Reporting from the Battlefront
Kolkata is the city where I was born, the cultural capital of India. Now as I revisit the place for the umpteenth time I’m compelled to say that much has changed. Friendly smiles have been exchanged for political banners and the goodwill that the city was so famous for has been exchanged for political agitation. I see murderers and petty thieves become the favourites just by lessening their misdoings. I see more ward numbers in the city than actual problems. I see people thrash and kill each other just to win by a marginal number of votes. I see people who’ve let hate become their modus operandi. I see fear in my own eyes, fear of venturing out of my house to take a few pictures and getting mobbed in the process. I see people being asked to join political rallies with the lure of food and music. Merry festivities are what they call them.
A political party consisting of almost a barbaric horde comes to power just by the support of the lower strata of society. I see auto drivers and maid servants worship the greater evil over the lesser evil. I see a political powerhouse like the CPI(M) come crashing down. Its fault being corruption but then I’m forced to asked myself will the newly elected party be any less corrupt? The intelligentsia of the city believed in communism, but corruption had no part to play in a communist agenda. The intelligentsia gave up their votes. The CPI(M) lost a major 15% of the total share of votes. And yet all I can do is see. I can only write about it in prose and then ponder upon it. I have no say in this world. Not yet. But one day maybe. I wait for that day anxiously.