It’s election season in West Bengal, as the state sees its first round of polling on April 4. In the state, doughty street fighter-turned-chief minister Mamata Banerjee is attempting another transformation: she’s now selling “unnayan”, development.
A smartly shot promotional video released by the Trinamool Congress urges voters to re-elect Banerjee for a second term given that in the past 5 years “Banglar much bodle gechhe”, the face of Bengal has changed.
The video goes on to claim that the TMC government has bought peace to Junglemahal, the Saontal adivasi dominated portion of the state which has seen hectic Maoist activity in the past.
There is even a heavily secular montage of a skull-capped man raising his palms in supplication, a chipper turbaned gentleman, a lady in a white dress subtly posing outside a church and a saffron-robed ascetic – all being blessed by a divine light (which may or may not represent the Trinamool).
It all ends off with the voice-over urging voters to “take the development further” and chose the “joda phool”, twin flowers that represent the Trinamool election symbol. In the real world, however, things might be less rosy for the Trinamool, as the Left-Congress informal alliance is seen to be giving the ruling party a rather good run for its money.