BENGAL PSYCHOLOGY: A big ‘if’ slips out of CM’s mouth – and the obvious is ….. ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY SUBHAJOY ROY
Calcutta, Sept. 19: Politics is the art of “ifs and buts” but when a chief minister at the helm of a 33-year-old regime says “jodi sarkar thake (if this government remains in power)”, it has to be sign-posted as a milestone moment.
Or bring on psychologists to dissect the three words that may turn out to be the most prophetic Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has uttered in the run-up to the elections and establish if he made a Freudian slip.
The chief minister was delivering a speech this evening at the inauguration of the Banglar Tanter Haat on the Milon Mela grounds.
Listing the plans his government was drawing up to modernise the handloom industry, Bhattacharjee added towards the end of his 10-minute speech: “Jodi sarkar thake….”
He probably meant that the schemes would be implemented if his government returned to power — a judicious statement that should not merit a second glance under normal circumstances.
But in Bengal, politics has been anything but normal. It was unthinkable five years ago, when Bhattacharjee led the Left Front to a spectacular tally of 235 of 294 Assembly seats, that the conditional “if” would have to be prefixed to a statement on the fate of his government.
However, against the backdrop of the recent unparalleled electoral setbacks to the Left, it is equally unthinkable that anyone can assert with certainty that the CPM will return to power next year.
If the three words slipped out inadvertently, Bhattacharjee did try to set the record straight in the next unfinished sentence after a brief pause.
“Aamra achhi, eta sambhob (we are here and it is possible),” the chief minister added as he tried to emphasise that there was no threat to the Left government and advised the weavers to cater to the market needs through innovation, which his administration would support.
The three words — “jodi sarkar thake” — stirred some in the 1,000-plus audience to wonder whether it was a slip of the tongue.
If viewed against the backdrop of the chief minister’s attack on Mamata Banerjee at the end of last month — “her only programme is to spread calumny and lies” — the three words can be seen as a reflection of his worries and apprehensions, said a psychologist.
“The rise of Trinamul may have created insecurity in his mind, and probably that came out with this slip,” said the psychologist who did not wish to be named. A Freudian slip is a verbal or memory mistake that is believed to be linked to the unconscious mind, the psychologist explained.
Although Left leaders concede in private that the clock has started ticking, they cut a brave face before cadres. But the central CPM leadership has sometimes said in public that the going is tough for the Bengal government.
Bhattacharjee usually does not slip up in public but for an occasional mix-up — he swapped astrology for astronomy last year but corrected the mistake soon enough — or an acerbic comment (“paid back in same coin”, he said of those who were attacked when the CPM recaptured Nandigram).