By Vivek Kaul
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer of the superhit 3 Idiots, made a movie called 1942: A Love Story. The movie had soulful songs and could have been a big comeback for that great music director RD Burman. But, alas, that never happened. Pancham da died of a heart attack before the movie was released.
The movie set, during the days of the British Raj, starts as a love story between the hero Anil Kapoor and the heroine Manisha Koirala, who keep singing all the beautiful songs composed by Burman in the first half of the movie. But throughout the first half all the characters other than the hero and the heroine keep saying this one line: “Shubhankar da aa rahe hain”, building expectations in the audience for his arrival.
Shubhankar da (played by Jackie Shoff) finally arrives around 30 seconds before the interval. Until that moment the movie was a love story. Then on it becomes a movie on the freedom struggle, which in this day and age would have been called a political thriller.
As was the case in the movie, there comes a time in the life of individuals, as well businesses, when the story has to change. The past has to be dumped and made insignificant and a new story needs to emerge.
This is something that Mamata Banerjee, rabble rouser par excellence, and the only angry young person in the country with the days of Bachchan long gone, needs to realise. She built her career and life around trying to throw out the Left from West Bengal and finally, after more than two decades of hard work and sheer persistence, she succeeded.
If ever there was an example of an individual not giving up and finally succeeding she was it. But after becoming the Chief Minister of West Bengal what is her story? She still seems to be working on the same story of rabble rousing against the Left everywhere, all the time, and holding them responsible for everything that is happening in the state. From rapes of women to lack of governance!
The irony is that she is the government now. Her level of paranoia against the Left is reaching extreme proportions now. Most recently she called the students of Jadhavpur University CPI(M) cadres. As she said: “They are the CPI-M cadres. I am not going to reply. I will give reply to questions from common people. I am sorry to say you belong to CPI-M. You are SFI (Student Federation of India, the student wing of CPI-M) cadres. We know all of you.”
While Bengal may be full of CPI-M cadres, this is like stretching it a little too much. It is time that Mamata Banerjee changed her anti-Left story.
There are a few things that Banerjee can learn from businesses from around the world which experience this phenomenon time and again. Some learn and adapt, others don’t and for some others, by the time they realise that things have changed, it’s already too late.
Take the case of Nokia, the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world. The company started in 1865 as a groundwood pulp mill. It gradually became an industrial conglomerate and, among other things, produced paper products, tyres, footwear, communication cables and consumer electronics.
In the early 1990s the company realised that its story had to change. It decided to concentrate on the telecommunication business. It gradually sold out a host of its other businesses. The change of story helped the company become the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world.
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