.. first Bengal, then India: Mamata’s Emosional Atyachaar
Many have celebrated Mamata’s ascendancy and indeed have watched with glee over the last few years how political opportunism mixed with total irresponsibility has become respectable, even mainstream in the state of West Bengal and have not blinked, because, the fire was burning elsewhere.
As Mamata free-wheeled through alliance-making; frst the BJP, then the SUCI and Naxals and then with Congress, our political commentators were silent. It was all kosher; everything was fair game, we were told, if the Marxists can be removed from power in West Bengal.
As she and her rag-tag combine of has been actors (Shatabdi Roy and Tapas Paul), has been Marxist/ can still sing, if increasingly laden with scatology (Kabir Suman), has been in Congress, was expelled from Trinamool (Sudip Bandyopadhya) entertained Kolkata on 22nd July by ensuring a grateful city was spared a productive day in office, we must ask ourselves, in what way is she better than Mayawati or Jayalalithaa, politicians to whom she is often compared?
My fellow Indians, now our time has come. Now, we will pay the price for Mamata, as a nation. And, it will no longer be possible to ignore her.
I refer to the “Land Bill”, which was being brought in to replace a century old Colonial law which recognised only the role of the State in acquiring land for “public purpose”.
Mamata does not want this bill; every other political party is okay with it. Why? Because, this will be against the emotive, nihilistic and yet, electorally expedient stance she took in Singur and Nandigram.
So, what is the solution? After all, as Nirad Chaudhuri never tired of pointing out, Bengal loves going against the tide in the rest of the country; so what if such a stance is detrimental to progress.
There is a precedence. The Industrial Disputes Act of 1955 has specific sections which apply only to West Bengal. Perhaps, we can have the Land-Bill in the rest of the country, and have a “Mamata section” in the bill for West Bengal?
After all, why should the rest of India pay for the inability of the West Bengal voters to know what is good for them?
Will it stop at the Land Bill? My fear is, it will not.