Opinion by Arun Bhatnagar: On winning spree in West Bengal
It may eventually rank as, arguably, the most significant and impacting State election of post-Independence India and it could show the way for a more wholesome scheme of values and priorities to speedily emerge in our national politics.
New Delhi: The way forward has been shown by Mamata Banerjee (66 years) whose Trinamool Congress in West Bengal becomes a ‘pioneering movement’, as it were, the apprehensively-awaited Nandigram result, notwithstanding. Powerful adversaries have been left biting the dust.
The neutrality of the Election Commission of India was repeatedly questioned.
The challenges for Mamata are innumerable and diverse and, some day, she may actually face them as the second woman Prime Minister (after Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi) of this great country. She has exhibited extraordinary and amazing grit and tenacity of purpose. Now, she must bring other parties and leaderships across the country firmly together in the task of character-building, including her parent-organization, the Indian National Congress.
Such defining moments arrive but rarely. For the poverty-stricken and downtrodden, they can be a heavensent. So, the poor and exploited – the destitutes – must try to seize this chance with an iron grip. Their immediate relevance lies in being able to convey certain basic truths to the High and Mighty, and not just be forced out of their huts and hovels – rural and urban – once every few years at election time to cast votes, as ordered.
In this direction, the patriotic efforts of our youth have to continue and persevere, with the help of all sections of society.
(The writer Arun Bhatnagar, is a former member of the IAS who retired as Secy, GOI and served in senior positions’)