Tonight is the Night of the Long Knives – or Qatl ki Raat as they say in Hindustani. Indeed, it is not the night of the long knives of Nazi vintage – for that was carried out by Hitler against his own SA (the Nazi paramilitary organization), in one desperate power struggle. This is our very own CPI-M’s equally desperate power struggle – but directed outwards towards the struggling Dalit families in Chengara.
Tomorrow, 3 September, the Trade Unions will liberate Chengara. Just as the party cadre liberated Nandigram, not so long ago. Reports reaching us say that the CITU, INTUC, AITUC, BMS, UTUC, KTUC have all joined hands to ‘evict’ the 30,000 people fighting in the Chengara estate tomorrow.
According to reports from activists, “yesterday, people who tried to reach Chengara were brutally attacked. 21 of them are admitted to the Pattanamthitta district hospital. 12 of them are women including a pregnant woman. The child who was in her arms was thrown away!! The child is also in the hospital now. The Pathanamthitta police is doing nothing to prevent these” [Update from Samkutty Pattomkary].
And CPM general secretary Prakash Karat is camping in Trivandrum, right now. All attempts by intellectuals and activists to meet him have so far yielded nothing. And why should he? Remember, Dam Dam Dawai? Remember ‘comrade’ Brinda Karat’s exhortation which became, it turned out, the signal to carry out the massacre? This time it is Karat himself there to oversee the operation.
When Nandigram happened, when rounds and rounds of violence took place there, and Kafila wrote exposing the CPM design, we saw the sudden appearance on this very blog, of the most hysterical CPM propaganda. Many of us, including the present author, were accused of being paid American dollars (interested readers may browse through those long and boring but invective-laden comments). We have preserved these precisely for an occasion like this.
For today, the same things are being said of the Chengara struggle and its supporters. This time too, when J Devika posted the Panchami Dalit Women’s Collective’s statement, we had at least one such intruder coming in to ‘set the record straight’. I quote two paras from his long comment:
“12 The law of the land does not prevail in this area. Ganja cultivation, illicit liquor and all immmoral [emphasis on m original] activities are taking place in this area under the guise of this agitation. 2 unnatural deaths of women has taken place in this area which people claim to be as a result of molestation etc but this has been hushed up. All records af theft, ganja seizures are avaailable [original] at local police station.
13 Ramphant [original] slaughter and theft of rubber is taking place.There is a well established cartel for selling of this illegal produce. Share from every sale goes to his highness Lahai gopalan.”
I am of course a north Indian who finds Ganja growing wild all over Delhi – you might even find it in AKG Bhawan, for all you know. And, believe me, the General Secretary doesn’t have to order its cultivation for it to be there.
However, ever since the election results of the panchayats and then of the municipalities in West Bengal came out, the cacophony has stopped – at least from the ‘progressive Delhi intellectuals’ who were merely seeing a conspiracy against the party where they should have seen a mass uprising. We are sure, Chengara, irrespective of what happens tomorrow, will be the beginning of a new politics in Kerala.