Tag Archives: Nandigram

Nandigram Redux: Reading Sudhanva Deshpande

It is interesting to witness the spin doctoring of the CPI(M) come into play once again in the wake of the renewed violence in Nandigram, which in CPI(M) newspeak is now being called ‘a transition to peaceful conditions’ .

Recently, I have had the opportunity to read the seasoned voice of one of the leading ‘cultural’ lights of the Consolidated Promotors of India(Militant) in Delhi, Comrade Sudhanva Deshpande, on Nandigram Redux, on an extended posting made on Pragoti.org,

I urge you all to read Sudhanva Deshpande’s text as a window into the amazing felicity with which the Consolidated Promotors of India (Militant) constructs the edifice of its positions.

In this posting, I intend to subject Comrade Deshpande’s text to some close reading. I am writing this in order to respond especially to the work that Aditya Nigam is doing in keeping the question of Nandigram alive on Kafila.I have relied extensively on reports, news and analysis on an excellent archive-blog – Sanhati – for a great deal of the material for this posting. Continue reading Nandigram Redux: Reading Sudhanva Deshpande

Soft Bhadralok Hindutva Under ‘Left’ Garb – VB Rawat

[We have received this guest piece from Vidya Bhushan Rawat, which looks at another pathology behind the ‘Left’ Front and its entrenchment in West Bengal politics. We are pleased to present this as it underlines a point seldom registered by self-proclaimed ‘Leftists’ and ‘secularists’: the saffron under the red colour of Indian marxism in general but especially of the CPM. The Sachar committee had recently only revealed what many had always suspected with regard to Muslims. With regard to the Dalits, analysts have been at pains to point out that West Bengal ranks far below even UP, in terms of ownership of land by Dalits. So much for its much touted land reforms. While publishing this piece, let us also underline, with the author that when, in the height of the anti-Islam hysteria during NDA rule, LK Advani’s Home Ministry proposed ‘bio-metric identification cards’ – to check the problem of ‘infiltration’ (!?), then too, Buddhadeb was its most enthusiastic supporter. It is actually interesting that when the ruling classes and parties under Indira Gandhi used to see CIA everywhere, the CPM too saw CIA; and then when the NDA started seeing ISI ‘under every bed as it were, CPM followed suit. Curious, would you say? Read on, for the real debate on the ‘Left’ should be here, which is not to say that we agree with every thing said here. – AN]

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Nandigram is burning and the Neros of the left front governments are watching it with great patience. Those who are up in arms against any displacement elsewhere remain mute spectators at the butchering of people in this ‘war zone’, as the governor of the state Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi mentioned in his statement. CPM and its leadership were prompt in condemning the governor for his remark as unconstitutional. If governor’s remark is out of the touch of Bengal’s reality then how can one justify the ‘call’ for ‘recapture’ of land by the top leadership of CPM? Continue reading Soft Bhadralok Hindutva Under ‘Left’ Garb – VB Rawat

The Silence of the Lambs

protest nandigram

It has happened many times in the past and it seems destined to happen again – thanks to the silence of the left-liberal intelligentsia and the opportunism of the political class. Soon Nandigram may be forgotten by the political class and CPM will be ‘forgiven’ its misdemeanour – all for the sake of some supposedly ‘larger cause’.

After making some noises for public consumption, the Left Front partners have eventually decided, or so it seems, to make peace with the CPM. What else can they do if they have to remain in power? Remember the NDA allies – including the heroine of today, Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress, the TDP and others? Did they squeak, when Gujarat burned? AB Bardhan, the CPI General Secretary is of course, knows full well, which side his toast is buttered and is known to be inside his own party a CPM mole (he has been advocating the merger of the CPI into the CPM.) So we can let Bardhan be. But what are the other LF partners in West Bengal thinking? They can choose to sink with the CPM – as and when it happens (like the TMC and TDP sank with the NDA) or they can help the formation of an alternative platform with other smaller parties. The CPM, after all, was not always a big party. It became big in the process of presenting an alternative to decades of Congress rule.

Continue reading The Silence of the Lambs

Monobina Gupta on Nandigram and the CPM Whitewash

[As reports started coming in on Wednesday of wanton killings of the local population by a combination of the state’s police forces and that dreaded being called ‘cadre’ in today’s West Bengal, the CPM lie-machine in New Delhi swung into action. Monobina Gupta, a senior journalist who has been covering the Left for almost two decades now, reports on both the press conference and the incidents that brought it forth. Our further information is that two days ago the chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya had called a meeting in Writers’ Building to plan out the offensive. As the report below shows, the Bengali daily, Bartaman had already predicted today’s action almost to the detail – obviously based on information that the CPM finds uncomfortable. We have also been informed that the call went out from the state CPM leadership of “Occupy and Liberate” Nandigram shortly before the cadres swung into action along with the police force. Thirty years of unbroken rule has made the state leadership belief that they can get away with anything. This time they may have miscalculated. It is also worth bearing in mind that faced with feisty women leaders like Medha Patkar and Mamata Banerjee the most disgusting colours of the CPM leadership are coming out. So if Biman Basu had gone on record saying that Mamata is behaving like a spoilt little girl (in Singur), then his comrade-in-arms Benoy Konar had done far better. He announced that women from his party’s women’s wing would “display their buttocks if Medha visited Nandigram”. We will soon be publishing Medha’s recent report after her return from Nandigram where she was actually greeted by a demonstration of buttocks – of about a hundred and fifty little Benoy Konars. Only, the women – even from his party seem to have politely refused. Some hope here – even though the top leadership of the Mahila Samity has been completely silent. Is comrade Brinda Karat listening? – AN]

For the CPM central leadership in Delhi defending police actions in Singur and Nandigram has now become a routine matter. It is left usually to Sitaram Yechury – second in command in the CPM politburo (and Rajya Sabha member) to address the media in Parliament and whitewash the whole incident.

Today was just one more of such press conferences. The CPM politburo member condemned the killings at the same time made it clear that the police had no choice other than to do what they did. “The kiilings are unfortunate. But we condemn such activities that took place even after
the West Bengal state government assured that no land will be acquired without the consent of the people.”

Continue reading Monobina Gupta on Nandigram and the CPM Whitewash

‘Scientific’ Land Grab and the Lie-Machine

Even as the CPM general secretary Prakash Karat made his astonishing statement regarding the need for a ‘scientific’ land grab policy, his party’s totalitarian lie machine has moved into action to suppress the fact that it might be facing its Waterloo – or may we say, its Stalingrad? The lie manufacturing machine is working overtime to make it appear as though the struggle in Nandigram over the imminent acquisition of 14, 500 acres of land for a new SEZ is the outcome of mere ‘rumour mongering’ by ‘outsiders’ (The Hindu 9 January 2007). It is as though there were really no plans to that effect (though none of the leaders has yet denied this so far).

One of the sinister players here is the shadowy West Bengal CPM secretary and Left Front Chairman (sic), Biman Basu. Basu went on record saying that (a) a large number of ‘outsiders’ have been entering Nandigram [and this presumably is by itself a crime, in Basu’s language] and that the police should thus ‘investigate’ it. (b) these outsiders were “responsible for stoking fears among local villagers that they were on the verge of losing their land.” To give it a more sinister ring, Basu said: “ These people are still moving about in the Nandigram area [as though they are criminals who should have been put behind bars] and held periodic meetings at a four-storied building where social activist Medha Patkar addressed a meeting on December 3.”

Continue reading ‘Scientific’ Land Grab and the Lie-Machine