You folks must have seen or at least heard of that so-called sting operation on some of the Trinamool Congress leaders on TV and you’re wondering, ‘How low can these guys stoop?’ All I can say is you have no idea about what is really going on. Do you think those leaders were so dumb they didn’t know they were being conned? Of course they knew, but they went along with the charade anyway. Why? Because it’s all part of their grand master-plan for West Bengal.
Why do you think they tolerate the violence and political killings in the state and the shenanigans of the Trinamool goons? Why do they make sure no industry ever comes up in West Bengal? Why do the cops look the other way when Trinamool thugs run amok? Why aren’t there any jobs available in the state? Because it fits in with Didi’s ambitious vision. It’s all part of her masterly strategy.
What is this fantastic master-plan? Simple — they want to drive as many people as possible out of the state. Look at neighbouring Bangladesh — is there any nook and corner of the globe where you can’t find a Bangladeshi? Consider Kerala — those guys have gone in such vast numbers to the Gulf that Abu Dhabi is likely to change its name to North-West Malabar. Why shouldn’t people from West Bengal also take the same route? Just look at how the economy in Kerala has prospered because of all the money their workers send back. Have you seen the NRI villages in Gujarat and Punjab? Why can’t West Bengal go the same way?
The problem is the chaps who live in West Bengal don’t want to leave. Give them each day their fish and rice and they’d like nothing better than to lie back and relax, getting up only for an adda in the evenings. So Didi wracked her brains and thought long and hard about how she could force Bengalis out of the state before realising the obvious — all she had to do was to make it impossible for them to stay there. All her efforts — the political mayhem, the collapse of law and order, the corruption in public life, the systematic destruction of institutions, the decline in public services, the lack of jobs, playing Rabindra Sangeet at Kolkata street crossings — are geared towards that all-important end. The idea is to make sure the ordinary West Bengal resident gets up one fine morning, screams, ‘I can’t take it any more’ and rushes out to take the first train to Chennai or Mumbai or the first flight to New York or Sydney, not even pausing to take a can of rossogolla with him.
This brilliant scheme is working. Some of West Bengal’s best and bravest have settled abroad or in other parts of the country. And they have started remitting money home. Yes, the trend has been there for a long time, but while earlier it was the middle classes who fled the state, even the aam aadmi is now deserting it. Kolkata is fast becoming one vast old-age home. The trickle has become a flood, a mass exodus. And much of the credit goes to Mamata-di.
Best of all, once everybody who can find a job has run away, the only people left behind will, of course, be die-hard Trinamool supporters.
Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint
The views expressed are personal