The headlines in Hindustan Times flashed: Not paid salary, transport worker commits suicide.
According to the report, Vikram Singh, a non-technical casual employee of Calcutta Tramways Corporation (CTC) had committed suicide after being denied salary for four successive months.
Now, as our state transport minister Madan Mitra commented, when being informed of the incident, that the government first had to check whether Vikram Singh was an employee of CTC at all!
A perfectly justified point, given the fact that all forces — Ms Mamata Banerjee’s ‘friends’ and ‘foes’ (read Congress and the Left) as well the media seem to have “joined hands” to label the government as inefficient.
All this, after all, cannot be anything but a conspiracy.
Take for instance the series of farmer suicides that occurred just before the CTC employee’s suicide, reflecting very poorly on the governance of Ms Banerjee. According to media reports, the state government had failed to ensure that the farmers got the minimum procurement price for their products. I am sure that was a gross case of misreporting, a CPM conspiracy to show state government in bad light.
But then, law minister Moloy Ghatak was gheraoed by irate farmers demanding that the mill owners be made to purchase paddy from them. That could have made anyone wonder about the real state of affairs and question the government’s performance.
But of course, our dear Chief Minister showed us the right path. She has, very rightly, smelt a CPM role in the deaths. She has also said first we need to ascertain whether they were farmers at all!.
No wonder the transport minister took a leaf out of her books.
Now, what is all this brouhaha being made about the series of crib deaths occurring at regular intervals in Kolkata and surrounding districts? (Read: 100 crib deaths in West Bengal since Jan 1) After all, hasn’t Ms Banerjee said this is normal? Further, hasn’t her think-tank provided enough “necessary empirical evidences” to show that crib deaths were much lower in Paschimbanga? (Read: CM gets figures right but dates wrong: Left)
A section of the “biased” media is just hell-bent on attacking the failure of Ms Banerjee’s government just because she personally holds the health portfolio. What is all this noise about no visible paribartan in the state-run hospitals and heath centres? Why are they calling it mere poll promises? Hasn’t she made surprise visits to hospitals and hauled up ‘erring officials’? Didn’t the “evil” media report those events and capture them on TV cameras? Wasn’t that supposed to improve the state of affairs? If that doesn’t do the job, why blame her and her government? And didn’t she clarify that incidents like the rat-bite death at PGI was again a CMP conspiracy?
Then, some people talk of daylight robberies and murders. There are others who talk about heads of educational institutional being roughed up by her partymen. Why make a fuss over all that? As if Paschimbanga is the first state in India where such incidents are taking place!
And why do people say the performance of the TMC government in the last eight months been dismal? After all, hasn’t she been making tall promises? What if they can’t be fulfilled? How many parties and leaders fulfill their promises in India? Why single her out?
After all, she has been busy, relentlessly fighting friends and foes in all these eight months. How bravely she took on her ally Congress and showed Congress minister Manoj Chakraborty his true place! So what if the development of the state appears to take a backseat for now?
These “lies” have done so much of harm that now even her ‘friends’ from the business community had expressed their apprehensions in a recent interface.
Naturally, she is seeing “red” in every incident. Of course, she is right in accusing the Left of maligning her image. But then the “biased” media is not passing off her remarks as great oratory and witty remarks. Sold off, as they are!
How they comment on her bad English or not knowing Bengal from Bangladesh, or the fact that Bangladesh is on the borders of Pakistan! How unfair!
Doesn’t people realise the multiple problems she is facing? The fissures between the TMC-Congress ties — especially after she unceremoniously removed Manoj Chakraborty – is increasing. And there are mischief-makers within her party too. The Mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee is a man with dubious credentials and his wings are being clipped as another Mayor-in-Council is being given more prominence.
And then people talk about her being insecure!
Insecurity with a Capital I
On a serious note, why does a political leader of national and ‘international repute‘, who swept to power with overwhelming popular support after decimating a party that had been in power for 34 years, suffer from such paranoia? What is that she is afraid of? Is it the Red Demon that she has supposedly slayed?
Has she realised that she was better off as an Opposition leader without any responsibility and accountability? Is she finding the crown full of thorns and heavy?
SRK’s Don 2 was a runaway hit. But, Mamata’s tryst with her directional venture Lon-DON 2 (read Kolkata to be transformed to London) has not cut much ice with her critics and public alike. She now wants to paint government offices and public transport utilities, including the famous yellow taxis of Kolkata, blue and white, maybe with an artistic insight to spruce up the city ambience.
The Left has begun to sharpen its knives, having played the role of a model opposition all these months as they prepare to launch an all out anti-government tirade. However, their ruckus is unlikely to bear any fruit until and unless her image is demystified. It will take time to unveil the real Mamata from the carefully built image common people have of her – the messiah of the poor and downtrodden and the forthright leader who fights for equity and justice.
It’s time we replace that with “incapable administrator” and “an insecure leader”.