People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 26, 2007
RATANLAL BRAHMAN MEMORIAL LECTURE
Land Reform, Industrialisation, Development & The LF Govt
DELIVERING the Ratanlal Brahman memorial lecture at a crowded Dinabandhu Mancha in Siliguri recently, central committee member of the CPI(M), Benoy Konar said that there should be a simultaneous drive for widening and diversifying the agrarian base while going in for industrialisation with the aim of generating employment and accelerating development. The memorial lecture was held under the joint aegis of the Darjeeling district unit of the CPI(M) and the Ratanlal Brahman memorial trust. CPI(M) leader Sandopal Lepcha presided.
In his important address, Benoy Konar highlighted the milestones in the annals of the communist struggles at the international as well as national levels, and stressed the development that had taken place along the line from the time of the two United Front (UF) governments to the thirty years of the Left Front (LF) governments in Bengal.
Benoy Konar said that the forces that had always stood against the interests of the kisans were engaged in seeking to pose as defenders of the kisans, and that their game has been seen through by the mass of the people. The land reforms movement had brought about a change in the countryside with the land being redistributed among the rural poor and the landless. This had broken the back of the landlords and their patrons in the Pradesh Congress. The speaker noted that the land reforms movement in Bengal was a possibility thanks to the strong current of kisan movement here.
The state Left Front government, Benoy Konar continued, ‘has correctly taken advantage of the situation created presently for drawing in industrial investment.’ The automobile factory at Singur would create jobs for several thousands people. A large township would come up there. A multitude of avenues of employment would be born. An annual asset worth Rs 250 crore would be created.
On the other hand, industries meant the utilisation of land used for agriculture. The consciousness among the kisans must be increased so that they understand the reality that faced them on the questions of employment and asset creation. A similar drive had earlier been undertaken to enhance the consciousness of the kisans when the land reforms movement had commenced in Bengal, said Benoy Konar. All attempts by the rural and urban staked to mislead the kisans and the khet mazdoors must be foiled.
Calling for a comprehensive defeat of the conspiracy being hatched at Nandigram and at other places, the AIKS leader said that while Bengal has a higher-than-average density of population, there was little in the of fallow land here, because of geographical reasons. Thus, an attempt is made to utilise land that were not the best in terms of cropping for industrial purposes. Industrialisation was necessary to lighten the burden on the kisans for the interest of development.
The present situation, concluded the CPI(M) leader, ‘has brought forth a great opportunity to enhance the consciousness of the mass of the rural people and the opportunity must not be lost.’ Benoy Konar also spoke in a laudatory manner about the struggling life of Comrade Ratanlal Brahman who, he said, was a living example of the unity of the hill people with the people living in the plains. Among the CPI(M) leaders present at the lecture were Ashok Bhattacharya, Jibesh Sarkar, Biren Basu, Anil Saha, and Remashankar Prasad.