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!


Lolita, ask ‘her’ to leave today

See I want to permanently return to Kolkata after 2 years. And if Didi is still the Chief Minister, I shudder to believe what will be the consequences. Bengalis are known to lateback, their dna is full of indolence but brains morphed with politics.

The intellectual class mostly believes she is unbearable. True she is. Though I necessarily never subscribe to the propaganda of the ABP- Mamata has creates her own pitfalls. 

Bengalis have a rich past, a rich present and a hopefully a bright future. But what if talented Bengalis help a Maharashtra or a Karnataka increase its GDP as their home state lie high and dry?

In a recent interview in an election rally in Kolkata, she was being quizzed by the NDTV triumvirate- Shekhar Gupta, Dorab Sopariwala and the Probashi thespian Prannoy Roy. There was no connect between the questions thrown and the answers given.

The situation appears morbidly grim as most political commentators are clueless about the choice of the voters this time around. There is no clear cut picture which has led Mamata lose her senses altogether.

A Chief Minister must at least show grace even if she fails to qualify as a bhadromohila by middle class standards. A question was asked about the prospects of the BJP in these elections. But she in return talked about the ‘nuisance'(a word she is in love with it seems as she repeated it half a dozen times) of the Election Commission and the BJP government at the centre.

She has always been whimsical- a reason why the educated middle class never took her seriously. A polemical view of her administrative skills while she was the Railways minister today has fallen flat on the face. Mention I must, the facade of her great administrative skills was a manufactured product of the media only.

Jobs cannot be created by the brethrens of extortionists, by the partners of those who believe in the departmentalazation of bribery- from the Chokdas to the top notch ministers.

She dreamt of making Kolkata, an alter ego of London. What in return she has given the city is the worst example of colonial slavery. A highly discernible copy of Big Ben stands near New Town. Madame Tussauds has opened its office in the city only to reincarnate the Chief Minister’s idol.

The Left-Congress will go down in history as an awkward pair who tried to re-establish what vulnerability and fear can do to political parties. But who knows this is the best chance Bengal has in its path of revival.

Bengal must own up the model thrown by South Indian states where anti incumbency becomes so extreme every 5 years that a poriborton seems imminent.

The myth that a government with a huge mandate can guarantee political stability has not stood the test of time. The Left till 2011 had quite a comfortable majority. But the 3.5 decades of left rule saw infinite political deaths which cannot be chroniclised factually.

Who knows perhaps, a government with a slender majority, with a tight noose will face the greater pressure to deliver. As Kerala according to many has achieved stupendous success under Chandy, because the Congress was just past the halfway mark in the Legislative Assembly.

Till then lets hope, the new government can arrest this brain drain- otherwise the student speacials to Pune or Hyderabad or Bengaluru will not stop.  

2016 and beyond-a Factual analysis

If the CPM- Congress alliance strikes gold in this Bengal elections, it can actually mean doom to a number of political parties, especially the current ‘Modified’ BJP.

The Congress is content playing the second or the third fiddle with no desire to catch up. Their ekla cholo re efforts have not paid off in Bihar(2010) and UP(2012) and in 2014 it scored a duck in many politically relevant states like Tamil Nadu. 

But the question of sustainability of a khichdi sarkar in 2019 arises without any question. Though the Modi government has erred in a number of places, with its foreign poicy bereft of takers, it has fared well in policy enactment, which got botched up badly during the erstwhile regime.

But governance most of the times does not determine the political fate of a country whose political choice is highly divided.

But can the Bengal phenomenon repeat itself in all states. Not to forget that the Left in Bihar decided to go all alone leaving the BJP the opportunity to get some more seats. The Mahagatbandhan first lost Mulayam Singh and then had to let go Sitaram Yechury.

The experiment in Bihar could not be repeated in Assam. Even after the efforts of both Prashant Kishore and Nitish Kumar who according to Justice Katju should take Kejriwal as his deputy lest he becomes PM(yes you heard it right) tried their best to somehow bring the perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal and Tarun Gogoi on the same dias.

But they failed as an obdurate Gogoi decided to go it all alone. It is not a hidden secret that the Ahom CM deeply abhors the AIUDF founder. And the hands of 10 Janpath is still firmly on Gogoi. This blind, blunt faith of the the Gandhis has forced the Congress to pay a heavy price as its once potential successor to Gogoi, Hemanta Biswa Sarma defected to the BJP.

The eastern part of the country has seen many regional players calling the shots. But will the regional forces be able to forge any form of unity to challenge the much stronger BJP? 

The Bengal election to a certain extent has the answer. The RJD and JDU has chosen the Left over Mamata as their choice in Bengal. It can have wider repurcussions, as Mamata a few days back even indirectly hinted at betrayal of Nitish Kumar. In an aggressive tone, she said, “We supported them(RJD-JDU-INC) in Bihar.”

Though she by now must be mature enough to understand, give and take policy looks well crafted in human relationships, not in the hell of power. Mulayam plays the game of betrayal candidly. Sonia, Left, Mamata, Nitish all at some have at some point of time experienced Mulayam’s play of deception. 

2016 in every way is going to determine the fate of leftist politics, the future of the Congress Party and an overall effort to resurrect the destiny of the lost and orphaned UPA.

The Secret Diary of A CongRed

30/4/16-8:30 pm

Inqalaab Zindabaad! Was hearing Majrooh Sultanpuri. Zara hatke, Zara Baachke, yeh hain Bombay meri jaan. Ki bhalo ki bhalo. Marx thakle nije eshe dialectics poraten Majrooh ke. Pardon my Hindi. Though it is a bit better than the condition of my party.

I am a Communist and I am an opportunist. But why should I care? Is there any party in this country which can flaunt its ideology? The BJP is communal, the RJD, JD(U), SP and BSP are casteist,the Congress is a dynast.Then why should I care about ideology at all?

Yes we, always cried foul over the 1972 rigged elections. And privately may I add, according to many the only reason why we survived for 34 years was because we always reminded people of those 5 years between 1972-77. Incidentally the party which perpetrated us today are our alliance partners. No no, sorry not alliance but as Biman da said ‘tactical seat adjustment’. Though Biman da nowadays doesn’t have too many takers within and without the party.

And I must also quip that we have cut the fists of the Congress voters in 1990s. But did someone not say that everything is fair in love and war? We are socialists. And yes they were voting against us. So what should we have done? Teach them surplus value and the theory of state?

Now the situation is different. Things have changed. Earlier one call from me was sufficient to show the police its aukaat. But now. Dukkhor kotha kake boli. Who will listen to my sad tales! The same police squelches me by my jamar Collar! Imprudence!!

And we can’t win elections on our own stength. Anubrato is so dangerous! He threatens us everyday. He has taken my place. At one time, I used to exercise the same clout. But now? Only burnol for me. 

That is why we have tied our roots with the party of jotdar-zomidars, the party of landlords. Yes we will return to power. And follow Selim da’s advice of vengeance .For five years, my business of extortion has been usurped by Didi. How can I allow that?

I never had to work for 34 years to earn my bread and butter except during the elections. As a Communist, I should have be an atheist. But it was only by carrying on the legacy of multiple pujas in my locality, some real, some not so that I was able to buy my wife jewellery from Senco Gold’s Dhanteras Dhanvarsha. 

God knows, when will my party’s Great Easter come. Hopefully on the 19th. BTW, our General Secretary from Andhra,( “the name evades me..age catching up fast..) some “chury” also visited some Dargah. So we give zero ‘Marks’ to Marx for his opium of the masses.

And many people are taunting our alliance. Keno bolun to? We can have Dev as an actor, Atlaf Raja as a singer, A mass murderer as PM, but not Congress as our flirt?

That is why listen to my puditry. What if we have sacrificed ideology, given up ethics, have no alternative vision except sitting on Television with our chubby faces? 

We are the neo-communists, we will restore ‘democrazy’, and if time permits us also discuss about the viability of globalisation and the American conspiracy to undo our efforts! Markin samrajyobaad bole kotha!

Ebar jai. Aveek Sarkar called. Was convincing me to allow him to get hold of the land, which the TMC ruled KMC took away ‘forcefully’. Bhagyish hoyechilo eta. I am so glad it happened. Otherwise, we would not have got the silver spoon born capitalist as the chairman of the Congress-Left alliance. But I must warn Surjyo da. 

ABP changes its colour faster than a chameleon. Who knows, they may turn against us completely 2 years from now? Gache tule moi kere neoa- Taking away the ladder after helping someone get on the tree is something the ABP is a master at.

Vigilance required. We must not forget that they hyped up Mamata by over emphasizing on the good effects of each and every unfinished metro project when she was the country’s most useless railways minister. 

Sometimes even my ideal fed heart starts to churn. But suppress I must. Karon Khmotor jonno rajniti, rajnitir jonno khomota noy. 

Inqilab Zindabad!                                Bande Maataram!

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…..

Calcutta Varsity and debarred Bengal….

The scammer and the platter plies through our ears- a university with national accolades baying into the dooms of fiefdom of a particular political party. The Calcutta University was a prodigy with immense fame, great name and huge stellar. The coveted pasta of being the VC of such an institution is a hot baked cake for any individual to enjoy. The contours of controversies regarding the University is not unknown though. And the first week of July itself has proved how Mamata Banerjee is just an even extreme form of political goonies. She talks about Nazrul,she controls the goons and occasionally feels a lust towards the Kolkata Mayor’s hip as she pushes the man into the blue elitist, swimming pool. The CM’s misogynist tenors towards a rape victim ridicules humanity althoughshe does come out strongly for Tapas Pal-a coffee bred black bug on the same grounds.The sensuality with which a bunch of actors and actresses (btw many perhaps are not acquainted with the word acting) cheerlead the CM, loath the art of sycophancy to the extreme. Many modern superstars today have become Member of Parliaments. But the great comedy of Bengali fate does not end here, rather it only awaits a new commencement. The SFI has for long ruled the corridors of power management with little empathy towards academics. Ritabrata Bhattacharya’s wise wisdom on Chitmahals, will prove to be a bit futile if he considered his political alma mater’s gusto towards adversaries. However the doom that seems to have settled in Bengal and its education may put Laloo-vian stereo-typism to shame. The candour with which Sugata Bose reprimanded the incident in Calcutta University seems to paint the dominance of good wisdom-but let’s come to him separately later on.
The Trinamool Chaatra Parishaad born out of the Congress like its mother organisation has now brought 90% of the colleges in Kolkata under its control. Its dominance is self-pervading as the main opposition of the TMCP in most colleges is not the ABVP or the SFI, but groupism and factionalism within the party of the Prince who yells at the enemies and threatens to gobble up their eyes. A wannabe cannibal? Hopefully Abhishek Banerjee is not an enthusiastic Robinson Street teetotaller. The matter of the fact remains that as the entire country has least expectations from their erstwhile Railways Minister to develop Bengal, the idea of rapid violence and over that the limited resources of accountability of the opposition ideologues has exposed the TMC to massive mandates.
Suranjan Das is a man not to be shot at. Rather,he and his tentative position is something with which even Majid Master should empathise with. He has been the Vice Chancellor of the prestigious Calcutta University,from the days of the Left. An alumni of the prestigious South Point High School, Kolkata he has written about the “Great Calcutta Killing” of 1946. He is known to be a non-controversial personality-someone who is not tied by the strings of Communist hangover nor by the charms of the big bucks of the present establishment. The way he and his fellow colleagues were “roughed” up by the TMCP outsiders with inside knowledge reminds all of us about the incident of Presidency University a few years back when the gatekeeper of the erstwhile Hindu College was held guilty.
The works,activities as well as the extra constitutional authority of Mamata-ian kids were overlooked by the Education Minister who was referred to as a bear by Congress leader Arunava Ghosh. Even then the Education Minister proposed a number of theories including a thesis on the College’s bow. This time too, Partha Chatterjee has dismissed the entire incident calling it a presstitutional makeover. A P.H.D degree later in his life seems to have not helped the Minister’s little accountability. Shankudeb Panda, TMCP boss has made provocative statements against the professors whom he still believes feed on Moscow-vian broccoli.
Sugata Bose,a member of Netaji’s family is now a TMC MP like his mother Krishna Bose. But his gentle demeanour betrays his Harvard professionalism. He is one of those plywoods who deserve a bit more fire in his belly to fight the cynics within his party. He is known to have contacted Suranjan Das, perhaps to convey his condolences to his tribesman. Ronald Ross, an alumni and Nobel Laureate of CU must be turning in his grave as Jadavpur and Calcutta portray one thing in common-that of radical posturing and violent Pandora-so common towards a decaying and eroding Bengal….

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…….