Thursday, November 13, 2008

Toxic convergence

The toxic convergence between the governments of Gujarat and West Bengal continues.

While in Gujarat, chief minister Narendra Modi organised pogroms to kill Muslims in 2002, here in West Bengal we have "cadre terror" and "party rule" in place of the law and order stipulated under the Constitution of India.

Besides, in West Bengal, Muslims are systematically deprived and excluded, with the result that the fabled "peace" that they enjoy here is simply the "peace" of the graveyard so far as socio-economic matters and human development are concerned. If thousands of Muslim infants die, owing to poverty and inadequate water and sanitation, if thousands of Muslim mothers suffer maternal mortality, then how does one judge whether things are better in Gujarat or in West Bengal?

And of course, both Narendra Modi and Buddhadev Bhattacharjee are dearly beloved to Mr Ratan Tata, the final arbiter of nation building.

Reports are now coming in of the sops and subsidies to be dished out to Tata Motors by the govt of Gujarat, on the pretext that other states had offered similar "deals" to Tata. (See here and here.) Why should one company receive such favoured treatment? Why, for instance, should any company pay VAT when Tata Motors is to be exempted for 20 years? I'm sure one has a strong case here to take to court, regarding equality, partial treatment and discrimination, and I await a public interest litigation in this regard.

In this vein, I was disgusted to read that the West Bengal urban development minister had announced that he intends to take the help of just-retired cricketer, Sourav Ganguly, for the development of the state. After being in power for 31 years, has the govt come to such a pass that a cricketer's help is needed in the state's development? Is there no one in the state with better qualifications and experience in this regard? The fact is that an utterly discredited and collapsing govt is trying desperately to hold on to power, now by cashing in on a cricketer's popularity to lend them credence. I am ashamed that such a bankrupt govt and set of ministers rule over me.

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