Saturday, May 5, 2012

TMC - The new left in WB?

I still remember the day when Ratan Tata announced TML's pull out from Singur - perhaps in more than one way it was the last nail in the coffin as far as revival of WB economy was concerned (and of course for CPM Govt. in the state). The irony of the entire situation was that it was communist government which wanted a capitalist entity to come and set their facility in the state and was vehemently and successfully opposed by a more centralist party - didi led TMC. The situation left me wondering if perhaps TMC and CPM have swapped places and perhaps TMC was the new left in WB? And when last year (or was it this year) didi finally managed to oust the incumbent CPM after 30 years of rule - again I was forced to ask myself, if people have really voted for a change - or was it just a new entity in the old leftist placeholder vacated by a pro-reformist CPM? Is it that people still want a left oriented govt. and this time it was TMC which was found more eligible for that mantle? And over the last few months, our beloved didi's antics seem to be proving me right. The way she has been arm-twisting the Centre on reforms be it petrol price hike (which is supposedly deregulated now!!) or railways reforms (which is heading the Air India way) or simply the blatant handling (A 'not my problem' approach) of law & order situation or health care in the state -all takes one back to days when CPM was at its peak of tyranny - when hooliganism ruled the state and any reforms were thought as anti-people and therefore, not good enough to be even touched by barge pole. Thanks to 30 years of CPM rule, WB came to be know only for three thing - laid-backness, strikes and goondaism perpetrated by CPM.Kolkata the city which was once hailed as the London of the east and where India's industrial revolution supposedly took birth is now a sad laggard with only few companies such as ITC remaining there more due to legacy reasons (Few years ago, I had heard that ITC also wanted to shift their HO out of the state but decided to stay back after a lot of pleading by the CPM govt). And when it seemed that CPM was making a turn for better (of course things like their handling of Land acquisition in Singur point in a very different direction) - they seemed to have been replaced by a party which looks like a new avtaar of what CPM perhaps was 30 years ago - an anti-capitalist, anti establishment party under the guise of pro-poor party promising to make the state a utopia for downtrodden - something which this state definitely does not need.The worst is that didi's control over Delhi and the way it is affecting issues of National importance - not only is she pulling down the state she can potentially create havoc at the national level.

The events of last few months in WB has once again proved to me that there is a huge difference between being popular and being a good ruler/administrator - didi for sure falls flat on the latter front. WB is a state that needed a lot of change but from the looks of it - its going to be a long constant. While I hope that people of WB are able to see though this and vote a better govt next time (all they need to do for next 5 years is pray to god for driving some sense in you know who) - I am more worried out how things will play out at center. Country at this stage needs a lot of impetus on reforms - critics world over have started writing eulogies on India's economic revival and we need a strong action oriented leadership at the centre to change it - something where Mamta Banerjee's actions are definitely not helping. We need to remember one thing - if WB is in dumps a healthy India can always bail it out- but if India is in dumps - then God help us all!