The WB Government
It does not fear the people, it does not fear democracy, it does not fear violence, and it does not fear the opposition. What this government truly fears is the lack of political colour in its people. It fears the conviction that the people may hold beyond any partisan border, beyond any staunch political ideology, united as one, fighting for their rights.
This is what makes the ongoing people’s movement against power tariff hike so important. The power tariff for the year 2015-16 in West Bengal is the highest amongst all Indian states (6.46 rupees per unit in WB while in other states 3.8-4.5), and this monopoly of power by the CESC (Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation) has led to a huge upsurge amongst the people. But what makes this upsurge so special is that the people have chosen to come down to the streets without any specific political colour, or banner, without any other identity than their citizenship, demanding their rights.
This movement had taken its initial shape in forms of street campaigns followed by sit-in protests. Trouble brewed when 8 of the protesters took to an indefinite hunger strike to bring the government down to their terms. They were meted out with Police brutality, followed by an unwarranted arrest of 11 of the protesters, and numerous threat calls from party cadres.
However, the movement is not dead. The people have taken to the streets again with 5 other protesters joining the hunger strike. As we have seen in the history of this country, movements are usually led by the opposition. And thus are quite easy to malign as all the parties present within our boundary more or less corrupt. Thus it is the non-partisan independent nature of this movement that has shaken the roots of this proto-fascist democratic structure. Also allowing the people to look beyond vote bank politics and fight for what they truly deserve.
Do check out the current scenario of Bengali movies and Indie films in West Bengal.
By Nilabja Banerjee