Just as I started penning down my thoughts on Verdict16, I could not help but go through the gamut of opinion floating across social media. From a no Congress reign across states to Jayalalitha emerging as the strongest leader in Tamil Nadu there is lot to ponder about. But one comment kind of got me hooked. It was from West Bengal’s Chief Minister who had a clean sweep in the state for the second time.
Talking about the secret of her success, Mamata Banerjee proudly claims, “No corruption is there in Bengal. It is a ‘corruption-less’ state.” Sad to say I feel there isn’t a statement that is any further from the truth than this one. Be it the latest incident of a bridge collapse in the state or the rising cases of crime against women, one of the most striking features of Mamata Banerjee’s five years stint as Chief Minister has been the steep rise in rate of crime across the state and Kolkata specifically. The State Crime Records bureau has data updated till only 2007. Infact West Bengal now ranks third in the list of states where maximum crimes against women are committed. The crime rate in Kolkata alone is at 71%, just a tad lower than the awful 79% recorded for the state overall.
Corruption and Police misconduct has been another area where West Bengal has increasingly found mention for the wrong reasons. Didi’s rule has also been identified by the rising raaj of the syndicate. In many ways the Syndicate has become a marker of corruption in the state. Essentially a nexus between contractors and politicians, these generally run on the borrowed powers of the extortion agents in the real estate world. From violence to fights almost nothing is too much for these syndicates and they run on commission money. It is needless to mention that without strong political backing it is impossible for these organisations to sustain over the long-term.
As Mamata gets set to take oath second time on it is perhaps important that the state Government begins focussing on the real agenda. The state has seen enough of Mango fests and sporting extravaganza. The time has now come for some meaningful action across horizon from job creation to economic growth and most importantly a sense of safety and peace for the average citizens who live without the support of the syndicate!