New Delhi: Imagine you want to build a home or want to add a room to your home and a local member of the ruling political party comes and demands money for your construction. This is hard-earned money and there is no reason why you should pay someone just because he is from a political party. You then go to the local municipal councillor, whom you have elected to represent your locality in the municipal body. 

He is the same person who with folded hands had come to you and asked for your valuable vote in those elections (assuming that you were able to cast your own vote and no else did it on your behalf). But to your surprise, he says it is ok to give the money as “house tax” and the local worker will protect you. You ask, to be protected from whom? he says ‘From Himself’.

Imagine you have to pay for the admission of your child into a school or college based on merit but you cannot expect an admission despite your child is eligible for a good education. 

You have finally surrendered and paid the money the local worker asked to construct that extra room you have been saving for. Adding to your surprise is the fact that you now have to buy cement, sand and bricks from the local party's designated suppliers for which prices are prefixed. You have no rights as a consumer to choose from where you can buy and at a fair market price because there is a fixed commission to be paid for the ruling party leaders. There is no need for imagination. That is the state of affairs in West Bengal today and has been so for 30-40 years now. 

Even if you want to buy/sell a flat directly with a buyer/ seller you have to pay money to the local ruling party who work as political brokers. That money has to be paid by both the seller and the buyer.

This is known as a “Syndicate” in West Bengal. Next time whenever you speak to anyone in Bengal or visit Bengal you should ask about “The Syndicate”. A common man living in Bengal will tell you only if he or she knows you personally, or if they are confident that you are not from the ruling party. It does sound like a different country but sadly this is the harsh reality of Bengal and is not getting any better despite having started more than 40 years ago.

The colour red was marked as a sign of social equality by the communist party, but now it is a sign of fear in the land of Subhash Chandra Bose. With a pseudo-thought of social equality, the past left government in West Bengal created a system which enabled them to hold power for 35 years. 

While the world cherished an elected communist government in West Bengal for 30 plus years, in reality, there was a hidden agenda of ruling and sticking to power. It gave rise to a system which deliberately caused reverse economic development. It ensured the youth of Bengal remained jobless so that they can be diverted towards political gains. It gave rise to poverty so that the votes can be bought out with money in the elections.

It totally punctured the educational system so that the next generation has fewer aspirations and raises no objections about the wrongdoings of the communist government. 

The Left party enabled a policy of appeasement with a single agenda — Vote Bank, to be cashed-in at their desire. In the name of socialism, left parties disconnected the common man of Bengal from their roots with a systematically planned cultural and economic intrusion. They enabled total control over the basic institution of democracy, i.e., Panchayat. 

All these above ideologies have been taken over by the current TMC government and they have increased the intensity by many folds.

Left parties have intruded the root thought of Bengal which shines across the world merged with the everlasting teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo. But they were unable to uproot the basis of a ‘Bengali’ — ‘Pratibad’.

Communism has been rejected and dejected by the people across Bengal and the world. 2012 the left government fell and saw a further decimation. A similar fate is eminent for their sister organization Trinamool (TMC).

I say this with full confidence because the man who drove me on the streets of Kolkata said “ Aamra Ekhone Shob Bhuji", now we know everything. He wants to break away from the shackles created by the left and used by the TMC. I know he will win this time. I sense 'Pratibad' while speaking to him. The tiger of Bengal will roar and march towards a bright future.

(The writer is a national executive member of BJP Youth Wing (Yuva Morcha) and national co-convener of #SaveBengal campaign. Views are personal)