People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 29, 2007
Buddhadeb Calls For Consensus On The
Issue Of Bengal’s Development
BENGAL chief minister called for a strong consensus across the board on the issue of developing the state further. There should be exchange of opinion across the discussion table and not confrontation, said Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. He was addressing a meeting of intellectuals in a packed auditorium of the Science City of the eastern metropolitan bypass. Attending the meeting were artistes, writers, theatre personalities, actors, singers, and the literati of Kolkata and beyond. A resolution was raised and passed about the coming forward of all people towards ending all kinds of disorder and strengthening the process of pro-people development of Bengal.
The four principal points that came across during the session were:
· Not every step taken by the Left Front government may be acceptable in some quarters but that should not detract from open discussions continued in a frank manner, especially when the issue of development in general of Bengal is concerned
The prevailing democratic ambience of Bengal must not be taken advantage of by anyone to run riot against a popularly-elected and pro-people LF government
The state LF government ought to think seriously about the need of attaching any importance at all to those ‘intellectuals’ of a certain political persuasion who oppose developmental initiatives on purely political grounds
The LF government should carry on discussions with those who oppose variously different aspects of industrialisation, out of confused thinking or atavistic, Luddite considerations; nonetheless, the industrialisation process should continue albeit with circumspection and at a fair pace
Buddhadeb responding to the points raised by the litterateurs began by pointing out that it was a policy decision of the LF government to keep doors open for discussion, on any issue that touched the welfare and development of Bengal. The chief minister reiterated that it was not fair on the part of the opposition to set up often on a notional basis, ‘save agricultural land’ committees wherever there was a plan to set up an industry, any industry. Opposition for the sake of opposition may be indulged in for the sake of a bit of political mileage but that would hardly be a positive step in helping Bengal to develop.
Emphasising that industrialisation meant the opening up of a vast space for generation of employment, Buddhadeb urged upon the opposition outfits and their contingents among the intellectuals to pause and think about the harm they would do to the younger generations by blocking the path of development. Industrialisation was not done at the cost of agriculture, and it was a never a case of industrialisation versus agriculture anywhere anytime in Bengal under Left Front governance.
Differentiating between Singur and Nandigram scenarios, Buddhadeb said that in the former locality the overwhelming majority of the people supported the setting up of the automobile factory. In Nandigram, errors of omission were committed, as the people there were not adequately apprised about the various aspects of the setting of a chemical hub. Buddhadeb also marked as unwarranted the police action at Nandigram on March 14, and said that the chemical hub would certainly be set up but not at Nandigram.
Among those who addressed the big gathering were the mayor of Kolkata and a leading legal exponent Bikash Bhattacharjee, the novelists Buddhadev Guha and Debesh Roy, the litterateur Amitava Chaudhuri, the poet Mallika Sengupta, the actors Dilip Roy, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, and Usha Ganguly, the singers Amar Pal, Shuvendu Maiti, Utpalendu Chaudhuri, and Indranil Sen, the sarod exponent Buddhadev Dasgupta, the historian Aniruddha Roy, the football luminary P K Banerjee, the noted architect Sailapati Guha, the scientist Saroj Ghosh, and the poet Nirendranath Chakraborti who presided. Rabindrasangeet exponent Anushila Basu rendered the opening song.