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Whats in a bust: Row in India as Lenin statue razed to ground after elections

Published: Updated:

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in one of India’s northeast states, a group of hooligans, allegedly belonging to the BJP, razed down a Lenin statue that had stood there for ages.

The incident took place in the state of Tripura where the fiber-glass statue was attacked barely 48 hours of the assembly election results going in favor of the BJP. It has sparked a row in other states in India which have witnessed communist party rules.

But what was a Lenin statue doing in an otherwise remote part of the country? Well, the state was ruled for the last 25 years by India’s Communist Party (Marxists) also called CPM. Members of CPM allege that violence has been unleashed by the new party in power.

“We condemn such fascist onslaught against the CPI(M) cadres and workers in Tripura. We may have lost an election (in Tripura) but that has not given anyone the right to attack and kill our party workers,” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

Lenin’s head

According to the report, the group of attackers vandalized the area where the statue was placed. CPIM office bearer, Tapas Datta, said: “Eyewitnesses told me that after the statue fell, its head was dismembered from the body. And then, the BJP workers played football with Lenin’s head.’’

However, BJP south district secretary Raju Nath denied the allegations and said that the statute fell because of an “overflow of anger”. A minister in Modi’s cabinet said that the government condemns all kinds of violence but added that statues of foreign leaders have no place in India.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that the country has produced enough icons and ideologues for people to eulogize. Another prominent BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy, called the late Russian leader “a terrorist” and questioned if the statue of such a person could be installed in India.

“Who is Lenin and what is the connection between Lenin and India? What connection India has with Communists?”, BJP leader H Raja had said in the Tamil post in Facebook that had been deleted, the newspaper report said.