People's Democracy

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


No. 18

May 01, 2011


Mamata Ready to Curtail

Fundamental Rights


From Our Special

Correspondent in Kolkata


THE ghost of 1970s is back in West Bengal. This time through a direct threat from Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who referred to that dark period of history as a period ‘when the Leftists had to flee’. The nostalgic reference and an expressed intention to recreate post-1972 period drew sharp reactions from people. TMC supremo, herself a product of Siddartha Shankar Roy regime, also threatened in a public rally that she “controls goondas”.


West Bengal faced the semi-fascist terror in 1970s, which started around 1970 and culminated in rigged elections in 1972. Almost 1200 CPI(M) and Left activists and supporters were killed, thousands jailed and more than 20,000 people were forced to shift from their residential areas. What started as an attack on communists, later spread, affecting every section of the society. It was generally referred to as “Hoodlum Years” when anti-social elements and criminals were rulers. TMC chief only confirmed the charge that the same politics of anarchy and violence was being carried on by her party.


In another straight talk, Mamata Banerjee said  in a television interview just before the third phase of voting that once in power, she would bring in legislation banning strikes in the state. The dangerous pronouncement of Mamata contradicts the fundamental right of people envisaged in the Indian Constitution. The utterance has earned claps from the corporate media houses for obvious reasons.


Even more dangerously, TMC chief also said that she would also like to curb the right to form trade unions. “It will take only one day to break unions”, she thundered. It is an indication of the authoritarian ideology she believes in and properly placed herself as the true successor of the emergency period. It is a typical corporate legacy to blame the trade unions even without any reason. Practically they do not want to acknowledge the right of the workers and always try to increase the profit of the management. They pursue the trickle down theory of development which ultimately makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. It might be recalled that just before the assembly elections of 2001 Mamata Banerjee promised the same things in a meeting of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). In reciprocation the representatives of corporate owners then projected her as the future chief minister of West Bengal.


Banerjee is often portrayed as a ‘leftist’ by her brand manager media. TMC chief proved her pro-capital credentials yet again and also the point that the real fight in West Bengal is nothing but a class battle.