Shoaib Daniyal in Scroll:
Organised by the far-right group Hindu Samhati, the procession was a commemoration of the Great Calcutta Killings, the terrible communal riot that began exactly 69 years ago on August 16, 1946. In particular, it was feting the role of a certain Gopal Chandra Mukherjee in it. Large billboards mounted on vans proclaimed Mukherjee to be “Kolkatar Rakhakarta” (Kolkata’s protector) and prefixed the title “Hindu bir” (Hindu braveheart) before his name.
It was also connecting 1946 to 2015: people carried banners which called for an end to the “torture” of Hindus in Bengal, warned politicians to stop “appeasing” certain groups in the “greed for votes” and called for an end to “Jihadi riots”. A van carried a lurid billboard asking why Kolkata’s intellectuals were silent about the everyday killing of bloggers in Bangladesh.
On a truck, flanked by hectic activity, a man on a public address system drilled everyone about how the march would be conducted: regular slogans, march in line and be peaceful. The Mamata Banerjee government also seemed interested in the last bit: there was heavy police bandobast for the event, with scores of policemen milling around, in case things went out of hand.