Bengal after Basu
Bengal has lost it's brightest son, a leader who was stopped from becoming the Prime Minister of India in 1996 by his own party. But the billion dollar question now is, where does Bengal go from here? I myself have never supported Communism and I have strongly disliked Jyoti Basu but still I'll say CPI(M) has a long way to go, only if it drops communism from it's party's name.
Communism has no place in India and especially Bengal. For communism you need true leaders, patriots. One of the main reasons of China going on to become the second largest economy is because the fact that they truly had leaders like Deng Xiaoping who was determined to modernize China technologically, industrially, economically and militarily.
Jyoti Basu was a great man but not a leader. He achieved few things - Stable and a violence free state, upliftment of the poorer classes and rising the middle class. But just like the Labour Government in England lost support of the people, they couldn't live up to the vision of 'new era', CPI(M) under Jyoti Basu did also. The difference - Bengal didn't have a strong opposition like Conservative party in England and the middle-class mentality worked more here than the 1950s of England.
Bengalis have a mentality which Jyoti Basu had been, I believe, the instigator of - "Sobar upore party" & "Party ache na" which means "Above all there is party" & "There's party to help". Bengal probably would be never be able to come out of it's political mentality. And the person behind this is again Jyoti Basu himself. He politicized everything, even education, which is suppose to enrich our minds. Probably he did this to stop the people from knowing anything more than what they were seeing - Communism.
But as it goes, there is no place for communism in 21st century and there is no Deng Xiaoping to prove that communism is the key. Left won the last Vidhan Sabha elections because of the presence of the communist gurus like - Anil Biswas, Subhas Chakrabarty(more than a communist) and Jyoti Basu. Basu realised it was time for him to pass his seat to someone else because after this he can't achieve anything more and he might become the reason for CPI(M)'s downfall, for creating a motion-less Bengal.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was the perfect person for him, a man who rebelled against him, who said once under Jyoti Basu's regime that he won't be a part of ministry full of thieves. Surely this was the man who truly could have bought change into Bengal. But people see him as a Marxist only. No one sees him as simply Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.
No matter how Mamata Banerjee calls him - 'Khooni Mukkhomantri', he tried what Jyoti Basu didn't. Under Buddhadeb, Bengal is seeing a series of development; his biggest achievement was when he declared Tata's entry in Singur, chemical hub in Nandigram and Nayachar project. But a power hungry 'netri', who has previously proved that she can leave her Railways for becoming Chief Minister of Bengal, wouldn't let Buddhadeb take away the credit. She is the main person, who is to be blamed for raising the mob in Nandigram rather than making them understand the serious need of the chemical hub; washing the Tatas out, the biggest blunder and now opposing Nayachar project with her latest favourite - Subhendu Adhikari.
But what is she trying to prove? A woman who is trying to simply prove her love for Bengal by opening and giving Bengal innumerable Railway gifts, is actually proving to India - I'm here for just for Bengal! She will now take credit for railway projects at Singur and many places, the perfect medal she needs to win the next Vidhan Sabha election and brain wash the people.
As Suhel Seth has correctly spoken - Buddhadeb is the unsung hero and will not be remembered ever. But the fact that he belonged to CPI(M), the fact that the urban Bengalis saw him as next Jyoti Basu and the rural people expected him to do exactly what Jyoti Basu did, was, is and will make him lose. Mind you, him and not CPI(M).
Bengal can only progress when we depoliticize ourselves, when we think selflessly, when we start saying - 'Party'r upare amra', whether the party is CPI(M), TMCP or INC! Bengal after Jyoti Basu will surely not be stagnant but a battlefield of political ideas. No matter how safe, how civilized , what a wonderful place Bengal might be to live in, Bengal after Jyoti Basu is a battlefield for political parties.