We are all being so unfair to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee. Instead of appreciating her childlike enthusiasm about politics in general and her pet projects in her pet state, West Bengal, in particular, all that the media have been highlighting from Wednesday is Ms Banerjee’s ‘breach of protocol’ in Kolkata. According to reports, Didi did not invite Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to the foundation-laying ceremony of a new Metro line in the city. The chief guest of the function was President Pratibha Patil. In a tit-for-tat gesture, later that evening the chief minister skipped the Governor’s dinner called in honour of Ms Patil.
If we still have been unable to convince you to see the lighter side of Ms Banerjee, just listen to how she described the new project: it’s a “dream project, cream project”. How many of our hardboiled politicians can come up with such a gem? This is not the first time we are seeing Ms Banerjee’s self-indulgent ways: in Singur, while the world was at the height of political frenzy over the future of the farmers,
Ms Banerjee — who some would call the instigator-in-chief — was there doing her own thing: painting a serene Bengal villagescape and writing poetry. Only children can do this: first light the fire and then go back to their world.
Yet, in all this Didi never forgets that politics is no child’s play: so even as she did that naughty thing of not calling Mr Bhattacharjee, she never forgot her political rhymes. True to her colour, she told the gathering that her ministry would not acquire land forcibly for the project. That’s better than dinner any day.