Politics has always excited people of India and is a significant part of discussions everywhere. Over the course of notable history of India, many influential and impressive politicians guided the government of the country and set the benchmark for others. If we look back, political leaders Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (first prime minister of India), B.R Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Dadabhai Naoroji, Zakir Hussain, P.V Narasimha Rao Sonia Gandhi, J. Jayalalithaa and many others served as an inspiration and left a legacy.
Currently Narendra Modi is serving as a prime minister of the country and is already leaving his mark as a tough politician after he won the lections for the second time with high margin. But recently, West Bengal elections grabbed the attention when Mamata Banerjee, who is serving as the 8th and current chief minister of the state since 2011 got injured while she had gone to file her nomination for the coming assembly elections. In a statement given to media, she told she was pushed deliberately by some men when there was no security. And affirmed about the conspiracy. After the incident, she was seen doing rallies on a wheelchair. Her resilient behavior was applauded by many but was questioned by opposition too.
Mamata Banerjee founded All India Trinamool Congress Party in 1998 and became its chairperson. She is the first woman, leading the West Bengal government continuously for so long. No doubt, she is considered as one of the rigid politicians serving for years and the only woman Chief minister who is not easy to take down, why not Bhartiya Janta Party (political party majorly dominating the country) would want to takeover West Bengal?
Ajay Jha, who have been in journalism for the past 37 years and have been associated with various Indian and foreign media is a close observer of politics. He is a political commentator and also a freelancer. While commenting on Mamata Banerjee’s evolution as a politician, he said, ‘Politicians like her are rare to find in Indian politics now. She has always remained focused and knows what she is doing and why she is doing it. She wanted to end the communist rule in her home state. She survived the violence unleashed by the communists on her and her supporters and managed to oust them from power. She has succeeded as she gave voice to the people who were afraid and subdued due to the fear factor’. Adding to it he said, “She has a sharp political brain and knew that there is tremendous scope for a political force in her home state against Communist rule which the Congress party was unable to exploit.“
On asking, what is keeping her in power, is it the power of speech or the work she has done for the state, to which he told Eat News, “The reason is that she has done much more for the state than the communists. She managed to pull back Kolkata from being a dying city to being a vibrant city. She lives a simple life, wears simple clothes and speaks like a commoner. People identify themselves with her. She is not hesitant to call a spade a spade. But above all. She survived because there was no one to challenge her politically. Opposition in the state was either confused or disintegrated. The situation this time around, however, is different as her Trinamool Congress party is getting a tough challenge from the BJP.“
Women are not considered as an ideal part of politics and generally face lot of public criticism from opposite gender. There have been instances where decisions taken by female politicians were unnecessarily slagged and was not appreciated in politics. According to Ajay Jha, “Women being outnumbered by men in politics is not a phenomenon confined to India alone. Indira Gandhi served as a Prime Minister in the past.“ But Mamata Banerjee has stand out among other female politicians with her work and decisions. “Very few women work as hard as she does. Women are promoted and brought to the fore by political parties to attract women voters, many of them do not come up the harder way and its not common that a woman politician launches her own party. She has the ability to work hard and works towards achieving her goal“, he said.
Despite of her situation of being on wheelchair, attending political rallies for the elections clearly indicates her desperation to save the chair. In Ajay Jha’s opinion, “There is no doubt that she got injured, but being confined to a wheelchair when there was no fracture is a part of her bid to dramatize polls and gain public sympathy. But at the same time, campaigning for her party is more of a compulsion as her party centered around her. Her closed associated deserted her and she is desperate to retain power and is facing the toughest challenge so far.“
Mamata Banerjee is emerging as a tough politician and has proved it various times, but is it safe to say that she could be considered as a candidate to stand against Narendra Modi in future in a race of prime minister position? Ajay Jha shared, “She is ambitious. But until now there was no indication that she is harboring prime ministerial ambitions. Also, she is seen as a regional leader with little influence or popularity outside West Bengal. However, to sustain any such hope, she would have to survive the BJP scare in West Bengal and emerge victorious first.“
Entering politics on your own is not a piece of cake. It asks for identity and here, a politician with glorious and a known background enters smoothly. But, at the same time individuality also matters that makes you stay here a little longer.
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