Monday, April 09, 2007

Kanu Sanyal on Nandigram

The Statesman recently carried an interview with Kanu Sanyal, the founder of the Naxalbari movement, by Bappaditya Paul. I reproduce extracts from that below.

Q: What is your view on the latest industry-agriculture conflict in West Bengal? How do you take the ongoing anti-farmland acquisition movement at Singur and Nandigram? Do you find any similarity with the Naxalbari Movement?

There is hardly anyone who doesn’t want industrialisation in Bengal. But the question is for whose benefit it is. The industrialisation policy has been adopted and implemented by the Left Front government solely to benefit the imperialists and so, we oppose it. We say, set up need-based industries, keeping in mind the resources of a particular area and drive it for the general wellbeing of the common man. But the government is ruthlessly adamant on setting up industries by trampling farmlands.

The chief minister is harping on industrialisation and believes that everyone, barring himself, is wrong. But my question is, if Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee wants to rejuvenate the industrial scenario, why doesn’t he first reopen the nearly 56,000 closed industrial units in the state? Why is there no effort to save the tea gardens in the Dooars and the labourers from starvation?

Singur and Nandigram have unmasked the cruel facets of the CPI-M, which fancies itself to be a party of the underprivileged. The movement that has generated out of Singur and Nandigram, if explored properly, can bring about a sea change in West Bengal. So far as the form is concerned, I find a great deal of similarity between Nandigram and the Naxalbari Movement. The ongoing fight in Nandigram, in particular, has the potential to excel the Naxalbari Movement. The only thing needed is a strong, selfless, political leadership to sustain it.

Q: Why single out Nandigram, when the same fight is on at Singur?

Mamata Banerjee has ruined the movement in Singur. By embarking on a hunger-strike, she spoilt the ignition of the Singur farmers.

I am sure the farmers of Singur will never get back their lands and Miss Banerjee is solely responsible for this. Just take a look at the happenings in Singur, as long as the farmers were battling it out themselves, the state government could not erect a fence on the acquired land. But soon after Miss Banerjee hijacked the movement and started her fast, the focus shifted to Esplanade and fencing work went on in Singur unabated. Whereas in Nandigram, farmers and locals relied on their own strength and even on the face of a persistent joint offensive by the police and CPI-M goons, they have so far managed to resist the imperialist invasion.

Q: But Miss Banerjee is the one considered capable of throwing out the Left Front? In fact, the Jamaat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind leader, Mr Siddiqulla Choudhury, is talking of a grand alliance with the Trinamul and others, to fight the CPI-M?

Capturing power is one thing and fighting the imperialists is another. For the moment, even if a grand alliance were to pull down the Left Front government, would it make any difference to the poor, the framers? Rather, the alliance would continue in the wake of what the CPI-M-led government is doing now, albeit with a different set of propaganda. I say this because like the CPI-M, the Trinamul, the Jamaat and the rest lack the political will to work for the common people. If I am wrong, then let them first make a public declaration what radical changes they would initiate for the benefit of the farmers, if elected to power.

Q: In this context, how do you rate the role of the Left Front allies?

I don’t find their role satisfactory either. If parties like the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc are really opposed to the CPI-M’s ruthless industrialisation agenda, why don’t they step out of the Front? I advised some of their leaders to come out of the government, at least that would have created pressure on the CPI-M. But despite continuous humiliation at the hands of the CPI-M, they seem only too eager to continue sharing power.

Q: If we were to leave out the Trinamul, the Jamaat and the Left allies, who then would lead the movement forward?

United Naxalites alone can guide the movement on the right path. I urge all Naxalite factions to form a common platform and take the anti-farmland acquisition movement to every corner of the state. Forget about the elections, just make a collective effort to intensify and sustain the struggle generated out of Singur and Nandigram.

Read the entire interview here.


B.B.Mandal said...

It was quite surprising to hit this blog. The interview of Kanu Sanyal firmly establishes the imperialist role of a communist party which is in power for over three decades. This respectable leader also indicates that ovrthrowing this party by an equally anti-people party should not be the choice of the people. B.B.Mandal Nagpur

Anonymous said...

Hullo Sir, thank you for your visit and comment. Kanu Sanyal made some perceptive points in this interview, which I though were noteworthy and merited taking cognizance of, by those concerned about socio-economic matters in West Bengal.

B.B.Mandal said...

Carry on, my dear.Your blog contents remind me of my days in B.E.College (1978-82).Wherever I stay, a part of my soul silently haunts the book-street of calcutta.I am happy that you talk about Shasthibrata,subimal Misra. I am sure you will talk about Bhattacharya Chandan. Where is this poet of "Saral Karo: Bhalobasa". I spent so many days discussing poetry with that man. Now to talk about an alternative government in WB - it's difficult to suggest.And that's precisely why they are continuing for so many years. We are not interested in expecting a GOD to save us. We have to find a way out and that cannot be in isolation from the rest of the world.
In my final years in college I was identified as a "Reformist" by SFI. Ha Ha !! How easy it was to be in the hall of fame where the souls of Ritwik,Trotsky or Eisenstein still kept discussing art and its role in society.
Your blog has effectively challenged the stability of the most unstable government which must not forget that students and intellectuals of Bengal are romantic. And they will die before they stop thinking about their "Rupasi Bangla".
I sincerely appreciate your language. Because that conveys the most complicated ideas in comprehensive statements. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Hullo! If you were in Shibpur 78-82 - that would make you my exact contemporary. My batch was the first of the Plus Two system, and completed 12 and joined university in 78. Rahul, about whom I've written on this blog, joined IIT - Kgp, in 78. By chance I managed to take my HS early, and thus joined the previous batch, joining college in 76.

Thank you for your generous appreciation of my blog. I feel some satisfaction that this blog-effort of mine since last June is appreciated by someone, somewhere.

Language - as a former teacher, I learnt to take communication seriously. Most people are content to just say something, without thinking about what the listener understood. I have tried to always put myself in the place of a listener / reader while saying / writing something. As a Sufi tale says, looking at the degree of non-communication and mis-communication that happens in real life, humans might as well not have had the faculty of speech!

B.B.Mandal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B.B.Mandal said...

Rama,You simply trapped me. Yes, I was in the first batch of plus two system.I studied plus two in Taki Government College.
Your command over the language is so superb that it appears simple. Look at a lotus in a pond of Bengal, you will understand what I meant. It is more enjoyed when less analysed.I like it.Excuse me if I have talked like an old man.
I have not yet gone through all the pages, but I would expect a fim review category in it. You are free to choose any film being released. I would love to read your interpretation of the films on broader terms rather than in the styles of typical film socity journals. Regards.

Anonymous said...

Hullo! Many thanks for the compliment and the suggestion about a film review category. But I have never written a film review in my life, or ever attempted one. I simply like a film, rather than judge it! On my profile I've listed various films I've enjoyed over the years. On my "Blogs I read", you could look at Dipanjan and Gift of Wings, for film reviews.