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Tripura’s Leadership Bankruptcy, Lack of vision plagues State Economy
Saumen Sarkar
Tripura’s Leadership Bankruptcy, Lack of vision plagues State Economy
PHOTO : TIWN File Photo : PM Modi is being welcomed during OTPC Palatana by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar

Tripura InfoWay News (TIWN) is the only media in Tripura which is not established by career Journalists but USA based NRI Engineer who is originally from Tripura. TIWN’s sole purpose was floating a platform for INDEPENDENT analysis of Politics and Government so that educated people can raise important issues, expose corruptions to check the functioning of Government & Political Establishments. As Tripura origin person, it didn’t take a while to realize that State’s majority media polarized with different political groups, so expecting unbiased news was impossible as their primary goal remained minting fast bucks by appeasing political godfathers.

Being an NRI and unrelated to Tripura Politics, I personally do not subscribe to any Political Party or their ideologies but I always appreciate anyone doing good work for State. So my analysis based on performance rather than any political bias.

2013 Assembly Election to 2018 Election era –  I observed State Govt and Govt’s major decisions but at the end of 5 years, I must admit that, other than short sightedness, poor Governance, Failures on multiple fronts, Massive unemployment, Poor economy -  nothing else comes to my mind.

Back in 2013 when CPI-M Govt was re-elected in Tripura, I was hopeful that Tripura will march towards economic prosperity under Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. I wanted to see Tripura’s economic progress and wanted to contribute in whatever limited capacity for State’s progress.

On 31st March, 2013 then Tripura’s IT & Industry Minister Jiten Chaudhury asked my input on Tripura’s IT & Industry roadmap, I have shared my vision but I never imagined that my hopes will be short lived only for a year.

Jiten Chaudhury’s multiple visits to Bangalore, Bombay to fetch investments, visiting Infosys campus, rising popularity rattled Manik Sarkar to such extent that wily CM decided to end Jiten’s term in CPI-M Govt by dumping him off to Delhi as Member of Parliament. As an outsider to State Politics, at that time I realized that Manik Sarkar and his ideological masters Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury least interested in Tripura’s economic prosperity, rather they prefer poverty of millions so that poor masses can boost Communist Party’s cadre base.

Back in 2010-14 era, I advised Chief Minister Manik Sarkar multiple times to follow China model for Economic prosperity because traditional CPI-M doctrine was a biased, highly anti-USA, anti-Capitalist so its just a piece of garbage on 21st Century’s context.

Even I told  Manik Sarkar multiple times to study Gujrat’s economic prosperity -  in those days Gujrat CM Narendra Modi was a frequent visitor to China to bring investments.

Funny it may sound but it’s a fact that communist China’s money, massive investments contributed Gujrat’s prosperous journey - whereas no such investments in West Bengal, Tripura – a big slap on CPI-M’s traditional anti-Capitalism doctrine.

Tripura CM or his Ministers never visited foreign countries to fetch investments to build Tripura economy. However Prakash Karat to Sitaram Yechury never missed a year visiting capitalist USA, UK, Europe on slight pretexts as they are considered Communist elites.

Till Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, Manik Sarkar stay in Politics, no young generation or bright CPI-M youngsters will ever get a chance to serve motherland as CPI-M certainly turned a septuagenarians sanctuary.  Tripura’s 8 lakhs unemployment, mass poverty is a reflection of visionless leadership.

Executive leadership in all progressive Indian states always give first preference to overall economic development  so that influx of capital investments generate  industrialization, employments – a cascading effect  drives  economic growth.

Even though Modi Govt gifted Rajdhani Express to special Economic corridors to Governments in North East but without competent administrators all in vain in long run.

Tripura failed to capitalize on Modi-Hasina close co-cooperation. Tripura witnessed an era of enormous historic importance as India and Bangladesh are being led by two strong visionaries, who are determined to cement ties between both countries on strong footing to improve economic conditions, overall development of this backward region.

In Tripura’s context, Narendra Modi led Indian Govt signed a pact with Bangladesh Govt  to use Global Fiber Optic connectivity via Cox-bazar to establish India’s 3rd Internet Gateway in Agartala.

Now the question is what Tripura Govt has done so far to utilize this golden opportunity???  No one knows the answer – but one thing is pretty clear that Tripura CM to shy IT Minister Tapan Chakraborty never spoke about IT or Internet Gateway in any public platforms or visited any IT companies in India or Bangladesh to initiate a dialogue for investments in IT Industry.

IT Minister Tapan Chakraborty and Tripura CM can claim that they inaugurated EMPTY Software IT Park building in April 24, 2017 at Agartala which so far failed to attract any major IT players.

TIWN (Tripura InfoWay News) is the first entity in Tripura  to organize a conclave on ‘India’s 3rd Internet Gateway’ on August 6, 2015  by inviting Global experts like Hinduja group CIO to head of Taiwan Trade Mission to initiate policy dialogues, effective planning to utilize high bandwidth internet for establishment of IT Industry in Tripura.

On July 5, 2015 my interview was published in Bangladesh’s largest online news media with a headline “Tripura can be Bangladesh’s IT backyard” – where I said “hundreds of IT qualified engineers from Tripura and other parts of Northeast are flocking to India's big IT towns like Bangalore and Hyderabad every year.

"If South East Asian countries like Bangladesh IT companies set up shop here, these Tripura engineers will all remain behind and work at home. Also Indian companies which feel Northeast is far for them may get into joint ventures with Bangladesh companies to set up shop in Agartala. Agartala can be where Indian and Bangladesh IT industry can grow together."

A media outlet or a private entity cannot don the role of a State Government and replace its visionless leadership, even though Tripura employed a full time IT Secretary, Industry Secretary, huge Industry Dept and number of bureaucrats in airconditioned luxary cars,  but key people lack acumen or guts to guide Chief Minister towards right direction to establish IT Industry in Tripura.

Tripura’s golden opportunity of transforming Agartala as IT Hub of NE India, a centre for India- Bangladesh IT co-operation is still a distant dream.

Unfortunately, in State Administration -  Manik Sarkar rehabilitated some of the most inept and lazy IAS officials in State Secretariat who converted themselves from Indian Administrative Service(IAS) officials to Indian Administrative Slaves.  State’s Information Technology, Industry, Commerce Departments biting dust …that too under IT illiterate Ministers like Tapan Chakraborty.

This audacity of glorified babus reminded me of former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan, once acidly coined a phrase "I Am Sorry" for abbreviation of IAS as most these expensive babus are waste of taxpayers money.

So IAS stands for ‘Indian Administrative Slaves’ or ‘I Am Sorry’ is a matter of another debate but it’s a fact that most of the smart IAS officials chosen to leave State leaving behind the stock of bootlickers or hapless souls.

In other words, State’s economic future is bleak irrespective of few mega projects like OTPC Palatana or 3rd Internet Gateway, till the frozen minds of State executive embraces 21st century’s economic vision to develop Tripura.

Even though I admire Narendra Modi for his great vision and dynamic leadership but I am not fond of rest of BJP functionaries in Tripura and Northeast India as most of them lack vision and basic competency to run a Government.

Typical example is BJP ruled Assam where Ministers like Sarbanada Sonowal, Himanta Biswa spent Rs 5 crores to display Priyanka Chopra in Guwahati but no interest in addressing Assam’s backwardness in IT & Industry. In past, Communists destroyed Calcutta’s status as India’s major economic hub during Jyoti Basu’s 30 year long rule, at the same time Assam’s poor Governance during AGP, Congress and now in BJP era failed to position itself as North East India’s economic capital.

Tripura is geared up for elections, CPI-M, BJP all fighting to fetch their pie but after winning Election if same matric pass, twelve fail illiterate vagabonds become Ministers then who will resque Tripura from economic backwardness ?  Without basic education, competency, long term vision, leadership qualities how these so called Ministers will decide the fate of Tripura ?

Writer is Editor,, also a Global Network Engineering Architect based in New York  with 20+ yrs experience in Internetworking, Network Security Industry and worked at Bank of America, General Electric, Cisco Systems, Bank of New York, Merrill Lynch, NYC Govt,  NEC, Hewlett Packard. 

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