West Bengal youth root for industrialisationApr 3rd, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: West Bengal
Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee takes part in a rally in Singur. PTI file photo.
Kolkata: The 18-somethings in this State cannot wait to excercise their newly earned adult-franchise. But it is not only the first-time use of the EVM or the receipt of the EPIC that excites them. Issues such as job creation seems to be foremost in the young minds.
Industrialisation is the need of the hour, feels Zara Sengupta, 18, who has just finished her schooling. Contrary to the picture painted about the GenX, they do discuss politics and the state of the nation’s affairs when they sit for an ‘adda session.’
“We used to have long discussions when Mamata Banerjee sat on her fast — we could not understand her way of politics — and felt sad about the way things turned out at the eleventh hour at Singur, ” says Zara. “So many jobs could have been created in that region. I wonder if a farmer’s son wants to stay that way,” asks the young-lady almost echoing what Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has been saying at meetings, in support of the State’s industrialisation drive.
Many of them feel that while Ms. Banerjee is good as an Opposition leader, she misses the bigger picture. “Power is not about street-fights, it is about maturity, about vision, about diplomacy and about keeping in view the larger picture,” says Dipayan Dutta, an 18-plus student.
On the trend of fielding celebrities and film stars (Trinamool has fielded two Tollywood stars and a well-known singer), youngsters such as Dipayan feel that while this is welcome, what counts at the end of the day is their dedication to their job of representing people.
Kalpana Haldar, a 20-year-old college student, whom this correspondent met in the bylanes of Hardidaspur in Murshidabad district, said that she was against any form of militant agitation against industrialisation.
“This leads to flight of capital and shrinking job opportunites. Two years later I will also enter the job market, what will happen then?”
But she hastens to add that as a woman she feels she can always relate to ‘Didi.’ “She has such a girl-next-door image that we feel we can always approach her,” she says.
A cross-section of youngsters in West Bengal, all of whom will enter the job market in the next four years or so, are keenly waiting for the poll process to get going as they know that their future may be linked with the outcome. They are aware of the anti-incumbency factor but wish that whosoever is elected, should take forward the State’s industrialisation process.
So many jobs could have been created in Singur. I wonder if a farmer’s son wants to stay that way.