ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cultivating Communal Hatred in Bengal

Blasts in Khagragarh in Bardhaman district in West Bengal on 2 October 2014 have led to growing anti-Muslim propaganda in the state. Such incidents related to political violence have their roots in the political-economic structure of central Bengal where rural surplus has led to uneven economic growth, paving the way to political domination of one class over another. This can be seen from the class structure of the rice belt of Bardhaman, Hooghly and part of Birbhum districts, where the proportion of agricultural labour is still very high, between 40% and 50%. There is an urgent need to separate such instances of criminal activities, related to the political economy, from those of the purported Islamic jihad.

Kumar Rana ( is with the Pratichi Institute, Kolkata and Manabi Majumdar ( is with the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and the Pratichi Institute, Kolkata.

West Bengal is seized today by a brazen, irresponsible and unsubstantiated uproar about “Muslim fundamentalism”. In this brief and necessarily incomplete note, we seek to analyse this ferment against the recent blast that occurred in the district of Bardhaman, looking through the prisms of media activism, state surveillance and its electoral calculus, and finally through the lens of social justice.

Media Activism

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