Nandigram has again occupied central stage in the political discourse of West Bengal election. Bengal CM Ms. Mamata Banerjee and her erstwhile lieutenant turned saffron brigadier Mr. Subhendu Adhikary are fighting head-on in this constituency. People all over Bengal are eagerly waiting to see the outcome of this electoral battle. But outside this ambit Nandigram has been again resurrected by CPIM and its cheerleaders.
In the midst of electoral campaign Ms Mamata Banerjee complained that Subhendu Adhikary was responsible for allowing police atrocities in Nandigram. It is ridiculous that Ms. Mamata Banerjee came out with this type of serious allegation against one of her closest associate during Nandigram movement after 14 years. It only shows opportunist and anti-people character of Mamata Banerjee. This statement gave CPIM a loose ball to hit a six. All over Bengal CPIM party and its cheerleaders started campaigning in social media “Look truth is exposed. We said Nandigram was a conspiracy. CM Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya was an honest man who wanted to develop industry in West Bengal. Police firing and atrocities in Nandigram was a TMC conspiracy”. With this type of statement as above they are trying to defame glorious Nandigram movement and uphold the Neo-liberal industrial policy of left front government.
But how far this claim of CPIM is true? The answer is a big NO.
Nandigram is a part of Bengal’s glorious mass struggle. No amount of malicious campaign can take away its glory. The struggle of Nandigram was developed by the people of Nandigram, they built ‘Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee’. The leaders and most of the supporters were from different parties including CPI, CPIM, SUCI, Congress and TMC. It should be remembered that initially it was a spontaneous protest by the villagers against forceful occupation of agricultural land in Nandigram. In the name of setting up of industry CPIM government planned to hand over this huge area of fertile agricultural land to infamous Salim group of Indonesia, the murderer of thousands of Communists there. The plan was to evict lakhs of villagers by virtue of colonial Land Acquisition Act 1894. They planned to form a chemical hub with immense ecological damage. The peasants, sharecroppers, fisherfolk were threatened about their livelihood and started agitation against this project.
The CPIM MP Mr. Lakshman Seth organized musclemen and goons to break the resistance of villagers. The resistance of the people broke into armed clashes against them. Police and local administration harassed the agitators. Armed goons led by MP Lakshman Seth and other local leaders regularly attacked the barricade of villagers of Nandigram against this forceful acquisition of agricultural land.
Initially Ms Mamata Banerjee was critical of this movement which can be confirmed by her newspaper statements during that period. During that period activists of PCC, CPI(ML) and Maoists also participated in that movement. The police firing and atrocities in Nandigram killing villagers and assaulting women had a severe repercussion among citizens of Bengal. All peace loving democratic people of Bengal including our organization protested and came down to streets against these atrocities. CPIM government was cornered. The audacity of Buddha & Nirupam (the CM & Industry Minister) duo went to such an extent during that period that in the name of industrialization of Bengal they were continuously handing over the agricultural lands to Tatas in Singur, Jindals in Salbani, Salem in Nandigram etc. CPIM adopted an industrial policy supporting Neoliberal economy. They were the first state government who accepted Special economic zone (SEZ). The shameless revisionists talk against forceful occupation of agricultural lands in other states, they talk about workers rights but suppress the fact that they were one of the pioneers of these misdeeds during left front rule in West Bengal. They talk about Singur Nano project and shed crocodile tears for industrialization but suppress the fact that once ousted from Singur Tata Nano project in Sanand Gujarat is a big failure; they suppress the huge amount of state subsidies provided by them at the expense of citizens’ taxes. They suppress the conspiracy of Tatas to acquire this huge amount of land close to Kolkata to build a huge real estate project in future.
It is unfortunate that the people’s movement against Left front government’s anti people activities could not be led by progressive democratic forces but was utilized by Mamata led TMC because of their strong organizational presence against CPIM. But this cannot justify to defame the glorious struggle of Nandigram or Singur or Lalgarh against CPIM misrule.
CPIM is now trying to convince people that their left front rule was a golden era for the people of Bengal. Was it so? Renowned economist Mr. Moitrish Ghatak in a post ed. article published in Bengali daily Ananda Bazar has shown that per capita income and expenditure of rural Bengal during last decades of left front rule and last decade of TMC rule were more or less same. Therefore facts do not corroborate CPIM fantasy.
It must be unequivocally understood that the politics and economic policies pursued by CPIM brand of revisionists is no alternative. CPIM is still not ready to accept their blunder in surrendering to neoliberal world order. Until & unless this brand of parliamentary lefts give up this policy they will continuously defame & vilify glorious anti Neoliberal people’s struggle. Their stand on these struggles shall remain as litmus test.