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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 13 New Delhi March 17, 2018

Lessons in Tripura

Sunday 18 March 2018

by Samit Kar

The defeat of the Manik Sarkar Government in Tripura is a big lesson to the Left in general, and the CPI-M in particular. It is revealing to note, the extent of poverty in Tripura is as low as 11.2 per cent. The record of implementation of various poverty eradicating social welfare schemes is indeed noteworthy.

But the rate of unemployment is as high as over 18 per cent. The constituency represented by Manik Sarkar, a man of impeccable honestly and integrity, happens to be a very underdeveloped area. There had not been an iota of any signature of the state-of-the-art modernisation in the entire State. The younger generation in the age-group 18-35 years consisting about 40 per cent of the electorate cannot access a bare minimum scope of entertainment. Tripura continues to remain a giant-size isolated village when the village is now in a globe and the globe in a village.

The Leftists continue to remain championing the cause of equitable justice ignoring the calling of the day, the thirst for integration with moderni-sation. Tripura recorded the heaviest poll turnout of 92 per cent. On that day itself, the writing on the wall for the Left became clear. The en masse support to the BJP, the ruling party at the Centre, was largely due to the tremendous urge, mainly among the younger generation, to get tied with the national mainstream with the deep desire to see Tripura at par with Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and other modern cities of our country. This craze needs to be nurtured as this may be a way to speed up the process of national integration and mainstreaming of backward regions.

This thought-process is slowly and steadily gearing up in different parts of India, including the entire North-East. This might show a way to the churning of patriotism in the minds of the younger generation. Who can deny, development is the best panacea to weed out all social evils?

A word is doing the rounds recently in the media: the Manik Sarkar Government getting 45 per cent of the votes might have been defeated. But he will never become a Buddhadeb Bhatta-charjee who had simply fled from the political scene once he lost his Chair. Thus, there is no scope of the CPI-M in West Bengal to have a turnaround unlike in Tripura and Kerela.

The author is an Associate Professor of Sociology in Maulana Azad College, Kolkata.

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