Originally answered on quora by me.
If you travel to WB after visiting Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore or Hyderabad, you will definitely believe that WB is extremely underdeveloped. But this scenario was not always there.
Based on what I have heard from my father and uncles, who visited today’s big metro cities in the 1960’s, WB, specially Kolkata was extremely developed. Even though, there was the refugee crisis, during the 1950’s & 1960’s, still the state managed to be in the top list.
The problem started with the rise of the political crisis in the late 1960’s. The Congress Govt of S S Ray and Left under the politburo, managed to wage a war against each other. Their extreme politics in all fields made things in bad conditions. Also, not to forget the over-excited Bengalis when it comes to ideology politics.
When India was in short of food and Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi were trying industrialization, Bengalis of Kolkata were busy fighting for Venezuela and Vietnam. Some young people went ahead to clash with Kolkata police, the reason being why USA attacked Vietnam. How fool can one community be?
When the Left came to power, they stopped industrialization. They literally made 2 generations deprived of English knowledge. They made stringent anti-business law, people were being trained to become party volunteers rather than skilled man power. I have seen the young 25–26 year old in Kharagpur, my home town during 1996–97. Their only job was to eat at fathers money and sleep, and above all, adda at party office. They have spoiled their whole career. What can you expect them to impart to their kids?
People wanted quick money, but nobody had either skill or knowledge to do that. Today I have seen Bengalis abusing Marwari and Gujarati businessman for being money minded. Why not earn money? Is earning money bad or is doing business bad?
And then comes the cultural aggression during the Left rule and the legacy is aptly being carried forward. People worship Ma Durga, then abuse and criticism Hinduism. For Bengalis (specifically from Kolkata), anything bad is Hindu.
And lastly, the brain drain. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, huge number of educated and skilled Bengalis left WB and settled in Delhi NCR, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Bangalore.
The trend increased after the IT boom and people had mainly 2 destinations, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
So, to conclude, I would say, it was the Bengalis themselves who allowed (and still allowing) their state to be ruined. If anybody is responsible for the condition of WB and the Bengalis, it’s the Bengalis themselves.
P.S- I am a Bengali, and I am hurt to speak the truth. But the truth needed to be spoken.