Saturday, April 13, 2013

100 political clashes every month in Bengal: RTI

West Bengal witnesses 100 violent political clashes every month: RTINew Delhi: Political violence has been rising in West Bengal under the government of Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee. There have been 642 cases of violent clashes related to students politics in the first five months of Mamata Banerjee's tenure. While 27 people have lost their lives at least 926 political workers and 128 students have been injured in the clashes. Statistics reveal that there are 100 clashes every month in West Bengal. The State Crime Records Bureau (SCRB) has made the disclosure in reply to a RTI query by Singur resident Shyamal Mitra. Mitra had sought details of violent clashes which took place between May 13, 2011 and October 31, 2011 through RTI in the state. The RTI statistics has revealed that 5 Trinmool supporters and 10 CPM activists have died in the clashes. In the violence clashes 2 Congress activists and 10 others have also lost their life. In response to the RTI SCRB informed Mitra that 586 cases of political violence and 56 clashes between student groups took place in different places of the state. According to the RTI report 789 political activists, which does not include students, were injured. The injured included 446 Trinmool supporters, 274 from the CPM, 37 Congress activists and 41 from other parties like the RSP, Forward Block, Samajwadi Party and BJP. During the same period 128 students were injured in 56 cases of clashes.

West Bengal: A State in political violance

India’s eastern state of West Bengal made history in May 2011 when the All India Trinamool Congress, led by Mamata Banerjee, defeated the Left Front government that had ruled the state for 34 consecutive years. Two years later, however, Banerjee has disappointed many in the state, which has become a byword for backwardness and economic stagnancy over the past three decades.In the latest of many unflattering reports on the state, media recently revealed that a number of cadres from the ruling party were allegedly involved in a bout of violence and vandalism on the campus of Presidency College in Kolkata. The state was outraged over the large scale destruction to the campus as well as the violence against students, which included some threatening female students with rape. Students, professors and university leaders have taken to the streets in protest, demanding that the purported culprits be held legally responsible. According to reports, the accused Trinamool members attacked the campus in retaliation for the heckling of Banerjee and West Bengal’s Finance Minister Amit Mitra in New Delhi on April 9 by activists from the Student Federation of India (SFI), a student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M). The student protestors were angered by the death of an SFI leader in West Bengali police custody on April 2. Banerjee called the death “petty,” angering the students. Political violence has been a reality in the state for quite some time, dating back to the 34-year reign of the Left Front government. Although many hoped that the Trinamool Congress would change this, the party has instead become a paragon of political intolerance.The enormous political upheaval that resulted from the Trinamool Congress uprooting the Left from power has not brought the kind of changes many hoped for. Instead, the old power structures and oppressive methods of rule have only changed hands. Furthermore, Banerjee demonstrates her proud sense of insecurity by branding the slightest dissent as Maoism. Last year a Jadavpur University professor was even arrested for circulating a picture poking fun at Banerjee and Railway Minister Mukul Roy. The party’s mandate in 2011 was not only to usher in a new political culture, but also to reenergize the state’s stagnant economy. However, little work has gone into changing West Bengal’s economic situation to date. Earlier this year, Banerjee held an investment summit in Kolkata, which failed to attract major investors, despite the fact that the area was once a leading industrial state in the pre-liberalization era.While in power she has not made any significant attempts to change her image in the eyes of industrial leaders. Last year Banerjee withdrew her support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Delhi on the issue of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the retail sector.If Banerjee is to spur positive change in West Bengal, she must address the parochial political outlook and economic stagnation going forward.

Friday, April 12, 2013

कल्पतरु एक्सप्रेस में दिनांक 12 अप्रैल 2013 को छपा एक आलेख