Articles

Bengal will be run by people of Bengal, not outsiders

The point is simple. The forces that are seeking to displace Trinamool don’t just want to win an election, they want to fundamentally destabilise Bengal’s social harmony and tear apart its fabric. The inclusive and shared history of Bengal’s people is under threat from those who are “outside” of this culture. And this genuinely worries Mamata Banerjee. This is what makes the third great struggle of Didi’s political journey her most crucial. The years 2021 (assembly election) and then 2024 (Lok Sabha election) will write the future of Bengal. And Mother Courage herself is leading from the front.

Read More

In the name of ‘cooperative federalism’

India is in the midst of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s decade of governance. The previous time one party dominated for nearly 10 years was four decades ago, when the Congress had brute majorities between 1980 and 1989. In that period, the tussle for the rights of States was focused on Article 356. Using pliant Governors, regional party governments were politically destabilised. There was lip service paid to the report of the Justice R.S. Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations, but its spirit was twisted.

Read More

3 steps government should take to save jobs in tourism

The Prime Minister’s speech on June 30 coincided with the inauguration of Unlock 2.0. This is the phase when government policy should gradually be making the transition from relief to repair – repair of the economy from the ill-planned lockdown.

Read More

The government imposed a flawed lockdown. It has caused immense suffering

June 25 marked exactly three months since the initial 21-day lockdown that began as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Announced at four hours’ notice, without consultations with chief ministers, the lockdown was Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s big solution to the greatest public health challenge of our times. The lockdown, however, has proven to be the biggest fiasco of our times.

Read More

Govt has belatedly realised MGNREGA scheme’s significance

In the media discussions on the novel coronavirus numbers and testing, on public health mismanagement, on the suffering of migrant workers and on the unplanned lockdown, one issue has missed the headlines — the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Programme, better known by the acronym MGNREGA.

Read More

Modi-Shah and Railways Minister have a lot to answer for

Perhaps the most tragic and disheartening aspect of India’s battle against the novel Coronavirus pandemic has been the fate of migrant workers – those stranded in another state, suddenly without a job, a livelihood or even a roof above. It was clear from moment one that migrant workers had to go home. This was an economic and emotional necessity. They needed to feel secure in their native villages and with their families. Since a lockdown was announced with only four hours’ notice, this was not done. And a summer’s sordid tragedy began to play itself out. It was so avoidable. MPs were given 48 hours to fly home from Delhi – but guest workers, at the bottom of the pyramid, were given only four hours!

Read More

Wrecked by Amphan, Bengal gets no real assistance from Centre

Cyclone Amphan is simply the biggest natural disaster seen in this lifetime for many. It is believed to be the most devastating cyclone to hit Bengal since 1737, almost 300 years ago and well before the Battle of Plassey. The damage the cyclone inflicted upon Kolkata has been well recorded. Human lives have been lost and families and communities disrupted. Property has been destroyed. Key infrastructure has been crippled. Tall, proud trees, decades or even a century old, have been uprooted brutally.

Read More

Framing an agenda for the Opposition

Already battling the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), West Bengal has been battered by Cyclone Amphan. While preparatory arrangements and evacuations of five lakh people by the state government ensured that the loss of life was minimised, the devastation suffered by families and the damage to public and private properties as well as the ecology of Bengal has been incalculable. The cyclone is a national calamity. In this hour of pain and tragedy, Bengal seeks everyone’s cooperation. All stakeholders, state and central, have to come together to provide relief and solace to those who are suffering.

Read More

Read More

For migrant workers, BJP has neither heart nor conscience

Earlier this week, all of us woke up to a nightmare – to the horrific news of 17, at last count, migrant workers being run over by a goods train in Aurangabad. They were walking home, hundreds of miles, from Maharashtra to their villages in Madhya Pradesh. Exhausted, they had dropped to sleep on the tracks and hadn’t heard the train coming.

Read More