Basirhat, is a city and a municipality in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, India. It is located on the bank of Ichamati (Ichhamati) River which flows through India and Bangladesh and also forms the boundary between the two countries. According to 2011 census, effective literacy rate for the 7+ population was 86.88 percent.
1st July 2017, A class XI student from a village from Basirhat, posted an offensive cartoon on a holy pilgrimage site of Islam. This sparked anger across town and demanded for boy’s arrest. On Sunday, mob set his house on fire. Subsequently post wast deleted by boy and he was arrested by Police on Monday morning.
Communal violence broke down on Sunday with mob taking to the street, as reported by Indian Express . Since then, people have lost their lives, curfew has been put, properties have been vandalized, a great sense of fear has developed among people …
This raises certain important questions –
- Are we so vulnerable to a social media post?
- Why does RIOT take place in election bound states quite often?
- Who is to blame for these violent incidents?
- Doesn’t human life come before religion?
The post was published by a class XI student. If the post was insensitive to a community, then the immediate action was to report it to authorities so that appropriate action/inquiry could take place. This is exactly what happened afterwards, post was deleted by the boy and the boy was arrested immediately after it was reported to authorities.
The subsequent violence had little to do with incident. The issue was hijacked by religious aggressive fringe. And they started pushing their agenda in the name of incident. The incident was still local to the place where it had taken place. But then came the political parties associated with both religious groups. It gave political parties an opportunity to push their agenda to larger audience to set their political tune in the state.
This is extremely sad to see how small incidents are first exploited by our religious aggressive fringe and then by associated political parties to serve their agenda. The Masters of these political and religious groups watch the violence unfold on the streets from their cozy and comfortable places. Their focus shifts to use the incident to maximize their political gains. It hardly matters to them that – how many lives do suffer during their bloody game. What happens to the street, the town, the village where riot takes place.
The saddest part is – “we the people” from rest of the world, will now remember “Basirhat” only for the riot which took place on 1st July 2017. Similar to “Saharanpur” and “Dadri”.