People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 25, 2007
Desperate Unity Of All Reactionary Forces
AS we go to press, a unique convergence of reactionary anti-communist forces is unfolding over the disturbances in Nandigram. As the parliament began a discussion on this issue, a hastily-formed All India Minority Front unleashed disturbances in Kolkata warranting the deployment of the army at the request of the state government.
The CPI(M) has, since day one of this winter session of parliament, declared its readiness to have a debate on the developments in Nandigram. However, the CPI(M), consistent with its own positions and that delineated by the federal structure of our Constitution, stated that law and order issues in any particular state cannot be a subject matter of discussion in the parliament. This is so because the Constitution places law and order exclusively in the state’s list and, hence, within the domain of the state legislature and the executive. Therefore, the CPI(M) had suggested that the Nandigram developments could be discussed in connection with the proposals concerning the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) which came into being as a result of a central legislation. Alternatively, this issue could be discussed in connection with the growing Maoist/naxalite violence that cuts across various states. In the event, the discussion is taking place in connection with the SEZ policy.
The All India Minority Front, a conglomeration of various Islamic fundamentalist forces, announced a protest ostensibly to demand that the Bangladeshi author, Taslima Nasreen, must not be allowed to continue to stay in Kolkata. The fundamentalist forces have been ranged against the author’s views for a long time now. Anybody who knows the Indian system knows that the permission granted to any foreign national to visit or stay in India is on the basis of a visa granted by the central government, which alone has the exclusive right to do so. Hence, it is meaningless to target any state government on this count. The real reason for the protest, therefore, was obviously to highlight the Nandigram issues and, thus, unleash a fresh round of violence.
These attempts come in the midst of a 48-hour bandh call given by the Maoists on the Nandigram developments in the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa. A CPI(M) local committee member, Sufal Mandi, was murdered in the Purulia district of West Bengal, as the incendiary bandh began. The police have claimed to recover over half a dozen landmines, rifles and other ammunition alongwith naxalite leaflets in the village. A railway track was blown up on the Sainthia–Andal section of eastern railways leading to the suspension of train services. There was an exchange of fire between Maoists and the police in various parts of Jharkhand and a huge cache of explosives and detonators were recovered.
Hundreds of passengers narrowly escaped death when Maoists triggered a landmine blast on a railway track in West Bengal’s Birbhum area, minutes before a passenger train, Mayurkashi fast passenger, was to pass through. Similar reports are coming in from various parts of the affected areas. As reported in these columns last week, the National Security Advisor has confirmed the involvement of Maoists in Nandigram and its aftermath violence.
It is such forces of Maoist violence that the Trinamul Congress gave patronage to enter the Nandigram area and conduct their operations. It is these Maoists that the BJP, in its eagerness to retain the Trinamul Congress in the NDA fold, is both protecting and encouraging. The so-called intellectuals and the anti-communist civil society NGOs have lent their shoulders for the Maoists to fire their guns. Sections of the media ably aided and assisted this by resorting to the most unethical of methods of showing images of victims as the aggressors (This is dealt with elsewhere in this issue).
Therefore, the grand alliance, from the Maoists, Islamic fundamentalists, communal forces headed by the BJP, their reactionary allies like the Trinamul to the civil society NGOs and their hanger on intellectuals, has been forged in an anti-communist attempt to try and destablise the democratically-elected government through violent means in West Bengal. This, in a way, echoes the resounding opening salvo of the Communist Manifesto where Marx and Engels described the desperate unity of all reactionary forces against the growing communist advance.
As stated earlier in these columns, this is not the first time that the reactionary forces have ganged up together in an unholy alliance to strike terror against the CPI(M) in West Bengal. They tried this earlier in Keshpur, in Garbeta, in Panskura and failed. So shall they fail, once again, in Nandigram.