(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 17, 2010
Flutters in Lalgarh
front of the CPI (M) office at the Lalgarh gram panchayat
area, we saw a woman busy with a formidably large broom.
On being asked what she was going about, she
curtly told us that she was sweeping the débris away from the
office, and would we mind going about doing whatever we had come to do
‘city’ – and what she was sweeping away was waste material, flotsam and
that had accumulated in terms of dust as well as fall-out from a grisly
outrage. We later realised the person
was a district committee member of the Midnapore west unit of the CPI
Earlier, on a
bright and breezy Sunday mid-morning, around twenty five
thousand people once residents of Lalgarh had come trooping in, Red
aflutter by the thousands.
There was no
fanfare, and there was no sound of any bugle or another form
of wind instrument. The marchers passed the so-called ‘Maoist’
strongholds of Gopalpur,
Jhatuiara, Jirakul, Jirpara, Kochatola, Mohanpore, Brindabanpore,
Kakpara, Chemtiara, Laxmanpur, Sakhakulia, and
Chunapara before finally entering the
Lalgarh gram panchayat.
the vaunted ‘Maoists’ with their ‘formidable’ armed personnel,
their mass base, and most important their sophisticated guerrilla
backed up by ‘superior’ firepower? This
is a puzzle that awaits history for the disclosing of an answer. We may humbly posit here that all these
labels are rendered meaningless when the crucible and matrix of
the mass of the people. Nothing, nobody,
and certainly no ‘Maoist’ can and shall come between the people and
that are emblazoned in history.
This was no
‘come back’ that Lalgarh gram panchayat witnessed.
The area has seen hundreds of CPI (M)
workers, sympathisers, and supporters killed, injured, abducted, women
children butchered over more than a year’s time. Many
villagers too had been killed despite
their lack of affiliation to any political party.
forces operations had left Lalgarh devoid of most of the population. The people virtually in exile, had fumed,
fretted—and also planned, under the
vanguard leadership of the CPI (M). Over
the past two months, they had marched fearlessly across the so-called
terrain. The halt at Dharampur was a
brief one. Then the people came
home, to Lalgarh. It was homecoming
and not a come-back in the
sense that the corporate media would like to have its
Each one of
the heinous deeds, the brutal murders, the abductions, the outraging
of the modesty of the women and the deportations, perpetrated in the
been done in active connivance of the Trinamul Congress; the people
have kept this
in mind. Not a single Trinamuli flag was
seen in Lalgarh as the marchers entered the zone. Red
Flags appeared instead from hutments and
courtyards where the strong Party veterans had held out in the face of
of survival challenges.
evening, when it was time for us to leave, the bazaar had opened
with fresh vegetables being brought in eagerly from the fields afar and
near. The pitched-and-tarred roads have
started to witness cricket matches, impromptu football games. The bell rang from the Lalgarh high
school. The bell also rings in memory of
the 58 CPI (M) comrades who were killed at Lalgarh.
They, each one of them, will be remembered by
the people of