Left Parties and Groups Call for Defending Secularism and Democracy

Leaders of the CPI(ML) Liberation, CPI(ML) Red Star, Party of Democratic Secularism, Communist Party of Bharat, and other groups like the Bhasha O Chetana Samiti, DSF (JNU) came together with expelled leaders from the CPI(M) – Rezzak Mollah and Prasenjit Bose, ex-CPI(M) MLA Sumanta Heera and other speakers in a joint meeting held at Esplanade on 1st June. CPI(ML) State Secretary Partha Ghosh represented the Party at the meeting, which underlined immediacies in the political scenario of West Bengal following a TMC/BJP victory at the state/center respectively. What is being projected in the media as a benign-sounding ‘post-poll violence’ in West Bengal is in reality gross political violence unleashed on a ruthless scale by the ruling Trinamool Congress on grassroots workers and local leaders of the political opposition, emboldened by the ‘brute force majority’ in numbers attained by the TMC in the hustings. Added to the TMC’s heinous assaults on the rural poor in particular, leading to several deaths, is the danger of communal polarization coming out of the woodwork. The BJP’s vicious hate speeches during the elections, harping on sieving ‘illegal infiltrators’ (read Muslim migrants) from ‘genuine asylum-seekers’ (read Hindu migrants) from Bangladesh and its subsequent poll-gains in the form of an increased vote share has emboldened saffron forces on the prowl. The BJP central team’s televised visit to their party supporters under TMC attack at Sandeshkhali was also given a communal colour, mischievously painting it less as a political assault and more as a religious assault of Muslims on lower caste Hindus! Given the context where the poor working people of Bengal are now withstanding a two-pronged attack by authoritarian, corrupt, intolerant and fascist communal forces and the near-total paralysis/surrender of the CPI(M) leadership to stand up to resist the naked assaults, the meeting called for all the left, democratic forces in the state to unite in struggles to reassert the working people’s agenda and to defend the values of secularism and democracy at all costs.