Saturday, May 16, 2009

Change & Suicidal Bengali

I checked with dad, “How many seats do you think Mamata would get this time around?”

“They are saying it would be 50-50 this time. 21 seats each for CPM & Mamata”

Indrajit, a CPM sympathiser, said- Max to max 16 for TMC + Congress. While Drupad, a Mamata & kabir Suman die hard fan did not comment- but kept pleading in Orkut for voting for them…

At the end, the bell for the end of CPM has ringed. They are confined only to 9 seats (15 including CPI, FB & RSP). With assembly elections just two years away, knowing the Bengali Sentiment, End of CPM is all but certain. Only one person can save them and that is Mamata, by doing another self injuring blunder.

But how does it stack up for Bengal as a whole? Not good at all according to me.
Firstly- CMP in order to win back people, would not push Industrialization at all for next two years. Secondly- TMC, if voted to power, would not talk about it since this very anti-industry stance would see them home.
Lastly- With all other states pushing rapid industrialization, we would have no takers after 6-7 years. (I am sure Bihar would get the special status soon and most probably start attracting more industries than any other state in eastern India).

I am convinced that Industrialization is the only answer Bengal has to all the problems of unemployment, development and work culture. I have pointed this out in all my previous posts on similar subject. With Industry shying away, we would miss the tide Buddhadev tried to bring in and mess with the state.

But why committing this hara-kiri? The answer lies in N C Chaudhuri’s comment- Bengalis are suicidal. We love to live in the past, want to relish the glory of yester years while keeping a blind eye to the present realities. For long, we have been romanticizing - how others are envy of us and how they want to pull us down. We want to continue that. Even slightest hint of a temporary hardship for a better future, makes us nervous. We don’t mind turning into group of self destructing souls.

The main slogan for TMC in this election was for Change…

Ironically results show what we have pushed away is exactly that… CHANGE… The inner change.
Form Many to one

When I switched on the TV it was almost 6-30… About 11 am in India. The first words I hear was, “This is a setback for BJP & NDA”… I knew the significance of those words among the speculation of a hung parliament… For the rest of the day, the same message was replayed and retold by several personalities and several different ways… Yes, verdict on the general election 2009 was out. People had (almost) decisively accepted Congress and UPA as the choice for running the country for next five years.

When I look at the result, more than the loss of BJP & CPM, what strikes me is the annihilation or diminishing importance of the fringe players. SP, BSP, RLD, INLD, RJD, LP, TDP, NCP all had suffered embarrassment to the core. Ram Vilas Paswan, who once had a record for the winning margin, was grasping for words while commenting on his loss. Lalu Prasad was never seen during the day to comment on his party’s shameful performance. He is the lone MP and that too after loosing from one constituency.

Now that is a story to follow. Are the days of fragmentation getting over? Are the nuisance makers on their way out? Would this lead to a consolidation among politicians along well defined ideological line? Too early to speculate on that. However, emergence of Congress as a power in UP & Bengal (I consider TMC as a congress only- as all the leaders are old congressmen) & partial polarization of votes across two major axis is a good sign now doubt.

One more observation. Arun Jetly and Prakash Karat, while accepting defeat, were graceful in their speeches. Mayawati & Jayalalitha were not. These ladies had the blame every one but themselves. There were no congratulatory words towards the winning combination, no mention of self introspection. A sigh of relief … these nuisance would be out of business… at least for a while… “Jai Ho” to a stable central government.

PS- News channels in UK (BBC & Sky) treated election in India as low priority news. It came much later news on a local politician being caught for a misappropriation of a few thousand pounds got more importance. BBC’s 96 second coverage made sure that a fat ugly looking congress supporter, making funny moves gets to British households… So predictable from BBC…