Paribortan and the Despotic Didi
British Historian, writer and moralist Lord Acton, in his letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887 remarked: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” While I am not sure of Didi’s sympathies for Lord Acton, her actions in the past few months make me believe she is out to prove him right.
Mamata Banerjee, “didi” as she is affectionately called, never seems to be out of the blunderland, popping from one blunder to another, Mamata is giving an impression of an arrogant Chief Minister who doesn’t realize the importance of her job .The feisty lady who galvanized the Bengalis with Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Motherland, Mankind) slogan and promised paribortan last year is coming across as a serious underperformer as the chief minister. While there has been little paribortan in 4th most populous state of India, Mamata’s authoritarianism and arrogance are coming to the fore. For every problem she encounters she blames the 34 year left rule. She unceremoniously dismisses a learned railway minister who had a genuine long term vision to improve the Indian Railways right after he presents the Railway Budget, she dictates on what news papers should be read at the government libraries. The worst of all, she calls the rape cases fabricated and when a gutsy lady police officer(Damayanti Sen I.P.S) investigates the case and catches the culprits she transfers her to an insignificant post. You can get the details of the park street rape case in the link below.
Transferring Damayanti sen (if it is done) shows the arrogance and non accommodative attitude of the Chief Minister. It is not uncommon for the politicians to make categorical errors. They may be wrong as they rely on information from varied sources. Had she acknowledged the efforts of Sen and accepted her mistake , she would have been on a high moral ground now, but by shunting the I.P.S officer to an insignificant post she has wrong signals and has raised the suspicions of CM shielding someone in the case.
Is this paribortan? I think we are seeing a paribortan in her than in the state. I can’t believe I was a fan hers just an year ago. I loved her simplicity, the courage nad the her fighting spirit. There was no tinch of this authoritarinism back then. Was this some thing the power did to her? Slogans get you to power and delivering what you promise keeps you there. In a democratic setup you cannot expect everything to go your way just because you have won an election. Years of CPI(M) rule has already left the state in disarray. Now, a despotic didi is the last thing people want. Mamata’s style of functioning must change and she should be more accommodative for the debt trapped state to move ahead in the path of development. Else, it would be a huge opportunity lost for the Bengalis who dreamt of development while booting out the commies last year. Hope she wakes up and will have some paribortan in her working style at least now.