The chief minister tours across the state. She keeps tracks on who needs what. Therefore everything can be solved through her interference. What happens is that the process of decentralization of power which began across the country gets a jolt in Bengal. It was thought that people in the villages will themselves plan their development schemes, oversee their work and solve their problems. But now people are told: Have faith only in Mamata. She’ll solve your problem through her own administrative workers. While people were supposed to have been self dependent exercising their democratic rights, what we see now is a complete and total dependence on a single person (read Mamata).
This is because of Mamata’s unchallenged and total dominance on the Trinamool Congress. She’s the ultimate authority whose say is final. She’s not only the chief leader, she’s the party herself. One may call it “an absolute monarchy of Bengal”. Save for holding elections, we see nothing what is called peoples’ power. What we witness instead is unalloyed monarchy.
How is this monarchy born in an age of democracy? Mamata wasn’t born in a royal family. She was born in an ordinary family and through sheer hard work and inhuman struggle she’s attained such power. And this has enabled her to possess almost a miraculous power. She uses this power for the sake of people. For her, institutional norms hold no meaning. For decades powerful men have enjoyed all government benefits taking advantage of bureaucracy. Mamata doesn’t care bureaucratic red-tapism for the welfare of masses.
There’s no doubt she has honest intentions. Her detractors may have found faults in her methods of functioning. But, she doesn’t give a damn. It won’t be fair to examine her ways of functioning through rules. People welcome such autocratic rule as they are being benefitted for this. She keeps saying during her campaign: “There is no separate candidate for Trnamool; I am the candidate for all the constituencies.”
Not only the supporters of Mamata say such things publicly, they also accept her autocratic rule without demur. That is why even though her supporters see their leaders taking bribe openly, they keep mum. On the other hand, they say: “Don’t you know how big political parties raise funds from big corporate houses during election known as festival of democracy? If that be the case, why don’t you protest then?”
“You only frown at the rise of syndicates and growth of chit funds. Mamata’s image won’t be tarnished by all this,” say her loyal supporters. Not only do these supporters stop at such abject flattery, they accept her autocratic behavior (like putting her own chosen men at designated posts etc) happily and without question. These supporters battle for a place in her chosen list. This results in an administration which is filled with only her ‘yes men’.
In such a scenario we hardly find any dignified and self-respected bureaucrat in the administration who carries on with his duty with great a sense of discipline and uprightness. Institutional decadence in the society has been the long-lasting damage caused by the Trinamool regime. It’s well-nigh difficult to repair this damage. Some people say: “Forget about the theoretical gobbledygook. This is reality. If you quote or talk about rules, you’ll be sent to Jangalmahal or you’ll be implicated in false allegations. Remember what happened to that man.” Interesting part is that the guy who’s saying all this was raised in an atmosphere where he learnt how to fight against such autocratic rules.
Educated Bengalis developed noble professions such as doctors, lawyers, teachers and scientists battling against the British Raj over almost two hundred years. They had fought for the freedom of these professions after slogging untiringly for ages.
It’d be wrong to put the blame on voters, their ignorance or their imprudence. It’s not their responsibility to keep these institutions alive. Despite knowing this decadence and lawlessness, the intelligentsia who has university degrees is now keeping mum to enjoy whatever benefits they can squeeze from the authority.