From around the 2nd of June, Bengal has been the centre of ugly communal tension and riots, which resulted in the death of one man and in extensive damage to property. It began with a derogatory social media post was shared by a class XI boy, who has since been detained by police. An enraged mob showed up at his house brandishing sticks, and barged in and set it on fire. Since then, several shops have been destroyed, a curfew has been imposed on two neighbourhoods, Internet services withdrawn and several trains in the state disrupted by protesters. A motorbike was also set on fire.
To add to the tension, several people, including BJP leaders have been sharing misleading social media posts on the issue. A Bengal BJP worker named Vijeta Malik even shared an image of a woman having her sari stripped off her in an attempt to show the current “plight of Hindus in Bengal”, except the image was actually from a Bhojpuri movie, not from Bengal or even real life at all. BJP IT cell in-charge Tarun Sengupta has also been arrested for sharing misleading posts on the issue.
It’s in trying and frightening times like these that it would be nice to know that the state and the situation are good hands. Except they clearly are not. Speaking on this issue, BJP leader Rupa Ganguly addressed Mamata Bannerjee’s government and those who support her in a comment that’s horrible at the best of times, but much worse in times of heightened communal tension. She said to ANI, “I dare all the parties, the ones who keep flattering the Bengal government and Congress, to send their daughters, wives, and sister-in-laws to Bengal without taking any hospitality from Banerjee. If they are able to survive for 15 days without getting raped, then tell me.”
The fact that she referred to women in terms of how they’re related to men seems to almost fade into the background in comparison to the rest of her horrible statement.
Of course, Trinamool Congress leaders felt the need to respond in a similarly callous and inane vein. West Bengal’s Power Minister Sobhandeb Chattyopadhyay responded to Ganguly’s statement by asking her how many times she had been raped in Bengal. He said, “First of all, she should say how many times she has been raped in Bengal. Before accusing anything or anyone, she should reveal this. Then only the truth behind her statement will be realized.”
Good to know that politicians in the country take the separate issues rape and communal violence seriously, and put the good of the state before their gross political squabbles.