Election 2019


No Rabindra Sangeet: Fear In Bengal As Trinamool Sings A Different Tune


In 2011, Mamata Banerjee told party workers not to hold victory rallies but stay home and listen to Rabindra Sangeet. (File Photo)


  1. Bengal worried about political violence ahead of counting day on May 19
  2. Ruling Trinamool says Election Commission in charge of law and order
  3. Left, Congress leaders allege Trinamool has threatened violence
As counting day looms, Bengal is increasingly worried about political violence erupting again once.

As marks of reassurance, the ruling Trinamool Congress has said the Election Commission is in charge of law and order and the Left Front has promised not to hold rallies wherever it wins. But cryptic remarks of "No Rabindra Sangeet", "Bhojpuri songs" and "solar eclipse" by members of the ruling party are garbling the message.

Last week, Trinamool candidate Madan Mitra, on his way back to jail after a check-up at hospital, told journalists that there will be no "badla (revenge)", but there will be a total solar eclipse on May 19.  "Purna surya grahan," he smiled.

The CPM feels it is a threat -- Surya Kanta Mishra is the party's chief campaigner and in mythology, total eclipse is said to happen when the sun is swallowed by a demon.

On May 5, Trinamool candidate from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari said "Trinamool will win". Then flashing the victory sign, he added, "No Rabindra Sangeet."

For those uninitiated in Bengal's political dictionalry, "No Rabindra Sangeet" is code for "let's beat them up". It came into vogue after Mamata Banerjee, following her historic win in 2011, told party workers not to hold victory rallies but stay home and listen to Rabindra Sangeet -- songs composed by Bengal's Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Now when her men want a fight, they say, "No Rabindra Sangeet please". Like lawmaker Kalyan Banerjee said at a rally in Bankura in March: "Didi, please don't ask us to listen to Rabindra Sangeet after this poll."

Madan Mitra went a step further. "Didi, no Rabindra Sangeet this time. May be Bhojpuri songs. Also very popular,'' he said.

Asked about growing tensions, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar told NDTV, "The Election Commission is in charge of law and order now, not us. Our people are being killed".

The Left does not agree. "Those who showed no respect for democracy before, during and after the elections, how can we expect them to do so after the elections?" said Left Front chairman Biman Bose.

The Congress is dismissive of threats.  "Whether they listen to Rabindra Sangeet or Bhojpuri songs or not, the Trinamool leaders should be prepared for their farewell celebrations," said Adhir Chowdhury.

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