Editor Pick

01 June, 2011

IN 2011, Mamata Banerjee, 57, made history in Bengal. Born into a lower-middle class family of schoolteachers in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee toppled the world’s longest-serving, democratically elected communist government. For 34 years, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) ruled West Bengal, and throughout, Mamata kept up a steady fight, first as a junior leader in the Indian National Congress, and after 1997, with the Trinamool Congress, the party she founded for her differences with the Congress. Mamata’s lifelong mission was to defeat the left in Bengal. It was the battle of a "person" versus an "ideology," and the "person" won when she showed more love for the poor than the left itself—the ideology failed. But now, having achieved her goal, can she deliver the change she promised? What and how much change will she deliver? And to which direction will she steer? We must watch and see how Mamata, now in power, answers these questions.

Anant Nath

Aakanksha Kaushik is an Assistant Professor (Economics) at University School of Management and Entrepreneurship, Delhi Technological University.