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West Bengal: Lenin's Statue Vandalised Again in Garbeta

The statute of the communist leader was destroyed earlier too, in 2011 – when the Trinamool Congress came to power in the state.

Image for representational purpose. Credit: The Week

Kolkata: In the wee hours of Saturday, a statue of Russian revolutionary Lenin was vandalised in Garbeta allegedly by the hooligans associated with the ruling party. 

The statute of the communist leader was destroyed earlier too, in 2011 – when the Trinamool Congress came to power in the state. The destruction preceded the murder of the then CPI(M) zonal committee member Jiten Nandi in Amalgora.

The statue had been since reconstructed with the money contributed by the locals from the rural region.  

As the news of the vandalism spread, locals staged a road blockade. Protesters also went to the Garbeta police station and gave a deputation to the police for immediate arrest of the culprits.

The frequency of attacks on Lenin’s memorabilia seems to be increasing in West Bengal. It should be noted that avenues and statues named after Lenin are quite commonplace in the state. While some of them are symbols of Indo-soviet friendship, some have been installed by the Left parties in the state.

Anjan Bera, the general secretary of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation West Bengal unit, vociferously condemned the incident and said that it tantamounts to “political anarchy”.  “Lenin was one of ardent supporters for Indian independence from the British colonial rule; breaking the bust of such a personality is a heinous crime. History cannot be erased with vandalism,” he said.

CPI(M) West Medinpore district secretary Sushanta Ghosh put the onus of the action on the TMC and alleged that the move was a response to the public anger against the “corruption by the TMC leaders”. 

He said, “If they think that like the last 10 years they will continue corruption by ushering in a reign of terror, then they are sitting in a fool's world”, adding that West Bengal is turning into a terror land like Tripura.  “There too, the BJP is destroying Lenin’s statues and here, the TMC is doing the same. They all are the students of RSS, their brains lie in Nagpur,” he alleged.

Speaking to NewsClick, CPI(M) central committee member Dr Sujan Chakraborty said that the TMC forces comprise looters who are “fearful of Comrade Lenin’s name and legacy”. “Even the sheer mention of Lenin's name creates ripples in the heart of the common people which is not a favourite thing for these anti-social forces controlled by the Trinamool Congress. But the common people will thwart this attempt and will build up the statue once again,” he said.

It can be recalled that it was only last week that the thoroughfare of Durgapur, which was named after Lenin was renamed after the singer Lata Mangeshkar. The move by the Durgapur City Corporation had led to a controversy with many questioning why this specific street had to be chosen to be named after the late singer.

Local CPI(M) leader Dibakar Bhuniya said, “We should remember that after the change of the ruling party in the state, seven CPI(M) party workers and leaders have attained martyrdom in Garbeta itself. Hefty fines were imposed on over 2,500 families as they were CPI(M) supporters.”

“But now, people are speaking up against the malpractices of the TMC leaders. This has terrorised the ruling party, which is why it has resorted to actions like these,” he concluded.

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