Saturday, January 26, 2008

The CM is a man of word

There should not be any discrepancy between what we say and what we do. Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is at least a man of word. He is not ready to eat his words even in adverse circumstances. He has often been forced to do a volte face of what he said previously. But this tactical retreat is not what he nurtures in his core of heart. He never forgets to harp on his pet mission, ‘industrialisation’. He is a hard nut to crack and is ready to sacrifice everything to implement it.
Alexander Pope once said: :Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.”
The CM has been vilified and castigated for his policy of industrialisation; opposition leaders like Mamata and her ilk, others and Maoists have shed rivers of crocodile tears for the land losers and the evicted farmers but the CM is not ready to budge. He is not a hypocrite. He adheres to what seems to be his firm belief.
Still, the critics will hit out at both Jyoti Basu and his successor for asserting that a class-less society seems to be a mirage, a utopia and our emancipation lies in adherence to capitalisation and industrialisation.
Is the CM reneging on his party’s much vaunted pro-poor and pro-farmer policy? Only future will lend credence to what is right.
7 January, Kolkata.

Priority item

ndustrialisation of West Bengal is not the personal agenda of Mr Buddhhadeb Bhattacharjee. It is a priority item of the CPI-M’s election manifesto on the basis of which the party fought the last Assembly election and retained power with resounding victory by attempting to project a new progressive image.
Rapid steps are being taken for industrialisation and in the process various problems, particularly relating to acquisition of land, have cropped up leading to abandonment of the proposed chemical hub at Nandigram amidst violent protests.
Many fundamental issues have also come up, like the requirement of transparency and public opinion in connection with any project that may affect the interests of common people, particularly the agriculturist, the desired percentage of availability of land/fertile land for improved agricultural produce vis-a-vis the industrial sector, an updated land acquisition act, an apposite policy of compensation to the people displaced from land, and so on.
These critical issues are not for the West Bengal government alone, but are common to all other state governments as well as to the governments of other countries who have embarked upon rapid industrialisation.
Hence, there does not appear to be any ground for Mr Bhattacharjee to be perturbed over the reverses here and there on execution of the projects for which private investments are coming in a big way even in the face of inter-state competition. While the process of industrialisation will have to be hastened in the state, the fundamental issues need to be simultaneously addressed not only at the state level but at the national level too.
7 January, Kolkata.

Wrong process

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has been desperately trying to project himself as an industry-friendly Chief Minister and is determined to deviate from the path of socialism.
But the process he has adopted in achieving his goal is wrong and, therefore, his dreams suffer setbacks from time to time; even the existing industries are in doldrums and are facing closure.
During the Left Front’s long regime, not much stress has been put on improving the basic infrastructure in the state. This has kept industrialists away from opening new units.
I think, it would be prudent on his part to take the opposition parties into confidence, especially for reviving old industries. His adamant attitude may not bring success to his mission, which he needs to realise.
8 January, Kolkata.

Taste of capital

The Buddhas and Karats have found capital so tasty that they did not hesitate to shake off their socialist pretensions and don the mantle of capitalism to go ahead with industrialisation.
The loss of some 10,000 votes by the CPI-M in the Balagarh Assembly by-election is a clear indication of a veto by the people against the industrialisation policy.
As a matter of fact, the Chief Minister had hinted at his party’s radical shift in its ideological position sometime last year when he had told media men at the Kolkata Press Club that he was willing to work as the agent of any industrialist, why only Tatas.
The CPI-M did not have even the minimum courtesy to inform its other partners in the Left Front that it was changing colours ~ from socialism and communism to capitalism.
Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee became so arrogant at the bright prospect of Indian and foreign capitalists filling up the coffers of the CPI-M before being granted permission to set up industries in West Bengal at the cost of the domestic ones, that he asserted that he was not only committed to industrialisation of the state, but would rely “solely on capitalism and not socialism” for realising the goal.
This is a radical shift in the CPI-M’s ideological position. It has become a votary of capitalism and should change its name to the “Capitalist Party of India (Money-Making)”.
7 January, Santiniketan.