Bengal: Lost its Glory – Political Will of Government Needed

Must read

Muscat, Oman – Decades ago Bengal used to be leading state in India, in the field of education, intellectual ideas, art and cultural, healthcare, industrial activities. Sense of love for home land (Bengal), Pride of being Bengali were common feeling of people living in the state. The famous line of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, “Banglar Maati, Banglar Jal, Banglar Bayu, Banglar Fal … Punya Houk Hey Bhagoban” (implied how much people loved soil, air, water of Bengal and thanked God for being able to live here) was true reflection.

However with the cycle of time, things changed. “Ism culture” gripped over politics of Bengal resulting in creation of poor work culture, violent protests leading closure and exodus of Industry to other states. Left Front led ruled about 3 decades in Bengal, it was only towards end of their tenure they realized and admitted about poor work ethics. They did not do much to attract investments in the state while other states lured investors with incentives, providing facilities and assuring favorable environment.

Singur was epicenter of rise of Mamata Banerjee. People of Bengal voted TMC (Trinamool Congress) to power with hope of change, for better governance, for development of the state. Bengal’s electorates, allegedly known for their apathy to change and traditional mindedness, made the change possible for the first time in three decades through their electoral rights. People were fed up with Left Front rule and lost confidence on false election promises.

Many did not have full confidence in Mamata Banerjee, the fire-band leader of TMC, for her inconsistency and arrogant attitude but considered her as “person of the hour” who could garner strength to throw the Communists out of the Writers Building. The emotional, overwhelming oath taking ceremony of Mamata, raised many hopes in the mind of people of Bengal. However that soon started to prove as short-lived.

Investment starved state needed growth-oriented industrial policy to attract investments in the state. The new government should have initiated attractive schemes for investment, created favorable environment, facilities, infrastructure and made efforts to win investors’ confidence. The government should have made efforts to change the image of the state from hostile trade unionist to investor friendly. Stray efforts made by Mamata were not good enough to create her own trustworthiness to investors, not adequate to improve the industrial scenario. Thus generation of employment, creation of jobs for youths remained a distant dream. Did people of Bengal want such change? Have people got the benefit of change they sought?

As the time passed, her arrogance, style of functioning, trust and faith in some ministers, party leaders, attempts to induce party dominance at every level, created chaos, indiscipline, hooligan in the society and encouraged own party workers to act freely to spread violence in the state. Characteristically she always adopted strategy to attack media, other political parties, Central Government to cover up her own failures and to protect her party leaders.
To cover up failure in attracting investment for the state, failure to establish good federal relationship with Centre, she adopted to spread propaganda that the situation in Bengal improved in many areas as compared to other developed states in India. To cover up failure of pre-election promise of returning lands to farmers in Singur, she tried to do many things, starting from complaining about legal system to even threatening Tata Group. To cover up failure in creating infrastructure to boost tourism, she preferred to divert attention by keeping eye on electoral gains. To cover up administrative failure of the government in maintain law and order, reducing violence in rural areas, in educational institutes and in the society at large, she opted to always blame media, opposition political parties and central government.

Several incidents of sexual assaults on women, crime and violence, act of terrorism, unruly acts of party workers at educational institutes and failure to carry out thorough probe in financial scam wherein thousands of small poor investors lost their hard earned money, can be cited as failure of Mamata Government.

Hush up acts and attempt to destroy of evidence of the accidental blast occurred in Burdwan, raised many questions about functioning of the state government with true national spirit and for the safety of the country.

After Sharda Scam, Narda Scam broke out in the news. Fake video was spread by party MP, Derek O’Brian which boomerang on him as he had to apologize publicly. It appears that once known as quiz master, he selected the “Video Question” wrongly.

In order to woo minority voters, TMC as a party has been trying to do everything possible. Party’s top leader, minister and trusted aide of Mamata, termed proudly his constituency, Garden Reach (in Kolkata) as “Mini Pakistan” just prior to polling day created huge row.

The present government has not done anything excepting protecting their leaders from scams, spreading violence, protesting, threatening CBI, blaming Centre for conspiracy. They are only claiming Bengal is on growth path without making any serious attempt of attracting investments and creating investment friendly environment in the state during their term as elected government. Will the party’s arrogance help in development of Bengal?

Mousumi Roy
+ posts

Mousumi Roy has a Masters (MA - Political Science) from Calcutta University and is a visiting professor of International Relations in Muscat, Oman

More articles

Latest article