Enough is Enough: Stop CPM’s Criminal Campaign

West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, has termed  the ‘recapture’ mission launched  by the CPM to regain its hold over areas of Nandigram  which had slipped out of its control after March 14, 2007, ‘unlawful and unacceptable’ . 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 on the evening of 9 October. He said that he had been receiving phone calls from responsible people in Nandigram   telling him that several huts were ablaze and people were forced to flee their home and take shelter elsewhere.. He said that the most appropriate description of the situation  in Nandigram  came from the Home Secretary who called Nandigram a WAR ZONE. The Governor said that no government or society can allow such war zones to exist without ‘immediate and effective action’.  Gopal Kirshna Gandhi made it clear that he did not trust the political leadership of the state when he directly asked the administration to remove ‘new unauthorized man made blocks’at the four entry points in Nandigram. The governor also expressed his displeasure over the manner in which Medha Patkar and her colleagues were prevented from entering Nandigram when the CPM activists pulled and pushed her, tried to drag her out of her car by punching her on her face.. He said,’The treatment meted to Smt Medha Patkar and other associates of hers last evening was against all norms of civilised political behavior’.

Newspapers have reported the governor carefully listing all the 13 villages which have now been recaptured by the CPM. It has been reported that the statement came hours after the request by a team of the CPM members of the parliament to see that his sympathy and concern are meant for ‘sufferers on both sides’. The CPM state secretariat member Benoy Konar promptly condemned the governor for being partial . He said that he had insulted his post. ‘When our supporters were out of their homes during Durga Puja, his festive spirit was not dampened. He has insulted his post’, Konar added.

To counter the allegation by Konar one only needs to read the statement issued by Gandhi carefully in which he says, ‘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.’

He further said , ‘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.’

One can see that the Governor is pained and is  also aware that he is making an appeal which would be rejected immediately by the arrogant party which is hell bent on making sure that the November assault does not go waste.  On the Deepawali evening one had seen on the television screen  the masked gunmen of the CPM encircling Nandigram from all sides, burning down huts and driving the opponents out of their areas. It must be said that media is not being allowed in Nandigram nor are independent human right activists permitted to enter the areas under attack.

The attack continues after the statement of the CPM patriarch issued early in the day that he was satisfied by the talks between the Trinmul Congress, Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Samiti members and the CPM and was confident that ‘our people and their people’ would now be able to live in peace in the villages of Nandigram. He said that people should be allowed to pursue  their political ideologies. One had not realized that to his own party men pursuing ideology means enforcing power through the barrels of the guns.  The RSP has alleged that t he CPM is trying to impose peace on the people of Nandigram  at  gun point.

Observers watching Bengal have said that it is almost a replay of the Keshpur offensive by the CPM where scores of people had been killed to secure Keshpur for the CPM. State secretariat member Benoy Konar said that now we have spoken the language they( the opposition )understand. Another member of the secretariat Shyamal Chakraborty claimed that they were not forcing the supporters of the BUPS to join them. While insisting that it was not the party but the people who had been forced to live away from their place after march 14 this year who had taken up guns, he had to admit that in the process  of enforcing normalcy the CPM torched the houses of their opponents. Benoy Konar has again criticized the Left Front allies for supporting the cause of the Trinmul Congress.

Is it surprising that the Chief Minister is not speaking, the Chairman of the ruling Left Front is criticizing the Home Secretary for spreading misinformation, the Patriarch doing a Bhishma Pitamah and junior leaders have been permitted to do the dirty job of winning back Nandigram by all means, which has meant death and destruction for the people of Nandigram?

Reclaiming Nandigram has become an existential necessity for the CPM, which is not only the Bengal CPM but whole of the CPM. We have heard the national Polit Bureau  member Brinda Karat calling on her party women to go for violence.The national leadership is watching in silent glee the killing spree which’ it hopes, would result in a victory for the party.  It is a Janus faced party  much akin to the BJP which has different people to  speak in different voices which makes it impossible for you to figure out the real one. Meanwhile all the honourable gentlemen and women who are known as intellectuals are maintaining a dignified, nonpartisan silence. Some of them had issued a statement after the March 14  mayhem in Nandigram which was a pathetic attempt to give fig leaf to the Bengal CPM’s criminal acts.It needs to mentioned here that Aparna Sen has refused to inaugurate the State Film festival in protest against the state backed terror in Nandigram. Authors and artists like Mahasweta Devi have been protesting the CPM violence right from the beginning and for this act of defiance she was put in the category of Maoists by the state police in its website..

The Statesman had published a report four days back in which it was shown that the latest assault on Nadigram was very meticulously designed and deftly executed. It was a blow by blow account of the preparation party has done. The home work was perfect . The long festival was chosen as the best time when people would be busy in celebrations and there would be little space for this news in the national telecasts.  It has not been disputed by the Bengal CPM. Newspapers have CPM leaders of  different levels on record  who have said in very clear terms that violence is a legitimate way of making a way into Nandigram.

Nandigram was important for the CP not only because of the impending Panchayat elections but also to send an unambiguous message across Bengal which is witnessing independent people’s assertion for quite some time that it would be a very short lived freedom they were dreaming of. They would not be allowed a single peaceful day if they refused to fall in line. Their livelihood would be destroyed, lives crippled and if they do not mend ‘their ways’ ultimately they will be killed. It is also telling its political opponents that it retains the gun power and they cannot match it. It is also a warning to the Maoists that they should not think that they are operating in Jharkhand or Andhra Pradesh, they are in the deep waters of Bengal.

West Bengal and CPM have given a death blow to the democratic fabric of the Indian State.  Now you have a Central Government living on the support of a party which has flouted all Constitutional norms and is unrepentant about it. It bodes ill for the future of India as now nobody is in a position to tell VHP and other outfits who indulge in violence to further their political ends that they are committing crime.

Enough is Enough, we repeat the words of Gopal Krishan Gandhi, peace and security should be restored without any delay. We also want to appeal to all civil society groups , the anti communal groups, the anti- nuclear bomb  networks, the womens right groups, the right to food network, the popular science movements, universities and research organizations to tell the representatives of the CPM that they are not welcome if they do not condemn the violent politics of their party. Our tactical silence  might save some unscrupulous elements as friends for us  for the time being, but we are in grave danger of losing our souls for ever.  It is for us to make the choice.

7 thoughts on “Enough is Enough: Stop CPM’s Criminal Campaign”

  1. ‘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.’

    Enough is Enough, we repeat the words of Gopal Krishan Gandhi, peace and security should be restored without any delay.

    So what steps did Governor Gandhi take from earlier in the year till today?

  2. There’s a huge difference between the Keshpur offensive and the present offensive in Nandigram. What we get to hear in the urban centres, and what is really happening out there, needs to be understood quite clearly.

    The CPIM is trying to use the same tactic it had used previously with all other political opponents in the past.

    It’s called the method of the flaming torch.
    The method is to mount a surprise attack, using overwhelming force, while the state administration is purposefully rendered inactive.

    It leaves behind a clear trail of charred corpses.

    I remember RSP supporters being hounded out of villages in 1999, just prior to the Panchayat elections. Bengal newspapers now so mindful of the Bengal CM’s industrial policies, notably the Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph, carried front-page reports of how RSP supporters were killed, and some were literally burnt alive as fire was set to their homes.

    In Keshpur and Garbeta, armed mercenaries from Arambagh in Hooghly attacked those belonging to TMC, who had terrorised the region earlier.

    Many of the villagers who were forced to flee still have not returned home— two months back, I remember talking to a once-rich farmer from Garbeta now living the life of a small tea-stall owner near Beliaghata Lake, his property and lands have been confiscated, his family driven away to nowhere.Incidentally, rape is a well-tried weapon here in West Bengal, and both the ruling party and the opposition use it well, real or in propaganda.

    What the CPIM fails to realise there’s a considerable difference between its ‘victories’ in the past and Nandigram.Stalin had to wage a bitter war against the peasants in the name of collectivisation, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya has done the same till date in the name of development. And Stalin had his Tzarist soldiers, a Red Army,Buddhadeb Bhattacharya tries to do with a bunch of professional mercenaries, trained in combat, rape and pillage from the Garbeta days.

    But times have changed.

    Farmers and peasants fighting as members of political parties in West Bengal,as in the past, and those fighting for their lands, are not in the same class.

    There were many killed in today’s bloodbath,in what was a firing on an unarmed rally that had gone to submit a deputation to the local police station asking for security. There were women and children and unmentionable things happened.

    As in March14, rumours are now fast spreading in Kolkata city.

    In the locality I live in, a cigarette vendor tells me at about nine p.m. that more than three hundred people have been shot.

    From where did you hear that?
    I heard it over from a friend who’s got a friend in the media, he says.

    So do I, says I and I ring up a couple of friends to verify.
    None of their concerns had reporters on the spot when the killings took place.

    This is too coincidental to be taken lightly.

    Since they were not present there for some strange reasons at the time of the killings,the reports carried by the various news media are unreliable till now, as i try watching the midnight bulletins.The official figure is two, a man and a woman, and eighteen injured and hospitalised.

    If we remember the rumours they spread soon after the March 14 killings, the hyperboles deliberately used to inflate and then puncture with a prick, the ominous silences of the more sensible of journalists, the false rhetorics of the senseless ones, one would stay for caution.

    One thing is however clear.
    And clear in bold print.
    The people of Nandigram are fighting.
    After 30 years, a fight has been put up against the rulers.
    Not by political parties of CMYK hues.
    Not by left-wing guerrillas inhabiting remote forests, not by cultured exponents of various complex shapes and shades of supra-hegemonic discourses.

    A fight led by the people, mostly farmers, a fight that makes our heads go down in shame.

    Even if they lose,and I am not so sure of that, they would have made the arrogant CPIM leaders learn some bitter lessons in humility.

    Let’s just hope not too many innocent lives are lost in this vicious political game CPIM is playing in West Bengal…

  3. Urgent Report

    Nandigram: The Shape of Tomorrow

    New Delhi has just ordered a 1,000-plus Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) contingent to Nandigram. The Trinamool Congress and the Congress both have decided to take their agendas to the streets of West Bengal tomorrow. The ruling CPI-M has sub-contracted the situation in Nandigram to armed criminal gangs–those engaging in land grabbing, looting and killing are not dedicated cadres. And anyone with links to the Maoist Communist Party is being threatened with dire consequences; those doing the threatening include Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee.

    Like in so many previous instances in India, landless peasants and their families are now in an unenviable position of confronting the full force of the State machinery in forthcoming weeks.

    Some government sources are now blaming the ongoing agitation on Ranjit Pal, a Maoist commander active in the region for quite some time. A West Bengal police intelligence file points fingers at Mahadev Mukherjee–a devoted follower of the late Naxalite ideologue Charu Mazumdar–who allegedly vowed to revenge the killing of Nandigram villagers by armed policemen in May this year. TV stations today have suddenly started claiming to be in possession of information confirming the presence of training camps and women guerillas. Needless to add, the stories–some reality, some myth–will continue unabated in the days ahead as the Trinamool Congress, the Congress, the media and even human rights activists find that, despite their best efforts, the real battle in Nandigram will continue in Nandigram’s relatively remote villages and settlements, not in Calcutta and New Delhi, not at public rallies, sit-ins and dharnas.

    By all latest accounts, hundreds of CPI-M cadres have refused to participate in a concerted attempt to crush their own brethren who are, at the end of the day, involved in a struggle for human dignity, food, shelter and basic healthcare. Rather, it will be CPI-M-sponsored ciminals who will work with the CRPF and the local police to unleash a fresh reign of terror the moment Nandigram fades from the front pages. Shades, no doubt, of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. Shades too of the peoples’ struggles in Nepal.

    Also, developments in the days ahead will show that, at its roots, Nandigram is not about special economic zones at all. Economic zones or not, Indian politicians (Left, Right and Centre) have failed miserably (1) to effectively implement credible land reforms, (2) to root out deeply-ingrained corruption in the police and the bureaucracy, (3) to eliminate the grip of money lenders, land grabbers, mill owners, commodity traders, criminals, smugglers and loggers in the countryside and small townships and (4) to create mechanisms through which India’s poor can access human rights embedded in the Indian Consitution and in key international instruments.

    It is important to stress that Nandigram is not an anti-CPI-M issue. On the contrary, Nandigram proves, and will prove further, that all parties involved in India’s vast election regime (the great and seemingly endless democratic experiment) are without exception, in the final analysis, on the same side: the Trinamool Congress, the Congress, the CPI and the CPI-M. It is critical that we keep focus here—the perspective or the prism through which Nandigram must be viewed should be unequivocally conditioned by those Nandigram homes where children will go to bed hungry tonight, where women will wake up tomorrow to another dawn of hopelessness and despair, and where young men are dreading a visit by state or non-state actors posing as keepers of law and order. Any other perspective or prism will only lead to a fatally flawed understanding of the reality in Nandigram./

    November 10, 2007

  4. The magnitudes, territorial extents and patterns of State sponsored violence in Gujrat2002 and Nandigram2007 may still be incomparable though, the similarities between them certainly are not to be missed:
    1. The leaders openly have gone on record assuring impunity to the gangs. This became instrumental in raping, looting and killing and terrorizing people .
    2 In their acts of unspeakable cruelties and gory crimes committed by these so-called cadres, they are fully exonerated by their patrons.
    3.Despite the horrendous crimes committed in Gujarat and the meticulous proof of many leaders right from Modi having directly involved, Secular Institutions like Rajeev Gandhi Foundation, India Today Magazine and the leading business organizations have the least feeling of guilt in having seen Narendra Modi as the best Chief Minister capable of bringing “Development”.
    Similarly, leaders of CPM in Nandigram are openly advocating curbing of people’s resistance in Nandigram against dispossessing of them from livelihood by forcibly setting up of a SEZ involving 19000 Ha of fertile land; this is also being done in the name of Development.
    This means that Development, for these political classes is one without caring for the less privileged or even something that involves dispensing with sections of poor, minorities, dalits, etc with no more Constitutional obligation to respect human rights.
    4.In both situations, intervention of concerned sections from elsewhere was attempted to be crushed by force.

    Why is it that in Gujarat it is fascism, and in W.Bengal, it’s called Marxism?

  5. It is loud cry to save humanity,democracy and conscience from “Marxist Monsters”.Definitely Saint Carl Marx would be feeling ashamed of such gross violation of human rights of poor farmers and villagers.

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