People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 25, 2007
MASSIVE RALLY IN KOLKATA ASSERTS
Peace And Development Shall Continue At Nandigram
People Shall Thwart All Conspiracies
CPI(M) Bengal state secretary Biman Basu addressing the massive gathering in Kolkata
KOLKATA saw a 50,000 strong rally at the call of the CPI(M) Bengal unit in the afternoon of November 17. This was one of the biggest gatherings, which the metropolis has recently witnessed. The entire Esplanade area and beyond was packed with people and from the extreme rear of the vast number of people who attended, the dais appeared as a rather small island albeit of vibrant red colour in a sea of humanity.
The very large number of young men and women, a considerable part of them attending a rally of this proportion for the first time, were visibly glad at the people's assertion in Nandigram. As the leaders spoke, marchers continued to troop in waving the Red flag, Red festoons aflutter in the freshening breeze of the bright and sunny early-winter afternoon; they were promptly told to take up positions on the Shahid Minar maidan, a good half-a-kilometre away, for the venue by then had overflowed.
In a more sober note, the Bengal CPI(M) leaders, veterans all in organising and leading mass movements, preferred to come out with the resonant slogan that the rally was a part of the political process against all kinds of conspiracies being hatched against the CPI(M) and the Left Front, surreptitiously and otherwise, at Nandigram and beyond by the forces of right reaction, aided by the Left sectarians, and pampered by the corporate media.
Biman Basu virtually set the pitch and tenor of the rally when he was firm and forthcoming in his views on the havoc the Trinamul Congress-Maoist combination had wreaked on the villagers of Nandigram. There was anarchy, and in full measure, said the Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), at Nandigram for close to eleven months and when at last the fortitude of the people saw them run the gauntlet of attacks and yet make a come back, bloody, exhausted, but with a triumphant gleam in their tired eyes as they headed home, fresh conspiracies were set in motion.
FOIL THE CONSPIRACIES
Biman Basu pointed out, to applause, that the people of Bengal had foiled all earlier conspiratorial moves of the urban and rural stakes and of the political outfits in their tutelage and protection, and that, they would thwart every move made to attack the popularly-elected and pro-people, especially pro-poor, Left Front government.
The attack on the people of Nandigram was a part of the larger machination and plot against the Left Front government, and the message that the people of Nandigram had finally roared out to the would-be liberators should make them think twice, or more, before making any similar attempt elsewhere in Bengal. Biman Basu declared that among the plotters were foreign agencies and their running mates in Bengal. The people of Bengal, of 38,000 villages, and 126 urban towns and cities must unite in the struggle for peace and development all over Bengal, showing all anti-people schemers the door.
Central committee member of the CPI(M) Shyamal Chakraborti said that the massive rally held under the Red banner was a blow against all efforts, now and in the past to put pressure on, and isolate, the CPI(M). The Party has always been a pro-people entity, which, the ruling classes and the political parties they represented had always proved hard to suppress.
Back in the early 1960s, the communists were called anti-national; and the people’s response was the massive food movement that led to rural and urban struggles, and ultimately saw the emergence of the two successive United Front (UF) governments in 1967 and 1969 — both falling to moves by the then union government. The Congress, and its later avatars, have never really been able to recover political ground in Bengal since then, except through plotting like the rigged polls of 1972.
Nandigram and its surrounding villages comprised the newest foci of the rural and urban stakes and their gunmen, especially the violent and invasive Maoists. Shyamal Chakraborti reminded those who would doubt the existence of the Maoists at Nandigram that recent issues of two national dailies, the Times of India, and the Telegraph, carried statement by Maoists leaders who boasted therein of their ‘continued armed presence’ at Nandigram and areas around it.
Shyamal Chakraborty regretted the sorry plight – for close to a year – of the thousands of CPI(M) supporters and others who would not toe the Maoist-Trinamul Congress line at Nandigram, and who were killed, abused, made victims of loot, had their houses set fire to, and finally ejected away from the villages where they had lived for generations together.
VIOLENCE AND MORE VIOLENCE
The speaker pointed out for the benefit of the ‘doubting Thomases’ amongst the self-styled and virulently anti-CPI(M) ‘intellectuals and free thinkers of the civil society,’ that the anarchy was let loose even after the Bengal chief minister had clearly declared, at a big rally at Khejuri in February this year that the LF government had plans to set up the chemical complex not at Nandigram but quite a distance away at a sandhead at the mouth of the River Ganges. There had been no plans at all for any SEZ at Nandigram or anywhere else nearby from the beginning, but try telling that to the Naxalites and the Maoists!
Shyamal Chakraborti iterated how the administrative work had been brought to a complete standstill, the developmental process stalled, and normalcy ripped apart to give way to a law of the jungle, courtesy the Maoists and their running lackeys. Throughout the autumn festival season of the Id-ul Fitr, Durgapuja, and Dussehra, evictions, loot, arson, and murder continued with impunity. There was no ‘cry from the heart’ of the civil society and of some other quarters then. The torrent of tears started to flow only when the refugees started to come back, and the Maoists accompanied by their Trinamul Congress subalterns in the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Samity (BUPS) yelped and started to scamper.
Identifying among the plotters against the CPI(M) ad the Left Front, the foreign-funded NGOs, and such roaming do-gooders’ like Medha Patkar, Shyamal Chakraborty wondered aloud about the reasons why Ms Patkar had deserted the side of the Maharashtra kisans, committing suicide over low crop prices, to come rushing to the aid of the likes of Mamata Banerjee and P R Dasmunshi. Their intent is to stall the progress of the LF government and to undermine the Left at the national level so that the anti-people policies of the union government, and its supporters elsewhere, could go ahead, thus pleasing the US imperialists no end. The people, declared Shyamal Chakraborty, would foil all conspiratorial moves and ensure the onward march of the CPI(M), the Left Front, and the Left Front government.
Also addressing the rally were central committee members of the CPI(M) Benoy Konar (who exposed the hypocrisy of the ‘civil society’ and of the ‘intellectuals,’ and Mohd Salim who delineated the foreign hand seen to orchestrate the anti-CPI(M) opposition in Bengal.