A Wrong Judgement
I would like to point out what seems to a wrong judgment made by Professor Samar K Datta, who is definitely an eminent economist, in his otherwise excellent article, Agricultural Ordinance, 2020 (Frontier, January 3-9, 2021). Professor Datta writes at one place, 'Politicians and bureaucrats were once inclined at one place to impose control of everything in blind imitation of the Soviet model. Now they have reached the other pole, which means leaving everything to the open market, which is supposed to bring eternal bliss'. It needs to be mentioned that in the Soviet economic model, there was no place for the private bourgeoisie, although whether that was a truly socialist model may be debated. In India's post-independence mixed economy, the big bourgeoisie did not face any harm. The state took over the task of building up only those industries, the construction of which required such amounts of capital which the private bourgeoisie was not able to mobilise. When the New Economic Policy was introduced, the bourgeoisie amassed enough wealth to replace the state owned sector. Hence, a comparison with the Soviet model only helps create confusion.
Anirban Biswas, Birbhum

Bloody Election
In India an election today is more like a festival. No doubt people's ever increasing participation in this festival proves its relevance. Casting of the fundamental rights of people (right to vote) is always identically symbolic whether they are spontaneous or being forced.

On the eve of the forthcoming Assembly Election, 2021 in West Bengal, the state has been transformed into a battlefield of different political parties. The game of holding power is multi-dimensional. In this democratic market, vendors (political parties) usually hawk or promote their democratic business of the same products with same uses. According to them, the qualities are different. Voters as consumers are either provoked for a free gift (dole) or some opportunities, or they have to consume with fear, threat or afraid of violence and torture. People of West Bengal are unhappy, dissatisfied, and annoyed. They are under pressure of threat, inter-conflict, group conflict, muscle power, separatism and absolute domination. The ruling Trina Mool Congress (TMC) is under suspicious scanner, in spite of the populist programmes like so many 'Shrees' (Kanyashree, Rupashree, Yubashree, and so forth). TMC knows its paramount corruption of leaders almost of all hierarchies and lack of transparency of the government. But TMC claims as the best because it has done lots of development and has been able to bring a change in daily lives which were far away ever before. It publicises its pride and glory variously. But it fails to assess the ground reality. Its glory, even crossed the national broader as TMC demands. Sometimes, it claims that it has already done the work of 300 years. But this party is dubious of its work. So, it has been taken programme like "Didikebalo" (tell to Didi) and "DuareSarkar"( the government at the doorstep), etc. On the other hand, it recognises corruption of leaders like 'cut money', etc. It supports its cadres even committing molestation, rape, and hooliganism with a soft voice . So, their indulgences are not an offence. There is hardly a free and fair administration throughout.

On the other part, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising its hope depending on the same cadres (who have no clean chit from indulgences and corruption) who were once the game changer of the TMC. They are sold only different brands of products in the same style. There are no fresh and new faces for BJP. BJP is too aggressive to establish its rule in West Bengal. Therefore, both TMC & BJP are competing with each other with strong vocabularies. Both parties forecast their victory in advance.

Meanwhile, the political environment of West Bengal is hotting up. BJP and TMC are same regarding their visionary aspects. TMC was once the vital ally of BJP led NDA. On the other hand, INC and CPM are slightly lagging behind in the current electioneering.

Anyway, the forthcoming election in West Bengal might be bloody. Every sensitive individual should deal it cautiously.
Harasankar Adhikari, Kolkata

Vol. 53, No. 31, Jan 31 - Feb 6, 2021