Friday, May 16, 2008

West Bengal: A state of violent parasitic existence

Two reports in today’s edition of leading national dailies point out the precarious position that West Bengal is in today.

The first one reports the murder of a personal manager in a jute mill by union members bonded to extreme leftist ideology . The report goes on to talk about an attempt by rival CITU union (backed by the ruling party in power) to disrupt a rally by the Naxalite union . The resulting feud brought about the murder of the manager. Goes once again to prove that those investors & industrialists who think that keeping the ruling party in good humour would ensure peace in their premises are sadly mistaken. Mistakes in the form of a death of a management personnel would not only dissuade professional managers from taking up employment in state, it might also dissuade potential investors. Apurba Roychodhury, the manager who was murdered by the union members , will neither be hailed a martry by the policial parties nor be hailed by the management bodies as a courageous employee. Unfortunately, his death will leave a void in his family that they can least afford. Its sad and outrageous. The culture of use of violence to solve problems seems to escalate in West Bengal every passing day while the political parties seem to sidestep the issue by politicising every aspect of the states' functions. Who said that Bengalis are educated and cultured ? They seem to represent goons from the medieval ages, The government should make an attempt to book the culprits and completely ban the union from existence in this state.

The second article talks about a proposal to form an exclusive club of the progressive states of the southern & the western states to act as a pressure group for their developmental needs. .
It’s a well known fact that the growth in the Indian economy is being pulled up by these states while the laggards in the eastern and northern states (including West Bengal) seem to be getting a disproportionately larger share of the central taxes than they contribute to the national exchequer. West Bengal, once a prime state in industrialisation , now lives a parasitic existence and soon it may be sidelined by this exclusive club. This is not something that has happened today but has been going around for 2 decades. Why don’t the leaders of the state look at one of the industrially progressive states and copy their model of development? Wealth needs to be created & generated in the state by charting out good economic policies followed by labour reforms & a de-linking of politics from industrialisation & development activities.

But before that violence must end and for that law & order machinery has to be strictly enforced and all perpetuators of violence , irrespective of the political party they belong to, must be severely punished. Unless the culture of peace quickly returns to West Bengal, the situation will completely spin out of control.

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