(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 01, 2011
My Diary of another Day in Falsehood
TODAY, I am here in this state that is so famous for its sons and daughters who stood and continue to stand for their progressive thoughts. Well, I am here to honour my commitment given to those party-persons who asked me to come for campaigning in the elections. How could I, who is regarded as an 'efficient, intelligent, industrious and suave person', refuse? And how could I, when I was called to carry out one of my favourite jobs – bashing the Left, that too, in its own bastion!
My day started with a press
conference. I was told beforehand that the media here is quite friendly
and they ask no embarrassing questions. I was also told that they would
what all I say, add their ingenuity and spice up the story. True
indeed! I used the press conference to warn the Left, through the
roared, 'If the CPI(M) thinks that we don't record what is happening in
I know, that if somebody
quoted from the NCRB report 2010, I would have been in a soup. Because
according to it, on many counts
Thankfully, nobody asked me. As I said, the media is very friendly and can silence one or two question-popping journalists, who try to embarrass with facts. Then, I went to some public meeting. Any way, I do not expect big crowds for my meetings (Remember, even Madam and Sir too did not draw huge crowds). Public meetings of our party are nice. We 'bring' people, using the same tactics, either in Tamilnadu or here, but the best part is, you can speak whatever you want and rush away in a hurry. People will not question you – because they are kept far away and also we 'rush away', giving an impression that we are busy in our campaign.
In one such meeting, I
said, 'For too long you had a government that neglected governance.
is the worst-governed state in the country...I am constrained to say
sub-standard administration exists in West Bengal whose financial
precarious...In this part of West Bengal, there is no road, no
primary health centre, schools, no infrastructure for development.
been no development after
I know that critics will come out with many facts countering my allegations, but who cares, didn't I have my moment of glory? Yes, they quote from authentic Central organisation's figures, to show: West Bengal’s agricultural growth remains higher than national average (The growth rate of agriculture from 2006-07 to 2009-10 was 2.18 per cent in India, while it was 3.19 per cent in West Bengal); in physical infrastructure, the road length per 100 sq km area in Bengal in 2008 was 238.61, while in India, it was 96.57; the non-electrified villages in Bengal were 407, while in India they were 28,824 (March 2011); the proportion of households having access to improved source of drinking water in West Bengal, as percentage is 94, while for India it is 88 (2005-06).
I am aware that they also can prove: improvement of infant and maternal mortality rate in West Bengal between 1997 and 2009 was the second fastest in the country; literacy rate in Bengal is 77.1 per cent, while it is 74 per cent for the country; female literacy is 71.2 per cent compared to 65.4 per cent for India; the sex ratio is 947 for Bengal and for the country it is 940; the child sex ratio is 950 for Bengal and for India, it is 914. In healthcare, West Bengal ranks first in the country in the number of government allopathic doctors; the average population served per government doctor in West Bengal is 9953, while it is 13,119 in India; the average population served per government hospital bed in West Bengal is 1604, while it is 2105 for India; 73 per cent of all patients in West Bengal undergo treatment from the public health system, which is much above the national average of 40 per cent.
Because of my earlier
experiences, I know some truths about the state of finances of many
Yes, it is true that
Taking a more aggressive posture in another meeting, I squarely blamed the CPI(M) and its cadres for 'procuring arms and spreading violence and turning the state into a killing field'. I know that there were no arms recovered in many searches conducted by the central forces in the Lalgarh area from the CPI(M) offices. But I should not state those facts here, as it might anger my colleague who is known for mercurial temperament (to put it conservatively). Moreover, I should also please my hosts who have called me exclusively for this purpose. I can say with confidence, that I fulfilled my role with aplomb.
I remember, once in a meeting with police officials in Ranchi, I blamed the state police officers for misrepresenting the facts about the number of police personnel killed in the state due to Left-wing extremism (a nice term, I like it very much). I told them that they should get their facts right, more so when it involves the numbers of those who have lost their lives. But these strictures are for them and not for me. CPI (M) has submitted many a memoranda to me, with detailed lists stating that more than 380 of their cadre were killed by the Maoists and the opposition forces since the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009. Of course, I know that these are genuine lists. But should I acknowledge this fact during my election campaigning? No way. Instead, I cleverly said that opposition parties lost more lives in this period. By the time a rejoinder is issued, I will be far from this state, finishing my job.
Continuing my tirade, I said, 'had it been any other state, the chief minister would have resigned at the failure of the administration to control violence'. I know Buddhadeb is very sensitive. Look at the way he is going around accepting the mistakes. So I wanted to rub it further in. Alas, don't I know my own colleagues involved in more serious offences? Or for that matter, did I resign after what I had done with Andhra Pradesh (ah, that famous December fiasco).
These are elections and I know my duty is to criticise. One of my leaders put it very crudely (of course, my refined senses do not permit me to use the same words but for want of a better alternative I quote them), “It is our duty to spit and his to clean, do not bother about correct and wrong here”. This I did a lot during my short-stay in the state. Do I repent doing it? No. Why should I? Did I repent on the way I had won my election? Did I repent when I was accused of being partisan? No. I am not a communist, to accept my mistakes publicly. My boss does not accept his mistakes. The most beautiful, powerful and idealistic US does not. So why should I? With friendly media, I can escape. Let me retire now, listening to Elvis Presley:
You look like an angel
Walk like an angel
Talk like an angel
You're the devil in disguise
Oh yes you are
The devil in disguise
PS: This is written before the expose on Purulia arms drop. If this expose had come a little earlier, would I have been in a spot of bother? I frankly think, no. With my political experience and legal acumen, I can defend anything. People might not believe it, but who cares!