Vol. XLIII No. 19 May 12, 2019

WEST BENGAL: Chowkidar of Crony Capitalism Must be Defeated

From our Special Correspondent

BUDDHADEB Bhattacharjee, former chief minister of West Bengal, in an exclusive interview to Ganashakti, said that the demolition of the Modi model, a concoction of virulent communalism and crony capitalism, is the most important responsibility of the people of this country. He said that the time is favourable to assemble all the anti-communal forces on one platform to fight against this fascist dispensation currently ruling the country.

Buddhadeb also has spelled out in detail the alternative model that can provide a breather to the common people of this country from the twin attack of communalism and capitalism. He has said both the standard of living and the quality of life have gone down miserably during the TMC rule in Bengal. He has called upon the people to throw out this anti-people government to resuscitate the lost glory of the state.


During the parliamentary election this time, the people are seeking an alternative to the Modi model. What is that alternative?

Modi represents violent communalism on one hand and capitalism on the other. He has sent out a clear message to the self-interested capitalists that he is their chowkidar. It is the responsibility of the people to smash this model. Left ideology, democracy, secularism and independent economic policies are what the country needs now. This is the alternative model. This alternative model will have to be underlined, emphasised and espoused widely.


Will it possible for the Leftists to play a decisive role in policy formation this time, the way they were able to influence the 2004 UPA I government?

Absolutely possible. It was proved in 2004. In 2004 it was possible to stymie the communal forces and form a secular government. Secondly, there was an increase in the number of Left parliamentarians and the position of the Left had strengthened in the country. The country faces the same reality this time around. It is possible. And to achieve that, getting together of all anti-communal forces will have to be seamless.


In this state (West Bengal) both the prime minister and the chief minister, through their election speeches at various electoral rallies, have tried to craft communal polarisation. Competitive communalism is being executed openly throughout the state. What is your opinion regarding this new course that the state politics is following in recent years?

Both are making calculative manoeuvres with the aim of making quick short-term electoral gains by provoking communalism, even though it is detrimental to the welfare of the common people. Because of this narrow politics practiced by the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) the state is experiencing communal polarisation unheard of before. The TMC is playing a dangerous game by giving a foothold to BJP and compromising with them which in turn is creating a rancorous atmosphere in the state. We need to uproot this politics and maintain mutual trust, belief and faith between the Muslims and the Hindus. This state can achieve that.


West Bengal is experiencing complete anarchy and utter lawlessness. Extortion and unemployment is extensive in the state coupled with no industrialisation. The condition of the people living in the villages is appalling. People want to be liberated from this horrendous situation. How do you perceive this situation?

The youth of this state is facing a bleak future with no opportunity for gainful sustainable employment. Trinamool is misleading them. There is neither agriculture nor industry. But the youth are being tempted and instigated. The anti-socials are ruling the roost. It is the responsibility of the practitioners of Left politics to bring the youth back on the right trajectory. And to achieve that, the success of the panchayats will have to be revived. Agricultural produce will have to be increased by modernising agriculture. Gainful employment will have to be generated through industrialisation. Universal and free education and inexpensive medical facilities will have to be made available for all. Left politics will have to be developed and established afresh.


Taking advantage of this malady BJP is trying get a toehold?

Yes, the chances of this danger are imminent. It is our responsibility to guide people away from this politics of division and destruction. Is it prudent to jump from the frying pan into the fire?


Since 2011, none of the elections held in this state has been free and fair. Do you think this time around people will be able to cast their vote without impediments?

One cannot say that the voting process till date has been blemishless. Maybe in comparison with past instances there has been some improvement partly, but overall, the voting process in West Bengal is controlled by the ruling TMC and a section of the police. Nonetheless what is noteworthy is the fact that people are putting up a protest. This is the only way by which terror unleashed by the goons of TMC can be resisted and defeated.


In the last few years the several movements organised by the Leftists to protect and uphold democracy and in demand of industrialisation and highlighting farmers’ problems have gained significant support from the common man. The massive rally at Brigade is testimony to that. How much will these, according to you, reflect in the election results?

Of course the results will reflect. All the movements and agitations that were held had a bearing on the rally at Brigade. I am hopeful that we shall reap the benefits in the ongoing elections. It is important to understand the course taken by mass movements. And it is imperative to manoeuvre our strategy accordingly. We are doing it too. In order to achieve overall success we shall have to continue to do it.


There is a deliberate attempt to downgrade the mass movements organised by the Left parties. An impression is being created as if the fight is between the TMC and the BJP. In such a complicated situation what is your message for the common man?

The people of this state who have seen the Left Front-run government as also the government run by the TMC are aware of the differing ways in which both the governments function. The results of the differing modes of functioning are also before them. To these people, I appeal, please do a comparative study. I would especially like to tell the youth of this state to delve deeper into the problems and then judge for themselves the difference between the two governments. I believe their evaluation will be perfect and before long without further ado they will overthrow the danger called TMC.


What according to you is the overall challenge facing this state?

People are realising that the overall standard of living and the quality of life has declined in the past few years when TMC has been in power in comparison to what they were during the Left Front run government. And taking advantage of this loophole, BJP has made its entry on the state arena. And it is for this reason that the danger named TMC will have to be defeated in this state. The growth of BJP will have to be retarded and they must be prevented from making further inroads. Religious fascism will have to be deracinated. The chowkidar of the self-seeking capitalists will have to be driven out from every part of this country. This is the responsibility of the people.