Kolkata: Can Kashmiris think of a night without fear? Can they think of sleeping peacefully even for a single night? The answers to these questions are as unpredictable as the future of the state, which lies forlorn, divided into two Union territories after the Narendra Modi government snatched away its status of a state on August 5, 2019.
Getting all emotional while describing the ordeal and plight of ordinary Kashmiris was Yousuf Tarigami, former MLA and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, who was in the city recently to participate in the 54th anniversary programme of Bengali daily, Ganashakti.
Bursting often into shayari, Targami spoke about his state, his people, “his Hindustan”, which was about religious tolerance. “It was Kashmir, then Assam, and it is now the turn of Bengal. The design is to break the essence of India’s freedom struggle, of which Kashmir was also an integral part,” he said.
He said in the post-Independence era, in 1948, it was Kashmir that had voted for insaniyaat and jamuriyaat (Humanity and Democracy) and had strongly favoured joining the Indian Union.
Tarigami also called upon people of Bengal to defeat divisive forces, following the tradition of struggle pioneered by communist leaders, such as Muzaffar Ahmed, Pramode Das Gupta, Jyoti Basu, mohd Amin among others.
The programme also saw several CPI(M) state leaders calling upon people to make the upcoming January 8 all-India strike call by trade unions a success.
Addressing the gathering amid widespread protests against CAA-NPR-NRC across the country, CPI(M) state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to convene an all-party meet in the Assembly to discuss the proposal for cancellation of National Population Register (NPR) and accessories like National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the state.
In his speech, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu lashed out at the BJP-RSS combine for their divisive politics. He said the Bangladesh government had recently asked India to provide the names of Bangladeshi residents in India. “If Home Minister Amit Shah is really serious, he should provide the names of Bangladeshi residents to the Bangladesh government, and clearly point out who he is referring to as ghuspethia (infiltrator), termites and so on?” he said, adding that the “Constitution is being breached”.
Ganashakti Editor Debasish Chakraborty also highlighted how the basic social fabric of the country was in danger, as the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was wreaking havoc in the country.