People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 03, 2006
Workers & Peasants At Singur Rally For Industrial Development
A MASSIVE rally held recently at Singur in Hooghly in the green of central Bengal called for industrial development of the district along with the rest of the state. Held under the aegis of the Hooghly district unit of the CITU, the rally was attended by thousands of the toiling masses of the area and beyond who simply chose to ignore the heavy downpour from a leaden monsoon sky.
The rally baffled the small coterie of rich peasants who were at their level best (or worst) in carrying out a lie campaign and spreading canard about the process of setting up of an automobile factory at Singur. CITU state president Shyamal Chakraborty who was the principal speaker at the rally noted how the packed attendance at the meting showed the determination of the people to thwart all counter-development efforts of the vested interests.
The principal demand of the rally was an acceleration of the pace of industrial development of the district, including Singur. The speakers noted how the Trinamul Congress was stepping up its activities of malfeasance and commission just when the kisans were turning up in large numbers to hand over possession of land to the state government and at an attractive premium that the latter offered.
ACCELERATE THE PACE
Shyamal Chakraborty made several important points in his address. He noted that with gainful employment opportunities not growing at any perceivable rate in agriculture, industrialisation was vitally necessary to create avenues of employment. Shyamal Chakraborty also pointed out that a planned development meant a planned land utilisation.
Land that was to be utilised for the automobile factory was roughly around 3000 bighas. The land mass was low land that was not suited to agriculture. There was also fallow and uncultivable land in a large quantity. Only a smattering of single-crop land, negligibly small, would be taken over for the factory.
The alternative employment that will be provided to the displaced people in the factory itself, over and above enjoying the handsome compensation package that the Bengal Left Front government has come up with, would certainly more than recompensate the displaced kisans and their family members.
Shyamal Chakraborty also stressed that Hooghly was once an industrialised district and factories had then grown up not in air but on agricultural land. The antithetical attitude of the successive union governments had all but killed off the production units in Hooghly and what the Bengal Left Front government was doing was to rejuvenate the industrial past of Hooghly.
Shyamal Chakraborty concluded to say that a solid workers'-peasants' unity at the grass-roots level based on consciousness was certain to foil all designs to try and frustrate the industrialisation drive taken up by the Left Front government, in Singur as in the state itself.
Other speakers at the rally included CITU and CPI(M) leaders Mitali Kumar Dilip Chatterjee, Sunil Sarkar, Santasri Chatterjee (who presided), district AIKS leader Balai Sanbui, and state higher education minister Sudarshan Roy Chaudhury. (B P)