The West Bengal Elections

Justice Markandey Katju-

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.

The West Bengal assembly election results have been declared, and most people are praising Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for giving a strong rebuff to the communal propaganda of the BJP ( TMC got 213 seats out of the total of 294 seats in the West Bengal state legislature, while BJP got only 77 ).
Now disturbing news is coming of TMC goons attacking BJP workers and their homes and offices, vandalizing shops etc.
The ‘khela’ which Mamata often spoke of has started in West Bengal.
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BJP is often accused of being fascist. But Mamata is no less a fascist, and cannot tolerate dissent. Anyone who criticizes her often ends up in jail, e.g. Jadavpur University Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was jailed only because he shared some cartoons of Mamata on the social media, or the farmer Siladitya Choudhary who had only told Mamata that she had not kept her election promises, and was promptly declared a Maoist and arrested. Many boys who chanted ‘Jai Shriram’ when her car was on a street were arrested by the police on orders of Mamata.
When a woman was gang-raped in 2012 on Park Street in Kolkata, Mamata called it a ‘fabricated incident’. But when the brave police officer Damyanti Sen insisted on investigating it, this so infuriated Mamata that she immediately transferred her to an obscure post.
The truth is that Mamata is an arrogant demagogue with nothing in her head, and no idea how to solve the people’s massive problems ( except giving them doses of Rabindra Sangeet ). However, Bengalis still voted for her in the recent elections because they thought all said and done she is one of themselves, whereas if BJP comes to power West Bengal will really be ruled from Delhi, and by non-Bengali people who don’t even speak Bengali.
The test of every political system and political activity is one, and only one : does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them better lives? Once we keep this firmly in mind it becomes clear that elections and election results are wholly irrelevant. They may only result in a change of the rulers, but massive poverty, huge unemployment, appalling level of child malnourishment, farmers distress, almost total lack of proper healthcare and good education for the masses, widespread corruption, skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs and fuel, etc will continue as before.
So for the Indian masses the elections, and election results, are irrelevant.