People's Democracy

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


No. 36

September 06, 2009

50 Years Later...


SUBODH Chandra Haldar, now 77 years old, vividly remembers the events of the historic food movement in which he was an active participant as a 27 year old youth. Seated on the specially erected platform for the martyr families on the occasion of the mammoth Left Front rally commemorating the golden jubilee of the movement on August 31, 2009, Haldar (see photo on right) reminiscenced about the brutality of the then Congress regime exactly 50 years ago.


He said that he, along with 300 others, had walked down from Ranaghat village in Nadia district to Kolkata to take part in the mass rally on August 31, 1959 held as part of the food movement's programme of action. Communist Party leader Dinesh Majumdar led the contingent. They were coming from Sealdah towards Shaheed Minar maidan and had reached Bow Bazaar area when the helmeted police pounced on them, beating up everyone brutally. As they ran helter-skelter, Haldar took a lathi hit on his right hand and slipped (see photo on left). His hand was fractured and while fleeing he could see blood all around as many colleagues fell on the ground with head injuries. He says the police acted like beasts, not caring to spare even women rallyists.


Asked what he thought about the present situation, Haldar was clear that those dark days of hunger and State repression are surely gone from Bengal once the Left Front came to power and implemented pro-people policies. However, he warned that all kinds of reactionaries actively aided and abetted by the imperialists are working overtime to remove the Left Front from power. Our Party cadre must go among the common people, convince them and win over those who deserted us. That is the only way we can defeat these reactionary forces.