BJP’s Carrot And Stick Policy For West Bengal

So with the arrival of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in West Bengal, “not even a bird will be able to fly in from beyond the border”!  Perhaps such a daring challenge to forces of nature had been last thrown by Prince Canute, thousands of years ago, asking the tides of the ocean to come to a halt! But aren’t the international borders manned by the central forces? So what prevents the mighty BJP government at the Centre from ensuring such security arrangements at the border right at this point! So in the next five years, at least one member of each family in Bengal would get employed. Can it be asked humbly why every family of India has not yet been blessed by at least one employment in almost seven years of “good days” in “New India”? Why has it not happened in Gujarat despite more than two-decade rule of BJP in that state? Why such a welfare measure has not yet been extended to Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Assam, Tripura? Again, why women of one and only West Bengal will receive the special privilege of enjoying 33 per cent reservation in government jobs, free education from kindergarten to postgraduate level and free rides on public transport? It is simply beyond comprehension why the party, which is so generous towards Bengal can’t do the same or has not done the same for women all over the country when it has its government at the Centre or in the states where it is running the administration or in the provinces where they used to rule in the recent past? In the electoral manifesto, BJP has also promised the commissioning of Tagore prize and Satyajit Ray award on the lines of Nobel Prize and the Oscar, respectively; putting Kolkata’s Durga Puja on the international map; making Kolkata the “cultural capital of India” and Bengali one of the official languages of the United Nations. If BJP is “so much in love” with Bengal, then what prevents the Centre from taking these initiatives right now? The fact remains that such pro-Bengal initiatives need to wait till the absolute political saffronisation of Bengal gets achieved. What a unique example of ‘carrot and stick’ policy reserved for the state.


On General Absolution During Pandemic

With reference to the letter ‘General absolution an option amid pandemic’ by Robert Castellino (NT, March 25), I would like to mention the views expressed by our Holy Father Pope Francis while addressing a group of devout Catholics, who expressed concern about their inability to fulfil their Easter duties of confessing their sins to a priest because of the pandemic. “If you are unable to find a priest to confess your sins, then do what the Catechism says: Speak to God. He is your Father. Ask for pardon and forgiveness. Tell Him the truth and confess your sins with an act of contrition. Promise Him that you will confess your sins later, but ask for pardon now. You will return to God’s grace immediately”. The question of general absolution, therefore, doe not arise in such cases of repentant sinners.