She has fought her battles in the opposition, she is one of the prime face in revolutionising and bringing the 34 years run of CPIM government to an end in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee the Chief Minister of West Bengal has been in the thick and thin of things in her political career as a student leader to become a Railway Minister and finally to consolidate herself as the Chief Minister of West Bengal in 2011.
Known to her political associates as Didi, she had revolutionized herself as Agni Kanna ( daughter of fire), she has installed the faith in her supporters that if only anyone can rescue Bengal from its atrocities the answer can only be her government and under her leadership.
I set my foot on the 10th of April 2017, my flight landed at around 8 pm at Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport, the air smelt different a touch of Bengal was surely there in it, looked around with the excitement of reaching home to my surprise I could figure out the Airport is deserted at the prime time comparing it to Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, I did count the number of planes waiting for departure it was two Emirates lanes.
I took on a Cab service and made my journey home, popularly when you travel Kolkata you happen to make really good friends with chaiwalla, cabwalla and just another stranger who is traveling with you..the discussion varies from politics, food, and football. I was bent on knowing what did I miss in the last six months that I have been away from Kolkata.
I suggested my cab driver.. finally development is happening, isn’t it? he replied with a smile “ yes “, and interrogated me “ how many flights were there for in the airport ? ” to which I said “ I could only see three including mine “ thankfully did I count earlier. He then looked at me from the rear mirror and said “ now you can see how much we have developed, its evening 8 and just three planes in the airport, where is the business? “
The big question for Bengal where is the business? the Bengal government of TMC over the years has done some truly recommendable works in terms of Kanyashree policy, introduced by the Chief Minister herself today it is a National model, hundred days of work which was there during the CPIM era too, and development that is imminent in the panchayat where one can picture the civic needs as concrete roads, lights and water issues resolved, the realization happens when development can be quantified and sadly they aren’t in the double digits.
There was an existing saying what Bengal sees today, India sees tomorrow surely it can be questioned today Bengal today doesn’t see investment corridors, employability generation mechanism and educational reforms. Admits all the hustle Bengal government is in a tussle with Bangladesh, where the pressure is mounting on the Hasina government to find a deal with India over the sharing of Teesta water, it is understood that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will play a major role in the deal if it materializes.
In her more than a two decade old political career her credibility as a leader has come under observation, after coming into power she has proved her critics wrong, but it was not long that the TMC party stood by veteran like Madan Mitra after having heavily associated with the Sharada scam, he even secured a ticket for the Legislative Election of 2016 in which he faced a heavy defeat likewise Anubrata Mandal and Tapash Pal on many instances made it into the news for their derogatory remarks.
Tata nano was the projects that were destined to drive Bengal into the forefront of automobile manufacturing zones in the country, TMC government opposing the Tata nano project is historically significant for two reasons one because the 34-year-old government was toppled after Tata left and the second Bengal closed all its chances for major investment from any multinational corporate organisation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi then the CM of Gujarat was quick to message Ratan Tata “ swagatam “ and the rest is history, Tata’s had the luxury of investment with canceling the burden of taxation for a year in Gujarat.
The Big Ben iconic clock tower of London is now a reality in Lake Town main road, an investment of more than a crore which keeps a passerby surprised, and ads to Mamata Banerjee’s dream of London like Kolkata, also walking down the city escapade of Howrah and Kolkata one can spot three faced light installed every 20 metres of the main road and on an average the main road stretches for more than 2 kilometres, today the fundamental question is can such beautification projects be called as Development ? why is it necessary for Kolkata to be like London isn’t our culture, architecture and cuisine are diverse and celebrating that is our foremost dharma. There are different models of development we popularly know of the Nehruvian model and the Gandhian model seems like today Mamata Banerjee is giving them a run for the money.
2020 will see the completion of a decade for the TMC lead Bengal government, halfway down Bengal still feels deprived of its necessity for investment, employability and educational reforms in terms of eradicating political influences out of colleges and universities which were one of Banerjee’s mandate when she drove into power in 2011. With Bengali’s commonly opting to move out of Kolkata and Bengal for better education, employability, and healthcare the question remains where is Bengal heading economically and socially?
Written By – Subhajit Paul