‘Fall of Bastille’ took place on 13th May, 2011. No, I am not referring to the French Revolution which is still the ‘ most significant turn’ in world History, but I am talking about ‘Jasmine Revolution’ as told by many in Bengal led by firebrand Mamataa (this is her new spelling, may be for certain Numerological purpose) Banerjee. With the change of guard in West Bengal after 34-year, many people have believed now they can see the ‘change’ (in Bengali Paribartan).
Mamata led government is only 11-month old, and by this time as expected she is redefining the terminology of ‘democratic autocracy’. You may question, why I am taking the word ‘autocracy’, it is simply because her party is ‘one man army.’ Whatever ‘Didi’ will decide that will be final, if anyone tried to modify the script the fate will be either Dinesh Trivedis or Kabir Sumans!! The only thing count in this party of ‘Maa-Mati-Manush’ is loyalty points (towards Mamata of course)!!
I am not going into any details of the governance issue. Those who can see with or without glass can easily see the ‘change’ in the real sense of the term. So, no use wasting time here. Rather I would like to like to draw attention to the embedded nature of cartoon & politics.
Kutty, R K Lakshman and many others have earned their ‘bread & better’ only through political cartoons. Right from Nehru to Indira, Sonia, Rahul, Lalu, Vajpayee, Manmohan singh, Advani, Mayawati, Jayalalitha & almost all the politicians come regularly on the cartoons. There was time politicians used to feel sad had they missed the front page of the daily on that day’s cartoon! Take for example; Lalu Prasad Yadav-he is probably the politicians who had been caricatured, cartooned maximum no. of time both in regional & print media. Critics say, he also ruled Bihar in an autocratic manner, but did he put anyone behind the bar for making his cartoons?
So, what made didi so angry? Why didn’t she tolerate this kind of simple joke? For that matter, the cartoon those who have seen is not at all abusive, it is a line from Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sonar Kella’ where it was discussed how to get rid of ‘Dushtu Lok’ ( Evil person)! In the cartoon Indian Railways have been depicted as ‘Sonar Kella’ (Golden Fort) which was shown by Mamata to Mukul (present Railways minister) & Mukul was asking about ‘Dushtu Lok’ Dinesh Trivedi who was vanished & Mukul would get it (assumed)!!
Actually, the problem is not in the cartoon, it is the problem of Narcissism. Mamata is so pompous that whoever even jokingly saying anything against her, he/she is becoming her target. She is driven by the aphorism ‘I can’t be wrong!’ But she knows she has been doing so many things which are not right, so it is actually a battle within. Thus, she has become so intolerant.
Just before West Bengal Assembly Election, city intelligentsia rallied against Left Government with the-then CM Budhhadev Bhattacharya’s pictures on hand where it was written “ I am a man-eater” ( Ami Manush Kheko)” “I have done no wrong by killing people” (Merechhi besh korechhi), “My hands are stained in blood” (Amar Duhat Rakte makha) etc, (& many of these slogans were either exaggeration or wrong), still no one was put behind the bar as our Constitution has given us the Fundamental Rights of Freedom of Speech & Expression (Artcle. 19A).
Didi, who I always believed is a very good actress on the political stage, actually is not able to act anymore. Her true self is unfolding before the people & she is losing temper every now & then. Once she was storming the police station for releasing her party goons, calling rape a ‘framed incident’, demolishing ghettos for expansion of roads and justifying her acts, painting the city blue etc. etc. She has told ‘Ganatantra (Democracy) in place of Dalatantra (Party diktat), what she is doing now? No, I am little wrong , her’s is not even party-driven, it is almost the rule of ‘Great Dictator!’
Some years back when Left went for ‘Operation Sunshine’ (driving out the hawker from pavements), she sat at Gariahat crossing to beg for them, now when she is doing the same thing, and no one is there to say anything! Before coming to power she told ‘No Mao-Fao’, now she only has instructed the joint force to continue and as a result there were some success too!! There is plenty of such kind of examples.
I believe, this toon-tamasha has actually made her scared, because she is slowly understanding her frantic remarks, eccentricity is not at all going well with the public, and this is a high time to consolidate power. And how to that? The answer is witch-hunt!!
This has to bear in mind; she is actually running a state government single handedly. 11 months is a long time in politics and naturally she has become tired. Fear, insecurity coupled with narcissism she is running the state as her household.
The cartoon is just the beginning; to cover her shortcoming and failure to deliver the election promises plethora of things are waiting for us! Indeed West Bengal now is in real danger! Didi justifies all her act through Rabindranath Tagore, I don’t know which lines will be suitable for her now. I would rather suggest her to read ‘Samanya Khati’ (Little Loss) to understand the condition of the state!
Those who are telling ‘Mamata has changed after coming to power’ they are wrong. She was never a different person, her pretensions gone well with the mass and to get rid of the Left they have voted her to the power! Now, by taking the self-destructing route, Mamata is actually making a statement for future why sometimes democracy is not very useful tool in a state like India!
Didi, this is high time to change yourself or else there will be similar war-cry for ‘Paribartan’ may be less than 5 years of time.
PS: I might be put behind the bars for this article