Friday, 13 May 2011

Open Letter

As I sit back and watch the breaking trends of the elections in Bengal unfold, I feel that a time has come when I should write an open letter to the new chief minister about what I as a common citizen and a voter expect from her.

Dear Madam (or Didi as you prefer to be called),

I represent that part of your electorate who have stayed back in Bengal throughout the last 34 years and tried to make a livelihood here whereas a majority of my friends have left for other states and look at the home state in dismay and with disdain.

The left front came to power when I was just 8 years old—too small to realise what had happened. I grew up, studied, worked and started a business in an environment which knew that the government belonged to just one party. The policies (whatever little there were) were the same and as statisticians pointed out, the state was going downhill. I refused to lose faith in my dear Bengal and struggled manfully along. Buddhababu came on to the scene in 2001 but flattered to deceive. Your parties brand of ‘opposition politics’ made life difficult for us. It felt that we were being shoved down a blind lane by both the parties.

My business makes me travel extensively across South Bengal, a majority of which is rural. I kept on meeting people who were excited by your call of change – or ‘Paribartan’. The urban population did not know what to do. The man on the street was faced with a choice where he did not know which way to go. This was all the more so for a majority of the electorate who had not seen a different party in power from their birth.

But, I guess the ‘Paribartan’ has caught on. People have given a huge mandate in your favour. They have agreed to your call for change.

Since, change is the platform on which this historic win has happened for you, I take this opportunity as a voter and a common man to request you to incorporate the following changes in our lives:-

a)      Change the work culture of Bengal. I am tired of hearing that we are lazy and we shirk work. Believe me, we work equally hard as other states, but some laggards pull us down. Unfortunately, a majority of these are government employees and hence, directly your employees too. Please make sure that red tapism and bureaucratic delays do not happen
b)      Create other work centers than Kolkata. Kolkata is chocked and development cannot be seen if it does not reach the corners of the state
c)      Ban bandhs, dharnas or other such stupid things. Protests are a right in a democracy, but not at the cost of inconvenience to others.
d)     Revamp the education and healthcare. These two basic requirements are in a shamble in the state, especially in the rural sectors.
e)      Create job opportunities such that my friends can come back to their home and do not have to stay away for earning their livelihood. We cannot afford to lose our best brains anymore, can we?

f)       Corruption has invaded our blood across the country. But can we just keep a check on that?
g)      Let the law enforcing agencies be neutral such that the man on the street can go to a police station with hope and not with fear of reprisal from a hoodlum supported by a political bigwig.
h)      Agriculture has been our backbone and needs to be supported. Can we still have some manufacturing industries please? There are enough parcels of land for such activities, if infrastructure can be provided.
i)        Above all, can we have clean governance wherein we can get to feel that we matter as an individual – as a citizen

I am sorry if I have crossed limits, but this is an outflow of angst from a person who loves his Bengal, who takes pride in being a Bengali and who dreams of a Sonar Bangla.

No, I do not want a London in Kolkata, neither a Paris in Digha. I just want my Sonar Bangla. Can I please have that?

With Regards. 

No comments: