People's Democracy

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


No. 17

April  24, 2011


Media's Role as

Political Opposition to Left


A SECTION of media is playing the role of political opposition to the Left in West Bengal. This has intensified now as the state is in the midst of six-phase elections. Though the paranoid anti-Left position of these sections of media is well known, this time their main thrust of propaganda is creating an atmosphere as if the TMC-Congress alliance has already won and a so-called “Change” was inevitable.


“They are trying to shatter the confidence of the people”, alleged Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. “But they will fail, the consciousness of the people of our state is much higher”, he asserted in a public rally in Kolkata recently.


Corporate media, both print and audio-visual, is working overtime to refurbish the image of TMC leader Mamata Banerjee as a ‘good administrator’. It is obviously necessary to wipe out the image of anarchy and violence that she is associated with for so long. And for this purpose, the dominant media in West Bengal is keeping under wraps the wanton violence by TMC in districts. There is silence over TMC attack in villages of Nandigram and Khejuri in East Midnapore. Even when an Election Commission officer was severely beaten up by TMC candidate in Bijpur,  Subhrangshu Roy, son of union minister Mukul Roy, the incident was virtually buried. 


Another way of anti-Left campaign is the spate of ‘opinion polls’, devoid of scientific methodology and smacking of subjective assertion as well. In fact, a specific allegation has been reported that the surveyors tried to force villagers in Jamalpur in Burdwan district to speak out in favour of ‘change’, resulting in commotion. 




Railway minister’s party is spending huge money in this election campaign. Despite restrictions by Election Commission, TMC candidates are using banners, flexes and posters in huge numbers. Mamata Banerjee herself is using helicopter in her election tours. In electronic media, TMC has bought enormous spaces for advertisement. Naturally the question arises about the source of money. Railway minister did a ridiculous attempt to cover up by arranging an exhibition of her artwork in Kolkata. It was reported that all her works were sold and it fetched more than Rs 2 crore. Without any comment on the quality of the paintings, her claim that it was how she gathered money for election campaign has become another example of hoodwinking people.




The 'Maoists' in West Bengal, as expected, have declared their support for TMC in coming elections. While an all-India pamphlet, written in English, has given a token call of boycott, two appeals in Bengali have been issued on the same day in West Bengal. Both the statements have categorically pointed out CPI(M) as ‘enemy’ and the 'Maoists' have threatened that they would resist CPI(M) from campaigning. At the same time they have expressed their ‘hopes and expectations’ about a government by Mamata Banerjeee. 'Maoists' cadres and their supporters in PCPA are already engaged in direct election campaign for TMC candidates in Jangal Mahal.  In response, TMC has dropped the mention of 'Maoists' and their activities in West Bengal in their manifesto, as if nothing of this sort has ever happened in the state.




As the campaign has hit the streets, the result of the tenacious exercise of reinforcing contact with masses, self critical rectification of mistakes and shortcomings by CPI(M) and the Left for last few months is evident. A widespread turnaround by the people, particularly in rural areas, has been reflected in the huge response to the campaign by Left Front. The road show by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Jadavpore was attended by more than a lakh people, which was far beyond the expectations of organisers. Thousands of people joined in the march led by Biman Basu in Behala, in South West Kolkata, in Naxalbari in Darjeeling district. Thousands thronged to listen to Nirupam Sen, Brinda Karat and Gautam Deb in northern districts. In Burdwan districts, unprecedented number of people accompanied in rallies when Left Front candidates submitted their nomination papers. A revitalised Left is asserting now in the most advanced outpost of democracy in the country.

(From Our Special

Correspondent – April 14, 2011)