From being a fringe political party in 2013 to sweeping nearly half of the state's forty-two Lok Sabha seats in 2019, the BJP has gained ground in West Bengal, aided partly by the RSS's exponential growth during Mamata Banerjee's chief ministerial tenure (2011 onwards).
With a consistent and concerted criticism of the TMC, the saffron camp managed to create a strong wave of anti-incumbency. So much so that the BJP's prospects of forming the next government in Bengal in 2021 seemed to have brightened considerably, while the Left, which had ruled Bengal for over three decades, appears to have been reduced to a fringe political entity.
However, the controversy over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens, combined with Banerjee's course-correction drive, designed by strategist Prashant Kishor, indicate that she might yet script a turnaround, with Bengal turning into the laboratory of a unique political experiment.
Mission Bengal documents the BJP's extraordinary rise in the state and attempts to look at these developments in the historical context of Bengal -- from the rise of Hindu nationalism and Muslim separatism in the nineteenth century, the Partition and its fallout, the impact of developments in Bangladesh, the influence of leftist ideals on the psyche of the Bengali people, to the demographic changes in the state over the past few decades.
|Publisher:||HarperCollins Publishers India|
|File size:||876 KB|
About the Author
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya is a Kolkata-based journalist who has reported for different national media houses including the Hindustan Times, The Wire and Outlook. He has been writing on politics, security, history, socio-economic and cultural affairs since 2005. His book Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishanji: Tales from India's Maoist Movement was published in 2016.