(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 22, 2009
BIG rally of Left Front workers was held on March 16, 2009 in the Indoor Stadium at Salt Lake which was addressed by the top leadership of Bengal Left Front. Jyoti Basu, who has been in indifferent health for some time in the recent past, spoke via a video link. His address was on display on four gigantic video screens in the stadium.
IMPORTANCE OF THE THIRD ALTERNATIVE
Jyoti Basu centred his arguments on the emergence of the third alternative to both the reactionary Congress and the communal BJP. He marked the coming Lok Sabha battle as the battle to decide the nation’s future for the next half-a-decade. The third alternative must be elected to office for it will work for the masses unlike the two big bourgeois political outfits whose policies are oriented towards the corporate sector. Such an alternative governance would follow an independent foreign policy and also ensure that secularism marks the government’s policy outlook.
In this task, said Basu, the emergence of a strengthened Left was of critical importance. Here Bengal must play a stellar role like in the past along with Kerala and Tripura that are also Red bastions. He charged the Congress-led UPA government of betraying the people. But for the Left’s crucial outside support ensuring prevention of a rampaging liberalisation and privatisation drive, the world economic recession would surely have overwhelmed India. Entire arrays of public sector enterprises, surely privatised, would have been in deep debacle. Basu ended his speech by calling upon the politically-conscious people of Bengal to ‘defeat the unprincipled alliance of Congress and Trinamul Congress in Bengal, and make Left victorious by bigger margins than in the past.’
State secretary of the Bengal CPI(M) Biman Basu noted the pendulum-like movement of the Trinamulis between the Congress and the BJP. Biman Basu was certain that the basic purpose of all three outfits, whether or not stuck to each other in various combinations out of sheer political opportunism, was to attack the Left in general and the CPI(M) in particular. He drew the attention of the LF workers to the vested role of the foreign powers and their local agencies to influence the elections against the emergence of the Left and the third alternative. The reactionary-sectarian-foreign agencies alliance could be defeated by augmenting further the front of the common man, of the people, of the masses.
BIG WIN FOR THE LEFT
A POLITICAL IMPERATIVE
Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that the Left Front would have to secure its strong base that was Bengal. A big win here would also ensure that the country was not led astray, or pushed to the brink of ruination, especially for the poor. The strong presence of the Left would augment the third alternative and would also make sure that the ruling classes were not able to do a noxious sale out of the nation’s integrity and sovereignty to imperialist forces and their running mates. The third alternative, he pointed out, did not speak of individuals but pro-people policies. With the combined voting percentage of the Congress and the BJP in the last elections to the Lok Sabha less than 50 per cent, Bhattacharjee noted, these forces could do but little than witness the people reject them further in the upcoming polls. Other speakers included leaders of the Left Front constituents.
A slogan has started to appear under the supervision of the Left student-youth all over Bengal. The slogan is popular, it attracts attention of passer-by’s, and it creates ripples among the ranks of the opposition as well, against whom it is directed.
What does the slogan say? It merely paraphrases and gives a slight warp to Mamata Banerjee’s policy outlook on Singur. “We, too, want industrialisation – we, too, want the small car to be produced – not of course in Bengal but in Modi’s Gujarat.”
The politics of destruction – of delusion, of lies, of sabotage – face utter rejection amongst the youth, a wide cross-section of whom we spoke to and interacted with all over south Bengal for the past week. The ranks included students, unemployed and employed youth of various tiers and conditions, young women of various communities and the youth belonging to a bewildering variety of caste groups, and communists, Left liberals, even those who vaguely try to stay away from what they (mis)understand to be ‘politics.’
They were united in one point. The point is the bane of counter-progress advocated by and foisted on the people by Mamata’s men and women. Even more, they detest the venomous point being made by the Trinamuli campaign and which tells, in so many words — you can have industrial development, you can enjoy tranquillity, you can revel in amity, provided you vote us in and the Communists out. Otherwise, we will ensure that mayhem descends on you lot, and we shall let loose the dogs of war on you.
This mind game the youth reject completely. They are also furious at the naïveté political outlook of the Mamata brigade that boasts of the fact that unless the communists come around to kow-towing to them, as the Pradesh Congress has started to do of late, they are going to ‘bash them into submission.’
Older readers will recall the famous slogan of the Hitlerjugend or the youth vandals of the Nazi party in the Germany of the terrible thirties of the last century: ‘Be my little brother or I will bash your head in.’
Whether it is a small gathering during the dusk of a rural evening at Joymollah at Singur or at Gopinathpur in Haripal – both in Hooghly – or a large brightly lit rally at a crowded corner of the Alimuddin Street where Mohd Salim is to open an office of the CPI(M) local committee, the youth predominate the crowd that raise the slogan of triumph, give out the sweet whiff of popular electoral victory, and speak confidently of people’s success, come the elections. The feeling is already in the air before the campaign-counter-campaign has even started: ‘we shall overcome.’
Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee accompanied by truck-and-jeep loads of strong arm ‘supporters’ descended on Nandigram on March 14, 2009. The small field at Hazarakata, where she chose to address her faithful, was not even one-third full as very few of the local folks would venture out at the fearsome sight of the kind of people accompanying her. The Maoists looked crestfallen. She said some interesting things. A few gems of samplers amongst many follow.
‘There would no PCPIR (petro chemical project) allowed at Nayachar even if “Rakesh Roshan” [father of actor Hritik Roshan] again visits the moon:’ Mamata also, in this connection, related at some detail the discussion that “Rakesh Roshan” allegedly had with the late Indira Gandhi from the moon. [What she tried to refer to of course, and in her own unique way, was the name of Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma of the IAF who had accompanied a US space mission when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister].
‘Another reason why the PCPIR would never be allowed to come up is that chemicals damage the eye, and I have proof of this.’
“Even as I speak, the CPM is firing at us, across from Khejuri, only the sound is not heard”
‘CPM shall be upturned’ [?] if ‘Muslims stop running after them’
Here is my manifesto [showing a thick bound book], but I shall not show it to you [smiles] as I have not read it myself
The NREGA programme of late has been made dysfunctional in Midnapore east [where most GPs are run by her outfit].
The list is long and confusing and her sayings go on and on and on until we see the smattering of the local people who had made a late appearance quietly do a discreet disappearing act. The corporate media stay on as we make good our exit.