The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Didi, the incorrigible

While Dada (Saurav Ganguly) is doing us pround, there is this 'Didi' who is leaving no stones unturned to make us lose our face to fellow Indians.

Mamata Banerjee, the fiery Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo (Lovingly called Didi by her followers and patrons and jokingly by many others), has been on fast for more than 14 days at Esplanade to halt and roll back the land acquisition in Singur by the state govt. for the Tata Motors small car plant. This fast is the issue that is disturbing sensitive people in Kolkata some way or the other everyday.

Repeated requests from CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to end her fast and bring her to the table for talk, the President, the WB Governor, VP Singh, TMC's new friend Congress and even her party members have failed to budge her. She is stubborn that a dialogue with the state government can be started only when the land acquisition is stopped.

Clearly Mamata is desparate to save her face as her Battle Singur is coming to a close as the government is on track after acquisition and fencing of the land and prepared to hand it over to Tata Motors in this month. She thought after a prolonged programme at Singur her public hunger strike in Kolkata backed by sustained disruptive programme by TMC would do the trick. Unfortunately it didn't. She and her party are now reportedly breaking heads to work out how to end the hunger strike on a respectable note. Her health has deteriorated visibly by now but she is still refusing even a medical check-up. She has sent back twice the team of doctors sent by state government for a check-up and possible hospitalization to the hunger-strike venue.

TMC has already called a bandh (Strike) on the above issue on December 1. Just a while back news started pouring in at my office that TMC has called another 48-hour bandh on coming Thursday and Friday. Come to think of it, before October 2006 TMC was a party who prided itself saying they call bandhs only on weekends so as to cause minimum suffering to people. Then came the October 9 bandh on a Monday, followed by the December 1 bandh on a Friday.

I am sure every sensible Kolkatan will condemn this bandh, which clearly has been called out of sheer frustration, and will be just too willing to go to work just they did on the December 5 bandh called by SUCI (Re:String of Bandhs, my earlier post) on the same issue. Right now we are pure hateful at the word 'Bandh' as the current month has already experienced three strikes (TMC's, SUCI's and the Dec 14 industrial strike lead by CPM's labour wing CITU and 55 other outfits).

Height of insensitivity from all who are contemplating the bandh. Will Mamata not realise that because of her mindless negative politics she is silently losing the sympathy wave created by a lot of hard work during her fight for Singur?