Even the greatest of political leaders in a democracies have always have had to endure their share of criticism. Mamata Banerjee may not fall into that category yet, despite her notable accomplishment s, and with her outrageous behaviour may have shown why she may never enter it. Mamata sees CPM cadre with daggers drawn hiding in every corner, sees constant conspiracies to overthrow her and any attempts to poke fun of her as murder threats in disguise. She is perhaps a leader who has surrounded herself with to many yes men and cannot understand that she is finally the democratically elected Chief Minister of a state and has no choice but to accept criticism along with praise, and cannot force everyone into submission. Instead of calling hapless students Maoists, she should perhaps introspect and see whether in her quest for power in West Bengal she is losing touch with the state and its people.
Mamata Banerjee is more misunderstood than any other politician in India. After her PR disaster, when she walked out of a TV show on being asked inconvenient questions, it would seem she is afraid of probing questions. Or paranoid. Or both. But it is time for all of us to pause and look at things from her angle – and understand why she may be doing what she is. If you have been beaten, excoriated, pooh-poohed and denied the respect due to you for decades, you too will have a chip on your shoulder. It is only human for a Mamata, who has fought Left tyranny and violence in Bengal for 30-and-odd years, to get angry when people seek to question her intentions. Nobody even questioned the Left for 35 years. Mamata may have won an election, but her predecessor government followed a scorched-earth policy and left the treasury empty. The Left robbed her of the ability to deliver on her promises, and this makes her angry and suspicious of anyone who doubts her intentions. It may be self-defeating to wear your emotions on your sleeve, but there is also honesty in this ability to let it all hang out. As human beings ourselves, it would be best if we lay off and give her the space and empathy she requires to undo the damage done to West Bengal by the Left. We gave the Left 35 years to destroy Bengal’s economy and we still think highly of their ideology; but we won’t give Mamata a few years to set things right without a rupee in her kitty. Where is the balance? Where is the justice in all this?