Monday, December 25, 2006
Our valiant knight in shining armour
In a couple of early posts (here and here) I had expressed some hope about the new beginning apparently being attempted by Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Today I can say quite unequivocally that this man is an enemy of the people of West Bengal.
How incredible that by doing nothing, someone can become a hero, a knight in shining armour! Lucky Buddhadev Bhattacharjee! Given all the immense problems of the state, and the degradation and destitution of Bengal wrought by the CPI(M) - he has made a new beginning alright, and is in a terrific hurry too: to abandon public policy; to keep well ensconced the criminal extortionary CPI(M) which controls the state of which he is notionally the CM; to make happy deals with land-sharks, promoters and contractors; and to hand out public assets to capitalists.
Economic growth is all very well. But today, in the beginning of the 21st century, it is ridiculous to pursue growth for growth’s sake, without any consideration whatsoever for the social and environmental consequences, or for poverty eradication. All he is doing is acting as a lap-dog of quick buck makers, while appearing to inaugurate a brave new Bengal where educated middle-class youth will find all the avenues they need for their self-realisation.
Today one is no longer confronted with the question of market economics versus public policy. Today it is market economics for public policy that must be the imperative. But with an utterly bankrupt and corrupt ruling party at the helm, how can one expect anything meaningful or substantive to happen?
The virulence and vehemence with which the local reactionary, supercilious bhadralok elite lauds Buddhadev! How easy it is to hoodwink and hypnotise our cultured class, and make them believe in fairy tales!
How much lower must Bengal sink?
Who will understand the true nature of the socio-economic situation prevailing here? Who will empathise with the despair of the vulnerable? Who will envision and execute a better future, one that is inclusive and achievable?
I was talking to a friend yesterday about the Indian inequality gene: we need to be and feel superior to others, there must be others who are subservient to us and at our feet. Hence the misery of the masses is not really a matter of concern for affluent Indians. Consequently, what the true nature of social reality is - will forever elude India's rich and powerful. Their analysis of problems and their solutions are therefore inevitably fundamentally hollow. And if India's destiny is in their hands, it will be genocidal.