West Bengal Sherni ‘Mamata Banerjee’ with her signature white saree and rubber made slipper have made into Time Magazin’s ‘100 most influential People 2021’. This list came out on Wednesday and is divided into six categories- icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders, and innovators. Here Mamata Banerjee’s profile was penned by senior journalist Barkha Dutt on a US-based publication who stated, “a fortress against the expansionist ambition of Narendra Modi”. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo’s profile further stated, “Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress – she is the party. The street-fighter and self-made life in a patriarchal culture set her apart.” Apart from Mamata Banerjee, this list also featured by her most potential opponent Prime Minister Narendra Modi. SII CEO Adar Poonawalla is also featured in the list of most influential people.
This list also featured by former US President Donald Trump, Current World Trade Organisation Chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council executive director Manjusha P Kulkarni, Russian Activist Alexi Navalny, tennis player Naomi Osaka, actor Kate Winslet, music icon Britney Spares and many more. Barkha Dutt’s pen defines Mamata Banerjee’s charisma so well. “Unlike many other women in Indian politics, Mamata has never been framed as someone’s wife, mother, daughter, or partner. She rose from abject poverty—working once as a stenographer and a milk-booth vendor to support her family. Of Banerjee, it is said, she doesn’t lead her party, the Trinamool Congress—she is the party. The street-fighter spirit and self-made life in a patriarchal culture set her apart. If any coalition of forces were to come together to counter Modi nationally, Mamata is almost certain to be the pivot”- wrote Barkha Dutt to define our honorable chief minister.
The historic victory in the 2021 Assembly election:
Mamata Banerjee is another name for women’s power and strength. After the landslide victory in Cabinet Election 2021, this name has become the fierce face of opposition. Also, the “Modi-Didi” fight is always trending on social media. The opposition of BJP has only one name and that is Mamata Banerjee. Mamata Banerjee has fought over a senior Bangal cadre bureaucrat after PM’s insulting statement for bureaucracy. Many people agree that Banerjee’s direct face-off was a bold and powerful gesture of confrontation. West Bengal became the battleground before the assembly election of 2021. PM himself was one of the star campaigners for BJP. Other high-profile ministers along with Modi tried hard to win the heart of West Bengal. But unfortunately, Bengal’s own sherni won the match. The TMC’s Mamata-centric campaign meant that election was seen as Mamata’s alone, which meant that the victory was seen as hers alone as well. Mamata tried to put a united front against the main opposition before the 2019 election. She had gathered leaders of opposition regional parties like AAP, TDP, RJD, etc. She has organized the historic brigade parade for a “show of strength”.
Along with reserving the top position in Assembly election 2021, this party offers the largest space for women’s representation in politics. Mamata is already committed to 33% reservation but she has always tried to consider 50%-woman candidates. Mamata’s strategic alliance with other parties made her more appropriate for this trending hashtag. Uddhav Thackrey and Kejriwal are still in favor of ‘Didi’, no matter how saffron tried hard to pull her down. In order to ensure her candidature, she is attempting to brush aside any opposition that might arise. Banerjee can very well spark infighting with her moves for the 2024 Election. Her alliance with the left front can help her too. Also, a campaign like “Duare Sarkar”, “Sasthosathi” are pretty impressive for the state as well as the nation. “Kanyashree” is more relevant for women than “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”. Kanyashree actually motivates the girls from rural background to look up to their dream because they have a government who pay for their dreams. Also, Bengal’s own daughter has taken care of people even after the landslide victory in the Assembly election. She took care of every single detail before and after cyclone “Yash”. Our “Didi” is not afraid of criticism as well. The “Didi Ke Bolo” campaign was the living proof of this. The ‘Didi K bolo’ (talk to didi) campaign has been smothered at the very local level. People had expressed their grievances and thoughts about it through votes.
Amidst this Mamta Saga, recently a trend has swept Twitter. Mamata Banerjee’s picture along with the #bengaliprimeminister has gone viral on Twitter. Many people including followers and ministers of Trinamool Congress have used this trending hashtag along with CM’s picture. The trend started two days back following the spat between the center and the state over chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s recall by the central government following the Kalaikunda episode. Mamata Banerjee’s protest against the center’s move to recall the chief secretary became the reason for the viral hashtag. The hashtag and the Twitter trend clearly show that Mamata will be the face of opposition in the 2024 election. “There is only one face in the country – that of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. She is the strong force countering the BJP in the country. Thus, it is only obvious that she will trend on Twitter with people’s wanting her to be the prime minister” said TMC spoke person Kunal Ghosh. Nilanjan Das, a Ph.D. student, has tweeted, “Alapan Bandyopadhyay, IAS(retired) is now the Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister for a period of three years. After that, I hope to see him as a Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. #BengaliPrimeMinister”.
We don’t know, she is going to be the next prime minister or not. But her unstoppable work will go on. She would come up with a new manifesto. Right now, our beloved chief minister is concentrating on the by-election in Bhabanipur. We all look forward to September 30 for the Bhabanipur by-election and hoping for another landslide victory of Bengal Sherni.