West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has begun her second stint with caution and most importantly-maturity.
Just like in 2012, when a woman was gangraped inside amoving car and dumped by the road side, another similar incident happened a few days ago when another woman was gangraped, again in a moving vehicle.
In the first instance which happened just nine months after Banerjee became the CM for the first time, the second instance took place just days after she took oath as the CM for the second time after getting a massive mandate in the election.
In 2012, Mamata Banerjee said the rape was a concocted issue to malign her govt
The first case saw the CM calling it "concocted"---a deliberate attempt by the Opposition to malign her government. Her strong reaction on the issue saw one controversy after another snowballing---about her own remark, her party leaders' dishonouring the victim (the late Suzette Jordan) and also making changes in the police ranks. [Suzette Jordan deserved a better media coverage]
The net result of all this was: Mamata Banerjee earned a bad name of an insensitive and reckless leader who did not care for a woman's dignity despite herself being a woman.
In 2016, Mamata Banerjee says nothing on yet another rape issue
In 2016, Mamata Banerjee 2.0 is a much changed personality. Neither she nor any of her party members made any remark on the matter and the law succeeded in reaching out to the accused without facing any obstacle.
In fact, Banerjee's composure was observed even on the day the election results were out. Unlike in her aggressive best which the people saw during the month-long election, Banerjee sounded like an administrator who wants to give everything a second thought. [What Mamata said after election victory]
This is good news for West Bengal. Given the fact that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo is the only choice the state has at the moment, any act of maturity on her part is always welcome. Her first stint had seen several occasions where the administration was perceived to be a clueless one in dealing with issues. The people seemed tired with Banerjee blaming her predecessor Left for all the ills the state faced. This has to change if Banerjee aspires to be in power for another decade.
Will Mamata Banerjee 2.0 see a change in Bengal's violent political culture?
Her critics and opponents hope that the CM's composure, as it was seen in case of the latest rape issue, will also be witnessed in the realm of politics where the Opposition parties have accused the government of targeting their supporters.
Politicians, like all human beings, become mature with time and learn from their past mistakes. Can Banerjee, who is known to be mercurial, prove to be a better administrator in her second term?