Mark Twain wrote quoting Disraeli in his Chapters from my Autobiography: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” It may be worthwhile to recollect this popular phrase while reflecting on the ubiquitous government sponsored advertisements in the billboards and newspapers of Kolkata, celebrating the completion of the first two years of the Trinamul Congress (TMC) government.
The Reply by the Minister of Corporate Affairs to the Lok Sabha STARRED QUESTION NO. 244 on "Frauds by Companies" answered on 14TH MARCH, 2013 is quite informative and revealing. Note what the Minister has to say on Ponzi schemes like Saradha: "There are certain companies which have floated fraudulent investment deposits mobilizing schemes (also called ponzi schemes) under various guises and are liable for action under the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978. This Act is administered by Ministry of Finance (Department of Financial Services) through the State Governments and figures of prosecution etc. are not being maintained centrally."
In the “theatre of the absurd” of West Bengal’s politics today, what was a serious case of an unexplained death of a student leader in police custody has now been rendered “small and petty”, and an untoward incident in Delhi which comes much closer to that description, has become an excuse for the ruling party to go on a vengeful rampage across the state. The question before all peace loving and democratic minded people in West Bengal is whether such absurdity should be allowed to prevail? Shouldn’t we demand an end to this disgraceful eye-for-an-eye approach in politics and reassert the voices of reason and sanity?
"S L Rao’s criticisms of the academics of the University of Pennsylvania, who had initiated a campaign against Wharton Business School’s invitation to Narendra Modi, in his article, “The trip that never was” (March 18), are not only unwarranted but they also defy reason" (The Telegraph, March 26, 2013).
The Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister today exposes the fraud that the Congress led government at the Centre is playing upon the Indian people, besides being clueless on the serious problems confronting the Indian economy; namely persistent and high inflation, all-round slowdown of economic activity and a widening current account deficit being financed by volatile and debt-creating capital inflows.
Noting that 67% of the population of West Bengal comprised of poor urban and rural workers – both organised and unorganised – and small peasants, the former Communist Chief Minister of West Bengal had called upon his party comrades attending the 23rd State Conference of the West Bengal CPI (M) in February 2012 to reach out to these “basic classes”, build struggles on their issues to win their confidence and organise them under the red flag.
"When an idea is not in the public interest, he can be (penalised). Whatever your intent, you can’t go on making statements. Tell your client he has no licence to make such comments", noted the Chief Justice of India, delivering a much required opprobrium, even as the SC stayed the FIRs against Prof. Nandy.
Excerpts from To the Crucible: An Irish Engagement with the Greek Crisis and the Greek Left by Helena Sheehan, published in the Irish Left Review: "There is a more sober and serious storyline at play in the transition of Syriza from a coalition of 4.5% to a party of 27% and the main opposition to a potential government in a scenario of epochal crisis. This is the story that I have been following in the last months. I saw the international left being galvanised by the success of Syriza in a way that raised our sights and held hope of becoming a force up to the demands of our times".
The following statement comes from SAHMAT, the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust, Delhi
FICCI Secretary General, Amit Mitra has joined the Trinamool Congress and is contesting the 2011 West Bengal Assembly Election from Khardah. He was also appointed as the chairman of Railway Expert Committee by the Trinamool Supremo and India's Railway Minister. This blog features Mitra's politico-ideological inclinations and pose some questions to the Trinamool Congress on these issues. (Attached photo captures Amit Mitra with US Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer, courtsey: Flickr & Google Images).