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Monitoring West Bengal -
which channel was that? There is one that has been crying its throats sour with 'Bhagwa Taliban' 'Bhagwa Taliban' over last couple of days for some insignificant and isolated incident of some missionary been slightly beaten in Jaipur. (IBN-Urdu - who call themselves IBN-Hindi)
<b>Army won`t be deployed in Nandigram`</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Kolkata, May 03: With tension still prevailing in Nandigram, the West Bengal government on Thursday ruled out deployment of Army or paramilitary forces there, saying that if needed, police would enter the troubled area to restore peace.

"The government doesn't think that deployment of paramilitary forces will solve the problem or change the situation in Nandigram. Peace will not return unless good sense prevailed among the people," he said.
<b>Stating that 400 families were still homeless there</b>, the Home Secretary said that the government would take steps after the court gave its order.

The police have not been able to enter most villages in Nandigram since January when violence over a reported move for land acquisition left seven persons dead. When police tried to enter the area on March 14, another fourteen people were killed<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Why they were asking Army in Gujarat?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nandigram: Ugly Attack on Kolkata Intellectuals on May 1 Evening: A Firsthand Account</b>

We took relief to Nandigram. While comming back [on Tuesday, May 1 evening] we came across a rally by CPM cadres. They had been carrying party flags, shouting slogans. We managed to cross them. We had a large convoy of seven cars. Two of the cars were separated from the others. I was in one of them. Since we were not with the convoy they failed to understand who we had been. Though they had searching eyes we ignored. We closed the windows & the glasses were dark. That could be the reason for their not recognising us. The other five cars behind us could not escape their notice. They recognised the stickers of the forum too. The hooliganism started using filthy languages and they hit the cars with the rear ends of the flags. Perhaps that was the purpose of carrying so many flags. They were looking for me I was told later. In the last car social activist Sm. Bijoya Mukherjee faced the worst. While terrorising them with abuses the goons smashed the rear window.Finally they could escape the mob.
We, on the other hand had been waiting for them since we decided to move together and knew nothing about the incident. We came to know about it when the cars joined us.
We visited the police station. The O.C. was not available. It took us one and half hour to file the FIR and to take the case number. It was Math Chandipur PS. quite far from the city. It was the next day when I could find myself on my bed!!
This was what really happened.
In the morning we found a comment from one of our ministers. The comment called the incident "natural" since the intellectuals and the artistes visited the area to play a political game!

Saoli Mitra<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Report indicts CPM, Centre </b>
Navin Upadhyay | New Delhi
Nandigram killings
An independent fact-finding team headed by Justice M Ramakrishna, former <b>Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, has described as "holocaust" the killing of villagers at Nandigram on March 13-14 and has said that the West Bengal Government remained either a silent spectator or acted at the behest of CPI(M) cadres</b>.

<b>The report regrets the Centre's failure to direct the State Government to restore normalcy and claims that more than 1,000 people were injured and hundreds killed in the violence.</b>

The 70-page report, submitted to President APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday, paints a hair-raising picture of atrocity perpetrated by the CPI(M) cadre on women, children and elders.

Titled Justice on Trial, the report also highlights the police atrocity at Singur.

Based on the accounts of eyewitnesses, depositions made by victims, NGOs, doctors, officials and the CPM cadre, the report says that, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>"it is more than enough to support our view of inaction on the part of the West inaction of the Bengal Government was a shameful act of collusion with perpetrators. "We were horrified to hear of the plight of Nandigram victims. It was a most gruesome account of State-sponsored terror," </span>he said. The report quotes eyewitness accounts to tell you how drunk CPM men pounced on women like beasts to strip and rape them. "They pinched their breasts, slapped their buttocks and injured their private organs," the report says.

The wounds were so deep that when the fact-finding team visited Nandigram on April 17, more than a month after the violence, the victims showed their unhealed injuries to the team's women members. Rubbishing State Government figure of those killed in police firing, the report says that after the police's autocratic action "with hundreds killed, injured and missing and the males attending to the injured, the village looked desolate."

Talking of the administration's complicity, the report says no complaints of rape were recorded and no medical checks conducted of victims." <b>According to Nandigram residents, doctors were instructed by CPM goons and the state machinery that they shall neither record the complaint of rape nor certify and examine rape injured," </b>the report says.

<b>The report cites the case of an injured person who remained unconscious for four days following a brutal assault on him by the CPM cadres but the police only recorded a case of superficial injury. It points out that even a month after the incident the CPM men were exploding bombs and firing indiscriminately to terrorise the villagers to give up their lands.</b>

Highlighting the role of the police in the Singur brutality, the report cited the example of<b> a two-and-a-half-year-old girl Payal who was chargesheeted for attempt to murder under Section 307 of the IPC had to undergo custody for 10 days before the High Court released her on bail</b>.   <!--emo&:angry:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='mad.gif' /><!--endemo--> Interestingly, the team found support from some CPM leaders and Socialist Unity Centre of India who supplied them material about the administration's inaction, and told them that CPM goons mingled with the police wearing police uniform and killed the villagers.

<b>It quotes Dr Subhash Dasgupta, leader of the medical team which treated the injured, to say that 1,173 persons were treated for injuries within three days of the violence. The report recommends transfer of cases to neighbouring States.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Below is an interview of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen by Sambit Saha of The Telegraph on land acquisition for industrialization http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070723/asp/...ory_8094453.asp
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Meanwhile,<b> in a major instance of intra-party rebellion about 800 CPI(M) cadre led by a panchayat pradhan from Patrasayar in Bankura district quit the party on Friday and joined the Opposition Trinamool ranks. Though rebels could not be contacted, Trinamool sources said the CPI(M) workers had quit the party protesting rampant corruption by the high-ups. "This only the beginning. Soon similar desertions would be seen in large parts of East Midnapore, and South 24 Parganas as many of their supporters are in direct touch with us,</b>" Trinamool leader Jyotipriya Mallick said. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Massive violence erupts in Nandigram again</b>
Nandigram: Two persons were killed and eight injured as CPI(M) supporters on Tuesday exchanged fire with supporters of a Trinamool Congress-backed outfit opposed to farmland acquisition at trouble-torn Nandigram in East Midnapore district of West Bengal.
Congress supported riots.
People are busy discussing as to how Modi can be fried for 2002 while Marxists and Naxals are busy killing now in Nandigram.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sources revealed that as the <b>CPI(M) cadres were busy “capturing” land </b>and managed to enter Maheshpur that was previously under the control of the BUPC, the BUPC members, for the first time in the last 11 months, made their way to the heart of the CPI(M) stronghold in Khejuri. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However, further allegations have surfaced from the BUPC that <b>not a single police personnel was anywhere to be seen during any of the clashes on Wednesday</b>.  The police deployed in front of Nandigram police station, refused to yield to the requests of the BUPC members to help them against the Harmad Vahini. <b>Nandigram police explained that the police would move “when ordered”. </b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Governor’s fireworks
- Slap to CPM but not mum on rebels


A CPM supporter finds her home gutted on returning to Satengabari on Wednesday. Telegraph picture

Calcutta, Nov. 9: Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has dropped a Diwali bombshell on the CPM’s victory parade in Nandigram, voicing his dismay at the manner of “recapture” that he termed “unlawful and unacceptable”.

However, the latest expression of outrage was far more multi-dimensional than his “cold-horror” statement of March 14 when 14 people were killed in Nandigram.

“The ardour of Deepavali has been dampened in the whole state by the events in Nandigram. Several villages in Nandigram are oscillating from the deepest gloom to panic,” Gandhi said this evening.

The nearly 700-word statement was more blunt than that two days ago when the governor confined himself to describing the CPM offensive as “rapidly evolving developments”. The official death toll then was relatively low at four.

However, allegations today that victorious CPM squads are burning down huts of the vanquished seem to have prompted the governor to speak out.

“Even as of 4pm this day (Friday), I have received phone calls from responsible persons in Nandigram saying that several huts are ablaze. Large numbers of villagers have taken refuge in the local high school in Nandigram, bereft of food and personal security,” the governor’s statement said.

Reproducing the state government’s own words, Gandhi said: “At the time of writing, the most accurate description for Nandigram is the one used by our Home Secretary, namely, it has become a “war zone”. No government or society can allow a war zone to exist without immediate and effective action.”

In observations that sounded almost like direct intervention, the governor said he had “also asked the administration to remove new unauthorised man-made blocks” at four entry points in Nandigram.

The places he mentioned are manned by CPM cadres who are on a round-the-clock vigil to prevent “outsiders” (journalists and social activists) from entering Nandigram.

“Enough is enough. Peace and security should be restored, without any delay,” Gandhi said.

However, in a marked departure from the March 14 statement, the governor acknowledged the plight of CPM supporters rendered homeless since the beginning of the year.

“I am fully aware of the fact that, earlier in the year, many villagers in Nandigram who were perceived as sympathisers of the ruling establishment had been obliged to leave the villages and seek shelter in Khejuri…. Those who had to flee to Khejuri must come back with full confidence and dignity.”

The governor took care to refer to allegations that Maoists were fomenting trouble in Nandigram. “I am also aware of the apprehension that some Maoists, their numbers being unverified, are believed to have entered the area…. No quarter should be given to the cult of violence associated with Maoists.”

The March 14 release — which had the headline-grabbing line “the news of deaths from police firing in Nandigram this morning has filled me with a sense of cold horror” — had mentioned neither the Maoists nor the homeless explicitly.

“The point uppermost in my mind is not ‘who started it’, ‘who provoked it’, or whether there were agent provocateurs behind it,” the governor had said then, the “omissions” prompting the CPM to take potshots at him.

The governor’s statement today came a few hours after a team of CPM members of Parliament requested him to “see that his sympathy and concern are meant for sufferers on both sides”.

But the new release was also greeted by innuendoes from CPM leaders who, at least at first glance, chose to overlook the balanced tone.

CPM state secretariat member Benoy Konar described Gandhi’s statement as “unfortunate and not impartial”. “When our supporters were out of their homes during Durga Puja, his festive spirit was not dampened. He has insulted his post,” Konar added.

Pointing to the differences between Gandhi’s statements then and now, sources in Delhi said there could be more to the statement than an outpouring of grief by a conscientious governor. The sources said Gandhi had been in touch with the Union home ministry regularly. “The governor spoke to the Union home minister today,” one of the sources said.

The source said the long statement could also be reflecting the “considered view” of the Centre on the issue. Considering the nuclear deal heartburn in Delhi, other political sources said, the Congress-led government would not be averse to sending a message to the Left Front government on the desirability of having a friendly arrangement at the Centre.

The governor referred to the new homeless in Nandigram, meticulously listing the names of 13 villages. All the villages are among those “recaptured” by the CPM.

Social activist Medha Patkar, who had complained to the governor that she was assaulted in Nandigram on Thursday, also figured in the statement. “The treatment meted to Smt Medha Patkar and other associates of hers last evening was against all norms of civilised political behaviour,” Gandhi said.

The governor said he had been in regular communication with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and had requested the state government to take measures such as “immediate return of the ingressers”, provision for urgent relief to the displaced and the facilitation of their return to their homes.

<b>Those who are quiet are 'soulless hypocrites'</b>:
Why Moron Singh is not calling this holocaust or Genocide or ethnic cleansing?????
Is he in coma? Staying in power over dead bodies is more important than so-called morality.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP questions PM's silence on Nandigram </b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
The BJP on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "conspicuous silence" on the continuing violence in Nandigram and sought to know from him why he was tight-lipped when "poorest among poor" were being harassed in the CPM-ruled State.

The party has urged Centre to immediately seek an "honest, proper and objective" report from Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi on Nandigram and subsequently take a "prompt and appropriate" follow-up action to ensure that normalcy and peace return to the violence-torn area.

<b>While fresh violence by alleged CPM workers erupted in Nandigram, claiming one person and injuring many</b>, the BJP took a pot-shot at the PM saying: "He comments quite often on Gujarat but remains silent on Sikh riots of 1984. Why is there a deafening silence on Nandigram violence?"
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>CPM army occupation complete </b>
Saugar Sengupta | Kolaghat/Kolkata
Defiant cadre stop CRPF from moving in; allies blame CPM for violence

The CPI(M)'s November raid on Nandigram seems to have brought in a new set of problems for the Left Front. Hoodwinked, ignored and humiliated, the Front partners, including RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI on Sunday severely criticised the big brother, which is likely to have some effect on the State politics. 

Almost concurrent to Sunday's fall of Nandigram when heavily armed cadre fired their way into Sonachura, the stronghold of <b>Trinamool Congress-backed Bhumi Ucchhed Pratorodh Committee, other Front leaders dissociated themselves from the "genocide" holding the CPI(M) solely responsible for the bloodshed "that could well have been avoided."</b>

Emerging from a Front meeting, CPI State secretary Manju Majumdar told mediapersons how the three partners disapproved of the way Nandigram tangle had been approached. "We are against violence and bloodshed. Whatever happened in Nandigram over the past three days was sheer violence and nothing else and we are against it. We hold the CPI(M) solely responsible for what happened in Nandigram," Majumdar said.

Though the Forward Bloc leaders refused to talk to the media, privately they expressed their anger over the way in which their leaders like Ashok Ghosh were ill-treated by the CPI(M) leadership. The FB and CPI leaders had on Saturday been invited for a Front meeting by the CPI(M) but were not entertained when they reached the party's Alimuddin Street State headquarters.
"Our leaders were treated as though they were servants. They are not. The CPI(M) is doing everything to break the Left Front so fondly nurtured by Jyoti Basu," said a senior FB leader requesting anonymity.

The RSP seemed to be more forthright with senior Minister and RSP leader Kshiti Goswami who "attended the meeting at the request of comrade Ashok Ghosh." He said "the CPI(M) and the Government are responsible for the human carnage in Nandigram."

Meanwhile, TV channel Star Ananda said 500 CRPF personnel were stopped from proceeding by armed CPI(M) cadre at Reyapada on the outskirts of Nandigram.

"Earlier, all-party meetings had failed but we still hoped a political process would start in Nandigram.
But the CPI(M) had different plans in mind." When asked by The Pioneer as to what he would do to register his protest, the Minister said "<b>I have already sought permission from my leaders to quit the Cabinet. In fact, our party would also decide on whether to remain in the Cabinet in future."</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Advani to lead NDA team; Cong blames Buddha </b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
Under fire from foes as well as friends, the CPI(M) on Sunday found itself pushed to the wall over the fast deteriorating situation in Nandigram.

In a late night development, Leader of the Opposition LK Advani decided to lead an NDA delegation to Nandigram on Tuesday for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.

The BJP accused the UPA Government of "sinister silence" over the mayhem in West Bengal.

But the real trouble came from the Congress and other UPA allies, whose Government the CPI(M)-led Left Front is ruling the West Bengal is supporting at the Centre.
<b>"My gravest concern is over the war-like situation which has cropped up in Nandigram. Hundreds of people have been driven out of their homes in the face of unabated violence being unleashed by the CPI(M) cadre",</b> he added.

<b>"The violence in Nandigram has exposed the real face of the Left parties whose concern for the aam aadmi has given way to their gross insensitivity towards humanity. The overall situation in the State clearly reflects the complete breakdown of law and order and also the glaring incompetence of the Government in ensuring adequate food to the deprived and needy sections of society",</b> he said
Who is a bigger Terrorist - Dawood Ibrahim or Prakash Karat ?
<b>Karat justifies Nandigram, blames Trinamul, Maoists</b>

The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat on Monday said the violence in West Bengal's Nandigram was the work of the rival Trinamul Congress "in league with the Maoists" who were trying to "dislodge the legitimate representatives" of the people there.
Stating that the situation in Nandigram had been "abnormal" for the last 11 months, Karat said: "We are not going to oblige them (opponents) to dislodge us by force by taking help from the Maoists."


Today NHRC woke up, oops it is not Gujarat.
<b>NHRC asks for report on Nandigram situation</b>

All commie forum and yahoo group are busy bashing BJP government in Karnataka, Nandigram is very minor incidence. So only 1% discussion rest 99% on Karnataka.
<b>Central forces enter red terror belt in Nandigram</b>

I hope COngress fascist government will ask UK and USA to deny visa for all commie leaders of India.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Violent cadre try to chase CRPF, Red Cross away </b>
Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi
Despite the Union Home Ministry rushing a battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to control violence in Nandigram, the paramilitary force is in a quandary in the absence of clear instructions from the West Bengal Government and is yet to make any headway in controlling the situation there.

<b>CPI(M) supporters prevented the CRPF personnel from entering Nandigram on Sunday night and the paramilitary force had to conduct a flag march on Monday for area domination. </b>

But even on Monday, CPI(M) cadre tried to chase away personnel of the paramilitary force. The CRPF did not try to resist for want of sanction from the State Government. <b>The party cadre had earlier prevented Red Cross team from entering the area and had reportedly harassed them.</b>

However, a PTI report said<b> CRPF personnel entered Garchakraberia and Tekhalibazar areas in troubled Nandigram after fresh violence broke out on Monday night</b>. Though no police confirmation of the violence was available, some BUPC members said CRPF personnel had entered some villages in the two areas.

Trinamool MLA Sisir Adhikari claimed the CRPF personnel were engaged in shootout with CPI(M) workers in Garchakraberia. However, no police confirmation of the incidents was available.

As many as five companies of the force were made available to the State Government by Sunday afternoon and they were deployed a few miles outside Nandigram. [are they show piece?]  However, the force has not been given any specific orders of what they are expected to do and how things have to be done on the ground even as CRPF Director General SIS Ahmed has been camping there to supervise the operations.

<b>"It is a tricky situation in the area as we have been stationed at a place with no specific direction. Though we are holding talks but there is no progress," </b>said a senior CRPF official.

"Initial dithering by the Centre in sanctioning the paramilitary force by the Union Home Ministry was done in agreement with the State Government so that the armed cadre of the CPI(M) take control of Nandigram and opposition by the displaced people can be crushed by the Central force," said the official.

Senior officials informed that it is not the villagers who have taken up arms in Nandigram, but the dissidents of the ruling CPI(M) that are clashing with their own party cadre.

<b>"We do not think that Maoists are behind the violence at Nandigram but dissidents of the ruling party," </b>the official said adding the situation is more of a political problem than a law and order crisis.

<b>"Our hands are tied and we are not going in the area," said the officer, adding that the members of a political party have total control of Nandigram and they have been on rampage for the past few days. </b>

"Members of CPI(M) have blocked all the roads leading to the area and without a clear cut direction, we cannot do much on the ground," the officer added
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nandigram smoulders under CPM tyranny </b>
Saugar Sengupta | Kolaghat / Kolkata
West Bengal shuts down in protest, Marxist rampage continues

Columns of dark smoke rose from villages laid to waste by CPI(M) cadre and mass funerals in Nandigram on Monday as the party's militia continued with its mopping up operations, bombing the remaining few pockets of resistance and shooting at Bhoomi Uchhed Protirodh Committee members who have been holding out against the murderous assault.

<b>With access to Nandigram cut off by the CPI(M) blockade, mediapersons could not enter the war zone. Villagers escaping the marauding red army said 7,000 people rendered homeless have taken shelter in Nandigram's schools.</b>

In Kolkata, CPI(M)'s unrepentant State secretary Biman Bose told newspersons, "A new sun has dawned on Nandigram." By evening, PTI reported that a second Minister in the Left Front Government, Manohar Tirkey of the RSP, shocked and shamed by the CPI(M)'s assault, wants to put in his papers.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who visited the injured admitted at Tamluk Hospital, claimed pregnant women and a three-year-old child had been burnt alive by the Marxist militia, many of them hardened criminals. Unconfirmed reports said <b>20 bodies were cremated on Monday</b>.
<!--QuoteBegin-"ramana"+-->QUOTE("ramana")<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pioneer Op-Ed, 13 Nov., 2007
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->
<b>An avoidable crisis </b>

If the Left Front Government in West Bengal had allowed Tata Motors to buy land directly from the owners, the subsequent violence could have been avoided, writes Nitish Sengupta

I had occasion to glance at a recent interview of my friend, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, on prohibiting the use of agricultural land for industry. I am afraid, apart from the need for industrial priorities of West Bengal, and the destructive role played by the CPI(M) and other Left parties in the early days of their rule, leading to de-industrialisation of what was by far the finest industrial base in the country, I am unable to agree with the views.

First, one should compare with the largescale industrialisation that took place in the 19th century and the early 20th century, when land was available in plenty, and the present position of West Bengal where available land is very limited, in particular agricultural land, and the pressure of population on land is heavy. In the past few years there has been phenomenal growth in industry and the services sector, but agriculture has notoriously lagged behind. This is leading to a kind of problem like India having to import things such as pulses, onions and many other articles of everyday use from other countries.

Agriculture has to be given priority and that leads us to the question of preserving fertile land. West Bengal has plenty of infertile and fallow land in West Midnapore, Bankura, Burdwan, Birbhum and Purulia. Why cannot industries be located in these regions after improving the lines of communication between Kolkata and the hinterland?

I cannot agree with the view that the Tata plant had necessarily to be located at Singur. Mr Sen has spoken a lot about Kolkata's cultural life and the need for locating the plant near the State capital so that officers who come from outside would be able to sample its rich cultural life. But he seems to have forgotten that Singur is not adjacent to Kolkata. In fact, it would take the same amount of time to journey from Singur to the heart of Kolkata as from the Kharagpur area.

Much has been said about the desire to stay close to Kolkata Port. It is not realised that now a days hardly 10 ships come to this port in a year. Haldia has become the real port for Kolkata. Had the land for the Tata plant been located in the area between Karagpur and Jhargram or near Durgapur, it could be very close to Haldia Port.

The real issue centres on how desirable it is for the Government to acquire land and then hand it over to industrialists. If only the Tatas had been encouraged to buy land directly from the farmers, as was done by the first generation industrialists in the 19th century and the early 20th century, much of the problem would have been solved.

Why was it decided that the Government should acquire the land to make it available to the Tata Motors. This led to many questions which are left unanswered. Mr Sen himself admits that the value of the land would have been different, had it been freely made available for industry.

Mr Sen has not been given the correct picture of what happened in Nandigram, when he commented that some Opposition parties have now created free regions where they would not allow any one to enter. He did not realise that it is the present ruling party of West Bengal which created such pocket boroughs all over the State, located conveniently in districts where the CPI(M) cadre would call shots in every matter. These pockets are totally dominated by the CPI(M) cadre, with police as their handmaid. Nobody is allowed to speak freely or move about independently or engage in activities without permission of the local CPI(M) boss, popularly called local secretary or zonal secretary.

If some of the political parties today are, for practical purposes, controlling Nandigram, the CPI(M) have at least for a generation controlled pockets like Khejuri, Keshpur or Arambag. In the case of Nandigram, a mistake was committed when the Haldia Development Authority issued notices for acquisition of land, whereas the district magistrate, the lawful authority, pleaded ignorance in this matter.

There is nothing wrong in a chemical hub, but the Government should have done a certain amount of homework -- ascertaining how many parties were interested in setting up chemical units there. If largescale acquisition is allowed without this homework, there is a fear that eventually the land would be used only for real estate development. After all, real estate development has now become a big industry -- bigger than many of the so-called industries -- and it is a pity that the Government's name is dragged into it.

Mr Sen has criticised the practice of the Government telling the industry to go only in certain locations favoured by the State. But he does not seem to realise that this was the exact pattern of industrial licencing system that prevailed between 1951 and 1991 and that, under this arrangement, the Government decided where any industrial plant should be located. It was only after de-licencing started in 1991 that it became possible for entrepreneurs and industrialists to choose locations which are suited to their requirements.

Market economy was introduced by the PV Narsimha Rao Government in 1991 and, as one can see, it worked miracles by pushing India in the front rank of developed nations -- a far cry from the miserable position in which the country was in the days of licence raj. Unfortunately, the rulers do not realise this.

If the Government had allowed Tata Motors to buy land directly from the owners, much of the misunderstanding could have been avoided. Finally, a serious complication in West Bengal is the large number of sharecroppers who would continue to have their right even after the buyer and the landowner have concluded their deal. No attention was given to this aspect in Singur.
Stalinism in Bengal
The Tragedy Of Nandigram

By Amulya Ganguli

No sooner had the glamorous member of the CPI(M) politburo, former Miss Miranda House, Brinda Karat, given her stirring call for unleashing violence against the party's opponents than the loyal cadres took the law into their hands in Nandigram to drive away their adversaries. If they had desisted from baring their fangs earlier, the reason perhaps was the fiasco in March when the deaths of 14 of those involved in resisting the government's move to acquire land raised a countrywide outcry.
But the cadres and the police now have only themselves to blame if the horror of the latest events in Nandigram exceeds what was experienced earlier by the people of the state and the rest of India. The initial calculation of the apparatchiki and their backers in the administration apparently was that if they could stop the media from entering the area, they would be able to minimize the impact of their onslaught on their targeted enemies. But they should have known that no region can be totally sealed off from the outside world even in “red” Bengal in these days of the ubiquitous television cameras. So, the Marxists are now having to face the wrath of some of their own comrades in the Left Front, who seem to have suddenly realized that sinking with Big Brother in popular estimation was not worth the price of sticking to power.

Area of control

Yet, much what has been happening in Nandigram for the last few months was predictable. The root of the trouble lies in the CPI-M's philosophy, which is shared by its Leftist allies, of measuring their influence by the extent of the area which the parties physically control. It is an outlook which is integral to the commissars. While the non-Left parties do not expect every individual in the constituencies which they have won to subscribe to their ideology, the comrades apparently believe that there is no place for dissenters in “their” areas. And in the absence of such uniform support, they try their best to acquire and enforce it.
This particular aim of the communists is obviously easier to achieve in the countryside than in the towns, where anonymity makes it difficult to ascertain a person’s political inclinations. But in the villages, where virtually everyone knows everyone else, it is easier to make a party's writ prevail. The way to do so is through the deployment of activists, whose reputation ~ or the lack of it ~ is also widely known in the rural areas. As such, only the very brave, or the totally committed, can afford to ignore them. The latter are also invariably successful in their tactics of intimidation because the local people also know on whose side are the police.
It is necessary to remember, however, that notwithstanding such cynical use of the law and order machinery, the ordinary people have silently made their preferences known during the elections by casting nearly 50 per cent of the votes against the Left Front. In 2006, the Left Front secured 50.2 per cent while the Trinamul Congress and the Congress together got 41.2. If the 8.5 per cent won by the other non-Left parties are taken into account, then the total percentage of anti-Left votes goes up to 49.7, only marginally short of the Left Front's tally. But the first-past-the-post system ensures that the Left's unity always enables it to keep its nose ahead of the rest. The Leftists had learnt this vital lesson in togetherness, first, in 1967 when, to their own surprise, the United Left Front led by the CPI-M, and the People’s United Left Front led by the CPI, won more seats than the Congress even though these two groups had fought each other as well as the Congress.
Then, the indispensability of unity was brought home to them again in 1972 when the Congress swept to victory ~ albeit with a bit of rigging ~ because the Leftists had fallen apart, with the CPI joining hands with the Congress. After that, the comrades, except the SUCI, decided that whatever the odds, they would always stick together. And they have been eminently successful in this respect ever since the Emergency of 1975-77 doomed the Congress and handed West Bengal on a platter to the Left Front in 1977. After that it is the Congress which has split in West Bengal, not the communists.
If Nandigram has caused a rift for the first time in 30 years, the reason is that never before had the CPI-M lost physical control over an area for several months at a stretch. Earlier, whenever such a threat arose with the Trinamul Congress establishing itself in areas such as Chhoto Angaria and Keshpur, the CPI-M unleashed its cadres and the police against it ~ just as it has now done in Nandigram. The only difference was that since these clashes were portrayed as political battles ~ which they were, of course ~ there wasn’t too much of a shock if only because the state has had a long history of such skirmishes. They occurred between CPI-M and the Left parties in the late Sixties and between Left Front and the Naxalites in the Seventies. The involvement of the police in the anti-Naxalite operations first brought the phrase, “fake encounters”, into the public domain.

Record of violence

Apart from these incidents, West Bengal had seen violence from the Fifties onwards. A well known incident of that period was the setting alight of trams and buses in 1953 in protest against a one paisa rise in tram fares. And, then, there was the shocking Marichjhanpi episode, mentioned in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide, when the East Bengali refugee settlers were brutally evicted from the Sunderbans although, in their days in the opposition, the Leftists had urged them to forcibly occupy land in the Sunderbans instead of being sent to Dandakaranya. In a way, therefore, the state had become so used to violence that such incidents left hardly any impression on popular perception.
If Singur and Nandigram have proved to be different, the reason is that the clashes in these places do not have a political colour per se, but are seen as a battle against poor peasants waged by an uncaring ruling party with the help of its lawless cadres and conniving police. So, the intellectuals, who never cared when the CPI-M had unleashed similar violence in Chhoto Angaria and Marichjhanpi, are now shedding copious tears since their hearts are supposed to be with the impoverished peasantry. But Stalinism is the same irrespective of the victim. If Nandigram makes the academics and writers like Sumit Sarkar and Mahashweta Devi finally wake up to the basically undemocratic and brutal nature of Marxism, it will be a gain, even at a very high cost.

The writer is a former Assistant Editor, The Statesman

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