Swarajya, a right-wing extremist portal that is managed by fascist toady journalists of the Modi regime like Swapan Dasgupta, started a slander-driven campaign against the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, by twisting facts and words to build up a Hindutva case against her. The libellous and extremely malicious campaign launched by the right-wing foreign corporate-funded propaganda website against the head of a state of the Indian union shows the desperation with which the Amit Shah – Narendra Modi clique wants to usurp power in West Bengal by playing communal card and by spewing hatred against the Muslim community of the state, who are shown as being appeased and elevated by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government.
In this article, the web magazine’s story headline reads that Mamata Banerjee is ashamed of being born in India, however, the sources that the web staff tells us that Mamata Banerjee is complaining about the state of affairs in the country, especially the communal fratricide fuelled by the RSS and its arms like the Modi government and the BJP. She expressed her agony, her anguish and grief as the communal harmony among the Indian people have gone for a toss and basing on vitriol and extreme polarisation drives, the BJP is pocketing one after another state.
The Swarajya web magazine didn’t just twisted her words to give a wrong impression but also tried to villainize the woman chief minister of the state that the BJP is eyeing and has publicly promised to bag in 2021 assembly election. Mamata Banerjee is shown in the darkest shade to ensure that she is despised by the upper-caste elite Bhadralok community for standing against the communal propaganda of the Sangh Parivar.
Mamata Banerjee’s legitimate concern regarding the state of the country and its future, which looks perilous, is now dipped in the blood-filled bucket of RSS’ nationalism and is hanged before the RSS and BJP supporter base as a clear case of treachery against the nation, or a possible sedition case, which should build the case of the BJP stronger in the state.
When such articles surface on the internet sites run by the close associates of the RSS, they are used as the reference and evidence, even though they lack credible content and reference sources, to build up mass opinion and to wean the minds that are unable to critically dissect such complicated political discourse.
If the Swarajya or any other extremely fascist Hindutva mouthpieces are able to vilify Mamata Banerjee as an “anti-national” and Muslim appeaser, then the RSS will be able to use such stories to fan up extreme anti-Muslim sentiments throughout the state, especially among the upper-caste Hindu elites and middle-class, who frequent social media sites to get their daily dose of political knowledge from crooked sources. When the anti-Muslim propaganda gets mixed with anti-incumbency, caused by the misrule of the Trinamool Congress and its utmost corrupt character, the BJP gets a definite mileage in the political arena of West Bengal. This leverage to the saffron outfit through their intellectual endeavours is what the Hindutva press members look forward to, and their efforts are not confined within West Bengal only, but in all those states where the BJP is not in power.
Amit Shah recently snubbed scribes who asked him uncomfortable questions during a press meet in Chandigarh, where the BJP President went to present the report card of three years of the Modi regime. Him snubbing the journalists did not stir up a nationwide condemnation wave as much as would Mamata Banerjee’s twisted comment made. This was possible because the saffron press has won immense power to carry out unbridled fake propaganda over social media and the internet using the various mechanisms, where the democratic and the progressive voices are drastically failing to counter them.
Propaganda and vitriol can certainly boost the adrenaline rush among the upper-caste Hindu elite and middle-class men, who are taught since their childhood to feel victimised in a country where they actually rule and demand more power for themselves, which means snatch away whatever little privileges the oppressed castes and communities enjoy. Politically the fascists depend upon the enraged and bloodthirsty majoritarian mob to carry out a vendetta regime and to no one’s dismay, India is progressing fast towards such a reign of extreme terror and reaction under the rule of Modi, the man who used the power of misinformation, deception and campaigns based on vituperation against opponents and the Muslim community.
The likes of Swarajya Magazine or other fascist mouthpieces will keep spreading misinformation to misguide the people and open up the trap for the susceptible minds, who will become victims of the RSS propaganda machinery. Right now, what the people of the country, especially the vulnerable politically backward section of the vast majority of the peasantry and working class needs is an alternative media movement that will educate, agitate and organise them on the correct path of opposing fascism than turning them into pawns of the fascist regime. It, therefore, becomes imperative for all of us to strengthen the struggle for alternative people’s media building. Because proper knowledge and information will empower the citizens to take on the mighty fascist empire in the pursuit of democracy and freedom.
Neeladri Mukherjee is a former high school teacher and a Rabindra Sangeet lover. An M.A. in Political Science (not entire), Neeladri is a close observer of West Bengal politics, South Asian affairs and the trade union movement.