06 December, 2020

Shyama Prasad’s Bengal

In one of its natal states, a long-unrealised ‘Hindu vote’ lurks

Illustration by Sorit
Shyama Prasad’s Bengal

In Calcutta, as in most large cities, the Modi “wave” surges the highest in the gentlemen’s clubs in the evening, its velocity soaring with successive rounds of drinks, hitting tsunami proportions before closing hours. But going by the size of Narendra Modi’s rally in Brigade Parade Gro­und on February 5, there isn’t much reason for a few extra rounds. Most dispiriting for the enthusiast was the rally’s timing, wedged between a “mega-rally” of TMC leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, apparently three time larger than Modi’s, and one by the CPI(M)-led Left Front four days later, which could be twice as big.

The Modi show obviously had the largest turnout of Audis and BMWs, not to speak of the 22,000 seats that were sold online, but it was more a managed “event” than the traffic-choking human tornadoes that mark Didi’s roadshows now, or were the hallmark of Left rallies till she trumped it three years ago.

But it’s “okay”, as BJP pointsman for West Bengal...



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