It can perhaps be attributed to Mamata Banerjee’s varied political associations which do not show adherence to one major stream of ideology.
For once, the Didi of Bengal has bent — but not leant on the knees.
Having been cornered into accepting “all” the conditions set by brave-heart young striking doctors of NRS Medical College in Kolkata. She is insisting on her talks with the docs being held in Didi’s chambers rather than in the open hall where the docs had been earlier threatened by she herself of being thrown out and were accused of being “outsiders” who refused to treat patients of a particular community; tellingly enough, she remained mum on the doctors’ demand for her apology. Nor was there any mention on the demand for punishment to the family members of the two patients who badly assaulted the two doctors who had been attending to the patients who belonged to a particular community.
It’s very noticeable that while Mamata Banerjee fought the oppression of the CPM in Bengal tooth and nail, she herself is indulging in a type of oppression under the guise of Bengali culture.
That Monday of June 10 was part of a fortnight in which the Didi of Bengal was at her furious worst.
She walked fast up and down this podium or that, shaking her right-hand index finger, talking into a hand-held microphone harshly and hoarsely. She openly rebuked the Prime Minister and the Governor of the State; she called BJP workers as “murderers”. She hailed the culture of Bengal against that of Gujarat, the uniqueness of the culture of Bengal; she went as far as to demand that those who wanted to live in Bengal should necessarily be able to speak in Bengali. It was difficult to believe that all that excreta of hate was from a despot Sultan of a balkanized fiefdom, not from a Chief Minister of a State of Federal India. All this even as an allegedly damaging 48-page report came out of the State Governor’s office for the President of India. That report may or may not so recommend, but Bengal is right now clearly in need of a sober and mature rule under the President of India.
The mystery in this bizarre and bloody episode is the reason for Bengal Didi’s behaviour. Which Chief Minister of a State has ever before behaved in such boorish and uncivilized manner?
Mamata Banerjee’s character and family background are totally incongruous with what she has been indulging in. The 64-year-old woman was born in a lower middle-class family. Her father, Promileswar, died because of …lack of medical treatment. He had six sons and one daughter.
Mamata herself must have been a brilliant child. She joined the Indian National Congress Party when she was … 15 years old! And she was the Congress General Secretary from 1976 to 1980. She was elected to the Lok Sabha on a Congress ticket in 1984 when she defeated the veteran Communist, Somnath Chatterjee, thereby becoming the youngest Parliamentarian ever.
Look at her educational background. She is a B.A. (Honours) in politics, an M.A. degree in Islamic History, a Law Degree, and a Bachelor of Education degree — a Doctorate of Literature (D.Litt.) degree from Calcutta. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate from an institute in Odisha.
She has 12 Bengali books to her name. And she has authored four books in English as well.
What’s more, she is known to have learnt to write poetry and also known to have painted portraits which are believed to have financially rewarded her in a few crores of rupees.
So how is it that Didi can behave so crudely and coarsely as she has been doing lately?
It can perhaps be attributed to her varied political associations which do not show adherence to one major stream of ideology. Rather, she has been like a honey bee fluttering from one flower to another, sucking honey as it comes rather than going after a particular flavour and fragrance.
Standing from the Congress, she lost the 1989 polls but was re-elected in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2009. Though she had held various ministerial portfolios in the Congress regimes, she left the Congress in 1997 to form the All India Trinamool Congress Party. She also added her party to Vajpayee’s BJP-led ministry. After a stint there, she once again became part of the United Progressive Alliance led by the Congress. She led her Trinomial party to victory in the West Bengal Assembly, defeating Marxist Communist Party which had almost become permanent in Bengal. She retained her West Bengal government in 2016. It’s very noticeable that while she fought the oppression of the CPM in Bengal tooth and nail, she herself is indulging in a type of oppression under the guise of Bengali culture.
Perhaps a psychoanalyst or some such mastermind is what it takes to fathom the reasons for Didi’s erratic and vain-glorious attitude and behaviour. This columnist can best say Aami Jaani Na.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."
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