Bengal First, Bihar Second

Many a times I don’t understand why don’t the leftists work on improving its performance and if at all they can. In West Bengal, the leftists are running the government for more than three decades. Wasn’t West Bengal was relatively well placed in comparison to other states, when they took over?

West Bengal is the state where I grew, got educated, and spent my whole professional career. I have many friends and a special attachment with the people of the state. I feel really bad that even today Presidency College is not a deemed university. Do the leftists consider education as something of lesser priority?

A report in ‘Times of India’ today tells a sad story. We all know that Bihar is one of the worst in education and other development parameters. For 15 years or more, Bihar was under political leadership that was such that no development happened. West Bengal didn’t have that disadvantages. But as per the report West Bengal is worse than even Bihar.

There are as many as 11 districts in Bihar where out of school children in the age group of 6-14 are more than 50,000. Left run West Bengal has nine such districts. However, the total of out of school children in the 6-14 age group in Bihar is still less than West Bengal’s. While Bihar has a total of 6.96 lakh out of school children, West Bengal tops with a figure of 9.61 lakh.

Overall, there are 24 districts having more than 50,000 out of school children (OOSC). These 24 districts contribute 19.33 lakh OOSC to the total OOSC figure in the country of 70.18 lakh – roughly 27% – as of March 31 this year. More than 70 lakh OOSC comprise 3.5% of the total population of children in the age group of 6-14 which stands at 20.21 crore for the whole country. For a change, male and female children contribute equally to the OOSC figure of 70 lakh.

In Bihar, the 11 districts are West Champaran, East Champaran, Madhubani, Katihar, Madhepura, Samastipur, Begusarai, Patna (rural), Khagaria, Nawada and Gaya.

In West Bengal, nine districts with more than 50,000 children out of school are Malda, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Bardhaman, Uttar Dinajpur, Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum and Murshidabad.

Are these data not revealing enough that the leftists including its top leaders such as Jyoti Basu or Buddhadev Bhattacharya or for that matter, the smart faces of CPM Shri Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri be ashamed of this? Should the data not make them feel the shortcomings of their model of development?

Fortunately, the list of districts does not include the district where I was born in Bihar, but it includes the district where I had my schooling in West Bengal. In fact, the leftists in West Bengal have not done anything but perpetuated its rule by its strong party cadre system. And so they have been winning all elections with so much ease for so many years without doing much for education.

Can’t the people of the states understand this? Should not the MLAs be considered accountable for this and defeated?

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