Political Violence in Bengal Elections is Disheartening

Use of Political Violence in Bengal Elections is Disheartening

Ramit Chattopadhyay, a Geography Honours student in St. Xavier’s College, Burdwan, says the continuing degradation of our independent institutions is a legitimate concern. His views:

Mainstream politics in West Bengal is inherently secular. With a demographic character as varied as West Bengal’s, there is no other way to win the hearts of Bengalis other than by adhering to secularism. The state has been an age-old hub of liberalism and progressive ideas, and the contemporary era is no different. Therefore, undoubtedly, my firm belief is that the polity in the state will stick to a secular ethos in the 2024 parliamentary elections.

As a student, and an avid follower and observer of politics, I am a little disappointed by the repeated use of violence as a political tool in Bengal’s elections. The very fact that hundreds of companies of central security forces have been deputed in the state for the 2024 general elections does not portray a good image about the state’s political scenario. However, I am hopeful about Bengal’s future. With proper and democratic participation of all stakeholders, politics here can once again regain an aura of fairness and harmony.

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Indeed, I don’t feel that 2024 is a battle between a secular democratic, and a quasi-dictatorial front. In India, it’s very difficult to ignore any section of the electorate. No government can cater exclusively to the needs of any one select community, or interest group, while ignoring the others. As for dictatorial tendencies, I feel that the continuing degradation of the country’s independent institutions is a legitimate concern. There is a need to have proper checks and balances that prevents any government from meddling into the affairs of independent institutions.

Ramit feels the seven-phase spreadout in Bengal election is justified

About the seven-phase parliamentary election in Bengal, to many it may seem like an unnecessarily long process. However, given the massive size of the Bengali electorate, and past reputation of violence in elections here, the seven-phase polling is quite justified, in order to properly manage a free and fair election. That being said, necessary steps should also be taken by the election conducting authorities, the Election Commission especially, to have Heat Action Plans (HAPs), so that voters do not have to suffer the brunt of India’s unforgiving summer heat.

As told to Amit Sengupta

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