After spectacularly winning 13 out of 17 Zilla Parishads, CPM and it’s partners woke up to see the following headline in the Indian Express, “Not just Singur and Nandigram, CPM gets battered across rural West Bengal”. Some sections of the media have kept up the tempo to manufacture a feel that the Left Front is loosing its grip in West Bengal. Referring to the same election two months later, Economic Times mentions, “Civic poll results are not at all encouraging for the Marxists in the wake of their dismal show [emphasis mine] in the recently held May panchayat elections” (ET, 3 July 2008). The same article goes on to talk about the “Anti-CPM Wave” that became imminent in the Panchayat polls!
It’s well known that media does manufacture news…but to twist a thumping victory as a dismal show is (to put it mildly,) regrettable. I am someone who feels that CPM has not done all too well in West Bengal and that some electoral competition in the state will do it a lot of good. But I’d hate to see such a change manufactured by partisan media. Unless change comes through genuine democratic pressure, electoral competition will be of little use to the State and its people.
Ps. This post was written a day after the Left suffered serious losses in Municipal elections.