(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 27, 2011
‘Kill her!’ Finish him off!’ ‘Break that boy’s arms and legs!’ ‘We are thankful that the programme has passed of peacefully.’
These are troubling vignettes from a television chat show that the news channel of the Patrika group ran during the evening of 16 February. The show had a theme. The theme was the recent spate of violence unleashed in Bengal. Unknown to the Left participants, a drive had been organised to bring in dozens of lathi-knives wielding Trinamuli goons who hid behind the main open-sky palladium on which the ‘live’ show was organised.
The moment one of the Left participants spoke about the sense or lack thereof of civility among the members of the new-fangled, pro-Trinamuli ‘civil society,’ the local Trinamuli MP sprang into vocal and gestural ‘action’ The moderator, ill-known for his anti-Communist, anti-left and pro-Trinamuli views, aided and abetted her with carefully-chosen intonated words.
All the while, the goons were marking out local school and college students present in the show who were SFI workers. As soon as the near-pandemonium started on the dais, the hoodlums went in for assault. They bayed for the blood of the SFI workers who stood their ground but were soon down with blows from thick staves, to the head, to the body, to the limbs.
More than a score went down before the general audience present could recover, and chase away the miscreants. By then the moderator had expressed his, clearly malicious, ‘satisfaction’ perhaps at the way things had turned out – his job was done, his assignment was complete.
In the fracas, we clearly saw, on the television channels, how SFI workers were targeted, confronted, and struck down with mighty blows. A dozen-odd were left bleeding and injured, groaning aloud. Two of the injured are presently in serious condition, drifting in and out of consciousness at a Kolkata hospital, bled white with head wounds, optical injuries, as well as body blows, broken legs and dislocated shoulders.
They are Mousumi Ghosh and Surajit Bakshi. Mousumi is treated for head injuries. Surajit has one eye swollen up with retinal bleeding. We strain in sympathy for these young SFI workers, and have nothing but rage for the perpetrators of the deed and their elected interlocutors, and agent provocateurs of the air waves.