Is West Bengal to blame?

Lately Nehru has been berated by the right-wing groups for being too-nice with India’s troublesome neighbors (ok, couple of them more than the rest). But I feel, his greatest failing was closing down our economy and instead promoting mediocrity by giving national industrial interests complete control. Indira Gandhi extended that control to the financial sector when she nationalized banks in 1969. George Fernandes threw out Coca-Cola and IBM during Janata Party’s brief rule. Since then, things have changed and parties that earlier swore off liberalization actually adopted it readily, slowly paving India’s way to steady economic growth. However, one entity has steadfastly refused to change with the times i.e. India’s Left parties.

It can almost be summarized that voters in West Bengal, Kerela, and Tripura are responsible for slowing down India’s liberalization programs. The Left Front holds 61 seats in the current Lok Sabha; a large number considering today’s coalition politics. An integral part of the UPA government, the Left has blocked any moves by the Central Government to privatize often citing the reasons of profitability in certain PSUs. I find it hard to believe that they still think of the government as a profit-making body. Profitability is no reason for the government to exist; it merely exists to regulate and protect our borders.

The Left Front has been consistent in West Bengal and Kerela mostly, and I wonder when voters in those states will realize that they have been voting for people that have serious detrimental effects to the Indian economy. Unhindered political rule by the Left Front in West Bengal hasn’t done the state any good. Investors have fled and unemployment has remained consistently high. However lately, the West Bengal government headed by Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is doing the same things in the state that they oppose at a national level i.e. attract foreign investment and shut down state PSUs. The Left Front makes an attractive opposition party and they flounder when they are on the ruling front often adopting measures that make them no different from their capitalistic foes.

Do me a favor; ask your friends and relatives in West Bengal not to vote for the Left anymore. India is suffering.

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  1. To Not Vote for the Left Front, you would need a party which would be strong enough to stand not only for the causes but be able to sustain it. In West Bengal, the only other noteworthy party is the Trinamul headed by the supposedly ‘Firebrand’ Mamta Banerjee. And ask the people there and they will tell you how disillusioned they are with her too.

    So whats th solution?

    Bottomline: Show them alternatives and am certain they will not vote for the Left Front.

  2. My family has been a non-Leftist one forever… and so are so many families I know in WB.. I think it will take more than the middle class not voting for the CPI, to change things in that state… :)

  3. I agree with Parna. What West Bengal lacks is a strong and honest non-Leftist leader. Till then the Left will win all elections.

  4. I did my undergrad in Kerala. Been there for 4 years. Its almost hopeless. The state is supposed to be ‘literate’, but doesnt look like it has received any education. There are people there who still believe in ‘revoution’ that the commnnist parties can bring to the state. It has been 20 years people!! Wake up and smell the coffee!! But no, nada, they refuse to see reason.
    What do you say to these people?

  5. Unfortunately, whether one wants or not, the Left is going to win in West Bengal – especially in the rural areas. Booth capturing – voter intimidation – multiple voting – the party caders have it down to a science. They do it in a much more sophisticated and sutble manner than the gun toting strongmen employed in the adjacent state.
    In rural WB CPM does not run the goverment – it IS the goverment – you cannot get a ration card without visiting the Party Office first.

    That said, as observed by others, it is also true that there are hardly any worthwhile opposition to the left parties in Bengal – in the decades before Trinamul came into existense, the Congress party in the state used to be refered to as ‘Tarmuj’ (Water-melon) – green outside and red inside :-)

  6. I did my Grad in WB…
    Atleast the middle class seems opposed to the reds, so I am confused.
    It must be massive “election management”….
    wonder where are all the investigative “courageous” journalists !!

  7. Poorer people in Kerala are much better off than in other states thanks to the socialist setup. HDI is one of the highest in Kerala. No wonder the communists win elections.

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