Friday, July 17, 2009

Bengal likely to see violence till 2011

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The recent spate of violence in West Bengal by the Congress workers protesting against the assault on eight Congress MLAs by alleged CPI(M) cadres may be just the trailer of a long movie. The political entropy in the state is so high these incidents of violence are most likely continue till the 2011 Assembly. A huge political uncertainly is looming over the state and political parties are all out to show their muscle power ahead of the most crucial assembly elections in the state.

Six months back nobody could have predicted the lack luster performance by the Left Front in the Lok Sabha polls. But with successive losses in the Gram Panchyat, Lok Sabha and Municipal elections Left Fort seems shaken in West Bengal. Having drawn first blood in the Lok Sabha poll the Congress and TMC combine is in no mood to let them go. The people in the state also seem to have seen enough of the Red Brigade and their mandate in the successive elections have shown that.

Left Front is at its lowest since it assumed power in 1977 but it will not go down without giving a serious fight. A three decade old regime won't let the power go off that easily. The ground level cadres that the Left Front has patronised for years are resorting to hooliganism time and again. The opposition parties are no better and answering them in the same language. People who hoped for a wind of change to blow across the state are living the harsh realities of the pathetic state politics in West Bengal.

The main problem lies with the kind of political culture that has evolved in the state over the years. All the parties are responsible for making politics an act of street violence rather than being played out at the assembly. The Left Front has to take major share of the blame having been in power for so long. Torching of a few buses and pelting of stones is no longer considered unusual in West Bengal. The administration sees this as a normal law and order problem which happens everyday in some or the other part of the state.

The victims as usual are the citizens of the state who have to face the heat of political battles as well live with underdevelopment due to absence of investment. The people of the state for long have faced the apathy of a political front which never accepted that world around them was changing. Now they have to face a new challenge in their everyday lives when the rival political factions resort to hooliganism in the order to gain supremacy.


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