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Of Mamata’s Policies: RIP Paribarthan?

Posted on April 3, 2012 in Politics

By Neelima Ravindran:

Change is inevitable, change is arduous. Change is mostly viewed with fear, suspicion and scepticism, yet at times uncertainty and sheer desperation force people to welcome revolutions with open arms. President Obama ran his fruitful election campaign on the slogan – “Yes, we can change“, and in India, a state threw out 25 years of monopoly of to ring in one of the most drastic upheavals in the political scenario of the country.

Paribarthan was what Mamata Banerjee advocated, Paribarthan was what Mamata Banerjee fought for and Paribarthan was what people of Bengal voted for. If her firebrand speeches inspired confidence, her 1km walk from Governor’s office after taking oath reiterated their beliefs. But almost a year into her governance, the common man of West Bengal, together with the rest of the nation, feels let down and rightly so. The political hooliganism, rapes, murders, child deaths continue unabated. Worse were the CM’s denial, vehement rebuttal and defensive approach in all these cases. Everything that happened in the state, including rape and crib deaths in hospitals, was dismissed as CPM’s conspiracy attempts to destabilize the government. The resignation of Dinesh Trivedi who presented a pragmatic railway budget, applauded by the political commentators and analysts alike, raised questions of her playing political gimmicks at the expense of the larger national interests. The rollback of railway fares bared her political high-handedness in the coalition government. The recent banning of English newspapers that condemned government policies in state run libraries have both the public and media up in arms.

As the honeymooning ends, cracks in her governance stand out in sharp relief. The people of West Bengal who were eagerly anticipating a metamorphosis deserve better. Mamata has to come up with improved strategies and policies than what she has done in the past 11 months. The violence continues, the economy is still in shambles, the poverty remains rampant. Change has to come, and it has to come quickly. Else the people who voted her into power would be forced to lament “RIP Paribarthan”.