For many people in the Indian state of West Bengal, the activities of the present chief minister Mamata Bannerjee as well as her partymen are a great disappointment. They have been voted to power in 2011 with much fanfare, marking the end of 34-year-'misrule' by a communist regime. However, this present government appears to be no better than the previous one.
I was born and brought up in the capital state of Kolkata during the communist rule, watching gradual erosion of the all that was good about Bengal: democratic rights being compromised, burial of industrialization leading to low career opportunities, lowering of economic growth, politicization of all administrative affairs, common people living in fear of the vengeance of the muscle-flexing by the members of the communist party.
Mamata Bannerjee is a phenomenal mass leader and an activist. She knew West Bengal like the palm of her hand. The love and respect she commanded in the last decades before coming to power in the rural areas were only comparable to those by Mahatma Gandhi. If it were not for Mamata Bannerjee's determination and die-hard enthusiasm, perhaps it would have been impossible to oust the communists. In those regards, Mamata is a living legend.
But as it turns out now, Mamata Bannerjee is the worst administrator. She is intolerant, ignorant, impractical, whimsical, dictatorial and egotistic. Despite her hard work and strong will, because of those vices, she is slowly getting alienated from the common people, who were her support base once. I was shocked and speechless when I saw her calling an innocent farmer named Shiladitya Chowdhury a Maoist for asking from her explanation about the price-hike of fertilizers. For this simple reason she got him arrested too by the police. This is fascism and this is not the only time she behaved like so. All in all, her activity now reminds us of two great revolutionaries Stalin and Mao, who were also the greatest of the dictators the world has ever seen. Like their regimes as well, a cult of personality for Mamata is now being developed by her fans too. I only hope that she does not turn into a mass-murderer like them one day.
In any case, Mamata Bannerjee will do a lot of harm to the state if she remains in power for a long time. We need to find a suitable alternative now, but going back to the communists is not an option.