Dereliction of Duty -- The Initial Pointers Towards A Failed State

It is pathetic to read Karat's twisted theories and laboured phrasing as enumerated aptly by Dipankar Dasgupta in his piece. It is also a sign of utter intellectual & moral bankruptcy when a misguided & misinformed ideologue like him who has scant understanding and no experience whatsoever of business, industry or current manufacturing processes as well as financial & economic realities espouses fairy-tale theories which have neither any factual or intellectual merit. Under normal circumstances, such buffoons should have been optional sideshows in vaudeville acts. What is alarming & depressing is that this man Karat, bereft of any experience or appreciation of global realities, happens to be the supremo of a political party which is a part of the ruling coalition at the centre and has been ruling the state of W. Bengal for the last thirty years. Emboldened by these facts, his wife and also a senior ideologue of the same party encourages militant & violent means to achieve party objectives in an 'internal' party meeting the highlights of which they don't even bother to keep secret.

The attempts to abrogate, scuttle or vitiate a foreign agreement entered into between two governments is clearly an anti-social & anti-national act. The constitution as well as the law of the land is very clear on how such anti-social acts are to be dealt with. It is indeed a pity that in order to retain his tenuous hold on the coveted seat, the PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh, should be prepared to bury the agreement if needed, rather than bury all those who are trying their best to scuttle it.

The current Chief Minister of W. Bengal who spent most of his early years spouting gibberish theories and practicing militant trade unionism which resulted in countless industries pulling the plug on W. Bengal and putting down anchor elsewhere, was elevated to the hot seat some years back, riding a wave of goodwill. Despite not having any worthwhile hands-on administrative experience or any notable achievements to boast of during his years as a minister of the state Government, his past record was systematically whitewashed and the fact that he had once been virtually sacked by the earlier Chief Minister, Mr. Jyoti Basu, ignored. Aided by a sympathetic and in certain cases a manipulated and sycophantic media, he donned the mantle of the 'progressive' politician who would be taking his state on the shimmering path of economic prosperity & progress. Very few hard questions were asked and no one demanded to see a hide-bound checklist of all that he had concretely done and planned to do, by way of infrastructure & policies, to name just two attributes, to facilitate the state's speeding down the expressway of prosperity & economic boom. Instead, like any sensationalist news channel which thrives on ' breaking news', he kept most people in the state & his voter base enthralled by dropping names & hints about big businesses who had agreed to set-up or were on the verge of doing so. And to top it all, he flaunted periodically that ultimate appeal to the Bengali intellectual, viz., his literary & cultural background.

Whitewashed from public memory was the rather grim fact that in all his years as the minister in charge of the police, he had systematically & ruthlessly perverted this body to the point where it acted as a party enforcer and a battering ram rather than the classical upholder & protector of law & order. Officers & men who did not subscribe to this worldview were systematically subjugated, weeded out or dispatched to Coventry till the message had been made unmistakably clear to commanders and lieutenants alike in the state police force.

They say adversity many a times, unveils the real person. Needled by the media & public attention on the Rizwanur case and fazed by the terrible happenings in Nandigram this icon of progress & prosperity let his cultivated veneer slip in next to no time, demonstrating how thin & ersatz it was in the first place. Followed a series of hateful, parochial, petty, vengeful, insulting, inflammatory & unacceptable comments on being asked some rather uncomfortable questions by the media, which earlier by & large used to treat him with kid-gloves. The cultivated veneer lay in tatters.

The utterances should have brought forth a summary dismissal of his government and a summons to him to explain his intemperate & unacceptable rants. Instead, buoyed by the fact that his party's support is essential for the present Government's survival and also that his mentor & benefactor helms the party of which he has been an integral part for so long, he is allowed to soldier on without even being publicly admonished & warned.

It is indeed a pity that despite many other sterling qualities and commendable attributes, India will not and never can shine as long as the state of affairs alluded to earlier, exists or manifests itself in the future in some analogous form or the other. This is a classical case study of politicians having betrayed & let down people who could have, on their own intrinsic merits & strengths, striven for and achieved a far higher standing in the brotherhood of nations. In fact, if the people do not change this state of affairs drastically and soon enough, India runs the risk of becoming an oversized, shoddily run & managed banana republic. Already coalition 'dharma' shows every sign of transmogrifying into runaway 'adharma'.

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