A Tale of Golden Bengal's Descent

The Unravelling of The Bengal Tiger

What transpires when a beacon of prosperity and progress plunges into a state of despair and decline? What happens when the fulcrum of education, culture, and industry slowly sinks into oblivion? This is the saga of West Bengal, a state that was once the epitome of India's prowess and prestige but is now wrestling with numerous adversities.

Once upon a time, in the afterglow of India's partition in 1947, West Bengal, under the aegis of its Chief Minister Bidhan Chandra Roy, stood tall as an emblem of resilience and regeneration. Kolkata, its capital, emerged as the intellectual, educational, and commercial heartland of India. The establishment of the Durgapur & Alloy Steel Plant, Chittaranjan Locomotives, and India’s first satellite town in Kalyani, together with an expansive network of renowned institutions and universities, exemplified Bengal's golden era.

At that time, the world marveled at Kolkata's bustling charm. The city housed corporate behemoths like Tata, Birla, JK, and Thapar. International businesses saw Kolkata as their ideal Indian outpost. It was a time when the city pulsated with the rhythm of progress, growth, and prosperity.

However, an ominous turn of events was lurking in the shadows. The 'Ashok Kumar Nite' in February 1968 marked the inception of a gruesome chapter. This incident, followed by the brutal public humiliation of industrialist Aditya Birla, sent shockwaves through the commercial fraternity. As a result, Bengal witnessed a mass exodus of industrial houses, draining the state of its erstwhile vibrancy and vitality.

The next few decades were mired in turmoil. The Communist regime, starting from the 'Sain Bari killings' in 1970 to the 'Nandigram massacre' in 2007, marked a distressing period characterized by political violence and industrial decay. The once-vibrant culture of Bengal was overshadowed by disruptive trade union activities, political upheavals, and a deteriorating work ethic. The recent trend of 'Cut Money', 'Syndicate', and increased migration of laborers and intelligentsia to other states underscores the persistent predicament.

Educated minds, incapable of enduring Bengal's decline, sought refuge in other parts of India and around the world. Today, Bengali intellectuals are lauded in prestigious institutions across the US, UK, France, Germany, Benelux, and Scandinavia. However, their motherland continues to grapple with its challenges, bereft of their expertise and guidance.

The people of West Bengal, caught in this whirlwind of change, find themselves at a crossroads. From being the shining jewel in the crown of India, West Bengal now stands on the brink of becoming an Islamic State, as some fear.

What led to this radical transformation of a state that was once synonymous with prosperity, intellect, and culture? How did the Golden Bengal of yesteryears slip into this quagmire? Is the once-majestic Bengal Tiger destined to languish in this state of perpetual decline?

Today, with the highest number of beggars per hundred thousand population, West Bengal's story is a stark reminder of the transient nature of prosperity and the cataclysmic impact of misplaced governance and violent politics. The Bengal of today is far removed from the glory of its golden past, leaving its residents and the nation at large to ponder: Can the Bengal Tiger reclaim its roar? Or will it remain a page in the annals of history, a story of a glorious past, a present in despair, and an uncertain future? Only time will tell.


More by :  P. Mohan Chandran

Top | Analysis

Views: 202      Comments: 1

Comment Excellent article. Excellent analysis. Thank you. Can I share this in Facebook or Whatsapp?

Sharbaaniranjan Kundu
10-Jun-2024 13:08 PM

Name *

Email ID

Comment *
Verification Code*

Can't read? Reload

Please fill the above code for verification.