People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 02

January 14, 2007

Ganashakti 1967 – 2007


B Prasant


THE completion of four decades of pro-people journalism of a Communist daily was celebrated at a colourful programme in Kolkata on January 4. The commemoration celebration was held at the Netaji Indoor stadium. Addressing the commemorative meetings were CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat, veteran Communist leader Jyoti Basu, Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, and Bengal secretary of the CPI(M), Biman Basu. Members of the Polit Bureau and the central committee of the CPI(M) were present. The occasion saw the release by Jyoti Basu of a collection of selected writings of the late comrade Anil Biswas. The welcome address was given by Ganashakti editor, Narayan Dutta.


In his address, Prakash Karat said that the daily performed a big role in the communication of the message of class struggle to the mass of the people. Ganashakti has also played an important role as a vehicle of the struggle against imperialism over the years. Explaining the policies adopted by the CPI(M) in taking forward the Left and democratic movement and in widening the alternative policies, Prakash Karat said that the CPI(M) was engaged in taking up the pro-people issues contained in the CMP, both inside and outside the parliament. 


The CPI(M) leader noted that under pressure from the Left, the UPA government had to withdraw measures like privatisation of pension funds while implementing – despite earlier reluctance – such measures as the bringing down of the price of petroleum products and implementation of the Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Prakash Karat outlined the plight of the kisans all over the country and pointed out how the union government would encourage such kind of special economic zones (SEZ) that would boost real estate business.


Dismissing Rajnath Singh, the BJP president’s claim that Singur was an SEZ, Prakash Karat said that Singh should go to Modi-ruled Gujarat where thousands of acres of prime agricultural land was being handed on a platter to industrialists not for the purpose of setting up production units but for land speculation in real estate endeavours. The CPI(M) would continue with fervour at the all-India level the movement for land.


Former Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu said that a Communist Party must necessarily have a daily for the propagation of ideology and politics while helping build up the organisation as well. The general news media would not publish anything on the struggles of the working people –– only a Communist daily would do that. Jyoti Basu pointed to the role played by Ganashakti in enhancing the level of the people’s consciousness through its columns. He recalled the role of Ganashakti in conducting campaign in the past assembly, Lok Sabha, and rural and urban local body elections. 


Biman Basu who presided over the meeting said that the pages of Ganashakti reflected the struggles of all sections of the working people and noted the role of Ganashakti in frustrating the web of conspiracy spun by the enemies of the people here in this state. Biman Basu also recalled how the daily Ganashakti had effectively exposed the so-called Panskura line of the Trinamul Congress in the past. Biman Basu who was critical of the recent moves by the rightist and ultra-left Bengal opposition to emote the role of kisan sympathisers called for a further increase in the circulation and readership of the daily Ganashakti.


Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, the Bengal chief minister said that the crossing of the 40 year milestone was an important landmark for the newspaper that was the official organ of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M). He recalled his association with Comrades Promode Dasgupta, Saroj Mukherjee, and Anil Biswas.