People's Democracy

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


No. 52

December 29, 2013





Two Rallies That Defied Terror


From Our Special

Correspondent in Kolkata


TWO terror-stricken districts of West Bengal witnessed large mobilisations of defiance and vowed to build up peoples’ protest against attacks on democratic rights. On 22nd December, a massive rally was organised in Chuchura in Hooghly district and the city of Burdwan saw another mammoth one on 24th December, both addressed by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.


Large parts of Hooghly are practically ‘banned’ areas for any activities by opposition for the last two and half years. Many Left Front activists have been killed and hundreds rendered homeless. In recent times, Benoy Dutta, a former CPI(M) MLA and Naren Dey, former minister and veteran Forward Block leader were mercilessly beaten by hooligans of ruling party. In Panchayat elections, Left Front was not allowed to file candidates in more than fifty per cent of the villages. The urge to fight back this throttling terror was reflected in the Left Front rally in Chuchura. Thousands of people came from all corners of the district, many of them in a clandestine manner.  Many had turned up to the rally at Chinsurah Gorkha Maidan from the villages of Arambagh, traversing many miles in a roundabout way. They had to take a bath in the Ganges and many could not return home in the night also. But nothing could dampen the spirit of the over enthusiastic people of Hooghly who did not bow their head to terror.


On that very morning, a Left Front rally led by its chairman Biman Basu and other leaders was attacked in Kolkata. Addressing the Chuichura rally, Buddhadeb Bhatacharjee said, “They are afraid. So they are hitting us. By using violence and creating fear they will not be able to suppress people for long. People will resist”. 


Criticising the state government, Bhattacharjee said in this two and a half years no new hospital, madrasa, college has been built. Many lakhs of jobless youth were promised jobs. They are not getting jobs as the industrialists are not interested in setting up industries. The entire state is sinking. He said, in the whole country prices of commodities are rising but not like in this state. The saddest part is the farmers are not getting their fair prices. The conditions of the roads are precarious. Nobody is willing to work because of the fear of not getting the payment. Then there are TMC extortionists. Bhattacharjee urged the people to unite and strongly protest against the misrule of TMC.


In Burdwan, the terror has spread from villages to towns. Apart from killings of  popular leaders of CPI(M), including district secretariat and district committee members, TMC government has initiated false cases against 7348 Left Front leaders and activists, 756 of them had to be behind the bars. After widespread rigging in panchayat elections, a farce has been exhibited in Burdwan municipal elections too where Left polling agents were thrown out of booths and voters were chased away resulting in a ‘all-seat win’ for the ruling party.


The TMC led municipality denied the CPI(M) to use the big ground that is generally used for rallies. The TMC goons disrupted the rally to be organised even in the alternative place. Finally, the people of Haradhan Pally sought the meeting to be organised in their locality. The volunteers distributed 75,000 home-made chapaties among the people who came from a long distance to attend the meeting. Despite the deep rooted violence in Burdwan district, unending streams of people thronged the meeting place. Finally an arrangement had to be made for a giant screen in another ground beside. That too was not enough and people flooded the national highway stopping traffic for long hours. It was obviously the largest mobilisation in Burdwan after 2011 assembly elections.


Addressing the gathering, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee asserted, “We will not yield to the organised violence. We have to be more organised. Get prepared to stop the violence.” He also said that the poor and middle class people are in very bad condition due to the anti-people policies of the central government. Price rise is causing havoc. The centre is talking about withdrawing subsidies from ration. And the TMC was part of the centre whenever such anti-people steps were initiated. They never stood for the protests against those anti-people policies.


Bhattacharjee also expressed concern about the recent condition of the West Bengal. He said, the farmers are not getting price for their crops. The production of paddy is coming down. The price of rice and vegetables are going beyond control. The officers are sitting in the panchayat offices but the goons are disbursing money. Last two and half years witnessed no government initiatives in hospital, primary health centres, roads, bridges, schools or madrassas. The scope of employment is also shrinking, he said.


Bhattacharjee also said that Narendra Modi is being pushed forward by big industrialists of the country. BJP and Narendra Modi are not only threat for the minorities; they are equally dangerous for the Hindus and for all the poor people. Modi has done nothing for the farmers and poor people of Gujarat. He said that BJP and TMC are in a covert alliance. This is not a new understanding. Earlier also we have seen them as allies. “The people of West Bengal will not allow this dangerous combination to succeed”, Bhattacharjee said.