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Bengal’s political landscape has been marred by violence, with disturbing reports of manipulated narratives by the ruling government coming to light. As Bengal completes its Panchayat elections, a closer examination reveals a concerning reality where the ruling party controls the narrative, distorting facts, and labelling violence as a “tradition.” This article aims to shed light on the truth behind the political violence, emphasising the need for a balanced approach, accountability, and transparency during this critical electoral process.

Skewed Representation and Manipulation of Narratives
One of the key findings is the biased representation in panel discussions, where liberal parties dominate the discourse while marginalising the BJP. This imbalance undermines fairness and objectivity, allowing the ruling government to avoid crucial questions and accountability. To ensure a comprehensive and unbiased discussion, it is essential to include diverse perspectives and hold all parties accountable for their actions.

Rejecting Violence as Tradition
Contrary to claims that political violence is a tradition, the absence of cultural heritage in such acts becomes apparent upon closer examination. Bengal boasts a rich cultural legacy encompassing delicacies like Rosogolla and art forms like Rabindra Sangeet, not the brutal violence witnessed during elections. It is imperative to reject excuses and place responsibility on the ruling government for maintaining law and order.

Media Complicity and the Need for Truth
The report exposes the complicity of the media in covering up political violence, highlighting a history of ignored incidents and downplayed violence. This raises concerns about transparency and accountability within the media landscape. The article calls for a renewed commitment to truth and a courageous challenge of prevailing narratives to ensure accurate reporting and avoid misleading the public.

Central Forces and Operational Command
Examining the role of Central forces in Bengal elections, it becomes clear that they operate under the West Bengal State Election Commission (WBSEC), appointed by the ruling TMC government. Understanding this chain of command is crucial in holding responsible parties accountable for maintaining law and order during the completed Panchayat elections. Accurate reporting and avoidance of misleading narratives are essential to ensure transparency and a fair electoral process.

Transparency in Appointment Processes
The report raises questions about the appointment process of State Election Commissioners, emphasising the need for transparency and accountability in local body polls. To ensure a fair and independent process, it is vital to address any imbalances of power. The article urges a re-evaluation of appointment procedures to uphold the principles of transparency and accountability.

Scrutinizing Motives behind Advocating for Ballot Papers
The motives behind advocating for a return to ballot papers are also examined in the report. Incidents of open plundering during previous Panchayat polls, expose vulnerabilities in this voting method. The article calls for a critical examination of these demands and accountability for those advocating for changes in the electoral system.

Humanising Victims and Fostering Empathy
A significant emphasis of the report is placed on humanising the victims of political violence. Their stories must be told to highlight the profound impact on families and communities. By humanising the victims, empathy is fostered, leading to a deeper understanding of the true cost of political violence. The article emphasises the importance of prioritising personal narratives in the pursuit of justice.

Avoiding Trivialisation and Ensuring Accountability
It is crucial not to trivialise the actions of the state government. While incidents like the arrest of a professor for sharing a cartoon are concerning, they should not overshadow the lives lost due to political violence. The media has a responsibility to hold the ruling government accountable for effectively addressing political violence and ensuring the safety of the electoral process.

As Bengal completes its Panchayat elections, it is vital to unmask the truth behind political violence and manipulated narratives. By demanding transparency, humanising victims, and promoting accountability, the media plays a pivotal role in uncovering the reality. Empowering the public with accurate information is crucial for a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced in Bengal’s political landscape during this crucial electoral process.


Abhishek Singh The writer is a Research Scholar

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