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From 50 Years Ago: Cheerless Six Months

Vol II, Nos 33, 34 & 35 august 1967

LETTER FROM WEST BENGAL

Cheerless Six Months

West Bengal is passing through an unprecedented crisis. The political parties in the ruling United Front, many of them torn by acute internal dissensions and without exception at their wit’s end because of the complexities of the situation and the enormity of the problems, are resorting to all sorts of manoeuvres in their jockeying for position. …

The essence of this cheerless situation is that there is no party or individual in the Cabinet or the United Front capable of formulating and implementing a minimum but dynamic programme in accordance with the demands of objective situation.

On September 2, the United Front Government will complete its first six months in office. The path it has traversed during this period seems to have led it to a dead-end. How else can one interpret the proposed ‘dharna’ by six ministers before the New Delhi residence or office of the Prime Minister, who will have by that time escaped to the more pleasant climate of a southern hill station? And, all this over the difference of about 5,000 tonnes of foodgrains between the State’s demand and the Centre’s promise. … Whether ultimately the ‘dharna’ is abandoned or not, the inauguration of the programme with a mass meeting presided over by the Chief Minister and the active preparations for a general strike in order to boost the ministerial ‘jatha’ to Delhi are fairly indicative of the desperate seriousness with which the UF leaders are pursuing a move which, even to its own more sober admirers, cannot but appear a tragicomedy, if not a farce.

Updated On : 1st Sep, 2017

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