Ernst Röhm, the boss of Brown Shirts, whose rough shoulders carried Adolf Hitler into the German Chancellery, was keen to induct them into the Wehrmacht that was set to replace Reichswehr. However, the Fuehrer, whose vision was to develop a world-beating armed force, saw no role for Röhm’s riff-raff in its professional setup. But as the rebuffed deputy could unleash his Storm Troopers on his regime itself, the real politic constrained the Nazi numero uno to usher in the Night of the Long Knives but for which, the rights and wrongs apart, the Third Reich wouldn’t have had such a formidable army with the Panzers at its helm.
That was in the early thirties of the last century and now in the nascent twenties of the current one, India’s West Bengal faced a Röhm moment as Mamata Banerjee, the Trinamool supremo, led her party to a resounding victory in the assembly polls, however, fouled by her personal loss at the hustings. Thus, while Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, and Amit Shah, the Home Minister, who together led a no-holds-barred poll campaign to uproot the unruly Trinamool, have been licking their political wounds and counting their electoral losses, one would have expected Mamata Didi, who had the last laugh by remaining in the saddle to prove the Bengal electorate right that is courtesy the country’s constitution, which enabled her to take another shot in a by-election, to be conciliatory to her opponents. But then, she has to contend with her formidable support base of the aggressive Muslim constituency that she cultivated for electoral aggregation that came to perceive the Trinamool victory as a license to pursue their extremist Islamist agendas, and so began to run amuck amongst the Hindus, who sought to spoil their party by voting for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). That was the Röhm moment for Mamata, which put her in a catch- 22 situation of her own making.
Well, she could only rein in the rampaging Muslim miscreants, euphemistically called Trinamool goons by the compromised Islamapologic media, at the cost of imperiling her solid vote-bank of roughly one third of the State’s electorate. Besides, with her extreme-Muslim-appeasement governance model, she had already burnt most of her electoral bridges with the majority of the Bengali Hindus, save the supercilious Bhadralok, who seem to take pride in swimming away from the pan-Indian political mainstream. This aspect of the Bengal’s political reality was underscored by her electoral loss at Nandigram, albeit by a narrow margin, to Suvendu Adhikari, her confidante turned contestant, who meaningfully dubbed her as Begum in his election rallies.
Thus, with her political survival inexorably linked to the formidable Muslim constituency, unceasingly buttressed by the successive pseudo-secular administrations of varied hues and cries that turned a blind eye to the hordes of Muslim intruders from the neighboring Bangladesh, she was caught in a demographic quagmire. That in her Muslim-engineered electoral triumph, the minimal contribution of the overwhelming, though fragmented, Hindu majority is a cause for her future political worries cannot be over stated. That being the case, getting tough with the Muslim miscreants out at the Hindu throats could tantamount to her denting the minority vote-bank, which would be nothing short of a political suicide in the democratic arena. Even otherwise, there is a strange compatibility between Mamata's roguish behaviour and Muslims' aggressive mentality that make them made for each other, which fact she seems to have recognized only after coming to power in 2011 by storming into the Left citadel over the industrial ruins of Singur. Why, in 2006, she made a ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the Speaker's rejection of her adjournment motion on illegal infiltration of Bangladeshis into West Bengal!
Though she retained power in 2016, despite her lackadaisical governance, the spectacular performance of the BJP in the 2019 parliamentary polls made her rush to the poorer women with all sorts of sops to shore up her scam-ridden Trinamool in the ensuing 2021 assembly polls. Nevertheless, BJP's high pitch campaign in them made her nervous to the core, so much so that she opted to migrate from her shaky Bhowanipore constituency to the safe Muslim-profuse Nandigram, in part driven by her egotistic urge to crush Suvendu Adhikari to his political death, well, to come a cropper. However, during the month-long election regimen, what with the vexed Hindu wind seemingly turning against her and her party men, she turned to the Muslim voters with folded hands not to split their votes in favour of the other secular pretenders and that earned her a reprimand from India’s Election Commission.
However, if only she had a grasp of the Islamic psyche, there was no need for her to go to such desperate communal lengths as Muslims anyway would strive to ensure BJP's defeat, not because its rule materially hurts them as in deed their kin in Modi’s Gujarat became a prosperous lot. What is not adequately appreciated is that the Muslims, who perceive themselves as the erstwhile rulers of Hindustan, feel emotionally slighted to be ruled by it that unabashedly espouses the Hindu causes. It was thus, aided by the Muslim hatred towards her rival and her sops for the poor, her Trinamool once again steamrolled into the corridors of Nabanna, the seat of the State power.
Though the agenda-driven media, so as not to give any leg up to the hated Narendra Modi, downplayed her Nandigram debacle, she was so rankled by it as to make William Congreve's words ring true - heaven has no rage, like love to hatred turn'd, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorn's. Thanks to the electronic voting machines, as it was apparent that her humiliation was owing to the hostility of the Hindu voters, anyway the post-poll targets of her Islamist supporters, how does the question of their rescue arise? Her personal pique apart, there is real politik at play as well for what if the momentum of the adverse consolidation of Hindu voters that began in seventy-seven constituencies in 2021 picks up in the rest of them in the future; more in Bhowanipore from where she is all set to contest to retain her chief ministerial chair, and in 2024 parliamentary polls in which she hopes to pitch herself as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate. So, as offense is the best form of time-tested defense, go after the Hindus, who dared to vote for the BJP, to make an example of them so that none ever dares to repeat the mistake in their living memory, seems to be the cynical method in Mamata’s political madness.
Thus, in such a setting, as the election commission dutifully conducts future elections in West Bengal, the vulnerable Hindu voters, who are averse to Trinamool, would keep away from the polling booths thereby facilitating Mamata and / or her successor to lord over it till such a time when the Muslim minority becomes its electoral majority to be able to eventually ensconce its members in the seats of power. Why doubt that as the short-sighted Mamata is sure to open the long Bangladeshi borders to further augment her vote-bank to counter the Hindu apathy towards her, and hasn’t one of her Islamist worthies recently proclaim that once Muslims reach the thirty percent threshold in India there would be four more Pakistans? That is apart from the avowed goal of every sub-continental Musalman to turn Hindustan into Ghazwa-e-Hind.
So, even as the colonial British dismembered India, its regional satraps such as Mamata, if not reined in, in time, could cause its further fragmentation with impunity. No denying that the Modi-sarkar can deservedly pat itself for having reined in the separatist forces in the Kashmir valley but what about the out-of-control West Bengal and the Christian surge in Andhra Pradesh, estimated to have already covered over a quarter of its population, making it a fertile ground for the Mamata model of politicking, if need be. The tragedy of India hitherto is that all political dispensations across the board, barring the honorable exception of the BJP, have been aiming for a share in the minority vote-bank and thus were not averse to the inimical demographic alterations, be it the form of Bangladeshi Muslim infiltration into West Bengal and Assam or the local Christian conversion sprees in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc. Well, it may be tempting to fault the late YS Rajasekhar Reddy and his son YS Jaganmohan Reddy, chief ministers both, for systematically Christianizing the Hindu hinterland in Andhra Pradesh but Chandra Babu Naidu, who was in a political position to checkmate their evangelical moves is to be equally blamed for having turned a blind eye, eying some electoral crumbs from the High Christian table, and sadly, BJP that could have stalled the religious disorder has had no political ground there whatsoever.
What of now to avert further demographic distortion of Bharat that is India? To start with, BJP must begin a public awareness drive within and without West Bengal about the perils posed by the Trinamool politics to the unity and integrity of the country. It also needs to build public opinion to force the Indian media to put an end to the pseudo-secular political correctness that somehow came to rule the nation’s public discourse. It should strive to develop an intellectual climate conducive to reviewing the fact-checked demographic changes and the socio-political implications thereof. Besides, Modi-sarkar should devise methods to bring India’s substantial religious minorities into the national emotional fold resulting in the diffusion of their separatist identities, which, in turn, would dent their religious zeal to bring others onto their sectarian paths.
However, in the short-run, the onus is on the Me Lords of the Supreme Court, who have come to fancy themselves as the sole-protectors of the Indian democratic order, to nip Mamata’s political disorder by banishing her from Bengal’s electoral arena to make an example of her to dissuade others from embarking upon the dangerous course set by her, and the Indian Constitution does grant them that extraordinary power.