Historian Ramachandra Guha cautioned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Wednesday against suppressing civil society which, he said, acts as the “moral conscience” of people. “Do not suppress civil society. Do not think that Writer’s Building knows all,” Dr. Guha said, at the concluding ceremony of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

“My only criticism of the Trinamool is their attitude of ‘if you are not with us you are against us’,” he said.

However, Dr. Guha did not place the blame solely on the Trinamool Congress and held the previous Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led State government as equally culpable. “West Bengal never had a civil society because the communists did not allow it....”