(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 08, 2011
Rural Poor Bolstering Left Front
one goes by the
corporate media's coverage in
visit to the
rural areas of the state makes it clear that nothing can be farther
than this frenzied, partisan coverage by the corporate media. Elections
citadel of the Left Front not without reason. Much before the All India
Sabha was formed in 1936, the district witnessed heroic peasant
the banner of Burdwan Krishak Samithi since 1933. The struggles were
usury interest, high rents and taxes. The peasants successfully faced
repression and wrested concessions. This movement was led by Comrade
Bhupendranath Dutta, the youngest brother of Swami Vivekananda. He was
of the founding members of the Communist movement in Burdwan. Legendary
of Kisan movement, Benoy Krishna Choudhary, Harekrishna Konar,
others came from this district. Post
However, during the semi fascist terror of 1970s, the gains of the peasants were sought to be undone. Like elsewhere in the state, 186 leaders and cadres of CPI(M) and AIKS were brutally murdered in the district as part of that effort. In Burdwan town alone, 23 leaders were killed among whom included freedom fighters who were killed barely some feet away from the police station in the town. Thousands of peasants who had occupied surplus lands were evicted. A reign of terror was let loose.
After the coming to power of the first Left Front government in 1977, Operation Barga was fittingly launched from this district. Hundreds of thousands of acres of land were distributed among the poor peasants and the recording of sharecroppers done. That the landlords and jotdars continue to nurse a grudge against the Left Front to this day and would spare no effort to once again wrest the lands from poor peasants has become clear post 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Around 30,000 acres of land vested to the poor peasants in the district is without pattas as Bhoomijeevi Sangha, an umbrella body of the landlords, raised litigation in various courts. Such litigation is affecting around 1.87 lakh acres of distributed land across the state. The beneficiaries are in physical possession of the land. It is from such lands that these forces have begun to evict the peasants first. For that, they have once again resorted to terror tactics.
district committee member of CPI(M), Comrade Phalguni Mukherjee, was
killed by TMC goons after the Lok Sabha polls. Another zonal committee
Comrade Sishir Chatterjee was hacked to death by these goons last year.
Similarly in Hijolna
Alongside this terror, the jotdars supporting the TMC began efforts to evict the peasants from their lands. In Kulsona village in Mangalkote, a poor peasant Salim Mallick, has been tilling his one acre of land as a sharecropper for the last 30 years. His tenancy is recorded but he was not given patta due to litigation. He was evicted by the jotdar. The entire poor peasants stood by Mallick and forced the jotdar to give his land back. Similar efforts in Raina were thwarted by the conscious peasants.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and industry minister in the Left Front government Nirupam Sen said that a section of neo-rich farmers, who are financially well off due to double and triple cropping of their lands, are supporting the Trinamool Congress. He felt the main pillars of support for Trinamool are the lumpen elements and that this has sparked off fears of return of 1970s semi-fascist terror among the people. He felt that the Left campaign in areas where there have been murderous attacks by the Trinamool goons has been the most positive.
Nirupam Sen is seeking re-election from Burdwan Dakshin constituency. He asserts that the situation of 2009 is not prevalent in the state now due to various reasons. “Going by the response to our campaign, it has been distinctly noted that those who left us have returned. There is also a perceptible shift among minorities in our favour”, he says. As for the reasons for this turnaround, Sen highlighted the change in focus of LF government with thrust on various welfare schemes. The unprecedented corruption, price rise, black money issues haunting the Congress-TMC led UPA-II government has also impacted the mindset of people. Also, the nepotism, corruption and forcible collection of money in the TMC-run local bodies has exposed their true character before the people, he says.
So, when Mamata Banarjee, gives the slogan: Mangalkote theke Raina, Vaam Front ka aur chaina (from Mangalkote to Raina, No more Left Front), the rural poor clearly understand the real meaning of that slogan. Terror, accompanied by snatching away of their hard won gains of the last 34 years. They are determined to defeat that slogan.