West Bengal’s economy is bearing the brunt of deteriorating law and order situation.

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To accelerate economic progress in any country, it is very important to maintain social peace in that country. The same condition also applies regarding the economic progress of any state. The Indian state of West Bengal has been in the front row among the fastest growing economic states in India till a few years ago. But, in recent years, peace seems to be breaking in West Bengal, which is clearly having an adverse effect on the economic development of this state.

Especially in the last few years, the social fabric in West Bengal seems to be falling apart. An atmosphere of anarchy has been created in the entire state, especially the peace loving citizens of Bengal who follow Sanatan culture are being continuously attacked by anti-social elements. For example, in recent times, atrocities against women have become common in many areas of West Bengal like Sandeshkhali area.

Sandeshkhali is a small town in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. It is also a border area adjacent to the border of Bangladesh, where the population of Hindu Scheduled Castes is in majority. Sandeshkhali is among the 14 assembly seats of West Bengal which are adjacent to the India-Bangladesh border. Unfortunately, all these assembly seats including Sandeshkhali have become a part of a well-planned conspiracy supported by extremist organizations. Illegal infiltration from Bangladesh is increasing significantly in these 14 border assembly constituencies. A conspiracy to change the demography here is also happening at a high level. In fact, this area is also developing as a center of many criminal activities apart from the terrorist activities of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. Till some time ago, Muslim population in Sandeshkhali was negligible, but due to illegal infiltration, the number of anti-social elements is continuously increasing here. This area is in the grip of demographic change. The largest population in this has now become Rohingya Muslims.

It is worth noting that in all the criminal incidents that took place during the last elections, most of the criminals were found to be anti-social elements who were Muslims. These cases have been related to cow smuggling, drug trafficking and illegal arms smuggling. In all such illegal cases, Muslims are found accused. Whatever has come to light or is coming to light in Sandeshkhali, these are not incidents that have happened for the first time. Not just one but hundreds of incidents of gang rape with Hindu women have come to light. Whenever Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh workers have raised their voice against this, as a result they have started targeting them. Not only have the Sangh workers been murdered but their houses have also been burnt. In this area, Hindu Scheduled Caste women and minor girls are forcibly abducted by the powerful intruders of this area with the aim of making them victims of their lust. This area is dominated by Muslim gangsters like Sheikh Shahenshah who are involved in crimes like smuggling, drugs, weapons, beef etc. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) team that had gone to raid Sheikh Shahenshah’s hideouts was also violently attacked by his operatives. Many ED officers were seriously injured in this attack. In this area, many women have been raped under the guise of providing jobs/employment and benefits of various government schemes.

The above incidents which took place in Sandeshkhali, a special area of ​​West Bengal, have been described only as an example. Otherwise, today there is an atmosphere of anarchy in the entire West Bengal which is adversely affecting the economic progress of West Bengal.

Until about the 1960s, the average per capita income of West Bengal was higher than the average per capita income at the national level. West Bengal was among the first three richest states in India. The first two states were Maharashtra and Gujarat. By the 1980s, the average per capita income of West Bengal had fallen to almost the same level as the national average per capita income. In the 1990s, the average per capita income at the national level started growing at a faster rate than that of West Bengal and West Bengal was ranked 7th in the country. In the year 2000 it fell further to 10th place and in the year 2011 it came to 11th place. This decline continues even today and today West Bengal has come to 14th place in the country in terms of average per capita income.

Similarly, between 1993-94 and 1999-2000, the average per capita income in West Bengal grew by 5.5 percent, while the national average for India was 4.6 percent. Over the next decade, the average per capita income growth rate in West Bengal fell to 4.9 percent, while the national average increased to 5.5 percent. From 2011-12 to 2019-20, the growth rate in average per capita income in West Bengal further dropped to 4.2 percent, while the average at the national level was 5.2 percent. Thus, this difference in the growth rate of average per capita income at West Bengal and national level is increasing further. It is also worth noting that the growth rate in West Bengal in the 1990s was higher than the average growth rate at the national level. But, during the rule of Left parties, the growth rate in West Bengal became lower than the national average. West Bengal has been continuously ruled by the Congress, Left parties and Trinamool Congress since independence. Especially during the rule of Left parties and Trinamool Congress, the economic progress of West Bengal has been adversely affected.

The per capita GDP in West Bengal in the year 2022 was Rs 157,254 while the national average of per capita GDP in India was US $ 2411 as per the estimates released by the World Bank. If US dollars are converted into rupees at the rate of Rs 80 per dollar, then this amount comes to about Rs 164,000 per person, which is much higher than the per capita average in West Bengal. Whereas West Bengal has at one time been the fastest growing economic state among all the states of India. It has also been considered the economic capital of the country. Today, the situation of West Bengal in terms of economic progress is worsening day by day. All this is happening due to the disintegrating social fabric in West Bengal and the increase in incidents like Sandeshkhali mentioned above.

-Prahlad Sabnani

Retired Deputy General Manager

state Bank of India

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