In CBI Raid Regarding Saradha Scam, a Hope Shadowed by Politics
No one favours dharna, that too for the sake of protecting a civil servant, who may have had a role in the infamous Saradha scam.
No one favours dharna, that too for the sake of protecting a civil servant, who may have had a role in the infamous Saradha scam.(Photo: Erum Gour/The Quint)

In CBI Raid Regarding Saradha Scam, a Hope Shadowed by Politics

There has been an unprecedented situational crisis in Kolkata. Many are calling this as ‘the ultimate showdown’, since never before have the Centre and state been involved in direct confrontation against each other in such a blatant way.

The very essence of Indian federal structure has been challenged. If not contained, this trend will keep on recurring in near future, wherever there is ‘love-lost’ between the federal and state governments.

To someone who has lived in the city a long time, there are many facets to this issue. While Saradha scam has been a harsh reality to the people of Bengal, the political cat-and-mouse chase surrounding the same is even more frustrating. When CBI started this investigation initially, there was a lot of hope that soon turned into despair when we could see the Saradha investigation being accelerated only before the elections.

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There's no hiding the fact that this investigation is being used by the current BJP government as a political tool to bring its opponents in line. Regardless, I personally feel that whatever precedence CM Mamata Banerjee is setting, it is a dangerous one.

I talked to a few supporters from both the groups and realised that no one wants this stalemate to continue.

While TMC supporters are unanimous about the political vendetta of BJP government, most of them don't support this unofficial bandh. As of now, there's been no news of any violence anywhere, but who knows when it will start.

Already there have been stories of traffic jams in many places. But more than that people are skeptical of the uncertainty. 

Abhishek, a TMC supporter, shed light on the inconvenience caused by the dharna.

“My son’s school is open today and will remain open tomorrow as well. There is an exam tomorrow but I won’t send him.”

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Regular office workers are also gripped with similar confusion. One of my colleagues, Samrat, also a TMC supporter asks me whether our office will remain open. While I remind him that it isn't a strike, but he is sceptical as well. Which route to take, which mode of conveyance to prefer – no one knows!

Stone pelting has been the latest phenomenon in Kolkata and I am Googling to figure out a safe route where the probability of stone pelting or any forms of violence will be minimal.

The situation isn't as bad as we had expected, though. The reason being a mixed Supreme Court verdict, after which everyone is claiming to be victorious – morally or immorally.

But still people are scared of the future, the aftermath if Rajiv Kumar gets arrested by CBI after interrogation. A BJP worker who did not wish to be named stated:

“TMC goons will be coming for us, but we are ready too. Tooth for a tooth, eye for an eye.”

Another BJP loyalist told me:

“They cant fight with us. If they bring in cops, we will bring RAF. We must teach the hooligans a proper lesson.”

Therefore, the overall sentiment of let’s-wait-and-watch. But, people of Bengal have experienced widespread political violence not long ago, just before the fall of communist regime. They just don't want those black days to be back again.

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What does the SC ruling spell for CM Mamata, popularly referred to as Didi?

For one, she stands to lose her face and her position as the leader of third front. Worse, her role in Saradha scam may be investigated, further arrests of high profile ministers. This is sure to trigger more violent protests, more chaos in the state. For now she has expressed ‘happiness’ with the verdict.

However, in case CBI doesn't have ample proof to arrest Rajiv Kumar after their interrogation, this will be a temporary setback for Modi government and its future plans for West Bengal, but still it will be CBI, who'll lose the public face. On the contrary, it will cement Didi's status as the ultimate Opposition leader who had dared to take on CBI.

No one favours dharna, bandh and the subsequent inconvenience. That, too, for the sake of protecting a civil servant who may have had a role in the infamous Saradha scam, will alienate the peace loving Bengalis and will raise questions on Didi’s integrity.

Already people are asking questions.

“What does she have to hide?  or “Why is she making such a fuss, if she is honest?”

You can see the non-assuming, non-political Kolkatans raising these questions. People of Bengal are confused and angry, with both PM Modi and Didi. Whoever can tap into that anger will come out victorious. As of now, it seems BJP has a slight edge over TMC. But a lot can change over the course of next three months. Let's keep our fingers crossed for the mysterious uncertainty called politics.

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(The author is a resident of Kolkata and likes to blog and review films. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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