Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
West Bengal has changed its government. But it seems, it has changed from bad to worse, if at all the previous government was a bad government.
The State ruled for more than three decades by the left front has almost forgotten that before the left was chosen, it had been reduced to such a pathetic condition in the Congress regime that trains and other vehicles leaving Orissa for the then Calcutta were being searched for rice, if any, being transported secretly. The left front had ushered in an era of prosperity in every respect, particularly in agriculture, that has resulted in Orissa depending on West Bengal for many agro-products, in particular, potatoes.
Before emergence of the left front, health care in West bengal was so very dismal and the Doctors were so very disloyal to their profession that people, unable to meet the sky-high demands of the medical practitioners were dying without treatment in innumerable numbers. Naxalism owes it origin to aggressive protests against anarchy in health care. Left front was people’s choice against the era of anarchy in health care as well as addition of confusion thereto by bloody violence against physicians who ultimately had to treat the patients. Had the left front not taken over, it cannot be said to what low the State could have fallen. It was salvaged and put on a better track by the left front.
Memory is short, so goes the axiom. So, three continuous decades of relief from pre-left-front misrule has perhaps weakened the memory of the people of West Bengal about the difficulties from which the left front had saved the State.
A better-off community, eager for more comforts, aspires in individual level for more liberty in unhindered accumulation of personal properties. And, instead of political economy of socialism, political economy of opportunism allures it more.
Therefore, emergence of Mamata Banarjee in West Bengal is an outcome of emergence of a better-off environment in that State under the left front regime. And, is not surprising.
Once better-off, people of economically disadvantaged background, discard communism as that does not provide them with free opportunity to amass wealth to fulfill their avarice. West Bengal has developed this environment after being better-off under the left front.
The new environment has given birth to political economy of opportunism in the province.
And taking advantage of it, the opportunists have started a campaign to malign Marx whose ideology was a factor in salvaging the State from the labyrinth of the Congress misrule. They are conspiring to delete Marx from test books in order to create a future generation that shall stay glued to the political economy of opportunism, so that they shall not be threatened by renewal of collective commitment to social progress. Thus has started Mamata’s regime in West Bengal.
Once the left is gone out of power, the State has gone back into the same old environment of stark opportunism and, into the grips of pernicious exploiters.
Rampant occurrences of infant deaths in various hospitals of West Bengal remind us of what was happening in the days before left front had removed the Congress rule.
Instead of controlling infant mortality and punishing the persons responsible for so menacingly massive number of deaths of new borns in different hospitals, and even in medical college hospitals, which reflect just a part of what has happened to administration now, the government is spreading its scheme to discard Marx in text books, which speaks also of how it is trying to divert public attention from its failures and from corruption and disorder the State is being subjected to.