Shocking! Shocking! Is this the standard of politics practiced in the world's largest democracy? West Bengal chief minister and her Cabinet colleagues being attacked by the CPI(M)'s student wing in the national capital and the Trinamool retaliates against the Opposition across West Bengal later in the day. The SFI protested against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her ministers over the recent death of one of its leaders in the police custody in Kolkata. State finance minister Amit Mitra was heckled by the protesters and he was even sent for medical check-up.
Let me see who saves you in Kolkata, a chief minister warns
A furious Mamata Banerjee said at the Planning Commission where the protest took place: "Dekhi Kolkataye party r lok k eke bachaye, dekhi" (Let us see who saves you in Kolkata). State industries minister Partha Chatterjee also threatened the SFI leadership who said the protest against Banerjee and her colleagues was a spontaneous one. He said: "Ekhane eshe dekhak shwotoshphurtho andolan. Amrao dekhiye debo" (Let them show their spontaneous protest here in Kolkata. We will see them).
Retaliation for the Delhi incident across West Bengal
The reaction didn't take much time to take off. By the evening, party offices of the CPI(M) as well as Opposition leaders and former ministers were attacked by supporters of the ruling party. The matter turned so serious that the chief minister was forced to appeal for calm later. But the damage had already been done. Being a weak organization, the TMC doesn't have the capacity to rein in itself and Banerjee's threat to retaliate might lead to disastrous consequences. SFI and CPI(M) supporters were already gearing up for a counter-agitation.
Cycle of violence spilling over into national capital
It is even a bigger concern that the self-destructive tit-for-tat politics of West Bengal is now spilling over into the national capital. And there will be no definite answer as who did the actual damage. The TMC supporters will say they did it because the SFI attacked their leaders in Delhi, the SFI will say the chief minister handled the Sudipta Gupta death case in an insensitive manner, the chief minister will say it was bad student politics which had claimed the youth's life and so on.
The debate will continue endlessly while Bengal will burn. Is this what we are prepared for? As an ordinary Bengali, I feel shattered by such turn of events. The Left's violent protest is definitely an ugly thing to have occurred, but does that give an elected representative the license to threat and retaliate?
While one CM speaks about development, another busy in decimating the Opposition
It is ironical that the nationalization of TMC-Left clash took place on a day when a pro-development chief minister presented a sound speech before Bengal's industry captains. No matter what political colour he represents, no matter whether he was involved in a riot a decade back, the picture that Narendra Modi projected in Kolkata on Tuesday was that of a forward-looking ambitious politician who means business. And this task of establishing a no non-sense image hasn't been completed in a day. Modi has inched forward towards playing a bigger political role through a decade-long of good work in administration.
If Modi can floor his opposition through good work, why Mamata needs threat and force?
The stories he put up from his 12-year-long administrative experience were enough to boost a depressed morale. He never regretted that the previous Congress governments had left his state in a bad state but took up the challenge to author a turnaround. Never did we witness the two opposition parties baying for each others' blood at every given opportunity and the development of the ordinary citizens of the state was never hampered. Modi has won three terms on the trot and he has ensured through his work of development that the Opposition remains floored for a long time to come. Couldn't Banerjee do something similar?
A pathetic state of affairs called West Bengal
But just compare this with the situation in West Bengal. An over-politicised society has devoured its own roots (which Modi hailed as glorious in Kolkata) and there is no concern in any circle to arrest the decline so that the state which had a historical advantage and is known for its intellectual prowess can make a move forward. It's a relentless cycle of violence which has kept everyone busy in West Bengal today and this is an unfortunate defeat for a rich culture and race.
Narendra Modi was just three-year-old into his rule when the Opposition took over at the Centre and kept on taunting his administration. But yet he ensured that his state was not left crippled and instead showed a way to many others.
Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, was in the ruling coalition at the time of taking over the responsibility of the state and yet after almost two years of rule, she is seen only blaming the Left for all the woes of her state and finds a solace in running to the Centre with the begging bowl only to be fooled repeatedly. This is the difference between Gujarat and Bengal today.
There is little possibility of Bengal, which Modi praised as a land of great pride, will ever again see a sunrise for generations have been lost by the Left's 34 year of social engineering. The Mamatas of today are just reactionary forces who have only known to celebrate the Left's defeat and how to decimate it further. The ambience of democracy has been ruined and that makes the opportunity for an economic revival almost impossible.
Bengal today has descended into chaos and is proudly marching towards the stone age. As a helpless Bengali, I can only watch and weep.