The unpredictable flow of politics has made both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stand at the same end, even though the two stood poles apart till recently - the latter taking a more belligerent stand vis-a-vis the former.
Attacks on church & nun have put serious questions for Modi & Mamata
The attacks on Christian minorities in places like Delhi and Haryana and the recent gangrape of a septuagenarian nun inside a convent school in Nadia district of West Bengal have raised serious questions for both PM Modi and CM Banerjee.
At this moment, the duo's political ideologies are irrelevant. Can they stand up as able administrators to stop the endless atrocities against the minorities and prevent India's Pakistanification?
The politics of atrocities against the minorities is a poison that both Modi and Banerjee need to get rid of at the earliest.
For Modi, the communal challenge is big
For Modi, the attack on minorities is something he is not unfamiliar with. It was during his time as the chief minister of Gujarat that India had seen a horrendous anti-Muslim riot and the leader had to fight against all sorts of accusations and allegations in the popular media even though the judiciary had never held him responsible for it.
Today, the same is happening against other minorities after his party, the BJP, stormed to power with an absolute majority last year. For the saffron camp, the Lok Sabha election victory and the decimation of the centrist and leftist forces meant a license to go on the kill.
The communal hatred began to take a ominous shape and now it has rattled even the prime minister. All the hard efforts that PM Modi has been putting to cement India's place in the international world look to be threatened by the non-stop threat to India's plural identity.
For Banerjee, the party politics on communal lines is a big threat
For Banerjee, the problem lies more on party politics than the communal one. West Bengal has known for its secular politics that was nurtured under years of rule of the Congress and the Left and religion has not been a medium traditionally to mobilise political support.
But with the anti-incumbency mood snowballing against Banerjee who has clearly struggled to give a decent governance in Bengal and has been accused of playing to minority sentiments for vote shares, religion has slowly been turning into a new avenue to mobilise party politics. The rise of the BJP in the state in the recent past has been made possible by Banerjee's risky ventures into minority appeasement and failure in delivering what the middle-class aspires for the most - job.The attack on the elderly nun and Mamata's response to the protests have not done any good
Modi & Mamata must now stand together to prevent Pakistanification of India
The attack on the nun will for sure pose more challenges to Banerjee. It will be asked whether the Banerjee administration is capable enough to protect the minority community for its record in maintaining strict law and order situation hasn't been impressive so far. Besides the common man and the women, are the minorities also unsafe in Bengal? This is a new challenge that the rulers of Bengal will face now.
But Banerjee added more to her own problem on Monday when she said that it was the BJP and the CPI(M) that were causing all the problems.
This is something not many observers of Bengal's state of affairs will buy and the Trinamool Congress is doing her no good by mixing up the issue of well-being of her state's residents with party politics with a religious undertone. By saying the BJP is creating nuisance, Banerjee is actually pushing the matter into the tricky domain of majority and minority politics.
Modi & Mamata need to protect the civilians, irrespective of their religious identities
Both the Trinamool and the BJP should understand before anything else that the attacks on civilians are something that they themselves can control, being the ruling parties at the Centre and at Bengal. Blaming others or ignoring the key responsibility will not speak in favour of either Banerjee or Modi at the time of future mandates.