Intellectuals raise voice against post-poll violence: Elections were held across country, why violence only in Bengal

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BJP workers clash with police during party chief Amit Shah s roadshow in Kolkata. (Express photo by Shashi Ghosh)

Eminent personalities and city-based intellectuals have decided to raise their voice against the post-poll violence in the state. After holding a meeting on Saturday, the eminent personalities have decided to organise a convention on Tuesday at Rabindra Sadan. Sources said the members are contemplating floating a cultural platform to address their issues.

The election was held across the country but why violence is taking place only here? The common people have so many things to do and they are greatly inconvenienced due to this violence. I don t know whether the people are spontaneous in taking part in violent activities or there is a design which is forcing them to do so. These are some of the questions which need to be answered, said theatre actor Rudraprasad Sengupta.


Intellectuals and their importance in Bengal politics

The intellectuals in West Bengal have always played an important role in shaping public opinion about the state government. When the Left Front was in power, intellectuals, including Aparna Sen, Soumitra Chatterjee and others, had hit the streets against the then state government over Singur and Nandigram incidents. They contributed significantly to change the course of politics at that time which benefitted then opposition leader Mamata Banerjee immensely. She went on to win the election by a massive margin and dislodged the 34-year Left rule in the state . Now, ahead of 2021 Assembly polls, these intellectuals are again rallying against the present state government over several issues. According to political observers, this might also shape the opinion of the public about the present administration.

Poet Shankha Ghosh, veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, writer Nabaneeta Deb Sen, theatre personalities Rudraprasad Sengupta, Bibhas Chakrabarty, Koushik Sen, Debshankar Haldar, professor Sukanta Choudhuri and others are likely to participate in the convention.

Why is religion getting mixed with politics? Why are politicians referring to religion at every instance? Flexing of muscles by political parties is nothing new here. It has been there for a long time. But the violence has reached an alarming stage in the state and people want to get some relief. I think this is the reason why so many eminent personalities have come together, said Bibhas Chakrabarty.

It may be noted that actor-director Aparna Sen, social activist Bolan Ganguly, actor Kaushik Sen and others recently held a rally in Kolkata expressing solidarity with the doctors protest across medical facilities in the state. They had criticised the state government for not listening to the demands of the doctors and not resolving the crisis. Since then more intellectuals have come out in support of the doctors.