Friday, May 13, 2011
One of the world’s oldest surviving communist governments has crashed out in India
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been ruling West Bengal for 34 years but last night fell to what the Indian media is calling a “tsunami” – 56-year-old Mamata Banerjee who leads the Trinamool Congress.
Nicknamed Didi or sister by her followers, she’s known as a firebrand orator.
''We will establish democracy, not party-curacy,'' she told supporters outside her simple home in one of the oldest districts of Kolkata.
''This is like the second freedom of Bengal.''
In a colorful account marking the history of the occasion, the Times of India referred to the gathering at CPM headquarters in Alimuddin Street in the state capital formally known as Calcutta.
''The roar ripped into the CPIM party office, which had fallen into a funereal silence,'' the newspaper said.
''The Alimuddin Street apparatchik, far removed from reality, sat in isolated ones and twos, unable to comprehend Force Mamata. All their giants had toppled….''
It said CPIM’s chairman Biman Bose responded in a way which showed why his party deserved to lose.
''His manner was arrogant, his replies curt, even dismissive, and his entire take on the historic defeat was that the Left Front's ‘assessment had been wrong’.''
Added the Times: ''It nailed the end of 34 years of communist rule, and heralded a change from the stifling status quo.''