A report came out in an esteemed daily published from Kolkata on Monday that some industrialists of West Bengal were weighing the pros and cons of being caught in the same frame with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during the latter's meeting with the honchos of the Bengal industry on Tuesday. The likes of Sanjeev Goenka, Harshavardhan Neotia and Sanjay Budhia may skip the event, suggested sources.
The programme will be organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, MCC Chamber of Commerce and the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
But who is actually going to lose if indeed Bengal tries to embrace the pro-industry CM in a half-hearted manner fearing a backlash from the Writers'?
The answer is simple: It will be the people of Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee's so-called left-of-the-centre and secular credentials, just like those of the centrist Congress, have earned her state little benefit. The government which came with a massive mandate in the state less than two years ago by toppling a powerful 34-year-old regime has crumbled in a way that not even Banerjee's fiercest critic could have predicted.
The Trinamool government has been so shaken that it is even feeling afraid of holding the panchayat elections on time. Not even Banerjee's mass popularity and minority appeasement have succeeded in boosting the morale of the beleaguered government.
And now this fragile regime is trying to raise its voice of hollow secularism by keeping a distance with Modi, projecting the latter as a representative of the communal forces, so that it wins the favour of the minorities in the state.
Political rhetoric can never match economic performance
The strategy is self-defeating because Banerjee has not succeeded in working out any effective model which could help people to conclude that her leadership is better than Modi. The rainbow coalition which she had formed to dethrone the Left is slowly falling apart while Modi is slowly connecting to a pan-Indian model owing to his pro-industry approach to governance.
Political rhetoric will never match the potential of economic development and particularly in this era of right-of-the-centre political economy, the dead left-of-the-centre political styles of Banerjee, Lalu Prasad or Mulayam Singh are bound to boomerang.
Photo-op means nothing, industrialists want business
Sharing a dais with Narendra Modi is a very trivial point. Industrialists do not crave for photo shoots but mean business. Modi's administrative efficiency has earned praise from across the world while Banerjee's rule has been nothing more than a nightmare for an average citizen of Bengal. Even her tall promises have been falling short and minority leaders, too, are raising their voice against Banerjee's 'lies' to improve the community's condition.
Modi has got the endorsement of the middle-class
Modi is a smarter politician compared to those like Banerjee for he knows how to win the hearts of the burgeoning middle-class of the country. Whatever it be called, neo-liberal or neo-middle class, the point is that this socio-economic class is the main engine which propels the country forward and whoever fails to match their aspirations are bound to find themselves thrown into the dustbin of history.
Banerjee's administration has been careless towards the middle-class, just like her predecessors, and it has left that class alienated, ultimately resulting in the stagnation of the state. If the rulers of Bengal think that agriculture and small-scale industry will be the future economic pillars of the state, then those pillars will crumble very soon. Industrialisation is the need of the day but the Bengali ruling elite if busy wasting time and inviting disaster.
Whether Writers' like it or not, an average citizen of Bengal who is ambitious to grow bigger in life, will identify him or her more with Modi.
Bengal should learn from Modi instead of creating silly obstacles
Gujarat has shown for a long time that industrialisation is a continuous process which gives birth to a vibrant culture. It is not just setting up a building or a unit. Bengal needs to learn from that for its self-destructive rulers have left it in the dark for long now and deprived its rich human resources.
It is important that the state and its leaders learn from Modi about how to make a turnaround instead of creating silly obstacles for the Gujarat chief minister, like not letting the organisers to book a venue for his programme.
There is no harm in learning but Banerjee is more interested in engaging with non-issues. But what else can we learn from leader who had driven out a car factory from her own state as the Opposition leader and it was shifted to Gujarat? It's no wonder that Banerjee's Bengal Leads never leads but Modi's Vibrant Gujarat is always full of energy and enthusiasm.