Monday, February 21, 2011

J'accuse or J'taime?

I have been getting messages from Trinamool supporters criticizing me for criticizing Trinamool and Mamata Banerjee. Some see a tacit love for the incumbent Left Front government in my critique of Trinamool. And they try to attack my arguments by accusing me of being a CPIM supporter, who, by their definition, can do no right. Hence this clarification post.

I am not asking anybody to vote Left. I am not here to tell you which ideology you want to see as the driving force behind the next government. I am not here to say who you should love, for that is your freedom of thought, speech, and democratic action.

I am here only to identify the flaws of one party. Yes, you might say that I am not being impartial in my fault-finding mission. Well, I do not have all the time in the world, and have to stop somewhere. I have stopped right after Trinamool because, honestly, one covers a lot of ground here. I agree that the Left Front has had horrendous problems. So, have Congress and the BJP. But I consider them a lesser problem than Trinamool.

So, I repeat, vote anybody, I say vote for SUCI or Samajwadi Party even. Bring Congress or BJP to power if you hate the Left. But beware of Trinamool!

Some may still see a subtle ploy of attempting to divide the opposition vote through such an appeal. Well, well, dear opposition, it seems you have united. So Congress getting more seats than Trinamool should not irk anybody unless they specifically want Trinamool to win, which, to me, is just a symptom of a totalitarian worldview based on aggressive policy of political aggrandizement. Remember, even the Left Front is a coalition. True Left supporters should not have a problem if CPI comes as a bigger power than CPIM. True Left haters should not have a problem if Congress or BJP comes as a greater power than Trinamool.

So, the basic question is: what does Trinamool want? Does it merely want to dislodge the Left, or does it want to accumulate total power? I guess we all know the answer, especially after it was so carefully explained by one of the Adhikaris. Trinamool doesn't ackowledge anything other than the Left. It won't concede anybody the anti-Left space.

So, dear Trinamool supporters, please do not spam my blog accusing CPIM. I agree with you completely when you say that the Left Front government has had major issues. So please do not bother badmouthing them to support Trinamool. If you have anything positive to say about Trinamool, or, according to one frequent visitor, its rather humorous, fun-loving, sporty, edgy, push-the-mayor-in-the-pool leader, you are honestly welcome. Criticizing the Left to justify Trinamool's existence only reinforces the party's vacuity. I am sure you can do better to support some outfit you like so much.

Monday, February 7, 2011

West Bengal or Pakistan?

There is an uncanny parallel between Maoists in West Bengal and the Taliban in Pakistan. Both want to overthrow the constitutional state power to establish their own version of utopia, and both are getting help from mainstream political parties. In Pakistan, the key backers of the Taliban have traditionally been the ISI, the Jamiat, and Imraan Khan's outfit along with occassional sympathetic outbursts from the PML group led by Nawaz Sharif.

Yes, both are homegrown movements that capitalize on lack of development and resot to violence to achieve their goals. But you may think that Maosists are nowhere comparable to the Taliban, right? The Taliban are an international menace threatening to tear apart two countries like Afghanistam and Pakistan, and simultaneously is holding off the USA in Afghanistan. Apparently, they have sleeper cells all over the world, and, most perniciously, they have recruits joining their ranks every year because of a seductive ideology.

Are Maoists comparable with them? Look closely. There is a lack of clear policy articulation for countering the Maosists from no less than the central government. In West Bengal, Trinamool has deliberately fostered an ambiguity to shore up its electoral fortunes. The Left Front in unambiguous in its denouncement of the Maoists, which makes all other political parties go the other way for political expediency.

There are high-profile recruits to the Maoist cause and we see multiple media outlets soft-pedalling the issue. When Mamata Banerjee terms Buddhadeb Bhattacharya "the father or Maoist" (sic), she is not only deflecting blame from herself, she is also giving the Maoists some breather but focusing on the Left Front instead of the Naxal terror. Pakistan sees similar burlesque when political parties and media houses denounce Taliban killings but finally fix blame on the government to score political goals.

Dear dear dear Bangali Populace, let's understand very clearly in our mind: you cannot ever control an extremist, totalitarian ideology. Those in Pakistan who think Taliban are their assets are paying the price with the lives of common people who are killed in markets, shopping malls, and places of worship. Dear Miss Banerjee, Maoists are not an asset to you either. You who are playing with fire, should know that the same fire can burn your palms tomorrow. If you think that Maoists will spare your cadre when you come to power tomorrow, you are wrong. They will want their pound of flesh, their version of the Pakistani no-war pact, and they will want their version of Pakistani FATA, an area where the state's writ does not work at all.

Are you planning to create a free-land for Maoists in West Bengal Miss Banerjee? Perhaps, that is not in your Manifesto, but what you are doing will definitely lead to that. And those who do not learn from the mistakes of others, they pay with their own. However, in our case, the people of West Bengal will pay the price, while you, Miss Banerjee, will be ensconced in your RPF security ring safely somewhere in Delhi or Calcutta.

Do we want to pay this price?