With great power, comes great arrogance. And at present, no one displays it better than West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. Of late, the lady who rules the state like it is some kind of a medieval fiefdom has been displaying a penchant for targeting those who refuse to obey her diktats. Instead of focusing on the governance problems that dog the state, the chief minister is concentrating more on giving people lessons on good conduct and training them on the benefits of crawling when asked by her to bend. As part of her lesson plan for all who voted her to power, Banerjee has issued multiple diktats, ranging from banning newspapers that are critical of her from public libraries to arresting people for circulating an innocuous but seriously funny political cartoon on her.
So it did not surprise us one bit when the Trinamool Congress sought an academic scrutiny of teachers in colleges and universities in the state and demanded that the exercise be started from Jadavpur University. While taking the decision, Banerjee must have been convinced by the people who make up her inner circle that the people of the state will never see the connection that exists between the Trinamool Congress and the chief minister or between the audit and Jadavpur University. The teachers of the university had recently organised and joined protest rallies after a professor was arrested for emailing a political cartoon on Banerjee. Didi, it seems, is slowly becoming the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. "Off with their heads!" could be her next order very soon.
Is there any way to stop an irate Didi? There are several: first, send finance minister Pranab Mukherjee with a blank cheque to Kolkata - this will calm her down for a while; second, send her a blank canvas - she can use it for giving vent to her frustrations with the disobedient citizens of the state; and third, but not the least, get her involved in some central politics, so that she can focus her energies somewhere else. Did we hear someone say 'presidential elections'?