The flavour of Kolkata

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

Friday, January 05, 2007

The new face of political hooliganism

A bunch of Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters yesterday ransacked the head office of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (At Council House St), the anchor organisation for the state's industrialization, like a perfect set-piece movement. They beat up employees who resisted, damaged computers, printers, lights, telephones, chairs, tables and also valuable government records in half an hour, shouting TMC slogans. Nobody even could call the police. Later two people who identified themselves as TMC supporters surrendered at Hare Street police station claiming to be part of the attack.

President of TMC's youth wing Madan Mitra, though not really admitting responsibility for the attack, said that the office is behind all conspiracy (Of industrialization?) and hence possibly agitated people chose it to vent their anger. He won't be surprised if such incidences are repeated in future.

While TMC's historic rampage in the assembly house just a while ago is fresh in public memory, this looks like an incident encouraged by that. The party looks like a perfect example of being directionless. While their supremo Mamata Banerjee creates a new record by fasting for 25 days at a stretch protesting for farmland acquisition in Singur for the Tata small car plant, her supporters have their way of undoing all the sympathy she gathered by subsequently acting in a militant way to protest on the same issue. Not to forget, the assembly incident was done at the provocation of Mamata herself, present at the venue. What is typical of TMC is that later on they never regret such incidents in public and punish those involved. That's another way of putting the party's official stamp on this kind of movement. It is indeed a misfortune of us citizens that this is what our main opposition is like.

What Mamata is repeatedly failing to understand is that all these political blunders at one hand will only strengthen the resolve of the state government in going about their aim of industrialization which is the need of the hour and on the other hand will erode her the valuable support base of the educated class in the city and elsewhere.