Modi-Mamata Bonhomie


All those who have been observing the Indian political scenario with some interest must view Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh with Mamata Banerjee as his companion with ironical smiles. Before the last parliamentary elections, Narendra Modi, at a public rally in Kolkata, referred to two laddus, one of his and the other of Mamata, and gave clear hints that he wanted Mamata Banerjee to remain the political hegemon of West Bengal. Shortly thereafter, the situation turned topsy—and Mamata poured out strongly abusive anti-Modi words. Then why this fresh mutual gesture? Narendra Modi's proposed Land Ordinance, it is clear, will not get the support of more than 15-20%, if a nationwide referendum is organized on it. Modi at the present moment is unable to have it passed in the Rajya Sabha, and so he needs Mamata's support. He could have the Insurance Bill passed, thanks to the overt support of the Congress and the covert support of the TMC, whose members curiously walked out but did not vote against the Bill. Only the hirelings of the corporate lobby and those sections of the selfish middle classes, who want their sons and daughters to obtain handsome jobs under corporate-led ‘development’, will probably vote for the proposed Ordinance. But if the Ordinance is passed both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Modi will find it smooth sailing. So he needs Mamata Banerjee's support.

Mamata Banerjee on the other hand needs Modi. One may recall that in order to prevent a CBI proble into the Sarada scam, the TMC government spent 130 million rupees of public money, and how the time spent in arguments and counter-arguments was utilized by the state government is anybody's guess. Now Mamata Banerjee wants the CBI to slow down its activity, and although the Supreme Court had ordered the CBI probe, Modi's government is fully capable of dousing the flames. If Narendra Modi is really determined to punish Mamata Banerjee's government through the CBI, she will definitely have a bad day, and she is incapable of averting it by using her 'popularity'. That is why she needs to come to an understanding with Modi. But in case she decides to support the Land Ordinance, it will clearly be exposed as a total betrayal of the people of Singur and Nandigram, who fought valiantly against forcible acquisition of land.

What one is witnessing in mainstream Indian politics is a package of 'polytricks'. Rabbits have been produced out of hats ever since the start of man's domination by man. Now it is the domination of the corporate lobby and corrupt politicians.       08-06-2015

Vol. 47, No. 50, June 21 - 27, 2015