Monday, April 25, 2011

Battle of Choices….

The Assembly election is just 2 days away in Kolkata and the atmosphere around is totally political. It is politics what the native Kolkatans are breathing, eating and sleeping day in and day out. When I say political, it means the trademark meetings, highly vocal speakers with a handful of listeners, banners, and markets and tea stalls full of political debates. The first round of election in West Bengal has yielded more than 80% turn out and that speaks about the political orientation of the people of Bengal. A great thing which is amiss in the rest of nation, voting is a right that should be exercised without failure as it is the only constitutional power given to the citizens, the power to choose the rulers, the policy makers.

But in spite of the huge political inclination, there is always a debate over the choice what people of West Bengal have in their hand when it comes to exercising the right to vote. On one hand there is CPI(M) which has been ruling the state for more than past 30 odd years on the other hand there is TMC- Congress coalition, the presence of other political parties is very minimal and only thing they are capable of is diluting the vote’s ratio, thus making CPI(M) and TMC-Congress as the only available options for the assembly.

A few days’ back when I asked a few common men on road who they are going to vote for, there was a mixed response. A certain community was inclined towards TMC-Congress alliance while a few were heartily supporting CPI(M). But if we examine closely, is any of the two political outfits worthy enough of the attention they are getting. This is a question that surfaces every time we have a election around be it assembly or parliamentary.

CPI(M), though have ruled the state for more than 30 years, still does not have a clear ideology. Communism as a theory does not stand well in the modern context, the same is evident by the downfall of soviet Russia, and surely demands a revival. CPI(M) as an outfit is hanging between the dilemma of Communism and the widespread globalization. When a particular political party is inconsistent with its own ideologies, than the speculation is bound to happen about its credibility.
TMC, on the other hand is led by one of the most vocal leaders of present India. Though most of the time she speaks, it lacks substance. Mamta Banerjee has proven from time to time, how to say something and retreat on the very next moment. The Indian railways portfolio managed by her has gone down in profitability in contrast to what it was in the times of his predecessor, especially Lalu Prasad Yadav. On one hand where CPI(M) suffers from dilemma in ideology, TMC does not seem to have one and it is often more dangerous to trade over a path without a set goal. The congress alliance also does not seem to help the cause of TMC as the centre is itself troubled with a series of scams.

Yet despite of all these fallbacks, the people of Kolkata seems to have a dedicated following for one of the outfit. This following is often driven by the place where they belong to and the party dominance in that region or an ego driven support to a particular party. This is however strange that in such a politically motivated environment, it is very difficult to find a logical rationale for supporting a Political house.

The bigger dilemma is however for the voters who want to cast their votes but are uncertain because they cannot link to any of the outfit. I would refrain myself to pass any judgment however this is a dilemma of choosing between the unworthy and the worthless.