We have been running a Contributory History Writing Project on Bengal entitled An Intimate History of Bengal. Being an editor of the Project, I thought of imagining something like this : Consider after some hundred years from now, historians are writing about Contemporary Political History of Bengal. Here are the imaginative samples
By a Marxist Historian
The state was under the pressure of ultra-left and ultra-right. The Government was trying to go for massive industrialization by seeking capital from within and outside the country to generate employment. That was the only way considering low return on agriculture and only massive industrialization could achieve the objective of increased income and quality of Life. However, reactionary forces tried to scuttle this process by creating disturbances
By a liberal historian
In harmony with its historical behaviour, Bengal entered into a bloody inter-racine feud, only to be checked by a heavy caution from federal government and natural tendency of the crowd to cool down if not artificially sustained. The ruling Government proved to be inadequate in providing the basic function of the state – to protect lives and properties of the state and in a way was dysfunctional. The corporate interest – naturally short-sighted and narrowly focussed, found it alluring to deal with opposition through overwhelmingly strong and consolidated opposition’s opposition crossed the tipping point of inter-social stability. In getting a Government too flexible and willing to bend was good initially but the same tendency became a big liability as a small opposition was channeled and politically directed by a small group. Even an individual could achieve such role during such a situation. Hence was born the personality cult, again in the politics of Bengal. The future depends mainly on three players : The Opposition Leader, The Federal Government and the Relationship between current opposition and the Federal Government.
As for social and cultural life of Bengal, there remains very less to offer other than plenty of low-cost labour, land and some kind of auxiliary business services to Indian West and West in general.
By a Bengali historian based in Calcutta (after 100 years)
From the 1960s, there started in Bengal a grand civilizational crisis. The Crisis reached its peak after some forty years and with no matured and established cultural mooring unavailable, Bengal started into dealing with historial shortcuts – in bartering and trading of something which was a gift : Land and Manpower. Intellectual Life since 1980s was sterile, repetitive and having nothing to do with people. Poetry became pamphets, historians became professors, businessman became a conduit to usurp public money using the politicians as agents and citizen became cadres. The Crisis of the Cadre state reached its peak in the early days of the new millenium and the stage of an inter-racine, miniaturized and congenitally weak civil was reached.
Which one is True ?
History teaches us, if it teaches us anything at all that History is also a momentous tool to shape the Future by taking the ruse of telling the past.