Infamous for its unabashed appeasement of Muslims, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) helmed by Mamata Banerjee registered a hat-trick by retaining power for the third time in India’s West Bengal state. As dusk descended on the state — metaphorically and literally — victory became evident for the TMC, as it inched toward the magic numbers.

TMC is a party supported by the Muslim voting bloc

that had placed Muslim candidates in some major constituencies. These candidates emerged victorious, as the brotherhood is known to vote for their brethren, while the Hindus struggle to overcome the farce called secularism even in such desperate times.

The main opposition party to the TMC, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is often mocked as the party of the Hindus, as the few supporters it depends upon in West Bengal are all Hindus. It was only a matter of time before Bengali Hindus became targets for the cheering and celebrating mobs of TMC cadres, all smeared in green. As the live polling news on satellite channels projected their victory, workers of the TMC, flouting Covid advisories from the Election Commission, held huge rallies in the capital city of Kolkata, right under the nose of the ineffectual city police. Hordes of TMC members headed for a BJP office in the state and allegedly set it ablaze. On May 2, social media was brimming with disturbing images of these arson attacks.

Post-poll violence is nothing new in West Bengal. It becomes a grave concern, however, when ordinary civilians are targeted.

The Muslim mob started by attacking the houses of the grassroots level Hindu workers of the BJP. They plundered shops, and huts were torched. They harassed many Hindu men and lynched them. They thrashed and molested women on the streets. BJP leaders claimed that two women workers of the party were gang-raped, but the West Bengal police proactively denied these claims. A 20-year-old college student, Saswati Jana, was also brutally gang-raped by six men, and then murdered.

A Hindu man who identified as a BJP supporter and an animal lover posted a video on Facebook recounting how goons of the victorious party barged into his house and thrashed six newborn puppies to death. He, too, was soon afterward lynched by the miscreants.

Encouraged by the absolute silence of city officials regarding the anarchy, the attacks gained strength.

Several BJP leaders were harassed, and stones, sticks and brickbats were hurled at their vehicles. The latest reports estimate that 14 BJP members have either been killed by TMC members or have succumbed to injuries after being beaten and stabbed with sharp weapons.

Despite the statewide mayhem, a segment of elite and secular Hindus stood by idly and hoped that only the supporters and workers of the “Hindu party” would be targeted. Some rude surprises were waiting for these secularists. One such secular, apolitical Hindu man uploaded a video revealing how his house was marked by Muslim miscreants who lived a few blocks away. Stones were hurled at his property, causing severe damage to doors, windows and furniture. He appeared panic-stricken and questioned if he would be able to stay in that area for long, given how the local Muslims were inspired by Mamata Banerjee’s retention of power.

An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 Bengali Hindus have since fled Bengal to escape the bloody claws of the ruling party and have taken shelter in the neighboring state of Assam as refugees. With Hindus reduced to refugee status in their home country, the horrors of the Kashmiri Pundit exodus returns to India’s collective memory.  After the 1946 Noakhali riots, the Great Calcutta Killings of 1946, the 1947 Partition, and the 1971 Bangladesh liberation, this would be the fifth time Bengali Hindus have been displaced and rendered homeless.

Speaking of Bangladesh,

we cannot overlook how the aftermath of the Muslim-favored party’s electoral victory in an Indian state bears a strong resemblance to the post-election violence against religious minorities after the Khalida Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party, in coalition with the Jamaat-e-Islami, won the 2001 general election in Bangladesh. The atrocities unleashed on the Hindus were not only barbaric and blood-curdling, but could be termed the death of humanity in the south Asian region.

Celebrating the victory of the Islamist party, 30-40 men reached the doors of 12-year-old Purnima Rani Shil in Ullahpara Upazila, Sirajganj District. The family knew what their intention was. The mother of the girl pleaded to the mob, “Please go one by one, sons. My daughter is too little…” Purnima was gang-raped, her sister lost her eyesight, and the family saloon was looted twice. The family eventually had to flee the village. These were the features of an Islamist political party’s celebration of its democratic victory.


DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.