This article is not about Shiv Sena bashing, because enough people are doing that; and personally, I can’t imagine how Mumbai could have possibly had a normal day on the streets when two million of its citizens were genuinely mourning the death of the Shiv Sena supremo, Balasaheb Thackeray. In fact, before I get into the main article, let me also first say a few things about the Mumbai bandh and the Balasaheb legacy of absolutist fear. Yes, post his death, the fear factor was surely there... and that was a key reason why, even without a formally announced bandh, there was a total bandh in Mumbai. Yes, I also believe that the rest of Maharashtra should have been more normal. However, it is also a fact that this vexing fear that we are talking about and such quasi-bandhs are not really the monopoly of Shiv Sainiks. Bangalore was at a standstill when Rajkumar died a few years ago; there have been bandhs and equal fear of SP goons in UP, and far more fear, door to door, all over West Bengal about CPM goons; and now the same insidious mantle is steadily being taken up by importunate Trinamool party cadres. In India, hero worship is a culture and the loud existence and fear of suppressive political goons almost a pathetic norm in every corner of the nation. What was however very different about Balasaheb Thackeray was that he was the only leader that we have seen – in the midst of all hypocrites and chameleons – who, as my colleague Sutanu wrote in his blog, was always perspicuously consistent. BJP leaders will agree; they have seen all bigwigs – from Omar Abdullah, Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Prafulla Mahanta, M. Karunanidhi, Chandrababu Naidu, Ram Vilas Paswan to J. Jayalalithaa – change sides from being BJP allies at one time, while Balasaheb, along with the Akali Dal, remained their only constant partners. Thus, his cult following has quite strong reasons, and it’s a fact that the so called secular media has been harsher about the Shiv Sainik goons than about the Samajwadi and so called secular Marxist goons.

Having said that, it is shocking how a professor can be arrested in Bengal for forwarding a cartoon on Facebook; how a cartoonist can be arrested for making a cartoon on the government; and unbelievably, how a young girl – Shaheen Dhadha – can be arrested for posting something as basic as: “With all respect, every day, thousands of people die, but still the world moves on. Just due to one politician died a natural death, everyone just goes bonkers. They should know, we are resilient by force, not by choice. When was the last time, did anyone showed some respect or even a two-minute silence for Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Azad, Sukhdev or any of the people because of whom we are free-living Indians? Respect is earned, given, and definitely not forced. Today, Mumbai shuts down due to fear, not due to respect.[sic]” – while another girl can be arrested for liking the post! Shameful! Disgusting! Dictatorial!

I am appalled how power makes people go peremptorily crazy and intolerant. It’s childish and gallingly immature of top leaders of this country to not have even a smattering ability to withstand cartoons made on them or to allow people to joke about them and vent their anger at their policies and thoughts, however correct the politicians might feel they are. At one point of time on Google, when you searched the word ‘idiot’, the name of ‘George Bush’ used to pop up on the first page. And why not? When he or Obama become the president of the United States, there are about 48% of Americans who are against them – from mild to extreme haters of their personality, policies, cult, and ideologies. And when these individuals go on the net and abuse, it’s only logical that even the president of the most powerful nation becomes the most abused man on the internet. Same is the case with Wal-Mart, the largest corporation in the world; and the most abused one too. Our monocratic politicians and leaders need to realize this veridical truth and thank those 51% (often, as low as even 15%) who support them, due to whom they are in power. Our politicians should nurture these supporters and think of ways of doing outstanding work so that they can win the rest over, instead of being in the picayune illusion that arresting the naysayers will solve the problem. It never did; and even if it superficially did in the past, it never will in the new munificent age of internet freedom. And thank god for that, for freedom of speech and expression is the biggest cornerstone of and for an emancipated democracy and humanity. Our iniquitous politicians need to type “Barack Obama Jokes” on any search engine once to see how tolerant that man must be, a gentleman who is the President of the United States. From pestiferous dark humour to odious sarcasm to below-the-belt ripostes, Obama is the butt of all jokes, with numerous belittling joke sites on him and millions of individuals sharing them all the time. And it’s this virtuous ability to never bother about who says what and the incumbent ability to keep doing great work and winning over more and more people and customers that make an Obama, a Bush, a Samsung and a Wal-Mart what they are. In fact, these are the greats who use all the disparaging criticism to their advantage by searching out the real areas for improvement.   Read more....

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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Yes, she has been in the news in the recent past for all the wrong reasons. It’s outright insecure and almost suicidal for a national leader of an intellectual and free-thinking state like West Bengal to target a professor for forwarding a cartoon! There are no two ways of looking at it. Leaders are supposed to let their work do the speaking and not their might. We aren’t living in the Hitlerian era. It’s also ridiculous to talk of turning Calcutta into London by painting the trees blue. London is about its democracy (freedom of forwarding cartoons), equality in access to health, education and justice, its high life expectancy, negligible infant mortality and a far more equitable society apart from its astounding standard of safety and cleanliness in comparison with Calcutta. In all these respects, West Bengal and Calcutta are at least 25 years away, assuming we get a government led by a sincere leader who works genuinely day and night for its people. Apart from arguably destroying the future of Indian Railways by compromising on possible safety upgradations by not increasing railway fares again and again at a Central level, Mamata has also not announced a budget for West Bengal and kept all finances at her whim and fancy; she has hardly done anything worthwhile for the state’s education, health or employment situation while continuing to work in a very autocratic highhanded manner. Thus, many would argue she indeed has rightly won the ire of intellectuals of Bengal who supported her so wholeheartedly, and are now deserting her one by one.

But in the middle of all this, one must not forget her achievements, which in a country of scamster & criminal politicians is reason enough for the nation to wait for at least another two years before passing a judgment on her. Her biggest achievement – for which alone she should be given a five-year free run – has been to rid Bengal of the dictatorial CPM.

mamata banerhjeeThe communists desperately needed to sit in the opposition to realize that good ideals simply on pen and paper are not good enough. Power corrupted their ideals beyond recognition and they had become a party of goons, riggers and fascists. And if removing them was not good enough, doing it without any bloodshed is Mamata’s biggest achievement. But it doesn’t end there. She has also done what Nitish in Bihar and Raman Singh in Chattisgarh have failed to do. She is the first and only leader in the country to have tamed the menace of the Maoists in the Junglemahal area of Bengal by genuinely giving access to food to the poor there. And she could do it all due to one reason – her determined will to do good for the poor in the Junglemahal area. And finally, she tamed the Gorkha problem in the hills of Bengal immediately after taking power. None of these two issues could be resolved by the CPM in their years of power. And these three things are landmark and historical. While the mainstream media focussed only on the CPM issue, that too without really highlighting the immense value of it, it completely has ignored her other two very, very crucial achievements. Read More....

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist). For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles

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ARINDAM CHAUDHURI
ANALYSES HOW CPM MIGHT JUST ABOUT DO THE TRICK AGAIN, BUT THIS TIME ON THE BASIS OF A COMBINATION OF WELL PLANNED STRATEGIES AND PRO-POOR PROMISES!

Lack of development, apathy towards the poor, scientifically implemented mass rigging, muscle power, murders, guns and goons... These have been the things that made the Leftist people of Bengal angry and furious, and made them think seriously of an alternative after decades. These are the things that made the people to come out and vote against CPM in the elections that have been happening of late, including the Parliamentary elections last year. Of course, that can’t take away the credit from Mamata Banerjee, who has been fearlessly taking the CPM head on! She felt the pulse of Bengal, had the courage and gave the alternative that Bengal was looking for. And it was only after the setback that the otherwise arrogant CPM leaders of Bengal received due to their loss in the general elections last year, that they really started taking her threat seriously and introspecting within.

Initially, with every passing day, Mamata’s popularity only seemed to surge and it seemed that in the upcoming state elections, the results would be a sure victory for the Trinamool Congress – unless she herself did something suicidal like showing her temper and breaking off her relations with the Congress, something that The Sunday Indian had cautioned about earlier too. TSI had also said that the CPM had enough means and relations to influence the Congress to break up with Trinamool and it would require great diplomacy on Mamata’s part to maintain her relations with the Congress. After all, CPM had only got five lakh votes less in the last elections. At the same time, theCongress has its own committed vote bank; and without them, Mamata’s possibility of winning is very less, given that there still remains an unshakeable mass which will vote only for CPM (even though there’s no doubt that CPM's vote bank has shrunk).

The fact that breaking the Trinamool-Congress tie-up was a possible way for CPM to again win the next elections was an issue known to us and many others. What no one expected was the possibility of CPM winning on its own merit! That, along with Trinamool’s breakup with the Congress, could be a double blow that Mamata’s party may find too difficult to overturn!

Unfortunately for Trinamool, going by one after the other recent policy announcements by CPM in Bengal, it seems that Trinamool wouldn’t just have to tackle the problem of the breakdown of their ‘mahajot’ (grand alliance) but also the growing popularity of CPM! One of CPM’s voter bases that got eroded due to the Nandigram tussle – the Muslim voters – seems to be slowly shifting its affections back, with the CPM declaring that Muslims will get huge scholarships and a ten percent job quota too! This, coupled with the fact that a lot of slum dwellers and hawkers on the streets are Muslims, suggests that there is more in store for them.Recently, CPM also declared that slum dwellers will get the land where their slums currently are, for a paltry one rupee!!! The CPM has promised rice at two rupees per kilogram for not only those below the poverty line, but even for the bottom twenty percent of the people above the poverty line! The same CPM, which took the hawkers head-on by removing them from the streets for the sake of votes, under the huge threat of losing power has now decided that pavement hawkers would get 1/3rd of the pavement to do their business!     Read More....

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