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Kolkata bandh and the associated malaise

Monetary aspect apart, irreparable damage has been caused to what can be termed as the 'Indian psyche', writes Kamal K Agrawal.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 19:53 IST

West Bengal was on fire last week. The week-long turmoil has resulted in nothing precious or productive. On the contrary it has put forward some poignant questions.

But, first an appraisal of the proceedings and the associated residue. The West Bengal Assemblyhas been reduced to shambles after the fury unleashed by Trinamool Congress legislators. Some amount of heritage has been eclipsed as furniture and furnishings of British era have been damaged. We hear that it would require lakhs of rupees to restore the house to order.

Monetary aspect apart, irreparable damage has been caused to what can be termed as the 'Indian psyche'.

Brawls in assemblies are not entirely unknown in India. On the contrary they are UP's claim to fame. The recent one in WB Assembly just reminds us of the deepeningnadir which our politicians keep on perpetuating.

The entire political paraphernalia in the country is financed by public money. And see what our worthy politicians are doing with it! They have no right to compromise the sanctity of houses where laws are made.

Instead of debating on important issues, our honourable MLAs and MPs portray a menagerie, unknown anywhere else in the world. Abuses, howling, character assassination et al have become the norm rather than being an exception.

The WB governmenthad opened the legislative assembly for three days for public view. The intention was to showcase the antics of Trinamool Congress legislator. But isn't that all politicians belong to the same stock?

Trinamool protestors held Kolkata to ransom on the issue of alleged manhandling of Mamta Banerjee. A bandh was called, transportation held up, buses pelted and what not.

It's always difficult to put a monetary tag to the inconvenience caused to people, not to mention certain incidents during these bandhs, which change life of some forever.

One person was killed, when a bus was pelted upon. Come to think of it. This particular person, probably, had nothing to do with the proposed Tata plant at Singur, the ensuing protests, Kolkata bandh etc. And yet he had to pay with his life. Can Mamta Banerjee 'the Durga' restore the life of this person?

It was just another day in the life of Kolkata and the people moved on. But the question is - will our politicians mend their ways? I am afraid there's little hope.

Only two things have been achieved after last week's escapade sponsored by the Trinamool Congress. The resolve of the Tatas and the WB Govt to make the plant a reality has only been strengthened.

And the second, as political analysts tell us: the Indian National Congress has come closer to the Trinamool, spawning speculations about the future power equations in West Bengal.

Strange are the ways of our politicians, stranger still is our tolerance of the same.

Email Kamal K Agrawal:

First Published: Dec 06, 2006 19:53 IST