Sunday, March 25, 2007
Nandigram: Left Front must go!
Jaga re jaga re jaga sara sansar!
Awakened, awakened, awakened!
The whole world’s awakened!
Pictures from yesterday’s Nandigram protest rally and demonstration at Esplanade, Calcutta, are accessible here.
The meeting demanded the resignation of the Left Front govt of West Bengal, led by the murderous CPI(M). Speakers expressed their rage and revulsion against the govt. Singer-activist-mediaman Kabir Suman exhorted the police to revolt against the govt. Naba Datta, of Nagarik Manch, called for exemplary punishment for those responsible, like Binoy Konar, the so-called peasant front leader, who must be held accountable for his explicit incitement to murder, which was no different from the incitement to kill Muslims by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002.
The question of alternatives etc – is not pertinent at this point. The govt must go, and all else will follow.
Whatever “moral” authority Mrs Sonia Gandhi had – has been squandered by her studied silence on the Nandigram massacre. She should have visited the affected areas immediately after.
Meanwhile, a group of spit-licking “leftist intellectuals” has set a new record for shamelessness and obsequiousness by issuing a statement to condone the Left Front govt’s actions – after 10 days of silence following the massacre. This includes Amiya Bagchi, MK Raina, Malini Bhattacharya, Utsa Patnaik, Jayati Ghosh, Mohan Rao, Nasir Tyabji, Teesta Setalvad. It is shocking that Teesta Setalvad should have added her name to this shameful apologia. Did she ask for Narendra Modi to be excused after the Gujarat riots and pogrom?
I am astounded that not a single minister in the West Bengal cabinet thought it fit to resign because of the massacre. But I guess I should be astounded at my wishful thinking.
Left Front chairman has alleged a deep-rooted conspiracy to destabilise the govt. He should forget his schoolboy cloak-and-dagger fantasies and know that it is simply a clearly-expressed hatred of the ugly criminals who make up his CPI(M), that is widespread and is now finding voice thanks to the Nandigram resistance.
A group of women activists from Calcutta visited Nandigram yesterday for a first-hand appraisal. Their report will be available soon.
A mass movement has been kindled by Nandigram. But the ramifications of the stark vacuum of civil society stares at us. Perhaps for the first time in decades, civil society is emerging. The soil of Singur and Nandigram should be consecrated by anyone who cherishes human dignity. It may be difficult to build martyrs’ memorials in neighbourhoods throughout the state and country. But people can make them within their own homes. They can build the memorial in their hearts, and pay tribute to the victims of Nandigram through their action. In the new topography being mapped by the resistance to the all-powerful nexus of global capital and the pliant, corrupt local state, Singur and Nandigram are sacred sites. Children born now should be named “Singur” and “Nandigram”, expressing their parents' fervent wish that they shall grow up to usher in and live in a world of dignity and justice.