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Friday the 13th

A popular saying does around the world that whenever the 13th day of a month falls on a Friday, it brings bad luck. Well, on the the 13th May 2011 which was also a Friday, bad luck did descend on the Communist Party in West Bengal and on Kerala.But in this post I am going to talk about only what happened in Bengal. I must apologize for writing this so late but I was so overwhelmed with excitement, that I was unsuccessful in putting it into words. Not only did the Left Front loose in the Assembly polls, no they went through a stampede by the voters who were determined to bring paribartan to the state. The Trinamul Party won by a landslide number of votes. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee himself lost in Jadavpur where he has never lost for 34 years. Infact the Left Front has never lost the assembly polls in West Bengal for 34 years. But this time it was a different scenario. A number of bad calls made by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, albeit for a good cause, made those working class people that were once supporting the Left Front Govt. now go against them. Although Biman Bose said in a press conference after the final verdict came out on this friday that the people have voted for Trinamul Party solely because they did not want to vote for CPM and wanted to teach them a lesson, I think different. After all these years of Left rule in West Bengal the CPM have always put the party before the state – a definitive characteristic in Leninism. They have stagnated the state’s economy, degraded the educational systems and on a more recent basis they have taken the land from the poor farmers in the name of industrialization. Not to mention the bias they have shown to the party workers in distributing jobs. This surely could not go unpunished. I am not anti left or anything in saying this but if we look at this closely, the whole state have voted against them more or less. All of the ballot machines could not have been rigged or all of these people are not idiots.

On the night I was following an election analysis in one of the news channels. At the concluding part of the show a well known person said that what the historians are probably researching right now is not how the Left Party lost in the elections today ( in both Kerala and West Bengal ) but how they have been winning for all these years. When the trend of the voting patterns were suggesting the change of power in Bengal, a bengali news channel reporter interviewed what her supporters call her didi ( elder sister in bengali ). Mamata Bannerjee said that this is not the victory of any particular party, but this is a win of democracy. And also that she is not going to waste any time rejoicing but she would get straight to work. She has asked from the public appropriately seven days to understand the workings of the Assembly – according to her the Assembly does not work as systematically as the Parliament.

The task that lies ahead of Mamata is of great magnitude. Since she was voted by both the poorer and richer sections of the society, it will be very interesting to see how she strikes a balance between them. Many will even judge her by the way she copes with this problem.

But lets not forget in this one sided headline. While the Trinamul supporters were jubilating on the victory of Mamata Bannerjee and the Green Revolution  that was about to hit Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee silently went to the Governor of the state and submitted his resignation. He was a great personality, wanted to bring some changes in the state. He also sometimes was willing to go against the party to take some decisions. But his recent developments were…lets say off track. Although he has shown indications he is going to step away from the party, the CPM itself will not go away that easily. A Politburo has been called on Delhi to discuss the lapses in the elections.

Will the Left make a comeback after five years…we all will be here to see.

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