Kolkata: Never-ending serpentine-like lines comprising the sea of humans comprising the common man, who came from different walks of life. Middle aged men and women, students, professional and even senior citizens, brimming with energy and enthusiasm, as they took to the streets on December 6 to save the Constitution and secularism. The rally called by the Left Front and its allies, witnessed a humongous footfall.
These people walked in solidarity to mark their protest against the spectre of communalism, fascism not to mention the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
Seventy-two-year Basanti Mitra told eNewsroom, “I have come from Nadia district to mark my protest against fascism and communalism. We still can’t come to terms with the fact that 26 years ago, a place of worship had been demolished, and today, the same issue is being raked up for political gains. We as the citizens of this nation are against the construction of Ram Mandir on the disputed site. In fact, the best thing would be to construct both a Mandir and a Masjid.”
United Left Rally
Mitra, dressed in a red-bordered crisp cotton saree, had walked from Mahajati Sadan to Maula Ali and looked quite upbeat on walking right up to Park Circus Maidan, where the rally was meant to end. A few metres ahead of Mitra, near St James School, off AJC Bose road, Dum Dum’s Bikramjeet Bhattacharya, was busy mobilizing his fellow rally participants with slogans like, sompradayeek ushoni ke haarao (defeat communal instigation), RSS-BJP door hataoand Sompreeti Rokkha michil cholchey cholbey (Rally for preserving unity will be taken out continuously).
Amongst the participants carrying red flags, one could easily spot an assortment of professionals making no secret of their shared ideology. “I am committed to fighting the menace of communalism hence I am here to show my solidarity with those who have taken a stand on this issue. The fact that we are witnessing instances of polarization here too are straws in the wind; a foretaste of a spell of ominous uncertainty that threatens to tear apart the state’s social harmony. We, in Bengal have always wanted to co-exist in peace and harmony. But BJP and RSS are hell bent on turning Bengal into a communal cauldron. But they need to understand that in Bengal playing the communal card can only backfire. Where else in India would you see a rally of this magnitude to mark the Black Day for India’s democracy?” said Somobrata Sengupta, a medical representative.
Another participant, while speaking to eNewsroom, said, “We need to understand that this rally comprising over a lakh of participants from different walks of life, aims at highlighting many issues. However, the prime objective is to put up a united fight against politicians who use religion as a tool to exploit sentiments along with highlighting a raft of other issues like human rights, farmer rights and secularism.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Gopa Sarkar, another participant, said, “The way people are being lynched in the name of cow protection and growing instances of atrocities against women should cause us concern. It’s high time that we raised our voice in a sustained manner to see the change that we want to see. So, this single rally won’t help. We came out in support of the kisan (farmers) just a week back, today we condemn Babri Masjid’s demolition and in January we will take to the streets again with our agenda to fight fascism. In this way, we want to create a sustained pressure on both the state and central government.”
The rally had also pictures and quotes of Dr BR Ambedkar, the Indian leader who had drafted the Indian constitution, as December 6 also is the iconic leader’s death anniversary.