Key takeaways….


Bengal verdict is sound and clear. The highly intelligent voter has again proved, why she is the vanguard of democracy. The elections were made out to be bipolar. In reality it never was.

The punditry suggested that this time around, there will be a haddahaddi lorai, a fight to the finish.But the post 1967 tradition just had a new lease of life with the over the top majority for the TMC.

Here the equations of the alliance did not play out as expected. The so called political analyst had almost regarded the 39% Left-Congress voteshare erosion averse. It was assumed, that it is the TMC voteshare which is variable, not that of the alliance or tactical arrangement or whatever the name is.The punditry ruled out the point that voters in Bengal are no more servile.

The way the voteshare of the Left has gone down, with an almost written off BJP touching the double digit vote share, the index of opposition unity looks highly thwarted from place.

The same ‘analysts’ who concluded that the ascending BJP vote share in 2014 hurt the Left have been wronged. Rather, the ascending vote share of the BJP helped TMC lose Asansol, where Dola Sen was trounced by Babul Supriyo.

All the historic “hand in hand” gaffes to eloquently bat for the jot by ABP have proven to be out of place and severed from reality. The elections also show the media its place. 

Give news first, perhaps even views. But you are still a bit less important in my life than the Game of Thrones.

All the op ed pages and editorials have far lesser readership today than it had a couple of decades back. You may paint VYAPAM or SARADHA as corruption scandals, but it has zero impact if the voter at large is satisfied by governance.

Media lost the battle against Modi after 2002, the much hyped India Shining lost in 2004, the Ramnath Goenka dribble against the Congress perished in 1980. Overestimation of the power of the  prime time slot is perhaps born out of social media’s incessant political campaign.

But the tech savvy, fb or instagrammed generation is still a small puppy in comparison to the doughty, rural voter whose life gets improved by sops and freebies.

Economists living in opulent bungalows may point out at their undesirable effect on the economy, but they are surely desired by the villager in Samastipur suffering from nature’s fury. 

One caveat-these elections have proven leftism isn’t dead, it can’t be. Perhaps that’s why someone jokingly said on twiiter in February-Sitaram Yechury authored this year’s finance budget!

The art of giving and the act of taking


One does not need to know rocket science to understand the pantheism of immorality in politics. At a point of time when the country looks to deal with corruption, the bigger question is can corruption ever have a political solution?

The latest corruption charges against the Mamata Banerjee government comes through as a sting operation by Mathew Samuels, someone whose investigative acumen incarcerated Bangaru Laxman, the Dalit President of the BJP. 

The tape shows the high heels of the party engaging themselves in a shameful give and take policy, a ‘provident fund’ very easily found between politicians and pressure groups.

But can it be acknowledged as corruption? Yes. Can it be acknowledged as a breach of trust? Absolutely. But should only TMC bear the brunt? Not at ALL!

That is the problem unfortunately. We are almost epitomising one example without seeing the wider picture where all political parties engage in such pernicious and unethical practises irrespective of political ideology.

The Caravan magazine in one of its exposes clearly showed a whole set of leaders charged with what can be regarded as in conventional terms, ‘acceptation of freebies’ from corporate forces.

Of course, Mamata is a fallen goddess in the eyes of the dementic middle class and media, or to be more specific in the eyes of an overtly influential media conglomerate of Bengal.

 It is incidentally the same media house which deliberately blacked out the entire Malda terror plot, indirectly helping Mamata to escape criticism in the state even as India Today’s Rahul Kanwal’s report on Malda equated the north Bengal district with India’s own Afghanistan in the eastern border.

But the poor still support ‘the self diminutive lady’ to quote Suhel Seth. Now lets clear the air which perhaps is ventilating you. I am no Mamata supporter. Infact, she has been the most substandard CM according to me with no control on either the hoodlums of her party or her acerbic tongue.

Her party basically is about the same form of regional chauvinism mastered by the Shiv Sena and the TDP. And what is worse, most of the leaders behave like shanties out of jail, baying for money and blood.

But the Caravan issue I resorted to to defend my case of the universality of such naked, blatant nexus between politicians and corporates had names ranging from the Present head of state to an ‘anti corporate’ Communist Sitaram Yechury. 

The expose as far as I remember was on the Essel group, where the then Finance Minister of the country nudged the corporate in question to employ the son of a godman, whom Mukherjee knew.

Interestingly, no TV channel took up the task of following the story (even if a defamation suit was filed against the magazine) perhaps because the clout of the Ruias was too much to stomach.

The art of giving and the act of taking is now an universal truth. Albeit, we should take strong measures so that these cases of corruption are not bailed out, but can we be selective in our judgement and adjudication- implicating some while letting out the others? 

That is the bigger question…..

Mamata-an enigma


The intellectual class has forbidden her English vocabulary.Her Santhali face disqualifies her from becoming Reita Faria or Sushmita Sen. Her saree is 1/10th the price of Maria Sharapova’s lingering short skirts. Yet,her popularity seems to surpass the self sensuous video of Shilpa Shukla in the film B.A Pass. The elitist Bengalis have rarely or rather never allowed a semi anglo-articulative mass politician as its Chief Minister. If the English medium grapevines like me ever gets to know Didi’s superfluous English skills,they will burst into laughter.No doubt, her memes and comic videos on Youtube give a serious competition to the father of a dozen in Bihar.

the ageless,quintessential fighter
 Author’s crisp thought:Confess,as I must-I have never been an admirer or fan of the present Chief Minister. Many a times I have somehow endured the anger I have on her for being grossly intolerant to criticism.

The eyes of a human being portrays one’s inner self. Perhaps,it also justifies the cocoon he or she is trying to camouflage. But,when you see her on television or as she marches past with F1 speed repeatedly talking to a score in the mince of a second,those eyes portray the emotion,the anger and the vigilance with which the indolent Bengali seldom identifies. Confess,as I must-I have never been an admirer or fan of the present Chief Minister. Many a times I have somehow endured the anger I have on her for being grossly intolerant to criticism.

Her dictum on whether to watch ABP or 24 Ghanta betrays the modicum of minimum intelligence.Still,I seem to fall for this woman.Before you think of diving into the romantic vodka,let me reaffirm the spectrum is not a platonic one. Politicians as I have said in my earlier blogs make lesser sense than Rakhi Sawant at times. So to crucify Mamata also suggests that we should not allow our N.R.I Prime Minister to scot free. The hashtag of #Despitebeingawoman is just a showcase template of why and how.

Author's crisp thought:
Author’s crisp thought: Hopefully if you log onto google images you will get some more to laugh at!

The ever ecstatic image of hawai chappals clad Mamata walking from Raj Bhawan to Writers will for the time being not fade from the public memory though the latter has a reputation to suffer from short time memory loss. The defeat of Somnath Chatterjee in the 1984 wave elections from Jadavpur may only be accorded to the Indira death. But seldom has a death given birth to an enigma,a phenomenon and a quintessential controversy addict.

The power of the media according to me is a bit or rather greatly exaggerated. To quote Vinod Mehta,the self proclaimed pseudo secular may be apt. On the 10th anniversary of the weekly magazine Outlook, Mehta propsed”Why do the politicians fear us so much? We are only a bunch of boys and gals……”  The Ananda Bazaar Patrika and it confectioneries seem to take the responsibility upon themselves to unseat a four year old Chief Minister.Should I say they failed? No. Should I say they succumbed? Yes of course and very badly did they perish in constructing their propaganda.

Author's crisp thought: the hey days of Mamata's  physique.One thing you must notice -both Anushka Sharma and Didi seems to grow some extra flesh in their chin.....
Author’s crisp thought: the hey days of Mamata’s physique.One thing you must notice -both Anushka Sharma and Didi seems to grow some extra flesh in their chin…..

The ultimate view of political ultimatums still portrays the Bong CM as a cosmopolitan. Someone,who can ask for money from the Union on the account of diminishing coffers.Someone,who can then award SRK and Co. gold chains for their emphatic sea voyage to Greenland and the Antarctic. Someone,who likes to bring commercial superstars to a traditional “art” house cinema driven KIFF(the film festival). Someone who exposes her wisdom on Tagore and Nazrul and then can sharply imply on her ability to control goons.goons. Thats Mamata,though controversial,yet eternal…….