Saturday, June 15, 2024

Bengal is Sinking

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The once glorious Bengal, the doyen of intellectual capital and fiery nationalistic spirit is sinking, only some miracle can save her

The name Bengal evoked international sensation. Being a Bengali meant to be identified as belonging to a province rich in cultural, intellectual and economic prosperity.

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Bengal was, once, the bastion of Bharatiya nationalism and intellectual capital of the British Empire.

It was said that ‘”what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”.

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Sadly, Bengal is no more as it was. The once mighty province is only a pale shadow of her former self.

It is, therefore, necessary to decode the reasons behind the severe decline of Bengal.

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Rampant Corruption

Bengal today makes headlines for this reason-rampant corruption.

During the Left regime, despite outright dictatorship and maladministration by the CPI(M), there was little corruption.

Since the arrival of TMC government in 2011, corruption seems to be a whole new ‘industry’ for the state’s ruling party.

The entire ruling apparatus of the ruling TMC government is neck deep in corruption. The TET or Teachers Eligibility Test Scam, the Saradha Chit Fund scam, the Narada sting operation etc. are some of the ‘glorious’ marks of the TMC government.

Other notable mentions include the highly publicized cow smuggling racket run by TMC’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal. This fellow is also a political heavyweight who is currently in Tihar jail.

The TET scam and the cow smuggling racket issue is currently being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate or ED in mission mode.

On top of that there are serious corruption allegations against Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and an important TMC functionary.

He has been summoned multiple times by the ED and the investigation is currently on.

We in Bengal also have a syndicate raj. Money is required for whatever you do-be it making a house or setting up a small shop.

Needless to say, Bengal is now the ‘corruption capital of the country’.

Deindustrialization

This is another major reason for the sinking of Bengal.

In the British days, Calcutta and Bombay were the industrial heartlands of the subcontinent.

Bengal continued to command significant attention after independence.

But come the Left front rule in 1977 and a massive deindustrialization drive started. All big industries, be it steel, engineering, chemicals, cement etc., continued to close down.

The CPI(M) is to be directly blamed for this mishap. During the 70s and 80s of Bengal, a Left leader’s reputation depended on how many factories each could close down.

The knucklehead leaders & government of the CPI(M) didn’t allow the entry of computers to be used by LIC in the early 2000s. The reason they offered-it would take away jobs.

Clearly, the leaders of the Left were not far-sighted.

The deindustrialization mantle then was carried forward, with due diligence, by the TMC government.

Today not a single capital industry has made any big investment in Bengal.

How can it happen?

Bengal is being helmed by a leader who was single handedly responsible for wrecking the industry friendly image of her in the Nandigram shooting episode. The departure of the Tata Motors’ Nano factory in Singur was the final nail in the coffin for Bengal.

Not a single big or capital industry has made Bengal its base since the last decade.

Appeasement politics

Any discussion on Bengal’s decline is incomplete without a talk of appeasement.

The ruling TMC regime is known for its soft corner for the Muslim community. Bengal has over 30% of its population as Muslims.

The sops and doles for Imams, trivializing the impact of riots in Bhangar of 2020, brushing under the carpet controversies surrounding the immersion of the idols of Goddesses Durga and Saraswati during Muharram and Eid festivities is a good example.

Hindus in Bengal are experiencing a kind of siege mentality.

Conclusion

Bengal is sinking expeditiously, only a miracle can save her.

May the people of the country pray for Bengal’s revival and her salvation.

The future for Bengal, however, appears to be-grim.

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