Writing Obituary

Shyamaprasad Bhattacharjee

I was born in West Bengal. I grew up in its lush green meadows, dreamed on the banks of Hooghly. I went to primary school, sitting on straw mats and memorizing poems, tables and instruction by heart. After schools, my friends and I rushed half way Home and went to play ground. When we felt specially daring, we would skip the entire day of school to play friendly matches. The elders at my home transported me by telling stories to the era of tales. The Bengal was full of joyful life, full of love and amity amongst the people cutting across caste, creed, religion and language. Today anarchy dominates everything.

Not long ago, a friend of mine asked me what kind of things, I write. It came to my mind that I have been writing obituaries for the last five years or more, only characters, contents and place change, the stories are always same, full of misery and tears. When present government lavish all their time for their self claimed success, in my loneliness, my mind captures the past, how this government cleared the way to climb political power of Bengal. I shudder to horrifying sight—lying of corpse of Slain Salaku Soren, left activist, for days together, courtesy left extremists and right reactionaries. The 15th Lok Sabha elections were held in the background of sustained murderous attacks on Left Front activists. Around 388 cadres and supporters were killed after the Lok Sabha elections in May 2009 till the present government came to power in May 2011, thousands left activists were driven from their homes, hospitalized some of them were crippled forever, burning of left offices were a regular sight, conduct of political activities were near impossibility. The silent terror griped the state. The Maoists resorted to targeted assassinations and struck terror in the Jangal Mahal region in coordination with present party in power. The grief is still deep, the rage still sharp and tears have not dried. The notice of death to democracy was served since then. The path traversed by the present government left behind huge materials for writing obituary.

From Park Street to Kamdunl via Katwa with other parts of the state, witnessed atrocities on women, "never again will a single story will be told as though, it is the only one".

Living as I do, as millions of us do, in the shadow of anarchy in educational institutions. Mass copying is restored at its new height. Principals and vice chancellors, many in numbers are manhandled at the behest of ruling party. Death knell sounds loudly.

In West Bengal, those of us express our views—that are at variance with state government are branded as extremist. Those of us express our views in cyber world are under surveillance. All of us witnessed what happened to the much respected Professor Ambikesh Mahapatra. The innocent eyes of Sudipta Gupta stare at us. 103 agents of Ponzi schemes committed suicides; lakhs are looted of their hard earned sustenance. Many more are there, dissenting voice is under attack. Those of us, who have over life in democracy, find it hard to live in the present days and enduring the major loss of freedom what really means.

The scams and corruptions involving leaders of present ruling dispensation unmasked the ugly and manipulative characters that exist behind the artificially created stature of the party.

The rising unemployment, deepening incomes of vast population, negative industrial growth and investments, crisis in agriculture driving the connected people to severe pulverization make us stand to stark reality that our state is no more an abode of development. The communal polarization is a way today to win elections by both parties—at state and centre.

The land Mafia, the syndicate, the goons, and looters and plunderers have thought, this government belongs to them.

The police and bureaucrats serve the state keeping their spines in cupboard, compliance instruction is their mantra, however immoral or illegal it maybe.

With all these things happening around us, the Chief Minister remains in denial mode, insisting that nothing has really happened. In none of the incidents of violence and crime—has the Chief Minister condemned the acts or apologized for them. Instead, she said they were orchestrated incidents,

Millions of us would be ashamed in future, if we were, in any way implicated with the present government policy and will also turn blind eyes to our future generations. The destiny of Bengal is at our hand, we need to think, in which way we are to steer, failing which, epitaph of democracy, welfare, education, impartial administrations and religious amity would haunt us for years to come.

Vol. 47, No. 44, May 10 - 16, 2015