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Reminder:

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It has been some days since the Pavlov incident. For those who do not know about it: female inmates were found without their clothes on because clothes were being laundered. Such is apparently the norm. The doctor who protested was threatened/ beaten up by the class IV staff. A protest meet was organized in front of the Academy of Fine Arts on March 15 this year. A handful of us turned up.

I am not really part of the ‘us’. I do not as a matter of principle concern myself with affairs of human beings.  This was an exception, because, like I told anyone who cared to listen, the inmates were like animals, without voices of their own. I thought this was more in my line of work. Anyway, it was a pitiful gathering, some signatures were collected.  There was a Press Meet next, and another meet which I could not attend. Others did, I am sure.  You will find that this is not a very informative article. I have not mentioned any names, nor other details – not much anyway.Well, as the title says, this is just a reminder. I could have written an article with everything in it when things were ‘happening’. I thought I would wait and see if something else – something more could be done.

We need to keep reminding ourselves that there are too many things getting forgotten everyday. Perhaps another candlelight vigil to ensure that the law is taking its course without unnecessary delay? Public awareness, at least? An ex-inmate at the Press Meet said that the personnel at Pavlov would line them up without their clothes on and have fun at their expense. A doctor at the Meet explained this behaviour coming out of ignorance: people who did / do this are not aware that the mentally unbalanced can feel embarassment or shame or ridicule. Which probably means such behaviour would be fine if that were true. If you have no self awareness I can parade you naked and laugh at you with my friends. Right. This same doctor, when asked that if she knew about this all along why hadnt she protested, said that it was impossible to do anything alone. A public outcry was needed. Else, the very patients that she tried to protect suffered at the hands of his/ her toruturers the moment she left. Valid again.

On a different note, we have seen thousands of chicken culled over the past few months. ‘Culled’ is a euphemism for murder – by twisting their necks or burying them alive. ‘Pernicious’ is the word used to describe the human race by the Brobdingnang King in Gulliver’s Travels and I tend to agree. This ‘culling’ was done in front of children and sometimes, by children. A lot of money exchanged hands. I dont know if there wasnt a civilized method of culling. It became a festival of sadism. They were all out to get the chicken and wring their fragile neck. No discrimination was made between sick and not sick: kill them before they fall sick, and wring their neck because the basic assumption is that they are sick already. Now if these same children who have seen and shown no respect or empathy for life grow up to be vicious murderers or policemen or teachers or doctors.. who is to blame? Only Adhir Chaudhury protested, but of course, he is the bad guy, so how does it matter what he says? Right again.

I was wondering if I should title this article ‘Of Pavlov and Chicken’.

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Written by kapush

May 15, 2008 at 9:22 am

Posted in kolkata, Political

Tagged with , ,

Nandigram: ‘intellectual’ reflections

with one comment

DISCLAIMER:

I vote for the CPI (M).

I am not a Party member nor do I intend to be in the near or distant future.

I do not believe there is an opposition good enough to rule West Bengal, therefore I do my bit to ensure that a worse administration does not come to rule the State.

It is important that the principles remain sound for a Party, any Party, to function. As far as I have seen, CPI (M) is not more corrupt than any other political party has a right to be; it is not corrupt at all in its founding principles; a lot of its members are corrupt.

So… there is hope yet.

I have been harassed by a section of the corrupt party members for the last seven years. Fortunately, the Party itself is not corrupt (and this is not mere word play: there is more than just a subtle difference), and I am close to coming to a solution – and always, my request has been ‘let there be a neutral investigation’ which hasn’t beeen forthcoming in all these years.

The following article will be on Nandigram not because I am alarmed at the plight of the people there: I havent been to Nandigram, and in any case, I cannot share the grief of a homeless people. I have lived in my own home since childhood, and it is beyond my comprehension what a person may feel like if he is uprooted so entirely as these people have been. I can say this much, however, that the thought of losing my own home is terrifying. I work in a college that is around three and a half hours journey from my place, and yet, I have never been able to come to terms with the sound fact that settling down somewhere nearer to my workplace could be a viable solution.

I am not typing away at the plight of the people of Nandigram. I am concerned about us, this city, its people, the so called intellectuals, and the self proclaimed intellectuals. Every public face is that of an intellectual these days. I wonder if I could call myself an intellectual simply because I earn a living through lecturing and blog a little. Probably.

I am alarmed that the voice of the people as reflected by chosen sections of the mass have become so powerful that they can distort the truth at will and present a biased and emotionalized / dramatized point of view as the truth, and, what is worse, be applauded as well. In a few years from now they will probably be able to create an Amrapali at will and be righteous about it and with popular support too.

For those who are not likely to read the admittedly long and probably boring article in its entirety, here is a synopsis of what I intend to put in:

 

  1. There are two sides to most stories / so called facts.
  2. There are two sides to most stories / so called facts.
  3. The repetition above is not inadvertent.
  4. It is probably a fact that a lot of CPI (M) supporters spent the last eleven months as refugees driven out by BUPC members.
  5. It is probably a fact again that the intellectuals did not protest when this was going on.
  6. I have nothing against the fact that finally they did choose to protest.
  7. I have everything against the fact that they chose also to make it look like the ‘recapture’ was the only reality that was disturbing.
  8. I personally believe the administration DID NOT do all that it might have done to ensure that peace returned to Nandigram; however, I do not believe it is as easy a task as writing a blog.
  9. Mr. Buddhadev Bhattacharya is not a king: he is a Left Front Minister who does not and cannot act on his whims / wishes or even rational judgement all on his own. It is absurd to target him as a dictator for anything that the State Government has or has not done.
  10. Ms Mamata Banerjee ought to take a crash course on how to address resignation letters.
  11. The recent communal violence is the THIRD phase of a calculated move towards destabilizing the West Bengal Government. and, finally,
  12. Those that are hyper over the CM talking about ‘his’ party members might do well to remember that the term ‘Left Front Government’ is used by most people at least as frequently as ‘West Bengal Government’. We are very aware of the fact of the CM’s affiliation to ‘his’ party, so why pick on him for a tactless comment? If he were more a politician than he is a gentleman, he surely would not have spoken thus. and finally yet again,
  13. The intellectuals in Bengal need to take a more active role than simply alienating themselves from the Leftists. The Party is going through one of the worst phases ever, and it would be fine if one could provide West Bengal with an alternative to the current ruling party and its ideologies. If not, then it is time to join in and make an effort to correct whatever appears to be wrong instead of standing aside.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I am not the one driven out of my home, therefore i can afford the luxury of writing in separate sections to drive home the point – whatever point I am trying to make. I can afford to make this look like an article of some importance, and that is precisely what I intend to do.

SECTION I:

LET US NOT SQUINT

Please consider the following:

1)

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Reign of terror and reprisal

CPM Supporters Return To Ruined Homes

Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay | TNN

Nandigram: It was a homecoming few had expected. After spending 11 months at Khejuri relief camps, CPM supporters returned to Nandigram only to find their homes reduced to rubble. They alleged that Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) members demolished their homes before fleeing.
“There is nothing left for us that we could call home. Only a few crumbling walls are left standing. Just before leaving Satengabari, BUPC members demolished most of the houses in the locality and set the rest ablaze,” said Mir Iliyas, a local villager.
For those who stayed back in Nandigram after the BUPC takeover, the horror was even greater. Sixty-five-year-old Mir Akram Ali, a CPM supporter, refused to leave his ancestral home even though his family took shelter at a Khejuri relief camp. He thought that BUPC supporters would spare him considering his age. “They fined me Rs 5,000 on the very first day for staying back. But that was not all. Every day, they would insist that I join their rally. Moreover, I had to join the BUPC’s night patrol duty. It was 11-month-long servitude. Perhaps, even my forefathers had not suffered so much under the British rule,” he said.
It was a much greater shock for Mir Kayum Ali. BUPC supporters set his house ablaze while he was sleeping inside. Recounting the horror, Ali said BUPC men threatened to kill him if he tried to come out of the house. “They carried arms and went on the rampage, demolishing houses at will. Fi
nally, they set fire to my house and I was trapped. They were hurling abuses and warned that I would be chopped to pieces if I came out. I managed to sneak out of the house through the rear window and hid in a bush behind my house. I did not know why they were so angry. Next morning, I got the answer when my family returned from the Khejuri camp.
They said BUPC men attacked CPM supporters while fleeing Nandigram,” he said.
Even a week after their return, Ajmira Bibi, Rahila Bibi and Heram Bibi of Satengabari live in fear. They are not worried of another BUPC attack. But their mud huts, which came under BUPC attack, could collapse
any moment. “Our children are also living in the open. In the evening, we take shelter in a neighbour’s verandah,” said Ajmira Bibi. Mir Saibul — a staunch supporter of BUPC — and his family left their house during the CPM recapture operation. “We did not want to leave our home. But the terror unleashed by BUPC members forced us to leave the village. They would not let us live,” he said.
The anger is palpable and the reprisals have started. “We will allow everyone to return barring Rausan Ali, Rezaul and Kaharul. They are the ones who led this rampage. They did not allow us to sow paddy and invited the Maoists. We have demolished Rezaul’s house. We will demolish Kaharul’s and Rausan’s homes as well. No one can stop us from doing that,” said Mir Azamu Ali, a villager.

and 2)

Nandigram women live in fear of rape

Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay | TNN

Nandigram: CRPF deployment has done little to restore law and order in Nandigram. And, it cannot get more unsafe for the women there. Rape, it seems, is the most preferred form of reprisal for CPM cadres — better known as harmads.
On November 12, a woman and her teenaged daughters were allegedly raped by CPM cadres in Nandigram. Recounting the night of horror, she said, “All the men had already fled to the relief camp. Around 8 pm that evening, five CPM men barged into our house while another 25 stood guard outside. They abused me and hit me with the butt of their guns. They dragged me out by the hair.” And then, one of the cadres raped her. Four others pounced on her two daughters and gangraped them.
She was lucky to find a place in Nandigram hospital on Saturday. But, there is no trace of her daughters.
“I don’t know where they have taken my daughters,” said her husband Akbar, a casual labourer. “We have submitted a list of accused she could identify even in the dark. But police did not arrest them,” complained her brother Sheikh Mohasin. Finally, Anup Karan, one of the accused, was caught by CRPF men when he entered Nandigram town on a motorcycle.
A woman in Gokulnagar was at the receiving end on Friday night. She is now un
der treatment at Tamluk Hospital. She was sleeping alone in her house when CPM cadres barged into her house. Six goons overpowered her and then gangraped her.
“We took her to Nandigram hospital when she came to us. The doctors at the hospital referred her to Tamluk hospital,” said Mantu Pahari and Sheikh Golam Hossain, who are now at the BUPC re
lief camp at Brojomohan Tiwari Siksha Niketan in Nandigram. The traumatised woman is not in a position to speak to anyone. She could barely murmur that she was gangraped.
“The government says peace has returned. Where is it? CPM has decided to unleash a terror that is unparalleled in the history of mankind so that no anti-CPM movement can ever raise its head in rural Bengal. We had asked for 18 CRPF pickets to be set up in Nandigram. Only then can these homeless people return,” said Bhabani Das, office secretary of BUPC, who also runs the camp.

Both articles from The Times of India, November 19, 2007, page 4


SECTION II

THE STORY SO FAR (AND THE FACTS)

 

You get to decide which is what…, and,

if you have believed the media without having visited Nandigram yourself, why would you have a problem believing in my story and facts?

(I have drawn heavily upon other people’s writings, changed the language, sometimes the content, to suit my needs: with their permission)

===========================================================

Please visit this location for the original article presented below: http://www.merachaman.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=606&Itemid=43

 

Nov 21-07 : AMUTA Meets to Resolve Issues…
Written by Dr. M. Abdus Salam
Wednesday, 21 November 2007

November 18, 2007 : The Executive Committee of the AMU Teachers’ Association at its meeting held on November 18, 2007 at 06.30 p.m. in the Staff Club resolves the following:

This meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) of the Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association (AMUTA) expresses its dismay and concern over the recent events in and around Nandigram in West Bengal’s East Medinapur District. The manner in which the anti-social elements carrying the Red Flag and acting under the protection and encouragement of the ruling front attacked the residents exposes the party’s hidden agenda.

This meeting condemns the assault by anti-social elements on the group of eminent writers, intellectuals, social activists and artists, who were on a visit to Nandigram to get the first hand information on the happenings and to express their solidarity with the helpless residents evicted from their homes and were subjected to physical violence and intimidation. They were also prevented from entering Nandigram.

The whole unfortunate incidents took place while the State Government remained a silent spectator, which is highly undemocratic, unconstitutional and irresponsible. The EC demands that the CPM leadership both at the Centre and the State must ensure that these undemocratic acts of their cadres are immediately stopped and prevent their recurrence. This meeting also demands that a detailed discussion must taken place in Parliament to restore the democratic functioning of the State Government. The EC also demands the payment of the compensation to the victims at the earliest as per the direction of the Hon’ble High Court of West Bengal.

(Dr. M. Abdus Salam)
Hony. Secretary
AMU,Aligarh-202002
Mobile: 9412876786

==============================================================

I present below the CPI (M) side of the ‘story’. And as I wrote earlier, if you can believe that you can probably believe this – if not, better still, simply choose to be informed of the two sides of it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

There is no doubt about the fact that the Nandigram developments over the past 11 months have been unfortunate. The larger issue at stake is what brought the incidents about. The perspective and the train of events are important. It is important to reiterate the first sentence: the past ELEVEN months have seen unfortunate developments – or stagnation – as you choose to look at it. NOT the past few days beginning with the so called ‘recapture’.

The plan was to set up a chemical complex in four of the 11 mouzas of Nandigram, with heavy saline content in soil and having little in the way of fertility.

It is however, that important to note that this site was unanimously recommended by the Subjects Committee of the Bengal legislative Assembly, comprising MLAs of all political parties and headed by Sudip Bandyopadhyay of Congress (formerly of Trinamul Congress.)

This plan was immediately withdrawn by the state government and publicly made known by the chief minister who said that the chemical hub would not be set up at Nandigram if the people there did not consent to the proposal.

A charge was levelled against the State Government by the Trinamul Congress, the Congress, the SUCI, and the Naxalites back in January nonetheless, of setting up a SEZ at Nandigram. Under such suspicion they chose to run riot attacking Gram Panchayats, assaulting the police, and indulging in arson. That set the shape of the things to come.

After that, what followed was what appears to me a calculated political move to ‘occupy the Nandigram blocks’ and set up ‘liberated zones,’ as Maoists leaflets later claimed. They cut off all road communications from and into Nandigram, and destroyed bridges and culverts.

 

 

The CPI (M) supporters were ousted from the area in a pogrom, and for eleven months, the police were not allowed entry, nor was the administration given room to run its writ there. The 14 March incident when the firing claimed lives was the last time the state police entered the area to bring back law-and-order, and allow the evacuees to return home. All developmental work came to standstill. The health and education services gradually halted.
The refugees eked out a happy happy living at the relief camps, and they faced attacks by the opposition conglomerate-formed and Maoist-led ‘Bhumi Ucchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC).’ Besides the Maoists, the combine consist of Trinamul Congress, Congress, SUCI, Siddiqullah fraction of the Jamiat-e Ulama-e Hind, and the BJP. The eleven months witnessed more villages attacked by the Maoists led BUPC cadres, armed with rifles, guns, and bombs, and more CPI (M) supporters ousted. The BUPC members indulged themselves in wanton acts of murder, rape, arson, and looting. In all, 27 CPI (M) supporters were killed, and several women raped, with one having been raped and then killed.

The Maoists added a violent dimension to the events of misery at Nandigram. They started to assume leadership of the BUPC with joint chains of command with the Trinamul Congress down the line. Arms training were imparted to villagers. Land mines and IEDs were manufactured in a machine shop that also produced country-made guns, bomb-making material, and IEDs. Their presence and activities have been carried in the corporate media where no friendship exists otherwise for the CPI (M).

Repeated calls by the Bengal Chief Minister to convene all-Party meetings were boycotted by the Trinamul Congress and a few other opposition parties.

To bring back law-and-order, the LF government asked the union government for a battalion of CRPF back on 27 October, and with at least one Union Minister from Bengal going public with reluctance to see the CRPF deployed at Nandigram, the actual deployment was delayed beyond two weeks and by then the disposed living in misery had become desperate.

In their desperation, they took enormous risks to march back to their villages. The BUPC struck back viciously. They massed women and children to the front and attacked the returnees with gunfire, four people died virtually when yards away from their doorsteps. Four others including three returnees were blown up in a landmine burst.

To respond to some specific points put up in the AMUTA EC resolution, no attacks were organised on the intellectuals and artistes who had gone a-visiting. They were asked by the local villagers, wary and scared from past experiences, not to proceed and go in for provocative moves by visiting areas that were seething with anger and frustration at the completely one-sided frame of mind of a section of the artistes and intellectuals especially when on earlier occasions their visits had been routinely followed by the BUPC indulging in more violence and killing.

and finally, this part i present unchanged and therefore within quotes:

“The CPI (M) and the Left Front government have always spoken of an early return of peace and normalcy at Nandigram. The state government remained pro-active and did all it could to counter the murderous flow of violence and anarchy emanating from the opposition activists at Nandigram. The state government had never condoned violence and would restrain the police severely on the aftermath of the sad incident of 14 March. WE note that earlier to the High Court of Kolkata passing judgments on compensation for the affected, the state LF government had put in place its compensation payment structure for the victims of violence at Nandigram, violence that was an overwhelmingly one-side affair.”

We can debate on how much who did and for what, later. I have put two sides of the story on my blog to

1) speak on behalf of the leftists, because it seems fashionable these days to not listen to them and,

2) i wish to draw attention to the fact that there ARE usually TWO sides to every story.

SECTION III

tHE rETURN oF tHE iNTELLECTUAL

From Calcutta Times, November 15, 2007.

I have put in the whole article but for my purpose I need the reader to kindly focus on the sections in red.

Hirak Rajar Deshe?
From the exploitation of poor farmers to sycophant courtiers and ruthless armies, Buddha might be smiling, but not his disciples
TANMOY GHOSH Times News Network

Remember the Magaj Dholai Yantra (brainwashing machine) in Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece Hirak Rajar Deshe? The machine when applied to the king’s dissidents made them sing his praises. The present Left Front government in West Bengal probably has taken a cue from the film. The only difference being that instead of the Magaj Dholai Yantra, it has chosen bullets and muscle power to force ‘rebels’ to surrender to the red bastion. Ironically, the 1980 film was produced by the West Bengal government.
SANDIP RAY FILM-MAKER
I really don’t know whether the person I am thinking can actually act or not. But it would be really nice if he can act as the king of Hirak Rajar Deshe (Part II). The film was made during 1989 and after 18 years, the administration has proved that the king can always do wrong. I must credit my father who had a vision like Nostradamus to make this film, which pitifully, is a reality now. In fact, very soon I will start my next project of Goopy Bagha and I am sure the recent violence in the state and the reaction of the authorities will find screen space.
MALLIKA SENGUPTA WRITER
Our CM can never be compared to Hirak Raja. Yes, it’s true that his government has made mistakes, but one has to see the good he has done for the state as well. This is not the time to make light of the situation. Forget about innuendos regarding Hirak Raja; all of us should help the government to stem violence.
KAUSHIK GANGULY FILM-MAKER
I don’t think this film has to be made again. Everybody is now watching Hirak Rajar Deshe in West Bengal, real time. It’s become a reality show for all of us to weigh and watch. It’s sad that there aren’t any SMS polls in this case to whip up a frenzy. Film-makers will need time to shoot, edit and screen a HRD remake. So, why bother? I just hope the reality show is more sensitive than the movie.
SUNIL DAS PAINTER
I’m confused. While some intellectuals are comparing the CM with Hirak Raja, another section is perennially publicity hungry. In a television show, I saw everybody claiming that “amra budhijibira” are organising a protest rally. But who has given them the right to represent the entire community? If a section of people protests, it doesn’t mean that all intellectuals are supporting them. I have doubts whether they know the actual facts or not. Fanaticism and hype are playing a vital role here.
PRABHAT ROY FILM-MAKER
Don’t expect me to say that I would like the CM to play Hirak Raja. Many actors and even some intellectuals can do justice to the role. I wonder whether these protesters have attended any programme after March 14 or not. Even after March 14, film-makers have sought the government’s help and police protection while shooting with Amitabh Bachchan in Kolkata. All of a sudden, these intellectuals are crying hoarse against the CM. Why point fingers at one particular person? We all know that an individual can never control the entire government. Why didn’t we raise our voice and try to identify a person as Hirak Raja just after March 14?
BUDDHADEV GUHA WRITER
Sobbai ekhon Goopy Bagha hote chaiche in Hirak Rajar Deshe. Anybody who is somebody wants to portray the CM as Hirak Raja. This is a classic example of hypocrisy. Most of the intellectuals have taken personal help from the CM against whom they are now raising a voice of protest. A mediocre painter got the CM’s help to buy a luxury apartment in Raichak. A film-maker was caught stealing the camera from a film institute. A young film-maker now wants to give his career a fillip by riding piggyback on this protest march. And now, they have suddenly become the conscience of the state. All of them have a personal axe to grind against the CM and are triggering the emotions of the masses.

tanmoy.ghosh@timesgroup.com

I received the following via e-mail:

 

Background:

Many of you are roughly aware of what has been happening in Nandigram,
in East Midnapur district of West Bengal, since January this year.
However, the scale of the tragedy continues to escalate, and now it
has taken on the aspect of a state sponsored genocide of inhuman
proportions that almost supersedes the Gujarat violence in the sheer
inhuman efficiency of the theatre of violence that the CPI(M) has
unleashed with impunity, with no interference and tacit support of the
administration which it, in any case, controls. For many months now,
Nandigram has been outside the rule of law – with an utter breakdown
of all administration and an utter contempt of fundamental human
rights and civil liberties. I am at a loss for words when I try to
describe the true horror of the situation because my rational mind
finds it inconceivable that something like this is happening in my so
called democratic country in the year 2007. Suffice it to say that
armed militia belonging to the ruling political party have turned the
place into a war zone, firing at will at any time of day or night,
raping, burning women alive, tearing infants in half, and other
atrocities that the mind cannot comprehend. In the latest burst of
violence, they fired at an unarmed, peaceful demonstration. Officially
the death toll stands at three, whilst the unofficial count goes up to
beyond one hundred and fifty. What is most horrifying is that all
access to the region is blocked by the CPI(M), so that even the media
is unable to get in. The police and district administration are
completely passive by-standers in all this. Today, i.e. November 11th,
a peaceful protest march was taken out in Calcutta by many leading
intellectuals and artistes, including Aparna Sen and Rituparno Ghosh.
The police swooped down on this protest march, indiscriminately
beating up people for the offence of speaking their minds and singing!
Ms. Sen, Mr. Ghosh and many others were arrested.

The petition:

We are horrified by the barbaric attack on the people of Nandigram by
a veritable army of CPI(M) cadres and anti-social elements. In a
clearly pre-planned move, co-ordinated with the West Bengal
government, the CPI(M) is out to recapture what it identifies as lost
territory, and to teach the people of Nandigram a lesson for
originally resisting the acquisition of their lands for establishment
of an SEZ.

The ongoing atrocities, which includes the surrounding of Nandigram
from all sides, penetration by armed brigades of CPI(M) cadres,
widespread firing, looting, destruction and burning of homes and
eviction of thousands of people all signify this absolutely fascist
move. The attackers have erected road-blocks all around Nandigram and
have physically assaulted and prevented human rights workers and
social activists from entering Nandigram, and have also prevented the
injured from getting medical attention. More disturbingly, the police
has remained a silent spectator, suggesting direct abetment by the
state government of West Bengal. These horrifying atrocities, which
have given rise to a humanitarian crisis, are being committed by the
CPI(M) in collusion with the state government, which is a government
of Left parties like yours, and would become a permanent blot on the
history of the Left movement in India.

We have seen, and greatly appreciated, the courageous and pro-people
stand your respective parties had taken after the 14th March massacre
in Nandigram. Together with the outpouring of indignation and protests
by all sections of the people, it was your constant pressure that made
the West Bengal government back off from acquiring the land of
Nandigram. At this critical juncture in front of the Left in India,
when all the gains made by peoples’ struggles and sacrifices in
creating the Left Front is in danger of being lost by the unilateral
and fascistic action of one party, we appeal to you to take a stand
and clearly come out on the side of the poor and working people. We
request you to condemn the actions of the CPI(M) and demand a halt to
the atrocities in Nandigram, withdraw from the Left Front, withdraw
your ministers from the West Bengal state cabinet and act in unison
with the greater peoples’ movement that is taking place around
Nandigram and other mass struggles.

The CPI(M) is already isolated from the people, it is up to you to
isolate it from the Left Front. It is up to you stop these brutalities
being inflicted on the people and to prevent the collapse of peoples’
trust in the Left movement in India. History has put a great
responsibility on your shoulders today, and we sincerely hope that you
would take these actions which would express your long-standing
commitment to the common people of India.

 

I dont know who wrote this stuff, but the person must be privy to some really inside information and that too, first hand:

I am at a loss for words when I try to
describe the true horror of the situation because my rational mind
finds it inconceivable that something like this is happening in my so
called democratic country in the year 2007. Suffice it to say that
armed militia belonging to the ruling political party have turned the
place into a war zone, firing at will at any time of day or night,
raping, burning women alive, tearing infants in half, and other
atrocities that the mind cannot comprehend.”

 

Even I find it difficult to comprehend – apprehend – whateverhend what the hell is going on here. ‘Noroker Naam Nandigram’ proclaimed Star Ananda: and showed some vague footage in the name of ‘blood curdling atrocities’ and the guests at the show digested it all – not one of them asked what exactly were they showing on screen. What was most terrifying was the nature of the show: they show you rubbish, they speak rubbish and spin a yarn and do it so confidently and complacently that you feel uneasy if you have doubts. Fortunately, most or all of the people I talked to about the show appeared bored and disenchanted with the anchor’s charisma. That will hardly stop him though.

 

SECTION IV

?

That is to say, WHY? Why is it that people are so put off by the CPI (M) leadership? Why is it that the media can so easily present a one sided view of the situation and be easily believed? Why is it that there is very little sympathy for the CPI (M) men and women and children who suffered for so long and so very little happiness at their homecoming?

Have we lost every bit of humanity that we can look away from such obvious plight simply because they belong to a certain party that we may not exactly adore? Not really: what we have lost, as a fellow blogger has so aptly written, is Faith. Today there are too many Party members.

Today, when the Government says that it tried to bring back the ones driven out by the BUPC, but could not because the opposition would not talk to them or the Maoists were involved, or because other political parties sent in their goons to fortify Nandigram against legitimate State action, we cannot help but wonder if it is the entire truth. Is it possible that a section of the Party chose to let them stay exiled to gain political mileage? and it backfired?

I really have nothing against cadre militia taking over their land and home – yes, at the cost of sounding primitive and anarchic, i dont. I believe in the act of paying back in own coins. I believe in justice that is served in the guise of revenge. Legal action that might have facilitated the ‘recapture’ would not have either satisfied the exiled ones or pointed out to the ones that exiled them how terrifying it is to be bullied and driven out. But that is partly because I have very little respect for human beings in general being more comfortable in the company of animals (and therefore having ideas of justice that are more akin to the animal kingdom), and partly because I have not taken upon myself to represent the administration.

I have been told that the method adapted by the Government / Party is the one that was likely to be the most efficient and would lead to least bloodshed. I do not have sufficient knowledge of military or political strategy to debate that. It could be true, however, given the sole incident when the Police did manage to launch an assault: wasnt exactly civilized. The final takeover seems tame by comparison – however it might have been achieved.

The question here goes deeper than what, into why. The Red flag was supposed to be one that was associated with the common man, the son of the soil. Today that same son of the soil has become part of the new naxalite movement, and it is spreading out probably because of that very reason: the movement has not originated from the (sacrificed) comforts of the city or the Presidency College. The BUPC is not the capitalist class that they would drive out CPI (M) members mercilessly. They are the common human beings with their normal flaws and goodness. The fact that they could be made into a violent mob speaks volumes of the Left’s failure at -not reaching to -but being with the masses. If you look around, the next door promoter is connected in some way to the Party, so is the big businessman, the landowner who sold his property in Singur to the Government, and in general, everyone that is making a bit of money in a markedly Capitalist mode. The present Communist has taken back the farmer’s bit of land that he had given to him.

I am not sympathetic though. The farmer probably did not pay much rent to the landowner in the first place, and that is a peculiar human trait. Still, ideologically speaking, the revolution has been reversed in favour of the landlord. It is amusing at best. not for the farmer – just for me and my kind.

If the CPI (M) had a proper base, the BUPC would not exist today. The fact that it could have been created shows how far the Left is dependent on an inefficient pipeline of information and network of political workers. A message has been been sent through out the years, ‘either Red or Dead’. Ok, so I made this up. Agreed. Still, in many areas it is either you be Red or you find it difficult to exist. And that goes for so called intellectuals too. I am referring to teachers and college lecturers here. The Red takeover is fine by me – what would you prefer? a Saffron takeover? No thank you, not for me. But the takeover has been just that, a takeover. People have somehow got the message that the P in Politics stands for Power, and that they are expected to bow before it. It has ceased to be primarily the People’s Party and become The Party. And that, I believe, has bred less respect and more fear – which is so very unfortunate given the fact that once upon a time of struggle, ‘Comrade’ stood for an address of respect and a certain bonhomie. I personally would want that word to regain the same connotation before long, or it will in all likelihood be too late. Only the other day while crossing VIP road at Baguiati where I live, I heard something that sounded extremely familiar and equally odd. I was too tired after my usual three and half hour journey from college to note immediately what was amiss. It took a couple of seconds to register. This is what I heard:

Jawab chai Jawab dao… Larai Larai Larai Chai, Larai Korey Banchtey Chai… Inquilaab Zindabad…[and the usual rapidfire demand phrase: blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah JAWAB DAO!]

And it was coming from a roadside rally by Trinamool Congress supporters.

Is this amusing OR IS THIS AMUSING??!!!

 

to be continued shortly… watch this space while i spin THE FACTS and gather the STORY 😉

Written by kapush

November 24, 2007 at 11:32 am

Posted in kolkata, Political

Tagged with , ,

Letters

with 3 comments

trying to understand this myself: there are too many mention of letters and replies, late or otherwise; this one is from Rizwan and Priyanka:

dated 3/9/07, addressed to DCDD, received by his office, CC to Commissioner of Police, AC, ARS, DC Spl, DC South, OC, Karaya PS.

NO MENTION OF DC HQ

and this is the letter from DC HQ Gyanwant Singh’s office, signed ‘for’ him.

there are two dates in the letter: dated 10/9/07,

signed NOT ON THE SAME DATE… looks like a zero to begin with:

what day is that? 05? the day after Mr. Singh had talked to Priyanka and her parents? perhaps even Rizwanur? and who signed ‘for’ him?

and this letter is in response to Rizwan’s letter dated 30/8/07 regarding ‘information regarding marriage registration’ –

Right. So we dont have here – or I dont have here the letter that must have been addressed to Mr. Singh on 30/8/07 informing him of the marriage.

In any case, let us examine the present document. it says that Rizwan’s letter / case has been

forwarded to the undermentioned officer / department on the ground of jurisdiction for disposal / necessary action.

Further correspondences in that matter, if necessary, should in future be addressed to that officer direct.

At the bottom left, handwritten, ‘Copy to S.P (South 24 Pgns)’.

I am not sure if Mr. Siddhinath Gupta is still the SP, but whoever it is, surely has a copy of the letter. and maybe i have missed it in the deluge of information that we are receiving these days, the SP’s reactions – if any, must have been recorded as well.

The computer graphics teacher who lived at Tiljala had written to the civil rights organisation: “We submitted letter of information of our marriage at the office of the commissioner of police, DC south div- ision, OC-Karaya police station, OC-Entally police station, OC-Bidhannagar police station and SP North 24-Parganas. The stamped received copies of all these letters are attached.”

All the officers, including the police chief, sent their acknowledgements by August 31. Deputy commissioner (headquarters) Gyanwant Singh admitted receiving the letter “regarding information about your marriage registration” in a missive dated September 5.

The couple had enclosed copies of their marriage registration and birth certificates in their letter. “This is for your information that we got married under the special marriage act at the office of the marriage officer Shipra Ghosh on 18 August, 2007. The copy of our marriage certificate is being enclosed…. The marriage was performed with our own wish and not under the influence of any external pressure.”

Apprehending trouble, they wrote: “We are presuming that our father-in-law/father, Ashok Kumar Todi, may threaten us with dire consequences or create pressure or can send anti-socials or goondas to kidnap us. In view of this, we hope to get protection from your end, if required.”

Priyanka prefixed “Mrs” to her signature on the letter.

(from The Telegraph, Calcutta, September 23)

That letter obviously, This is not. Prinaka has NOT ‘prefixed “Mrs” to her signature on the letter’.

I am inviting comments, clarifications especially on this issue: the letters, where are they, what do they say, am i missing something? a lot? please contribute.

Other than that, the point here is, and I am glad others have noticed too, people who i have never seen in my life – that the media is more interested in crucifying Gyanwant than finding out the truth. Now dont point fingers at me, dont call me obsessed. i am only referring to what the media has been doing. no other replies to Rizwanur’s letter is being talked about. Ajay Kumar’s reply is not being talked about. even the letter that brought this reply from Gyanwant’s office is not being discussed or published. Please look at the following comment:

Two days ago we were discussing the next pit stop in the sad circus called Rizwanur ” Parda phaash”…( Star Anando title not mine)… and yday this same channel was busy dissecting priyankas change of statement from her letter of 3rd sept to DCDD1 – Ajoy Kumar.. informing them that if any thing happened to them her father ashok todi shud beheld responsible…star anando also seems to have a thing abt gyanwant singh… when from bytes its pretty clear that wellwishers of the Rehman family tok the couple to see gyanwant, who by all acountstreated them well, star anando is hell bent on making him the villian of the piece by calling him the mastermind…just sad

if anyone wishes to verify if this comment was created for my benefit by me, please leave a comment and your e-mail id, and i shall be happy to send you proof that this is by a real person, 51 years old, an employee of ICF International… i asked for his permission to publish his comment along with his orkut page id, and this is what he scrapped back:

i started this out in order to see that honest police officers dont become the fall gus, for as u said gyanwant is a human being first and foremost and a police officer next… im more than happy and willing to join you in whatever you plan wherever you plan to redeem agood mans name. so plzgo ahead and more power to your arm as they say..best of luck

there are others too, and hardly any need to drag them in here, because we are not holding a poll. i am trying to show you something, and if you are willing to notice, you will notice. if not, then no amount of testimony, real or otherwise, can convince you.

as a sort of subscript directed towards a fellow blogger who found certain comments i had quoted disturbing, here’s something to chew on:

His last film before being brutally murdered in mysterious circumstances – a crime which remains unsolved to this day – was based on de Sade’s “Salo” and he portrays the brutality and masochism of the upper classes and the aristocracy.

Pier Paolo Pasolini: POET, WRITER, THINKER, date of access October 27, 2007,<URL=http://www.1worldfilms.com/bio-passolini.htm>

This is on Pasolini. i did not want to explain Sadique’s comment in my own words. but looks like he was getting at something significant, doesnt it?



 

 

 

 

Pasolini/Salo image courtesy: <URL=http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/salo/clubcut.html>, <URL=http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/salo/foreword.html> accessed on Oct 27, 2007.

Written by kapush

October 27, 2007 at 10:27 am

Celebrating Pasolini… :)

with one comment

 

Meanwhile, a Calcutta High Court lawyer today lodged a complaint with the CBI against five Kolkata Police officers, including its former commissioner, Mr Prasun Mukherjee, for disregarding a 2006 verdict of the Supreme Court which enjoins upon civil servants not to interfere with any intercaste and inter-religious marriages.
“The five police officers are guilty under Section of the 166 of the Indian Penal Code. Mr Mukherjee and the former DC-HQ, Mr Gyanwant Singh, have also been charged with accepting gratification under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The two officers had accepted at least 800 T-shirts from Lux Cozi, a company owned by Mr Ashok Todi,” the lawyer said.

http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=23&theme=&usrsess=1&id=174282right.

that was an anti drug drive. lux cozy had SPONSORED it.
the news report makes it look like the two officers accepted the tee shirts as bribe.
the charge made by the lawyer is the same.

less said the better about this.
who is this lawyer i wonder.
and perhaps i shd post a topic solely on lawyer jokes?

last night i talked to Sadique Hossain… over g-talk. chatted actually.

i asked him if he knew anything of Gyanwant’s role in the present case.
the answer was significant, but he would not allow me to publish it.

we talked for an hour, perhaps.
i cannot possibly analyse his statements and publish here.. that would be breaking faith.

he did take his chat with me off record after a while so that none of it is saved in gmail accounts.

however, he did permit me to publish two of his statements:

keu kichu bhul korenee…..even kharap kichu korenee…tara shudhu state kei represent koreche..even CP…….tai kau kei kono punishment deoa uchit na.

and…

R riz k jeno keu pujo korte shuru na kore….ba bhabe she ja koreche seta darun kono byapar……..ba shorgio kono prem…emnite amader onek gulo debota ache…r na hole o cholbe………..r RIZ chilo ekjon athiest …o k shei vabei dekha uchit…riz kono boro kichu koreni…kono choto kichu o kore nee eta likho pls

we also had a an interesting but brief conversation on Riz’s death, which i shall reproduce below…

one more thing: he told me after the first comment that is published here that it would a Passolini movie script (we were using movie analogies – and i sure am glad we didnt get to the point where he would have found out about my ignorance in the subject :-p).
Passolini. Interesting. Isnt it?

sadique: u thnk riz were killed?

buzz off: funny u shd ask

sadique: do youhv ne prove?

buzz off: i havent investigated Riz’s death
but from what i have read about the situation and him,
i would say suicide is … i dont know, material for a ketan mehta film perhaps?
dont tell me u believe he committed suicide?

sadique: let me tell u wht i thnk abt da all accused plce men

buzz off: go ahead

sadique: keu kichu bhul korenee…..even kharap kichu korenee…tara shudhu state kei represent koreche..even CP…….tai kau kei kono punishment deoa uchit na….
eta passolini er flm holo.

buzz off: now.. why am i not surprised? ^_^

sadique: no u shld not be

[i changed my real name to blogger name here… would prefer to be known as buzz off when i am blogging thats all. if is easy

to find my real profile if anyone should require it for any reason]

running a bad fever currently, will try and update the blog later if am still alive…

image courtesy: [url=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6d/P_p_pasolini.jpg ]

Written by kapush

October 24, 2007 at 6:46 am

Gyanwant Singh: life is here indeed

with 2 comments

i’ve been wondering, that FAQ entry of mine contained a question which is pretty significant:


7) Brilliant! So how come no body else noticed all this?
thank you. i dont know. i intend to find out.

was that sarcasm btw?

i think i have found out.

the public has not noticed because they are too emotional right now, and that state does not necessarily require one to be perceptive.

some have decided to treat the incident as a whole, that is, they have generalized according to their own ideology, namely,

police is bad, gyanwant is police, never mind what he has done specifically, they are all bad, they have to be, and this is a simple case of abuse of a Public Institution.

still others, the few who have been following all this and trying to get to the bottom of things, HAVE CERTAINLY NOTICED.

they have simply not publicized it.
there can be no other answer.
because the scene that i have been dealing with is incredibly simple. it is just not possible that i am the only intelligent person around.

lets classify these people:

the media: they have found a way to keep the flame of sales alive. in their shameless profit making scheme they have at least ensured that the case stays in the public eye. perhaps this will force an investigation after all.

the police: it would be erroneous to assume that the police is a big chunk of a body. it, like any other organization/institution, has its building blocks and segments, and yes, factions. i would be very surprised if Gyanwant were popular in every segment of this particular organization. as far as i see it, he is the anomoly, and as such, to be feared and, if possible, segregated, and definitely to be pounced upon whenever the opportunity might present itself.

the CID: i have been known to be arrogant, egoistic, and generally too full of myself; – all true, but even i cannot be so arrogant as to believe that the CID has not noticed or investigated what the press has deliberately ignored, and what i have been trying to point out. this of course leads us to the inevitable conclusion of vested interests. the commissioner did not exactly behave like a policeman, either good or bad. as someone very close to me pointed out, he spoke like a dominating office boss and patriarch combined. that is not necessarily bad. it is plain stupid. and it is probably going to cost him his seat. and if he has made that blunder, then it makes sense to cash in on it. someone is going to sit in his seat sometime. i wonder who that is, and if there is any betting going on over that. Gyanwant, if removed from the block of suspicious elements weakens the block so that people are not dead sure anymore that it is THE POLICE who has done certain things. they are no longer able to condemn en masse ALL the people whose names are connected with the case. this makes their suspension / transfer and in general, REMOVAL FROM POWER that much difficult. the existing rank holders are holding their ranks because
(a) they are efficient and deserve it and
(b) they are in favour – of whoever. once they are removed or slandered, it is easy for someone else to start creating a different coterie. no one is a saint, but in the process, Mr. Singh forms a crucial chip in the foundation that simply cannot be allowed to leave its position – or the structure of manipulation and deceit crumbles. therefore whatever the truth about him must remain obscure.

and about the truth: at this point i am convinced of his innocence. previously i was hesitant for the sake of objectivity. right now, it is objectivity that makes me resolute.after having waited long enough for the obvious to happen, i am convinced that it has not happened for a particular reason. it is not likely that the investigation did not cross examine witnesses in Mr. Singh’s case, and if they did, and found anything suspicous or incriminating, they would have
(a) suppressed it to sabotage the case or
(b) given the kind of public outcry, tried to clear at least one of the suspects to offer a semblance of sanity in all this confusion. with all the story doing the rounds about how the two DCs are going to be disposed off, it is highly unlikely that the first has happened. if it did, then other methods would have been adopted to suppress not just facts, but questions as well, questions like i have been asking. point is, THERE HAVE BEEN NO QUESTIONS!! there have been no answers either. only, a
continuation of the confusion cultivated by the press. there has been no relief. it is like a fog that refuses to disperse. in suppression or revelation, there cannot be the presence of any fog. it is created only when u want to suppress by not suppressing, subvert by not insinuating: there has been no insinuation of his guilt, officially, and neither has he been cleared.

only, a continuation of silence that enhances speculation. it is very clear to those who can squint with their ears in all this damn fog, Mr. Singh continues to be a particularly useful bit of block to bring down the existing power group, and for that, he shall most definitely be sacrificed for as long as possible. any information either way will jeopardise the carefully set up situation and topple the house of cards that lead the public on. therefore, say NOTHING and let imagination take over – and

imagination, currently, is being confused with perception and observation in these days of emotional turmoil.

the politicians: ………
i dont think i need to talk about them.
seriously.

and finally,

the well meaning intellectuals who have tried very hard over the years to fight back against injustice perpetrated by the various administrative agencies like the police, and have come up repeatedly against a blank wall. if only the police could be brought

to book, even if it meant temporary humiliation for one person, it would actually be worth it. looking at the big picture, i agree that this is effective. we need to weigh the amount of hurt each side would have to suffer. if one person gets bruised in the process, it would be alright, because he would heal, and in any case, one person is a very insignificant spot when u think of the enormous benefits that this precedent, once set, shall provide for future struggles. and there will be future struggles. the people in power refuse to learn, which is why they are the people in power. the ruthlessness and corruption that goes with power (usually) is not one that would stop because they have been exposed. it is not possible that the police wasnt involved.

Rizwanur’s death is part of a hedious scheme, brutal and inefficient – the inefficiency arising out of the complacent arrogance of people who continue in life thinking they are untouchable.

This issue is not about avenging one person’s death: it is about ensuring that this does not happen again, to anyone. It will take ages of course. But each bit is one bit further that we can go. It we can USE this death to ensure that the coercive side of this particular arm of state machinery is brought to book at least once, then perhaps we ought to hold off our bookish morality and adopt a more practical end justifies means approach. Mr. Singh can willingly or unwillingly play his role in
this drama and agree to be used for a purpose that does have long range socio- political ramifications. it is not just about i, me and myself that life ought to be all about. being squeamish in a situation like this does not really help. the conscience, like most other surfaces in our psyche, responds as and how it has been socially conditioned. it is not always the perfect scale of morality even in an otherwise well balanced individual. there are times when it is courage to stoop a little and accept that u r not being entirely fair AT THIS MOMENT. because this moment has much to offer that could change so many lives for the better in the next.

Having said all that, i wish nonetheless that there were another way to do this. this method is also one of generalization. the individual is not taken into account. the society is made of faceless units. when u isolate one of them and tear it out of the
brickwork, IT becomes an idividual with a life and usually a family. the slur that this individual has to bear for the grand outcome is not taken into account – not for the squeamish i said, didnt i? i have faced problems myself – as has anyone else, i
am sure- which appear small when compared to others’ problems. but mine do not bother me less simply because they happen to be relatively small, relatively less important. my life is important to me, and whatever small problem that hurts my life is painful and felt deeply.

this small unit called Gyanwant Singh is a human being who may not have deserved to be turned into a pawn. still, i congratulate him on being given a position that allows him to serve the public in ways he probably had not visualized. and if i have been correct in assessing him as a human being and as a police officer, perhaps in the distant future, he will allow himself to feel better at having been a part of a largely benevolent scheme.

amen to that.

[title courtesy: what a fellow blogger wrote on the Rizwanur story]

Written by kapush

October 10, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Gyanwant, kolkata, Political, Rizwanur

Tagged with ,

one liner…or two…

leave a comment »

noticed how they have managed to dramatize the Rizwanur incident on tv? rotating pics of the two as some kind of symbol, a story telling mood everywhere: everyone’s cashing in on this death of his, and in so blatant a way as to forget to pay the minimum respect either. the ‘episodes’ are less documentary and more drama, complete with crappy music and shoddy camera work, special effects created by merging / changing speed of shots…

kolkata: the city of joy! what a joyful people we have become 🙂

Written by kapush

October 6, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Gyanwant, kolkata, Political, Rizwanur

Tagged with

VINDICATED – the beginning

with 4 comments

Today’s report on NDTV about Riz’s account shows clearly what i have pointed out earlier: the media in general has sensationalized the story without probing into Gyanwant’s role. Turns out he did not even meet Rizwanur.
I ask u: is there or is there not a difference between calling someone to Lalbazar and their coming over on their own?
If Priyanka’s parents brought her over to Singh through a personal contact, and Singh asked her to go back to her parents, it does NOT mean
a) he was abusing his position
b) he was trying to break the marriage / asking her to desert her husband

Previously i had speculated that Singh must have talked to the couple/Rizwanur and tried to dissuade him because of the potential risk involved in the situation. I am not going back on that. Based on the super confusing material spread by the media, and my own idea of the person, that’s what it seemed like he had done.

Nothing has changed, basically. I repeat, he did not call them, they came to him, and when someone comes through personal contact, u dont really tell them ‘look i cant talk to ur daughter because counseling is not my job’. No, u dont do that. The probability that someone is going to be killed pretty soon doesnt occur to you. u do ur best to solve the problem as u see fit. this is not the same as what Sukanti or even Ajay Kumar did.

One more thing, the CP told the press that he asked the Todis to go see Gyanwant, but it appeared that they had already been to him. If Gyanwant had intimidated the girl or sent instructions to intimidate the boy, why would they need to visit the Commissioner? Obviously, Gyanwant did not try to coerce or force; he must simply have offered what he considered good advice.

We have seen examples of that. In his TV interviews he did talk about how he handles juvenile delinquents: ask them to meet him with their parents and say things like ‘beta tum ne aisa kiun kiya?’ Doesnt sound like ur typical policeman, does it? Nor does it sound like a morally superior attitude.

My hypothesis is that he must have asked Priyanka to go back to her parents – meaning NOT TO ABAND0N HER PARENTS, after which she must have said what Riz’s account refers to: that her parents were torturing her mentally. Why does everyone have to presume that he threatened to break the marriage in collusion with the other officers who did actually threaten her / them?

I am getting repetitive, but thats because the media has done nothing new. and some people in the media, who might have made a difference, do know about my views, have visited my blog. they appear concerned about the abuse of an Institution, as they should be, but i am alarmed at their lack of interest in the particular. to generalize seems the order of the day.

If Gyanwant is removed for political gain, it will be a loss to the public, who, even though they do not deserve him, do need him. It is important that a proper investigation is conducted by the media to focus on the truth. It is important we do not lose a gentleman police officer. There are simply too few of them around.

Written by kapush

October 5, 2007 at 3:12 pm

Posted in Gyanwant, kolkata, Political, Rizwanur

Tagged with ,