In Our Anti-People Democracy

Singhs sitting

We saw off on Friday Laxman Singh and his wife, both serious citizens of above 70 years of age. They went for the first time to US to be with their son and daughter-in-law in New York. Rajat is research associate and Sushmita is pursuing her Ph.D.

Singh worked for me in HM, and his wife had been teacher all along. As their only son was disabled to certain extent, Yamuna had impressed upon her to have one more. And finally came Rajat. Yamuna takes its credit every time, we happen to talk abut them and rightly so.

Rajat did very well at studies, got into Calcutta Medical College and the AIMS, Chandigarh and came out with flying success. He married Sushmita before going to US. We played a small role in that marriage too. And after retirement, perhaps they are the only with whom we are in constant touch. We kept on insisting that they must visit Rajats in US. Finally they did it. They are on flight.

But as usual, the two back-to-back strikes more popular as bandh in Kolkata created some moments of suspense and worries for them. On Thursday, no flight took off from Kolkata. It was very uncertain for Friday too. When I talked with Mrs Singh, she was really worried and rightly so. However, I advised her to leave home at 4AM to avoid strikers on the road. I was sure that once leftists themselves had a successful bandh, they would not allow Mamata’s men to succeed. Though Mamata’s bandh succeeded but Singhs’ flight took off from Kolkata. It was great relief for them and me too. Many might have faced even worse on the day. Even for Singhs and us, the worries and suspense continued till they boarded the plane in the morning of Friday. One must iappreciate and agony of Singhs who were going for the first time abroad.

Though it is unfortunate, nothing much has changed in the way, the politicians and their followers behave in West Bengal. Buddha may be resorting to capitalist economy, but CITU and its cadre remains rogue. How can a government sponsor a bandh and create immense inconvenience for the people, some times very agonizing for some at least? But it happens in this democracy. How can a responsible opposition call back-to-back bandh freezing all the activities without having any consideration for its effect on the lives of millions of people? Why can’t the people of West Bengal throw these politicians out of their lives?

Perhaps it is not possible. And the people will have to live in this situation created by the poor leaders. And it is happening everywhere. On-going Gujjaras agitation in Rajsthan led by a person who was hardly known till recently has crippled the economy of the state. But this will happen as the country selected the democracy without preparing the people.

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