People's Democracy

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


No. 28

July 10, 2011




Defeat this Class Offensive in Bengal


AS we go to press, the all India call given by the Central Committee of the CPI(M) of a week-long solidarity with our comrades in West Bengal culminates.  Since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, we had reported in these columns, the martyrdom of over 380 workers of the Left Front who were murdered by the unholy nexus of the Trinamul Congress led alliance acting in concert with the Maoists. These attacks were aimed primarily to terrorise the CPI(M) and the Left cadres into inactivity. Unprecedented use of pre-poll terror and violence was one of the highlights of the Assembly election campaign. 


Post-election, 24 CPI(M) leaders have been martyred till July 5.  The propaganda of our class enemies ably assisted  by the corporate media spread the  disinformation that the initial attacks on the CPI(M) and the Left cadre, post-elections, was the result of the release of  pent-up  anger against the `misrule’ of the Left Front government.  That such attacks continue even nearly two months after the election results have been declared nails this lie.  These murders and the accompanied violence that has displaced thousands of Left supporter families are part of a systematic gameplan.  The effort is to try and seek to demobilise the CPI(M) and the Left by specifically targeting key individual leaders.  This, in fact, represents the launching of a new class offensive that is aimed to undo the gains that the working people, particularly the poor peasants and the agricultural labour, have acquired under the Left Front government in rural Bengal. 


There are already reports that, in some places, the working hours for the agricultural labour are being forcibly increased from eight to ten. The customary lunch that was compulsorily provided to them, while on work, is now being discontinued in many places. There are reports that the former landlords who illegally were in possession of surplus land above the legally prescribed ceiling, that was acquired by the Left Front government and distributed to the landless through the land reforms programme, are now seeking to regain the possession of these lands. This is the class offensive. The attempt is to undo the gains of the last 34 years and to reverse the rights that the landless acquired during the Left Front government.  The current violence and killings are part of this class offensive and reflects the fact that the class battle is bound to intensify in the coming days. 


The nexus between the Trinamool Congress and the Maoists has been consistently exposed and discussed in these columns in the past. In the post Assembly election situation, there are disturbing reports that the Maoists are seeking to consolidate their areas.  This is a dangerous situation for the country’s internal security, leave aside, the murderous attacks against the CPI(M) and Left cadre.  At least now, the Congress party, the leader of the UPA coalition at the centre, must answer as to how they continue to live and function with the following contradiction: The prime minister continues to adhere to his characterisation that the Maoist violence poses the gravest threat to India’s internal security, while, the Trinamool Congress seeks the withdrawal of central forces from conducting any operations against the Maoists in Bengal. The compulsions of political opportunism to remain in power cannot be allowed to multiply threats to our country’s internal security. 


Further, with the apex court now coming down strongly against some aspects of the land acquisition by the UPA government in Greater Noida area, it is time for this UPA government to wake up from its stupor and bring the long needed and delayed new land acquisition Act. The CPI(M) had been arguing from before 2004 on the need for a comprehensive law that protects the rights of the land owners and land dependents substantially.  Even before Singur and Nandigram incidents, the CPI(M) had stated both in the parliament and outside  that the land acquisition currently being done under the antiquated 1894 Act cannot be acceptable.  Apart from ensuring proper compensation at market rates, guaranteed future employment etc, the new Act must include a share of the rise in the value of the land to the former owners. The country was told that such an Act was being delayed because of the West Bengal Assembly elections where the TMC was seeking to reap an electoral fortune on the basis of its disinformation campaigns on Singur and Nandigram.  The UPA-II government must now urgently bring such a legislation. 


The class offensive against the CPI(M) and the Left is being intensified. Ranigunj Colliery area has already seen police repression for the first time since 1977, on the workers fighting for their rights. In the run-up to the forthcoming local body elections, there are reports of systematic hounding of the Left cadres and physically removing them from various villages.  As the class battle intensifies, so shall the resistance grow.  At the moment our class brethren in Bengal deserve and require the solidarity from all over the country.  But remember, for seven full years in the decade of 1970s, the CPI(M) was subjected to a gruesome semi-fascist terror aimed at elimination.  That was heroically resisted and defeated at the cost of thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of displaced families. The victory came with the formation of the first Left Front government in 1977 and continued till the seventh Left Front government in 2011. 


Solidarity with our comrades in West Bengal will not stop with this week. It will continue till we win this class battle. 


(July 6, 2011)