West Bengal election and our reaction
The reaction of Bangladeshis to Mamata Banerjee's win in West Bengal proves how India's internal politics influences crossing over the border. In the same way, the importance of Bangladesh in Indian politics has become notable nowadays, as Bangladesh is improving with self-dependence, foreign exchange earnings, dealing with China, etc. In the recent win, Bangladesh's neighbour West Bengal not only showed a "red card" to the main opposition BJP but also taught them a lesson with the slogans: "khela hobe (let's play)" and "Joy Bangla (victory to Bengal)".
The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was well prepared with its might in West Bengal Assembly polls -- the only goal was to ensure the defeat of Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress. To bring BJP on stage, the Prime Minister himself has held 18 public meetings and Amit Shah 29 in West Bengal, still, Trinamool Congress has won hat-trick: the win of 2011 and 2016 and 2021 consecutively. During the campaign, Modi chanted the slogan of establishing the "double engine government"; instead, Mamata has scored a "double century" in the polls.
Leaders of various parties and alliances have been congratulating Mamata Banerjee from different states since the victory of the Trinamool was confirmed. Bangladeshis, on social media, have been spreading the congratulating wishes too. Out of the Indian border, the celebration of Bangladeshis looks prominent, although we know that Mamata is very strict regarding water distribution with Bangladesh. Still, why are a number of common people in Bangladesh congratulating her? Recently, Amit Shah --accompanied by prime minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath and Yogi Adityanath--came to Kolkata on chartered flights to inspire the local BJP leaders; they unnecessarily targeted Bangladesh on various issues; the common people of Bangladesh got hurt.
If we remember--during the assembly election--Amit Shah said that the poor people of Bangladesh do not get food, so they are flocking to West Bengal. At the same time, he promised that if they won the election, they would ensure that not a single Bangladeshi can "infiltrate". From his unexpected rise of Amit Shah, the main contradiction came forward -- when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pretended to love the neighbouring countries, at the same time, the second most powerful person in his government -- Amit Shah -- commented 'illegal Bangladeshis' and he determined to identify them in West Bengal and drown them in the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Abdul Momen disagreed with Amit Shah very politely. He regretted that when Bangladesh-India relations are improving, such remarks do not sound good -- this is not acceptable. He mentions that no one dies without eating in Bangladesh anymore; moreover, he added that Bangladesh is ahead of India in some regards. He also mentioned that many Indians are working in Bangladesh, and the number is increasing day by day. However, negative and unfriendly remarks about Bangladesh by Amit Shah and others in the Indian leadership have been noticed by Bangladeshis from time to time.
In regard to these offending comments, there was almost no protest from the government in recent years. This is the first time a representative from the current government said it in its way. Through many incidents, including torturing Muslims in India, BJP has come to the knowledge of Bangladesh very negatively in some recent years. As a reaction, when Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh last month, the response from common Bangladeshis was not satisfactory. There were protests to stop Narendra Modi from coming to Bangladesh, but his visit was slightly successful with the government's interest. In Modi's visit, Bangladesh lost around 17 lives; therefore, the common people of Bangladesh had an eye to the election of West Bengal, especially at the expecting loss of BJP.
Another interesting matter to notice is that Modi's Gujrat violence is known to everyone in Bangladesh. When Narendra Modi himself promised good governance like Gujarat to be applied in West Bengal, the people of West Bengal have shattered BJP's dream in the polls; probably they knew that the way Gujrat violence has been witnessed by the world, at the same way, BJP leaders might cultivate their dirty politics to kill people in West Bengal. This is the reason why Mamata got huge support and became the Chief Minister once again.
After winning the election, Mamata Banerjee thanked the media and congratulated Bengal people during the press conference at Kalighat. In her view, this win has saved Bengal from ruining its culture and social growth. After 34 years of the Left's influence in West Bengal, how Mamata Banerjee's regime has justified the democracy in the last two terms can be discussed, evaluated and criticised, but BJP's loss in West Bengal has become a lesson for them. Modi tried a lot to capture Bengal; he even used Mithun Chakraborty -- the most popular actor -- to play the game.
However, this popular win proves that Mamata Banerjee worked for the common people; this is the intelligence that she prioritised her first responsibility to fight the coronavirus immediately after the win, leaving the victory campaign. Calling her regime -- let's save the people who voted us to save them -- the way she has started the journey is the indication of "The morning sun shows the day." She requested the central government to give the vaccine to everyone; at the same time, she warned them as well; otherwise, she will go for a protest.
Finally, money power, mussel power, mafia power -- all these failed in the democratic journey. Adverse examples have also been waved in this election as BJP implemented their dirty politics and played their dangerous tricks. "You are under watch" -- this threatening message of BJP to opponents was one of the worst examples in history. Bangladesh has not witnessed a participatory and acceptable election for a long time; therefore, at least at the BJP's collapse in West Bengal, Bangladeshis deserve to be happy as a neighbouring state.
The writer is a freelance contributor and writes on contemporary issues, education, and literature