People's Democracy

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


No. 01

January 06, 2008

Ground-Level Work Started For Long-Delayed

Water Supply Project At Nandigram


THE public health & engineering department of the Bengal Left Front government had sanctioned a much-needed water supply project worth Rs 1.62 crore long back towards the end of 2006.  What prevented its implementation since was the crass and irresponsible intervention of initially the Trinamul Congress and then the armed Maoist anarchists.


On the strength of a cheap and anti-development rhetoric of phobia based on lies, lies, and more lies, a section of the simple-minded rural folk was led astray.  As violence erupted, and as CPI(M), workers and supporters were attacked ruthlessly, molested, killed, looted, and ejected from their mud huts and mathkothas (semi-mud-built-places of residence) in increasing numbers, development took an uncomfortable even danger-laced backseat.


The Bengal CPI(M) and the Bengal Left Front government had never claimed Midnapore east area to be an economically advanced neighbourhood. The more the violence continued -- motivated and politically-driven violence – the more the largely saline-soiled area lagged behind in developmental terms.


After eleven long - for some too long - months of imposed claustrophobia (even the state government was violently shut out of the Nandigram blocks in entirety), torture piled on torture on the villagers, and fierce anti-CPI(M) propaganda, helped by a rousing campaign of disinformation in the media and on the internet, the latter to rope in foreign funded agencies passing off as NGOs, the refugees chose to return home.


The villains of the Bengal opposition simply chose cowardice as the better part of discretion, and preferred to run away from Nandigram.  Their minders in the media gradually fell into a sullen silence, and their patrons in the institutions started to feel warm again.  Normalcy once set in motion has overwhelmed fair-and-square the vicious detractors of the CPI(M) and of the LF government.


Despite occasional acts of intransigence by the CRPF, Nandigram has started to swing and hum to the gentle rhythm of rural life, and the beginning of the water supply project that will provide potable water to the entire Sonachura area and even beyond, is one of the initial signposts of the defeat and disgrace of the cowardly troublemakers and villainous killers. 




The squeamish political frustration of Mamata Banerjee was more than apparent when on the day the project work started at Sonachura amidst a celebratory mood, she announced after several double-takes and postponements, the floating of a ‘secular democratic front’ comprising her own outfit, sundry Naxalite fractions, and the more politically featherweight Jharkhandi splinters, and virtually unknown groups of religious fundamentalists, and she retained her ties with the communal BJP-led NDA.  Her frustration was audible when questioned about the absence in her ‘front’ even of the Siddiqullah Chaudhuri’s outfit, not to speak of the coming-to-naught of her vaunted, and much-hyped-in-the-media ‘political’ claim on the participation in her ‘front’ of ‘non-CPM-LF-parties.’

(B P)