‘the people of West Bengal will turn their back on her’

Rudrangshu Mukherjee writes in The Telegraph, Kolkata:

..No one can deny that Mamata Banerjee came to power through democratic means. She led a relentless campaign against the Left and her campaign would not have been possible or successful if the Left had effectively stifled democratic rights and expressions. When she sat on a hunger strike in Esplanade and then later blocked a major highway for days on end, the state administration did not send in the police to break up the protests and neither did the CPI(M) let loose its goons on the demonstrators. Moreover, the media were left free to report on these agitations in ways that they deemed fit. Some supported the protests and some didn’t. There was no external interference in editorial decisions.

….The Bengali word, paribartan, has suddenly come to acquire very ominous overtones. When the people of West Bengal voted overwhelmingly to overthrow the Left Front, they did not quite expect that they were ushering in a regime that would be irre sponsible, intolerant of criticism and would display a pronounced propensity for authoritarianism.

….The people of West Bengal, like people all over the world, have the right to dissent, to laugh, to mock, to criticize and, above all, to speak and write freely without the fear of the State and the bullying of party cadre. The present political regime appears to have scant regard for these rights. It wants to create an ambience of fear and to rule through terror. For this alone, the present dispensation has to be opposed.

Read the full article: http://epaper.telegraphindia.com/PUBLICATIONS/TT/TT/2012/04/18/ArticleHtmls/Fear-of-freedom-18042012010005.shtml?Mode=1