidabad district. They believed (in) the government of India and went to earn a living in Kashmir. But they had to pay with their lives."
A subtle message- in Bengal, for Bengal - was given by Congress's leader in the Lok Sabha, who hails from the same place.
If that wasn't all, Surya Kanta Mishra, Left's tallest leader from Bengal right now harped on words like "Murshidabad", "Non-Kashmiri" to play the Bengal card and urged Mamata Banerjee to send an all party delegation which will take it up with the BJP-led centre.
Politics of Bengaliness:
The politics of Bengal and Bengali, which takes pride in its language and opposes alleged "hindi imposition" by the BJP seems to have found many takers.
In June this year, Mamata Banerjee targeted BJP saying, the saffron party will not decide the fate of Bengal, referring to what she claims is 'hindi imposition' on non-Hindi speaking states.
Bangla Pokkho, a prominent pro-Bengali group advocates this politics of Bengal and Bengaliness, is believed to have political backing. It draws inspiration from the anti-Urdu movement in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
In this scheme of things, the ruling Trinamool and the opposition Congress and Left have found a common ground to oppose the BJP, which is projected as 'outsider', a 'party of North'.
This is hurting the saffron party that had dealt a blow to both CPI-M and the Trinamool in the last general election, making a huge dent.
Now, the death of five labourers in Kashmir's Kulgam is turned around as death of five Bengalis in the valley, giving further impetus to the politics of Bengal, Bengali and Bengaliness.IANS