Westbengal looks all set for a big change in politics. A massive churn is visible. People are impatient to bring a closer to a failed governance model of the yore.
Three decades of communist rule had left the citizenry an emaciated lot. Not a brick had been added to the structure of development that existed before the communists ascended to the power. People begged for development. They got slogans. Commoners were worried about lack of jobs. The government of the day let loose its goons among its cadre to go around shutting gates of factories, pulling down shutters of business establishments and forcing people to stay indoors. Those were the days of strikes. Footsoldiers of communist government went about imposing the rigid doctrine of communism on the hapless Bengalis who wanted nothing but to make an honest living to better their lives. But they were forced to witness the caricatures of rigid postures, fists raised in air and long speeches by comrades invoking some or the other revolution, declaiming quotes from Lenin, Stalin and Marx with rhetorical flourish. People had given up any hope of leading a normal day in life, undisturbed by tantrums of communist cadre.
It took three decades for Bengalis to dislodge the ravenous parasites from power. Somebody else promised them to make things better. It was none else than Mamata Banerjee who embodied new hope for them. Ma Mati Manush was her war cry, with which she drowned the time-worn slogans of commie cadre. With that was drowned too the dream project of Singur Nano plant, ironically the first attempt by the communist government to bring in private investment. She is now close to completing a decade in power. Has she been any different from her predecessor? Has she been able to make life better? The questions don’t seem appropriate to what hard evidences on the ground point to. The questions should be more like, has she cared to be different from her predecessor? and did she really mean to make life better? A big no to both the questions. She has adopted even more merciless brand of politics than that of her predecessor. She has injected communal poison and hate to the body politic of Westbengal. It’s us versus them for her. People who can live and who can’t, depend upon which side they are on. Bodies hanging from trees are a common sight. Far from being outraged by daily occurrences of killing, she displays a manic glee over the fact that her opponents are being taught a tough lesson by her cadre.
Communal appeasement has reached its zenith. She stops at nothing to secure the concentrated vote bank of a community. Riots have left scores dead, homes burnt to ashes and people have left their houses out of fear for their lives. Police act as mute spectators. Not a single culprit has been brought to book for so many incidents of riots. Such is the greed for power and the value of vote bank that festivals do get preferences, one over the other, depending on communities. For infrastructure, you have old tumbledown roads, decrepit British era buildings, hardly motorable connectivity to places of tourism. The state of education and health has hit its nadir. The state is running on a huge deficit economy.
But she and her party don’t care a fig. She is always ready to pick fights with the center over one issue or the other.
People are fed up. Winds of change are blowing. Bengalis don’t want dictators ruling over them and ruining their state. They want real secularism, real democracy and real development. Will Bengal make history in the forthcoming election?
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