- Suman Bhattacharyya
BJP leaders addressed the gathering after the Left goons attacked the VHP book stall
In a bizarre incident at the 44th Kolkata International Book Fair, on Saturday 08 February 2020, Leftist goons, claiming to be students from educational institutions in Kolkata, ransacked the BJP ‘Janabarta’ and the VHP stalls. One of the miscreants was also found to be trampling the Srimad Bhagvat Gita under his feet. Paradoxically, these Leftists brag about an ideology that is ‘progressive’ and accuse the BJP of intolerance.
The Leftist groups had used the Book Fair Ground for their anti-CAA demonstrations since the fair started on 29 January this year. A section of Left-backed students were also agitating against the CAA on Saturday. They tried to escalate the situation once they saw BJP leader, Rahul Sinha, entering the stall. They raised slogans against the new citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) but Sinha did not pay any heed to their provocation. The frustrated students then broke into the BJP-VHP stalls and went on a rampage. In the process, they manhandled several BJP-VHP activists and destroyed several books from the stalls.
More than a dozen protesters were detained by the Police. Things took an uglier turn when the detained youths were taken to Bidhan nagar (North) Police Station. They started a scuffle with the police that ultimately ended in mercilessly beating up a police woman on duty, within the premises of the police station. This incident, too, occurred without any provocation from the police. Video footage of the incident at the police station not only shows women beating up the police official, the Leftist men were also seen shamefully kicking the woman and pulling her by the hair.
This incident at the Book Fair only exposes the actual attitude of the Left towards any opinion other than their own. It also establishes the raucous and drama Leftists create once they are confronted with an ideology which challenges them. They had done it in JNU. They had done the same thing at Jadavpur University in September 2019.
A group of students from the University, who openly referred to themselves as ‘Naxals’, agitated, shouted slogans and held black flags to Babul Supriyo, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Babul was at the campus for a pre-scheduled seminar for which the organisers had obtained permission from the University authorities. Babul was manhandled and harassed by the Jadavpur University students precisely because of their own intolerance. The Leftists have kept alive the tradition of attacking and abusing everything that is contrary to their political agenda.
The Left has been infamous for its hostility to religious practices and legal conformities. On 30 April 1982, sixteen monks and a nun belonging to the Ananda Marga group had been killed and burned at the Bijan Setu (Ballygunge Bridge) in Kolkata in broad daylight. Not a single arrest had been made. On several occasions, the Leftist groups have also attacked the Bharat Sevashram Sangha and the Ramakrishna Mission.
They had also recently made very caustic remarks against the Ramakrishna Mission when Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi stayed overnight at the Belur Complex to attend the services on the Birthday of Swamiji, on 12 January 2020. The entire campaign was carried on a camouflaged pretext of maintaining the apolitical nature of the institution. The most recent incident of a Left activist trampling upon the Srimad Bhagavad Gita at the Kolkata
Book Fair is not an isolated one; the Left has a long tradition of sacrilege and dishonouring the Indian religious and spiritual systems.