People's Democracy

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


No. 03

January 17, 2010



In Defence of the Struggle for Democracy in West Bengal


THE 32nd conference of All India Kisan Sabha condemns the semi-fascist attack on Left and democratic forces and the Left Front government of West Bengal let loose by the Trinamool Congress-led alliance of reactionary forces, comprising extreme rightists and pseudo-Left terrorists, that is, the self-styled Maoists. Between May 16, 2006, i.e., after the Left Front government was returned to office with well above three-fourths majority for a seventh consecutive term, and January 10, 2010, 371 comrades have been killed. Of them, 146 were murdered after the last parliamentary elections. A large number of them are from the poorest and socially deprived sections. Of these victims, 28 are tribal comrades, 42 OBCs and scheduled castes and 22 are from the Muslim minority community. Thousands of Left Front supporters were forced to leave their villages, their houses torched to ashes or demolished to dust. Hundreds of sharecroppers and patta holders were evicted from their lands and even peasants were forced to transfer their rayyati land free of cost by means of registered deeds with the stamp duties paid from their own pockets.

It may be recalled that these attacks started from Nandigram and then Singur, followed by the so-called mass resistance against police atrocities in Lalgarh. According to the twisted reasoning of these criminals, to plant mines designed to carry out the �death penalty� against the chief minister is �democratic� and attempts to apprehend these criminals is �anti-democratic.� They received overt and covert support from the hired hands of the right wing bourgeois media and from assorted self-styled �intellectuals.� The demand of the TMC chief and union railway minister that president�s rule be promulgated by invoking article 356 in West Bengal and for withdrawal of central paramilitary forces from Lalgarh is designed to make it a liberated zone for Kishanji alias Koteswar Rao and his mercenaries. �Kishanji� himself is not ashamed to take the name of Mao Zedong and then ask people to boycott elections in which they want the TMC supremo to get elected and become the chief minister of West Bengal. For her part, the railway minister, like her double-speaking counterparts among her �Maoist� allies, refuses to recognise the Maoist hand in blowing up railway lines and stations. Although the prime minister and the union home minister have declared that they consider the Maoists to be the single biggest threat to internal security, responsible for around 4,000 killings in the last five years, they do not, of course, utter a word against their new-found ally in the UPA-2 government. They kept such silence in order to get rid of their dependence on the Left during the UPA-1 government, a dependence that was much to the dislike of their imperialist mentor and strategic partner in Washington.

The union home minister has, of late, written a long letter to express his dismay in public at the �inability� of the chief minister of West Bengal to contain the insurgency in Lalgarh. Where the TMC or their past allies are not a major force, his partymen in West Bengal in some districts have themselves joined the killing spree directed against Left Front workers. The TMC has also joined hands and gone for electoral alliance with the separatist forces in Darjeeling and the Kamtapuris in the districts of North Bengal.

Such are the diabolical designs of this unprincipled alliance. However, as history has proved time and again, these allies have contradictions among themselves and their alliance therefore cannot be a permanent phenomenon. Fissures have already started appearing here and there.

The AIKS takes pride in the fact that it is the Kisan Sabha that has made most of the sacrifices in the brave mass resistance put up by its West Bengal detachment. It has done so along with its fraternal mass organisations and the Left and democratic forces by organising movements and struggles and mobilising millions of peasants under its banner.

The 32nd conference also takes note of the fact that it is the mighty movement of the peasantry and the political will of the Left Front government that has made it possible to distribute 1.97 lakh acres of land among 1.76 lakh tribal families in West Medinipur district. This district alone accounts for about half of the martyrs in the state in the post-Lok Sabha election period. The Left Front won all the parliament seats in the three districts bordering Jharkhand, which has been the main target of attack. In the Jhargram parliamentary seat, the main focus of attack, the CPI(M) candidate won over 59 per cent of the votes, and won in all assembly segments with massive margins, including  the Binpur assembly constituency, in which Lalgarh is located.

The 32nd conference of the AIKS, which is being held in the land of the mightiest movement of peasantry in the country, resolves to extend its solidarity and all possible support to the heroic struggle of the peasantry and all democratic forces in West Bengal against the heinous attacks of the reactionary combine. The AIKS resolves to take up a countrywide campaign in February 2010 to mobilise the working masses and all democratic and patriotic forces in defence of this advanced outpost of democracy in order that democracy, secularism, national integration, self reliance and sovereignty of our country are defended at all costs. This conference firmly believes that, as in the seventies of the last century --- when the semi-fascist terror in West Bengal culminated in the proclamation of Emergency all over the country --- reaction will not have the final say. It is the movement of the working people and democratic forces that will become victorious, in the battle for democracy, and emerge ever stronger than before.