People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 24, 2006
Singur Kisans Call For Industrialisation
BIG assemblages of kisans of Singur in Kolkata and in the districts strongly reiterated their demand for a picking up of the pace of industrialisation in Bengal. They also called upon those seeking to impede the process, especially the opportunistic ploys employed to oppose the coming up of the automobile factory at Singur to desist from their efforts.
In the meanwhile, state secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M), Biman Basu, and Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee have repeatedly called upon Trinamul Congress chieftain Mamata Banerjee to quit her programme of fasting that has been going on in Kolkata now. Joining in the requests have been the Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu, and the Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee — to no avail.
The vast rally of Singur kisans in Kolkata had but two outsiders. They never mounted the dais. They were CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, and Bengal AIKS secretary Samar Baora. Both the leaders interacted for a long time with the Singur kisans and khet mazdoors as well as bargadars. Later Brinda Karat explained to the media the real story of Singur and said that the Singur kisans wanted peace and would never counterattack the outsiders who were in the process of assaulting them.
Brinda Karat said that people like Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy were seen playing a different role in Bengal probably because they had listened to a particular view and were not equipped with all relevant facts. The CPI(M) leader condemned the rampage carried on by the Trinamul Congress MLAs in the Bengal Assembly some weeks back.
Later on, an open letter on Singur developments was distributed to the people. The letter contained a request to Mamata Banerjee to withdraw her fast, and called for cooperation in the process of industrialisation in Singur.
As before, the Trinamul chief refused to accede to the requests and then proceeded to harangue the few people still hanging around and willing to listen to her that only a complete stoppage of the Singur project would enable her to forego her fast.
The next day Mamata Banerjee and her henchmen put up a macabre show. They gathered a few packets of salt and tea leaves of the Tata Company and proceeded with ghoulish glee and merriment to tear the packets open and sprinkle the contents on the road that moves past her camp.
Elsewhere at the call of the Bengal Left Front sit-in demonstrations were held all over the state on December 12 and 13 demanding an accelerated pace of industrialisation in Bengal. Addressing a big rally held under the aegis of the SFI in Kolkata, Biman Basu said that a disoriented and hateful opposition was plunged deep into the realm of the untruth about Singur. Hatred and desperation have made them disregard facts. These elements have chosen to put up barriers on the path of pro-people development work in Bengal, strengthening imperialist interests all the way.
There was no way a food shortage would happen to Bengal such was the strong and spreading agricultural base. Industries were not set up on multi-crop land all the way. Adequate compensation package has been given to and accepted by those whose land was to be acquired. Agricultural production as such is on the rise thanks to scientific techniques being employed and because of extension of irrigation facilities.
Biman Basu said that the opposition were devoid of any desire to come to the table for discussion repeated requests from the Bengal chief minister notwithstanding.
The Trinamul chief recently suffered an embarrassing loss of face. A TV channel depicted one of her women lieutenants Sonali Guha, who had participated in the assembly rampage, having a good time making purchases at a shop in Puri in Orissa at a time when other Trinamul Congress leaders were telling the media with a straight face that ‘Sonali Guha is sick and is in a nursing home.’ (B P)