Sunday, December 12, 2010

Welcome to Mamataland !

Mamata Banerjee first splashed on to the political scene in the state of West Bengal, many winters ago. The left front was in it’s hey days, politically unchallenged and untested. She started off her career as a boisterous ‘Mahila’ congress leader. If the left front was LEFT, she was as RIGHT as they come. She has made a career out of challenging the left front on their own turf. I have to give it to her that she has persevered, worked hard, fought, lead by example. I dare not deny the the devil it’s due. She rose up the ranks, until she became too fit into the Congress mould and launched her own outfit – TMC. 

Even though ‘Didi’ lovingly known among her supporters need no introduction, the following has been put together to give you some insight into the persona of a leading thinker of our times. She has earned a number of firsts with her brand of politics, some samples are listed below:

  • She had once jumped and danced in protest uninhibited on the bonnet of Jaiprakaash Narayan’s car.
  • At a public rally at Alipore in Kolkata, she wrapped a black shawl around her neck and threatened to make a noose with it.
  • In February 1997, on the day of railway budget presentation in Lok Sabha, Mamata Banerjee threw her shawl at the railway minister Ram Vilas Paswan for ignoring West Bengal and announced her resignation. Then, speaker, P. A. Sangma, did not accept her resignation and asked her to apologize.

She single handedly drove away Tatas from Singur on the pretext of being a voice for the farmers. After succeeding in her mission, she wants us to believe that what she did was in the best interest of the state and it’s people. Hence her slogan - ‘Maa, Maati, Manush’. By sheer coincidence all words in the slogan begin with ‘M’. Phew. She came, saw and conquered ! When the Tata sun set on Singur, and rose up in Gujarat - she declared victory, in the same vein as George W. Bush’s victory cry of ‘Mission Accomplished !’ aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

mamataV bush_MI

Her USP has been her simplicity, her ‘clean’ image, her bathroom slippers and her cotton saris.

Done with a brief introduction, let me try to keep my focus on the issue at hand, as difficult as it may be. So on the 9th of December, a war cry was let out and a huge circus was set-up in Salt Lake. The agenda was to oppose HIDCO’s best laid plans. All this unfolding bang opposite a public hospital, and within close proximity to another. What ensued was complete anarchy, traffic was blocked and re-routed from forenoon hours to late in the afternoon. People wanting to visit their sick relatives and friends at the hospital were grossly inconvenienced at large, citing constitutional right to protest. And this is the change we are being promised ?

A lady who was walking down the stretch of Broadway with her teen son in tow was interviewed by a TV channel. She had to make good use of her and her son’s legs, as no public transport was available. I stood and observed the interview. The lady was obviously fuming in response to the siege that was being laid in her neighborhood. I was able to park my car at some distance and was walking down the avenue. I offered the mother and the son a ride in my car and drove them a ride to their doorstep. The lady thanked me profusely, and we bid adieu.

Now the obvious question is - what happens when the ruling government does the same in their favorite area – Metro Channel, Esplanade. Well, two wrongs don’t make a right. Not especially when you are trying to be the change and promising the sky to gullible citizens. I abhor this breach of a citizen’s constitutional right, regardless of which party is at the helm.

Wonder though, what happened to claims laid by of that of transforming Calcutta to London ? I have never had the good fortune to visit London, but I am relatively sure and am told this does not happen in London.

As for the ‘hot potato’ question, should the farmers be denied compensation as per current rates ? I believe a dialog should be started, and an amicable solution should be worked out by both the warring factions. Some solution, other than ‘No solution’ should be arrived at. But for that Ms. B, has to swing her magic wand and be open to come to the discussion table. Given her track record, it remains a doubtful starter.

The unsuspecting investors who have invested into the dream of owning their own roof have not done anything illegal. They have played by the book and taken out costly mortgages, and are chasing their dream that may never come true. They are getting sandwiched in a political tug of war, which is not of their own making ! I hereby, earnestly request Ms. B to spare a thought for them.

Some say, this rhetoric is going to change, when she assumes power. Which now appears to be a matter of time. Please explain this to me, as if I were a 6 year old - ‘How would we go from a firm no to soft yes ?’.

Below are some pictures of what went on in Salt Lake, on this day.

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I conclude by asking the question – Is New Town going the Singur way ? If the answer is YES, this might be time to pull out your investments. If the answer is NO, praise the Lord !

Good luck and Good night !


  1. Gautam Deb:

  2. @Rana - saw this live on bangla channel - 24 ghanta ! Have a video of this, will upload soon.

  3. @NewKid: Thanks ! Looking forward to it....

    Here's a cool promo for Newtown:!


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