Yesterday, I wrote about nine-year-old Saheel Mollah who had been beaten black and blue by our ruling party (TMC) goons because he had used a poster to make a kite. Today's Ananda Bazar Patrika reports that Saheel is suffering from trauma and still has pain in the back of his head. We hope it is not anything major.
Sadly, Saheel is not the only child who has been targeted by the ruling party as part of systematic and widespread violence against anyone they perceive to be a political enemy.
Priti Bar, Ishani Patra, Monita Maiti, Sumana Digar are all little children aged between three and nine from various corners of rural Bengal. No one knew their names until last week.
Every one of them has been assaulted and injured by the ruling party in of Bengal. And there has been a method in their madness. Every one of them belongs to a family of known CPIM supporters. TMC wanted to teach their families a lesson for defying their diktat not to vote, or because their grandpa or an uncle had worked as a polling agent for their opponents. In all these cases, the goons barged into their homes and beat up men or women, whoever they found, accompanied by stream of vile abuses. (Incidentally, the TMC goons, right from illiterate MPs to barely-literate foot soldiers, threaten women of rape at every opportunity and carry out their threats with metronomic regularity.)
And they did not spare children whose only sin was to have been born in West Bengal, where political scores have been settled in the currency of blood since the 1970s, and where every wretched political party has indelible bloodstains on their crooked hands. But there is a benign smile on their faces.
You would have seen the picture of the mayor of Kolkata as he was taking money from a fictitious businessman and hiding it under his shawl. When he visited Priti's home yesterday, her mother and grandma didn't allow him to enter their house. But the shameless man, displaying unbelievable hypocrisy, called the girl out and hugged her and assured her of protection for the benefit of cameramen.
Minutes later, he was at a meeting, sharing the dais with the goon who has been named by Priti's family as the one who had led the assault on her, and needless to say, who hasn't been touched by the police.
If this is the present for children in West Bengal, does the state have a future?
Kolkata / 04 May 2016