Katju On Mamata
Newslaundry comments: If only Justice Katju had been asking questions at the Calcutta town hall audience, instead of those darned Maoist cadre students!
In Defence of Mamata Banerjee
by Justice Markandey Katju
Mamata Banerjee has the qualities which I regard as the highest. These are (1) her impeccable integrity, and (2) her devotion to the welfare of the people. She has never been involved in any scam, and no one has ever lifted a finger against her integrity. Even after becoming Chief Minister she continues to live in her small home in a lane in a basti in Kolkata. She wears simple clothes. Please compare her with so many other politicians who are involved in so many scams. Integrity is becoming rare in public life in India today, but her integrity is of the highest order. She used to live with her mother, who has passed away, and now she lives alone. None of here (sic) relatives have benefited from their relationship with her. When I met her recently in Kolkata I told her that she should regard me as her elder brother, and I love her because I love all upright people. She is working from morning till night to serve the people of Bengal, though of course the problems are so massive that it will take time to solve them and she has certain limitations e.g. the financial crunch left as a legacy by the previous regime.
No doubt Mamata has some defects, but then who does not have defects? We are all human beings, and no one is perfect. Mamata is sometime emotional and temperamental, but then these defects are far outshadowed and outweighed by her great qualities mentioned above. I would much rather prefer an emotional person with high integrity to a seemingly balanced and cool person who is indulging in scams and scandals, overtly or covertly. It is totally unfair on the part of some people, including much of the media, to only highlight her defects while totally overlooking her great qualities of integrity and devotion to serving the people of Bengal.
To revive the economy of Bengal I will recommend to Mamata Behen (as I call her) to set up a task force comprising of technical experts, industrialists, bankers, and others to frame an over all, balanced scheme for reviving sick industries, setting up new ones, and modernizing agriculture. A large number of technical institutes and scientific research centres should also be set up. For all this the Central Government should grant her government all financial and other assistance.
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