People's Democracy

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


No. 47

November 25, 2007

'Dead Man' Walking At Nandigram


KANAI Sheet was made the late Kanai Sheet by a section of the Bengali print media. They would describe in exaggerated and gory detail the manner in which Kanai Sheet died a martyr’s death, no less, at the hands of the CPI(M) workers. They would detail out the last journey — replete with the bereaved family crying their hearts out at this particular instance of brutality, and the reportage – in fact there was a series on the late lamented Kanai Sheet – was in due course followed by several mournful op-ed pieces and editorials that were combative and called for the people to be aware of the death of an innocent and old villager, also a staunch Trinamul Congress supporter.


Some of the descriptive phraseology represented the truth. Kanai Sheet is, bless him, quite old. Kanai Sheet is a villager (of Bhangaberia). Kanai Sheet is also a Trinamul Congress loyalist, as indeed is his whole family, especially dear son Khokan Sheet, killer-at-large-cum-Maoist gunman. But the fact of pleasant exception is that Kanai Sheet is very much alive, and can be found walking around the village in the morning and the evening, chewing paan (betel nut), and spitting out juice, doing a spot of marketing, having a gossip or two with his friends, and even found speaking of the great betrayal that he, his worthy son Khokan (on the run lately), and his family faced, with promises not being kept by the great leader from Kolkata.


Kanaibabu has duly informed the print media representatives who went to ‘fact-check’ the news of his death that his house was a shelter for the Maoists – his dear gun-toting son Khokan aka Khoka acting as the link person.


Kanaibabu is a quack on the side, and he assured us that he would begin his ‘practice’ soon enough after an eleven months’ gap – and he cannot seem to get over his sense of betrayal by the political outfits he supported in cash and kind. Dispirited, demoralised, and disheartened at the turn of events after having been assured of land and riches, Kanai Sheet looks a tad forlorn and is slightly embarrassed, but is nevertheless alive, well, and appears hale and hearty while he sits with his wife on the front porch of the mud-hut in the early winter sun of Bhangaberia in a Nandigram where peace has returned. (B P)