We asked what their expectation from the next government was and this is what they had to say:
Reetuparna Bhattacharjee: Employment
Swapan Das: Jobs
Shovan Kanti Roy: Industrialisation, jobs
Mainak Bandyopadhyay: Education and employment
Kaushik Ghosh: Jobs
Create more jobs, was the unanimous demand of the students of the department of journalism and mass communication (MA), Calcutta University.
Change is the only constant, they agreed. While some want a reformed Left Front to return to power, the rest wants to give Trinamool a chance. After 34 years of rule finally the Left Front government is facing a formidable challenge from Trinamool Congress. And no matter who wins the battle the young minds at CU feel that the general people of Bengal should emerge as the winners.
"It is a do or die situation for both parties. If Trinamool gains power, it will have certain things to prove. It will have to solve the issues that the Left couldn't and do justice to the power given to them. Trinamool will also have to rise to the standards of a party that could overthrow a 34-year-old regime. If the Left retain power they will also have to live up to a lot of expectations. The people of Bengal would ultimately gain," said Arko Chatterjee, a first year student.
However, some felt nothing would change even if Trinamool came to power. Kaushik Ghosh, another first-year student, said, "I wonder if there is will be a green revolution. If a new party comes to power and things go on as usual then the change is useless. What we are looking forward to is the new party changing things for the better."
If some are skeptical about Trinamool, there were those who feel that Left Front had failed on many counts. Reetuparna Bhattacharjee said, "I am not happy with the food distribution system, the health and the education sectors. A change is desirable. All I want as a student is the political violence on and off campus should stop. Left or Right, if our fundamental rights are taken care of, I don't care."
"There is an old proverb that monopoly is destructive and competition is good. Hence the competition faced by the 34-year-old Left Front government would definitely break the monopoly. Because of the competition, the public would be the winner," said Kripashankar Poddar, another student.
Sovan Kanti Ray pointed out, "I feel the only mistake that the Left made was to grab fertile land for setting up industry. They did not even have a proper plan to compensate the farmers."
Worried about getting jobs, the young guns blamed the Left Front. "I am a resident of Barrackpore, a zone which once had many jute mills but now all of them are closed. Instead of retaining the mill land and setting up another industry or adding it to the land bank, local CPI(M) leaders were more interested in promoting the land. No wonder youths in Bengal now find it tough to find jobs," said Kaustav Mukherjee.
Amid the battle of green and red, the cause of Anna Hazare has touched the hearts of several students. "I am an apolitical person. All I want is a corruption-free Bengal. Every political party has its own election mandate but none of them promise to make this part of the country corruption free. Whichever party comes to power should take the cause shown by Anna Hazare forward and give it a shape," said Ghosh.
(The other members of the team that visited the campus were Mou Chakraborty & Subhendu Ghosh.)