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

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Developing Confrontation

The first thirty days of the United Front Government in West Bengal were packed with political thrill, notwithstanding a dash of horror towards the end. The thrilling finale of the story, however, is the incredibly short period of four hours in which a major conflagration with the dangerous potentiality of enveloping two States (whose location on international borders has an added significance in many quarters) was put down, apparently without any smouldering cinders beneath the ashes. It is indeed an unmistakable index of the political maturity of the people of both West Bengal and Punjab today that even the dynamite of religious-communalregional chauvinism has lost some of its traditional combustibility. But this wholesome demonstration, tragically, cost a dozen lives and considerable bloodshed, not to mention the destruction of property.

The first thirty days of the United Front Government in West Bengal were packed with political thrill, notwithstanding a dash of horror towards the end. The thrilling finale of the story, however, is the incredibly short period of four hours in which a major conflagration with the dangerous potentiality of enveloping two States (whose location on international borders has an added significance in many quarters) was put down, apparently without any smouldering cinders beneath the ashes. It is indeed an unmistakable index of the political maturity of the people of both West Bengal and Punjab today that even the dynamite of religious-communalregional chauvinism has lost some of its traditional combustibility. But this wholesome demonstration, tragically, cost a dozen lives and considerable bloodshed, not to mention the destruction of property.

It is widely believed and talked about that the whole thing was engineered by some agency or agencies interested in discrediting the United Front Government and inviting President's rule in the State. In this connection various names are mentioned from local Congress strongarm leaders to the CIA, with some business houses thrown in. The truth, if any, of these allegations may be expected to be revealed in the course of the judicial investigation promised by the State Government.

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