Modi Must Go
Indians cannot wait till 2024. Never would people like this writer have imagined the day would come when people would find themselves appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for anything. But today, as people die in homes, on the streets, in hospital car parks, in big cities, in small towns, in villages and forests and fields—this writer, an ordinary private citizen, is swallowing her pride to join millions of fellow citizens in saying please sir, please, step aside. At least for now. This is a crisis of your making. You cannot solve it. You can only make it worse. This virus prospers in an atmosphere of fear and hatred and ignorance. It prospers when you clamp down on those who speak out. It prospers when you manage the media to such an extent that the real truth is only reported in the international media. It prospers when you have a prime minister who has never held a single press conference in all his years in office, who is incapable of fielding questions, even now in this moment of numbing horror.

Hundreds of thousands of Indians will die, unnecessarily, if you don't go. So, go now. With your dignity intact. You can have a great life ahead, of meditation and solitude. You yourself have said that's what you want. That won't be possible if you allow this mass dying to continue.

There are many in your party who can take your place for now. People who know they must get on even with political opponents in this moment of crisis. Whoever that person is—from your party, with the approval of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)—can head the government and a crisis management committee.

The state chief ministers can elect a few representatives so that all parties feel represented. The Congress by virtue of being a national party can be on the committee too. And then scientists, public health experts, doctors, experienced bureaucrats. You may not understand this, but this is what is known as democracy. You cannot have an Opposition-free democracy. That is known as a tyranny. This virus loves tyrannies.

If you don't do this now, as this outbreak is increasingly viewed as an international problem, as a threat to the world, which it is—your incompetence is giving other countries a legitimate excuse to try and interfere in India's internal affairs, try and take charge. India will become a colony again. This is a serious possibility. Do not disregard it.

You have forfeited the moral right to be India's prime minister.
Arundhati Roy

Why TMC Got the Verdict?
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been crushed in the West Bengal assembly election. The following are the reasons for the astounding victory of Trinamul Congress (TMC):

1)  Developmental Initiatives:
a)   Good development work has been undertaken by TMC in the rural and urban areas, especially in the rural, during the last 10 years that Left Front had not done in 34 years except during the first few years with Barga settlement;
b)  Major facilities created for women and girl students;
c)   Regular monitoring by CM herself of the progress of planned project works of the districts by holding meetings with the district officers and state government secretaries in the meetings held in the districts;
d)  These works were done in spite of large corruption at different levels.

2)  The large support of the Muslim population to TMC:
a)   Because of its continued opposition to NRC and CAA and giving assurance to those who have migrated before 1971;
b)  TMC's support to the Muslims against the virulent anti- Muslim tirade and organising riots and killing of Muslims in the name of Love Jehad, cow slaughter etc. by the BJP goons.
3) Attack on Bengali women's dignity by Narendra Modi with slogans like 'Didi oh Didi' and many such insults to the women of Bengal by BJP functionaries.
4) Utter mishandling of Covid-19 situation right from the beginning of March last year causing inhuman miseries to the migrant population and especially this year after the second wave of Covid-19.

It is sad that the Left and the Congress have been wiped out in this election and there will be no opposition against TMC in the assembly except the poisonous BJP. It is because of their political immaturity to identify the main contradiction in the society, that is the Sangha Parivar. CPM leadership in West Bengal could never accept the defeat of their 34-year rule in the hands of an ordinary woman of Mamata Banerjee's stature about whom a famous late Marxist economist once said 'Bastibasi' (slum-dweller). Rather, CPI(ML)-Liberation and SUCI (Communist ) took an anti-BJP stance correctly.

This writer has been impressing upon the National Alliance for Peoples' Movement (NAPM) leadership for quite some time past that NAPM should present before the nation its alternative paradigm of development as Congress Party had submitted before the nation in 1938. NAPM should also take a constructive stand both of unity and struggle in relation to TMC in their upcoming 5 years rule.
Samar Bagchi, Kolkat

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Vol. 54, No. 5, Aug 1 - 7, 2021