In 2011, Mamata Banerjee and TMC had come to power in West Bengal promising ‘poriborton’ or change. Basically, she said that she would deliver the state from years of misrule but she’s proven that she’s no different than her predecessors. In fact, she has mastered the art of not doing anything far more quickly! Now most Bengalis were fine with doing nothing. It’s their preferred state of being, where they ponder existential woes or read the latest Jhumpa Lahiri book, but Mamata and her people aren’t just happy doing nothing.
Thou shalt not protest
For someone who likes to protest so much, Mamata Banerjee isn’t that enthusiastic when someone else protests. While Kolkata under CPI (M) was in a state of constant protest (mostly by Mamata), under Mamata’s TMC it has become a police state where all dissent is crushed. This is sad because she has taken away the thing most dear to Bengalis after fish, digestive medication and Rabindrasangeet – protesting.
Take for example, the recent case of the man who slapped her nephew and MP Abhishek Banerjee. Not only has the man been thrashed so badly that he is hovering between life and death, he has also been charged with attempt to murder, criminal trespass, voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation and criminal conspiracy. And the shocking things is that while Acharya could face up to 10 years in prison, the people who beat him up will most likely face three years in jail, if anyone actually figures out their identity.
PS – My sources (random trolls on FB) suggest this is the real reason Young Master Banerjee got slapped.
The Saradha Chit Fund
Until the Saradha Chit Fund, most experts agreed one on thing – Mamata might be batshit crazy temperamental but she was as incorruptible as Kejriwal PK. But all that changed with the revelations of the Saradha Chit Fund Scam which turned out to be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. Senior party leaders Madan Mitra, Kunal Ghosh and Mulkul Roy have already been arrested. Former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh claims that Mamata was the biggest beneficiary of the scam. Ghosh said: ‘I possess specific proofs that would reveal the involvement of Mukul Roy and Mamata Banerjee in the Saradha scam. Both Roy and Banerjee are beneficiaries from Saradha media. Since I am in judicial custody I would request you to direct CBI to meet me either at the court lockup, or the correctional home so that I can share documents to prove my point.’ Mamata meanwhile is asking her party’s cadres to note down the names of all the opposition leaders involved in the scam. Her defence is going to be – they did it too, so leave my boys alone!
TMC’s Goonda Raj
In 2013, activists belonging to TMC actually cut off a panchayat employee’s ear for defying party diktat. The employee’s crime was to not report for work despite there being a nationwide strike called by trade unions. TMC leader and former actor Tapas Paul was also caught on camera asking TMC followers to kill opposition and rape family members. Governor MK Narayan had actually criticised the culture in the state saying there was a prevalence of ‘a kind of goondaism and not political culture’ in the state.
The WB government also came in for criticism for arresting professor Ambikesh Mahapatra for circulating a cartoon which made Banerjee look bad. Jong-Un Banerjee even claimed that it was an offence and that conspiracies wouldn’t be tolerated. Madan Mitra – currently arrested by the CBI – had said: ‘Jadavpur University is becoming a hotbed of wannabe Maoists under the guise of academics. Investigation would reveal it easily.’
In fact, so blatant is their Goonda rule that TMC general secretary Mahua Moitra actually gave Arnab No-One-Messes-With-Him Goswami, the middle-finger. Now protesting against Modi or CPI (M) is fine but no one in the history of mankind has ever shown this sort of disrespect to Arnab! She also said: ‘Arnab, keep talking. This is a one-man show and you can keep talking.’
‘I see Maoists’
And finally there’s Mamata’s constant paranoia – the kind exhibited by Kim Jong-UN. After the infamous Park Street rape case, she claimed it was a political conspiracy while Madan Mitra cast aspersions on her character asking what kind of mother went to a nightclub. Her reaction to crib deaths in Bengal was similar, claiming they were a planned conspiracy by the Left while an innocent question by a college student also saw her lose her cool on television. Every dissenter so far has been branded a CPI (M) agent or a Maoist who is out to get her.
It’s been three years since Banerjee rode to power and there are some in Bengal who are almost reminiscent about Left rule!