Posts Tagged ‘kolkata

Trinamool Victory Should Assure Another Three Decades of Left Front Rule & Beyond Politics

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Trinamool Victory Should Assure Another Three Decades of Left Front Rule

This one ought to have been titled ‘Musings’ in keeping with my blogging tradition, since I came up with it musing about my voting rights and choices. Actually, it was, until I reached the end and read it over. Now I want others to read it too, and that too, before they vote. Pity my brilliant ideas come so late. Still, better late than never. And so, the keyword dense eye catching (hopefully thought provoking) title.

I am serious, however. I really think that another Left Front rule is just waiting to happen, one with more audacity, more ‘Big Brother is Watching’ and ‘Big Brother Knows Best’ kind of attitude that has brought it to where it is now. This is not much of a puzzle to be figured out. How did the present Government last so long anyway? Apart from its unquestionably precise and efficient organizational skills, it is the Congress of the ’72 that assured this. Now, that memory has faded away and the apathy for the Left is so strong that people will vote for anyone but the Left. Trinamool offers itself as a choice, no matter the kind of choice, and people are willing to take it just to rub the Left’s nose in the dirt and say ‘how does that feel?’

Understandable, except for the fact that this time the Left was well and truly scared, and might have done a bit of house cleaning if they won. If they do not win, a Trinamool Government will convince the masses pretty soon that they were better off with the lesser evil, and the ’72 will be replaced by a 2011. Big Brother will know that they are the Biggest Brother of all. What will stop them from being even more smug, even more pretentious, even more interfering and even more everything else that is so despicable about them that people will right now opt for anyone but them? Nothing. They will know that people know now that there is no alternative. Finally the fact will be established, and a condescending Left will deign to come back in power and say ‘ok, lets see, where were we before ya’ll decided to start thinking for yourselves?’

Now TMC members will call me I don’t know what. TMC supporting intellectuals and common people will call this a subversive tactic to win votes for the Left, doubtless. All the rest will ask the well deserved question: How the heck do I know? Maybe the new Government will be better – after all, what could possibly be worse than the present one? May be, even if they are worse, the Left will do a house cleaning anyway when they come back. Maybe……… Right. I DO NOT KNOW.

I do have an imagination, however, which sometimes prompts me, on the basis of certain facts, to come to certain conclusions. Oh, and it takes the help of whatever logic my mind possesses. Lets come to the facts then. And by the way, this article is for self preservation. I want the Left to win this election. More importantly, I do not want TMC to come to power. I mean,really …!

The Facts


Beyond Politics

Before I got assigned to my current job there, Helencha was for me the name of a leafy vegetable akin to spinach, and Bagdah, a variety of crustacean.

In fact, Helencha Colony is a village and a Gram Panchayat in Bagdah Block, about nineteen kilometres away from Bongaon and seventeen short of the Bangladesh border. If you get off at Helencha Bajaar, you will find the road bifurcated: the one on your left goes towards Duttaphulia and the one straight ahead to Bagdah and Boyra.

About two and a half  kilometers beyond Helencha and about five kilometers to your right parallel to the road to Bagdah and Boyra is Ronghat Gram Panchayat comprising of villages Ronghat, Pulia and Rajkole and fourteen more. Pulia and Rajkole have the largest percentage of minority (read Muslim) population (read voter), approximately 55% and 45% respectively. Muslim population is indigenous to the region while the Hindus are mostly refugees from Bangladesh (or their descendants).

It is  significant that communal strife is the one thing that is missing in this politically active region.This used to be an area predominantly Congress. The Left Front somehow crept in and made a place for itself. With the disappearance of Congress from the Political scenario of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has found a way in and now with a feeble presence of original Congress followers still sticking to their beliefs and ways, a major section of the populace is supportive of Trinamool, hateful of CPIM and generally disdainful of the Left Parties like the Forward Bloc.

In 2008, near Eid, the Trinamool found a novel way of attracting minority voters. There is a Government approved cow slaughterhouse in Hariyarpur,a village in Ronghat Gram Panchayat. A few leaders had a brainwave and promised the Muslim Community that if elected, they would arrange for the same in every village.

Among them were Kartick Bayne, who had shifted to TMC in late 2007, but was a candidate of TMC supported Nirdal Congress (I) in 2008; Ramesh Shikdar, also Trinamool, and our very own Dulal Bor. Rumour has it that Didi is rather displeased with this person and so Upen Biswas has been roped in this time. Whatever.

The trio, along with others, went to Pulia and Rajkole with their full contingent, organized the Qurbani to prove their point in about four places. Five cows were slaughtered in the name of politics between ten and twelve in the morning and noon. By the time Ganapati Biswas (CPIM), then Panchayat Pradhan of Ronghat had information of this, everything was over.

Now a word about Ganapati Biswas: he was awarded the President’s award Nirmal Gram Puroshkar as Panchayat Pradhan. With that came five lakh Rupees to Ronghat Gram Panchayat and Project Sajal Dhara to supply water via pipes to all of Bagdah.  Public Health Engineering heads this with three projects, one at Kola with 1 crore 46 lakh Rupees investment and covers 13 villages. The pipeline has been completed, and construction of overhead tank is under way. Central Government bears 75% cost and the rest is borne by the State.

After the Qurbani stunt, Ganapati Biswas lost his position as Panchayat Pradhan and Kamalakshmi Biswas also lost.

Apparently, the two incidents are related, and the TMC had played its cards well. The real story makes us a little hopeful, however. There was about 2% change in vote in favour of Trinamool because of the slaughters. The rest of the votes were lost due to various reasons including internal strife amongst the Left Front leaders and because of the fact that Ganapati Biswas was at that time given employment in a college in Helencha (Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Satabarshiki Mahavidyalaya)  and people were apprehensive that he may not be as effective as Panchayat Pradhan any longer.

The Motua, a sect on whom I would love to write something informative sometime later, were alienated by the Helencha Local Committee Secretary of the CP(I)M when he spoke disparagingly of their idols Thakur Harichand and Thakur Guruchand, both pioneers of education. This, and other minor reasons cost the Left the seat of MLA which was occupied for the last twenty five years by Sri Kamalakshmi Biswas (Forward Bloc).

Kamalakshmi babu, as I call him,is one of the most honest and perhaps for that very reason, eccentric individuals I have ever known. He has all along refused to put his name in plaques wherever he has done any work as an MLA, and so the people are generally under the impression that he has done nothing during his tenure. Well, that is a different story. Kamalakshmi babu was replaced by Sri Dulal Bar, whose claim to fame is breaking of furniture at the Assembly, and more recently, being accused of involvement in the murder of a housewife. My point being, even then, acting the Big Brother way by a half wit LCS who now is seen getting real friendly with the Motua, alienated a section of the masses so much so that they would vote for anyone but the Left. It did not matter to them who they would be replacing with what.(Ahem).

I was wondering: if this area where people wake up with politics in their mind and go to bed thinking and dreaming of politics can avoid getting communal, why can’t the rest of us? Perhaps we ought to conduct a research to find out if genes or regional anomaly or whatever is responsible for such conduct. Perhaps we could then mass produce an anti communal vaccine. And second, if only the Left Front were a little less full of mean minded high handed individuals, we could avoid such disturbing incidents in the name of politics.

Thankfully, the TMC is an unorganized body and could not conceive of Qurbani in all the villages of Ronghat Gram Panchayat at once. Thankfully they do not have that organizational capacity. On the other hand, thanks to the Left Front, we could very well be looking forward to a TMC government who are not organized enough to be as predictable a threat as the Leftists are. The common man is at stake while our so called leaders fight it out.

I cannot help but remember what Aristotle said about this common man: that whoever disdains politics and keeps his hands clean risks having an inferior man rule over him. I do not know how many people I am superior to, but I really wish more of us had kept our hands less clean. I might just make time from my usual schedule of eight hour daily commute to the workplace and taking care of forty odd cats and dogs, to join the Left Front as an official member if TMC comes to power this time. Not much use sitting on the sidelines and cribbing, hm?

Written by kapush

April 24, 2011 at 2:08 am

Nandigram: ‘intellectual’ reflections

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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.



Please consider the following:



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




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
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.



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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.


I received the following via e-mail:



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.




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 , ,

one liner…or two…

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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