People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 24 

June 14, 2009

 


EDITORIAL

The Politics Of Terror

 

THE supreme anti-democratic character of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is fast unfolding accompanied by murderous assaults on the CPI(M) and the Left parties in West Bengal. As soon as the central government was formed, the TMC chief had declared that its ministers in the government of India would spend five days a week in Bengal and devote only two days for the discharge of their ministerial responsibilities. Clearly, the TMC is seeking to misuse ‘ministerial power’ to unleash its politics of terror and not to discharge responsibility in the ‘service of the people’ of the country.

 

When tragedy struck Bengal in the form of cyclone Aila, the Trinamool chief asked the central government not to provide any humanitarian assistance to the state government.  Apart from being anti-democratic, such an attitude is simply inhuman.  When this appeared untenable, the TMC demanded that relief assistance must not be provided to the elected state government but should be given directly to the district magistrates.  Such a demand is not only patently undemocratic but it also negates a fundamental feature of our Constitution viz., federalism.  Further, in a brazen display of its anti-democratic character, the TMC refused to attend an all-party meeting called by the state government to discuss relief and rehabilitation to the victims of the tragedy.

 

At the time of the 93rd amendment to the Indian Constitution making the panchayati raj institutions mandatory, the country fiercely debated this issue of sanction of funds directly to the panchayats. It was then suggested by the Congress party that central funds should flow directly from the prime minister to the district magistrate bypassing the elected government and the chief minister of the state.  The country had then rejected  comprehensively this formula of `PM to DM minus CM' as being a complete violation of our Constitution. The TMC is now trying to resurrect this issue by seeking to bypass the elected state government in West Bengal. To further their political and electoral interests, the TMC is prepared to undermine both our Constitution and parliamentary democracy.

 

The clearest expression of the TMC's anti-democratic character is exposed in the murderous assaults that it has unleashed on the CPI(M) and the Left. During the period from the announcement of the 15th general elections till today, as we go to press, 40 CPI(M) and 2 Forward Bloc activists have been murdered so far. 

 

What is currently happening in Nandigram and Khejuri  in  the East Mednipur district of West Bengal is simply abominable. Soon after the declaration of the results, the elected TMC MP publicly declared that both Nandigram and Khejuri would be “cleared from CPI(M)” within 48 hours. CPI(M) activists and sympathizers were driven out of a number of villages in systematic attacks  in Nandigram.  One CPI(M) activist, Santosh Barman, was killed in Satengabari village. Over a thousand people were forced to flee from their homes. The lives of elected members of the panchayats are being threatened unless they resign and vacate the places for the TMC. 

 

From the morning of June 8, fully armed gangs on motorbikes began attacking CPI(M) offices in Khejuri, looting and setting on fire the homes of Party activists.  This attack continued for more than 36 hours non stop. All CPI(M) offices in a stretch of 19 kilometers were looted and destroyed in a planned manner.  Over a hundred CPI(M) activists were grievously injured and over 200 houses were burnt and looted.  More than a thousand villagers were forced to flee from their homes. 

 

As we go to press, these attacks are still continuing.  On June 9, five ministers of the state government were prevented from reaching Khejuri by the TMC. They refused to even discuss with the district superintendent of police and the district magistrate who tried to reason with them. Clearly, they were seeking to provoke a confrontation and  to try and use the consequent developments to demand the intervention of the central government on the excuse of a ‘break down of law and order’ in the state. The TMC chief has already demanded that the central government should act against the state government under Article 355 of our Constitution. This is a classic case of “the pot calling  the kettle black”. First mount murderous assaults and then raise the bogey of a law and order breakdown and seek central intervention – this is the politics of the TMC. 

 

During the decade of the 1970s, the CPI(M) had faced and defeated the semi-fascist terror  unleashed by the Congress and other reactionary forces. Thousands of our comrades had been martyred in the struggle and many more thousands were dislocated from their homes. This semi-fascist terror was intensified after the Congress had won a rigged election to the state assembly in 1972.  The CPI(M) had fought back this terror with courage and determination and for the restoration of democracy in West Bengal.  The semi-fascist terror ended only with the defeat of the emergency in 1977 and the restoration of democracy in the country. Since then, till now, the Left Front government has been continuously  re-elected by the people of Bengal. 

 

Similarly, if the TMC and other reactionary forces wish to once again subvert democracy in West Bengal and to disrupt the peace and stability that Bengal has enjoyed for over three decades, by mounting murderous assaults on the CPI(M) and the Left, this shall be met like the semi-fascist terror was met and defeated. 

 

(June 10, 2009)