Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have been asked by the doctor to not go out of the house. But I went out, stood in the queue for an hour and cast my vote. I would, even if I were dying. There is a very popular trend picking up around me: A lot of young people 'stay away' from voting because they have 'lost faith in the system'. They say, it will not matter if they vote. I will vote because I must have my say. I must express what I feel irrespective of whether I am heard or not. I will do my bit to change the system, however small it might be. I never get bogged down by cynical adults who tell me its too small to count, to matter.

The pseudo-communists have turned this state into a nightmare. They have stooped to the abyss of monopoly. There is so much 'red' tape that its a tangled gigantic red ball rolling downhill. School teachers don't work. They have their Red union. Students will get away with ragging, with cheating in exams, zero attendance. They have SFI. Auto drivers will not follow traffic rules. Every auto, legal or illegal, pays 3 rupees every day to CITU. Bus drivers will overtake and kill. Their owners pay just 1000 rupees to CITU for every man they run over. Trucks are overloaded beyond their licensed limits. They have payed their tollahs to police along the way. Rickshaw wallahs will hit pedestrians. They have their union to fall back on. The hawkers will encroach your footpath. They are paying the party-man. Plus, whenever there is a rally all of them will be filled in buses provided for free by bus owners) to the maidan to add to the crowd. The police won't catch them. They have the same party to lick feet of. The courts, the municipal offices, the government offices, each and every person is a member. Who wants to work? No one can touch them as long as they pay their chanda.

I don't blame the party. If any party were in power for 35 years they would become equally despotic. We need change. And nothing, nothing in the world can be worse than where we are.

I love my city. My state. West Bengal has everything from mountains, to a heritage city, to a glorious past, plains, rivers, a sea, a mangrove that is the only one of its kind in the world. And look at the state of tourism. For god's sake, even Jharkhand has a tourism promotion going! Thousands of factories have closed down in the past 30 years. All indigenous industries are making way for multinationals. We had USHA factory, Krishna Glass factory, Annapurna factory, Dabur factory, Sulekha works, National Instruments in the Jadavpur area itself providing employment to the locals. I know because my parents have lived here. Now they are making way for land sharks building apartments that only a certain class of people can afford. Who buys stuff at South City? Who get the money that comes from these malls? Either giants like Reliance, Tatas, or foreign companys. Does it compare to an industry employing hundreds of people, making its own product? You can find a list of factories that have closed down that I tried to compile, here. But this is not even 1 percent of the actual loss!

I know it is difficult for a lot of people who are educated and refined to support a party like TMC, with a leader who is clearly quite eccentric and unrefined, but I respect her. I do. The woman is the only voice of opposition in this state. No one can question her honesty. Congress, historically, has been a party of the weak and the meek. The congress is also historically an ally of the CPI(marxist) in West Bengal. CPIM worked as a close ally with congress to wipe out the revolutionaries (and perhaps the only true communists) Naxals. CPIM provided information to the congress about their hideouts, etc. It would have been impossible for Congress to find them on their own. This again is a tale of dark betrayal that will take days to talk about. But anyone who had been closely associated with the Naxal movements in the 60s 70s will tell you.

CPIM -the party that finally came to power in West Bengal, was a party born out of betrayal. They were the outer party that had promised to run the democratic machinery till time was right for a true communist revolution. The inner party, the revolutionaries, who were supposed to go to the villages and start ground work died out over time, when they saw the leaders of outer party enjoying all the privileges of power which they were deprived of. With the death of the Inner Party the dream of a communist revolution was dead. All that has happened ever since is a huge farce.


  1. However, your vote will change the scene in the centre. And not the state. Even if you vote for the TMC, the Left Front will be in power in the state, at least for some time.

    As for myself, in my constituency I had a choice between BJP, CPM and TMC. I find the first misogynist and communal, the second corrupt and complacent and the third stupid and 'subidhebadi'.

    It was not an easy choice to make. But I did vote.

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  3. March Hare sums up the dilemma very well. It bothers me VERY much that communal politics is finding a slow but sure foothold in this state, in the name of "minority/cultural" representation (the former being primarily Muslim, the latter being more the BJP/RSS sort)--it bothers me NO end.

    I am not Shahrukh Khan's biggest fan, but in an interview where he was clearly fighting to stay calm (or maybe that was an uncharacteristic piece of good acting) he said the last thing India needed was one more political party, esp. a religion-centric pary. He was referring to the proposed revival of the Muslim League, but I agree with him in general.

    While I was growing up there was a certain feeling that finally we had left behind overt religious presence or influence in the political domain--there was such dogged profusion of "Miley Sur Mera Tumhara" and so on-- but the last few years has shown how delusional (and perhaps "educated urban "westernised" middle class") we were in our assumptions. The rise of subaltern studies and minority rights--absolutely inalienable and necessary in both theory and practice--we have unfortunately also seen a resurgence of sectarian political ideologies.

    And there is not a thing we can do about it now, the way world politics has been reshaped.

  4. Communal-ism bothers me. But fake-marxists are hardly secular.

    To be very honest I do not believe India can ever be truly secular until
    a) every child has a similar and religiously-unbiased common curriculum (and not madrasas and RSS schools)

    b) We have a common law independent of our religions. Why does no one talk about banishing Special Muslim Acts? Why will there be different rules for two Indians?

    Until that happens, we should stop talking about secularism. No party, no party has the guts to even pronounce these. Any one saying it will be stamped as communal or plotting to create communal unrest.

    India survives by seclusion of religious groups, castes, sects. Look around you. Everyone wants a separate state. The whole concept of India's unity in diversity is a farce. A farce so huge that it needs to be nailed into kids over years. It takes special conditioning to believe in it.

  5. get a reality check...the congress had a personality like indira gandhi. who, while she was certainly not an unmixed blessing to the country, was the most un-weak and un-meek leader india has ever produced and will ever produce.

  6. One leader does not a party make. The congress party, the oldest in Indian politics is and was a meek party. I do not hold it against them, but they have soft stands. Exceptions will be there. Generally speaking.

  7. on the contrary political parties are made by exceptional leaders of exceptional calibre. it is true for all parties all over the world. that is how the system works. one exceptional leader makes all the difference. if you call the congress meek, i don't know who you would call..well, not weak.

  8. Nice views, one thing I will totally agree is that a single party holding power for 35 years makes it too complacent, basically it has nothing to do with politics only..having power for too long makes humans think that whatever he/she does it's right/sees things from a glass house. But back to the point there's no country in the world where a single party is holding power too long as in WB. I believe no "isms" have any problems, someone rightly say " in 20's if your are not communist your don't have a heart, & in 40 if your not capitalist you don't have a mind". But I feel the issue in India is "integrity" among us to stand up for as a nation, blame it on our population/lack of facilities or whatever, maybe many will differ with this on me, but we still lack to stand up as a nation. If you see countries like Germany, Israel or China having diff political ideologies still they progress much more than us as they are united as a nation. The sad part is in the recent US elections I see people holding a flag of US, but here people hold flags of diff political parties during elections & that's the problem, we still need to go a long way to unite as a nation.