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All party meeting - Blocking dialogue not culture of Bengal, Mamata needs to speak up

If that happens, history will record it as the dark age of Bengal.

Siddheshwar  ShuklaSiddheshwar Shukla | Updated: 10-04-2020 23:37 IST | Created: 05-04-2020 15:17 IST
All party meeting - Blocking dialogue not culture of Bengal, Mamata needs to speak up
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File photo) Image Credit: ANI

If there are some cultural traits integral to Bengal, the unfettered dialogue has been the topmost amongst them. This culture trait of West Bengal has been nurtured by personalities across political, ideological, disciplinary and religious affiliations.

However, the news of Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress (TMC) reportedly not participating in the 'interaction with floor leaders' called by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 11 am on April 8 has threatened the very soul of Bengali culture. This is a setback on all those great Bengalese from Satish Chandra Viyabhushan, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Arvindo Ghosh, Swami Vivekananda, Amartya Sen and Pranab Mukherjee etc.; who dedicated their whole lives in protecting and propagating the unfettered and unrestricted culture of dialogue throughout the world. This alleged decision of TMC for not participating in the interaction with the Prime Minister is not merely a decision of a person or political party but a death knell to all those great ideas Noble Laureate Amartya Sen has portrayed in his best-seller book – 'The Argumentative Indians'. Be it the period of British Raj in Bengal or long rule of left parties in independent India, the culture of dialogue in all its forms was always alive and vibrant in Bengal.

Devdiscouse was the first to suggest the Prime Minister of India hold all-party meetings to win the confidence of all the MPs across political affiliations. It's good to see he has taken a move in the right direction. Immediately after his video message on April 3, we published a strong critic of the Prime Minister for not interacting with the opposition MPs and political parties. "There are several technological facilities to speak to the opposition leaders before making statements but the opposition has no idea about what the PM is going to tell the nation. There will definitely be suggestions of omission and commission. The Prime Minister first needs to address the concerns of opposition MPs and then come out with an all convincing statement to address the nation," we suggested the Prime Minister. Read: 'Diya jalao' for COVID 19: Modi needs to practice his teachings and control fake news on social media'.

However, the alleged decision of TMC not to participate in the interaction has come as a shock for all the COVID 19 warriors across professions. It has also shocked the nation and the whole world. It is also an insult to great souls who sacrificed to ensure unfettered dialogue in whatever form it was possible. This news will not be less than an intellectual death to all those great souls and also a murder of the intellectual culture of Bengal.

Besides, this is not the time to score political points. It's a time to speak up as a nation. It's testing time to show India can stand up as a nation against all the emergencies whether it is health emergency or external aggression. The professionals throughout the country such as doctors, nurses, police, security forces, scientists, engineers, sanitation workers, industrialists, actors, actresses, media persons all have stood up as a nation in fighting against COVID 19 pandemic. What's wrong with political class?

If TMC implements its decision of boycotting the PM's interaction, it will be no less than a second disaster. The people of the country, today, are looking at their politicians. They want the entire political class to speak up in one voice. You do whatever debate you want with one another but behind the curtain. You are expected to give your feedback to the Prime Minister so that he comes out with a foolproof crisis management plan. If there are loopholes highlight them with suggestions to plug in.

BJP and Narendra Modi may have done several wrongs in the past, the same is true for TMC and Mamata Banerjee. However, this is not a time to remember all those things. We all know you recently donated Rs 5 lakh in PM National Relief Fund.

Dear Didi! It's high time to intervene in the matter in your capacity as the President of TMC. You need to direct the floor leader/s of your party to attend the interaction of Prime Minster and express their views at the scheduled time. History will remember your decision.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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