What has drawn the attention of developing countries, the world over is that we are the largest practicing democracy in terms of multitude. What no one has bothered to point out that we will be having nearly 40 percent of the world’s illiterate who do not know the difference between a MLA and the Chief Minister and the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister. How can they know the difference between an MLA and an MP, except that both are very powerful and the police act on their orders to arrest or release anyone, irrespective of the degree of crime.
It simply boils down to ‘Chota Raja’ and ‘Bada Raja’ for them. Gone are days of zamindari and monarchy but for them, only the persons have changed. They continue to remain poor and exploited. Fifty years of independence have given the economically weaker sections nothing. They continue to be harassed and remain bonded labourers to their landlords as were their forefathers.
Different political parties in different states, in power, have done little to uplift these poor from the morass. Uttar Pradesh had seen changes in the ruling party right form the 70’s and what have they achieved except changing names of towns and educational institutions to suit their political colors. The party elected in the 90’s created more turmoil in the State with every organization agitating against something. Religious organizations, student bodies, State staff all were agitating for rights. With changes in the party in power, people expected a change from this harassment of the majority and freedom for MLA’s with criminal antecedents to indulge in loot of the exchequer and grabbing of nazul and private lands, houses without deterrence. Nothing changed except that a record of sorts were created. Nothing has changed for the common man and politics by any name just means grabbing power and looking after self-interest, the State may go to the dogs.
The same goes in Bihar although the law and the order machinery is even more worse. It is more caste ridden than all other states and nothing corrupt is left to imagination. The main political parties in the state have always been splinter groups in another name but what exactly remains of the ideology and if those ideals of the party are followed at all, is a big question mark.
West Bengal is the land of hammer and sickle as is Kerala, the difference being that the former has a countryside teeming with illiterates while the latter has a situation just the opposite. Both the states are different from other states in the matter of communal disharmony. The communal virus afflicting the body politic in the country has failed to find receptive grounds in both the states. West Bengal has been more tolerant.
It is said that the dialectics of Hindu orthodoxy and Muslim separatism brought about Pakistan. Interestingly under partition settlements, Bengal was partitioned into East and West Bengal through votes cast by the members of the Bengal legislative assembly on the basis of the two-nation theory. All three members of the then communist party of India voted for creation of West Bengal leaving the East for Pakistan. Jyoti Basu, the former chief Minister was one of them. But he has shown unflinching support for Muslims.
Land reforms in both the Communist rules states have been professed as a grand success, since they were initiated more than two decades ago. But they have failed to achieve the desired success in West Bengal because of the inability to provide the poor peasants with non-land inputs.
Even as Communism has faltered all over the world, India has its hard core of the ilk who will not change because they have nothing else besides these thoughts to make them appear different. Their governed States are a confusion of crass commercialism and labour union proposed bandhs leaving the people bewildered.
Our country will continue to remain undeveloped in spite of our cellphones and auto vehicles giving a different picture. All this will change nothing until we become truly ideological and the parties change their garbs from the “Wolf in sheep’s skin”.