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Response to Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn et al on Nandigram

November 24, 2007

We read with growing dismay the statement signed by Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and others advising those opposing the CPI(M)’s pro-capitalist policies in West Bengal not to “split the Left” in the face of American imperialism. We believe that for some of the signatories, their distance from events in India has resulted in their falling prey to a CPI(M) public relations coup and that they may have signed the statement without fully realising the import of it and what it means here in India, not just in Bengal.

We cannot believe that many of the signatories whom we know personally, and whose work we respect, share the values of the CPI(M) - to “share similar values” with the party today is to stand for unbridled capitalist development, nuclear energy at the cost of both ecological concerns and mass displacement of people (the planned nuclear plant at Haripur, West Bengal), and the Stalinist arrogance that the party knows what “the people” need better than the people themselves. Moreover, the violence that has been perpetrated by CPI(M) cadres to browbeat the peasants into submission, including time-tested weapons like rape, demonstrate that this “Left” shares little with the Left ideals that we cherish.

Over the last decade, the policies of the Left Front government in West Bengal have become virtually indistinguishable from those of other parties committed to the neoliberal agenda. Indeed, “the important experiments undertaken in the State” – the land reforms referred to in the statement – are being rapidly reversed. According to figures provided by the West Bengal state secretary for land reforms, over the past five years there has been a massive increase of landless peasants in the state due to government acquisition of land cheaply for handing over to corporations and developing posh upper class neighbourhoods.

We urge our friends to take very seriously the fact that all over the country, democratic rights groups, activists and intellectuals of impeccable democratic credentials have come out in full support of the Nandigram struggle.

The statement reiterates the CPI(M)’s claim that “there will be no chemical hub” in Nandigram, but this assurance is itself deliberately misleading. This is the explanation repeatedly offered by CPI(M) for the first round of resistance in Nandigram – that people reacted to a baseless rumour that there would be land acquisitions in the area. In fact, as the Chief Minister himself conceded in the State Assembly, it was no rumour but a notification issued by the Haldia Development Authority on January 2, 2007 indicating the approximate size and location of the projected SEZ, which triggered the turmoil.

The major factor shaping popular reaction to the notification was Singur.

Singur was the chronicle of the fate foretold for Nandigram. There, land was acquired in most cases without the consent of peasant-owners and at gun-point (terrorizing people is one way of obtaining their consent), under the colonial Land Acquisition Act (1894). That land is now under the control of the industrial house of the Tatas, cordoned off and policed by the state police of West Bengal. The dispossessed villagers are lost to history. A fortunate few among them will become wage slaves of the Tatas on the land on which they were once owners.

While the CPM-led West Bengal government has announced that it will not go ahead with the chemical hub without the consent of the people of Nandigram, it has not announced any plans of withdrawing its commitment to the neo-liberal development model. It has not announced the shelving of plans to create Special Economic Zones. It has not withdrawn its invitation to Dow Chemicals (formerly known as Union Carbide, the corporation responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Bhopal) to invest in West Bengal. In other words, there are many more Nandigrams waiting to happen.

In any case, the reason for the recently renewed violence in Nandigram has been widely established to have nothing to do with the rumour or otherwise of a chemical hub. Print and visual media, independent reports, the governor of West Bengal (Gopal Gandhi) and the State Home Secretary’s police intelligence all establish that this round of violence was initiated by the CPI(M) to re-establish its control in the area. We all have seen TV coverage of unarmed villagers barricaded behind walls of rubble, while policemen train their guns on them.

With the plans it has for the future, regaining control over Nandigram is vital for the CPI(M) to reassure its corporate partners that it is in complete control of the situation and that any kind of resistance will be comprehensively crushed. The euphemism for this in the free marketplace is ‘creating a good investment climate’.

The anti-Taslima Nasreen angle that has recently been linked to the Nandigram struggle against land acquisition is disturbing to all of us. However, we should remember that it is largely Muslim peasants who are being dispossessed by land acquisitions all over the state. There is a general crisis of confidence of the Muslim community vis-à-vis the Left Front government, inaugurated by the current Chief Minister’s aggressive campaign to “clean up” madarsas, followed by the revelation of the Sachar Committee that Muslim employment in government jobs in West Bengal is among the lowest in the country. While we condemn the attempts to utilize this discontent and channelize it in sectarian ways, we feel very strongly that it would be unfortunate if the entire anger of the community were to be mobilized by communal and sectarian tendencies within it. Such a situation would be inevitable if all Left forces were seen to be backing the CPI(M).

This is why at this critical juncture it is crucial to articulate a Left position that is simultaneously against forcible land acquisition in Nandigram and for the right of Tasleema Nasreen to live, write and speak freely in India.

History has shown us that internal dissent is invariably silenced by dominant forces claiming that a bigger enemy is at the gate. Iraq and Iran are not the only targets of that bigger enemy. The struggle against SEZ’s and corporate globalization is an intrinsic part of the struggle against US imperialism.

We urge our fellow travellers among the signatories to that statement, not to treat the “Left” as homogeneous, for there are many different tendencies which claim that mantle, as indeed you will recognize if you look at the names on your own statement.

Mahashweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Sumit Sarkar, Uma Chakravarty, Tanika Sarkar, Moinak Biswas, Kaushik Ghosh, Saroj Giri, Sourin Bhattacharya, Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Sibaji Bandyopadhyay, Swapan Chakravorty, Rajarshi Dasgupta, Anand Chakravarty, Apoorvanand, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Nivedita Menon, Aditya Nigam

35 Comments leave one →
  1. Ajit permalink
    November 24, 2007 12:45 PM

    We urge our fellow travellers among the signatories to that statement, not to treat the “Left” as homogeneous, for there are many different tendencies which claim that mantle, as indeed you will recognize if you look at the names on your own statement.

    Was it intended as the veiled reference to Vijay Prashad? Other than him I didn’t recognise anyone who can be called a sympathiser for CPIM.

  2. November 24, 2007 7:16 PM

    Following an appeal from Sanhati, Susan George has withdrawn her signature from the statement. Her communication is available at:

    http://sanhati.com/news/526/

  3. Nivedita Menon permalink*
    November 25, 2007 12:37 AM

    Ajit, no, it was not a reference to any specific person. We meant that there are many leftisms represented even among the signatories of that statement urging that “the Left” should not be split – Chomsky and Tariq Ali, for instance, come from different leftist traditions. The only hope for Leftism is to recognize multiple strands and not to police the boundaries of what will be allowed to be called “The Left”.

  4. rwb permalink
    November 27, 2007 5:11 AM

    Is this the same Arundati Roy who would find it hard to condemn people who would use violence against the forces of the state because of “interminable” democratic processes?

  5. Hindol Bhattacharjee permalink
    December 4, 2007 4:41 AM

    A letter i got from Noam Chomsky on this matter:
    Thanks for sending the picture. I have received detailed reports about the situation in Nandigram from left activists, differing sharply in their rendition and interpretation of the facts. The statement that you saw has been grossly misinterpreted by segments of the Indian left. As those who responded know, but didn’t say, the statement was issued after members of the opposition took a phrase from a letter of mine expressing concern but saying that I did not know enough to support them, and manipulating it into a statement of support. The statement that I and others signed was in part a reaction to this misrepresentation. It took no stand on CPI(M) except for expressing hopes for reconciliation. In fact it was very much in the spirit of the very harsh critique of the Independent Citizen’s Team. Their first recommendation was:
    Non-partisan, just and effective action on the part of the State is the most basic and critical factor for restoring peace in Nandigram. The government must strengthen administrative structures and ensure impartial and immediate action on the part of the administration to instill confidence in the people and normalize the situation in Nandigram. Conditions must be created for people to renew their daily social and economic activities without fear and apprehension of reprisal

    That is not an appeal to a fascist party, and I don’t agree that Prabhat Patnaik, V.K. Ramachandran, Jayati Ghosh and others are fascists.

  6. Aditya Nigam permalink
    December 4, 2007 8:54 AM

    Dear Hindol,
    We have responded to one issue raised in your comment in the preface to the second statement by Chomsky et al. However, one issue still remains to be clarified. It is not clear from your comment where the quotation from Chomsky’s email ends. Is the last statement about fascists yours or his? In either case, it puzzles us because (a) we have not used the word ‘fascist’ at any point in our response above and (b) we have mentioned no specific intellectuals by name. We fully agree with you that the people you mention are certainly not fascist and in fact, we hold them in high regard. It is precisely because we respect them that we feel let down.

  7. Himanshu Upadhyaya permalink
    December 4, 2007 10:14 PM

    As a letter claimed as originating from Chomsky, but mediated through a recipient known by the name Hindol Bhattacharya, shall I got back to Plato, to ascertain whether its twice removed from Truth. Would a linguist – that too with grand command over syntax – write these phrases? ‘the situation in Nandigram’, ‘the facts’, ‘the Indian left’ and ‘the opposition’? But these are just phrases, and we also need to look at sentences where they occur. So Chomsky after having “received detailed report-s” (don’t miss that suffix -s there) that too reports that are “differing sharply in their rendition and interpretation of the (sic) facts” appears to arrive at better understanding of “the situation in Nandigram”. Although, readers are not told what is that “the situation” look like?
    Again consider this phrase “the statement that I and others signed”, I believed Chomsky may not be diverting from more conventionally correct, “the statement that other and me signed”. But then who knows the “native speaker’s grammaticality judgment” in Chomsky just followed syntax and not conventions. Or is it, as Chomsky said in past in an interview, that he keeps his labor while writing about linguistics quite distinct from his labor while writing about politics, that his sentences go stumbling at syntax? May be its just time that he consider spending some labor not just at socio-linguistics and Synatx interface, but Linguistics-politics interface.

  8. December 5, 2007 2:54 AM

    This letter refers to an earlier one, but the only earlier one I have seen, to which I responded a few moments ago, did not contain any questions. I’m attaching very brief comments to some of the questions attached to this letter, along with an explanation of why I cannot do more, as the questions are formulated.

    I entirely agree with you that the CPI(M) government has been moving towards integration into the global economy dominated by multinationals, moves that I’ve criticized when speaking in Calcutta some years ago, and again more recently. I’m not familiar with the religious fascism that you refer to.
    Noam Chomsky to me

    Below. I will have to skip (A) all questions having to do with tactics that should be adopted by the Civil Society movement or the prospects for the movement. These topics can only be discussed on the basis of intimate knowledge of circumstances. I’ll also have to skip (B) questions based on presuppositions that go beyond any evidence available to me.

    Sir, In connection with the recent massacre being happened in nandigram and the Left Front Government of West Bengal is behaving like a fascist administrator; a Civil Society movement has been developed in Kolkata. I would like to request you to send some of my queries. I have read your books, and especially I have been influenced by Manufacturing Consent. I hope you will send me reply.

    Q1. Do you think that Civil Society Movement without any political banner can be able to fight against the power structure?

    Skipped, (A)

    Q2. What do you think about the cause of fascism practised by Communist Party of India (Marxist) in west Bengal?

    Skipped, (B)

    Q3. After the massacre in Nandigram, what is your opinion about the reason of this?

    I do not have close enough knowledge to respond.

    Q4. What do you think about the global struggle against SEZ and Chemical Hubs, specially against the imperialist economy?

    It’s extremely important, in India as elsewhere.

    Q5. I am eager to know about some basics. What is the position of individual freedom in this power structure? Can it be possible for us to get in any movement?

    Skipped, (A)

    Q6. What do you think about the language of a movement we should have?

    Skipped, (A)

    Q7. We came to know that there is an international pressure to you to support he Left Front of West Bengal. This is being supported by CPM. Is it right? I need to know clearly

    This is an example of the very strange gossip that has been circulating among Indian left intellectuals, based on zero evidence. There hasn’t been the slightest pressure on me to support the Left Front, hence what you “came to know” is a complete fabrication. There has indeed been manipulation, but by the opposition. I’ve explained that in a letter responding to charges issued by a group of left Indian intellectuals, based on serious misunderstanding and misrepresentation. Since I never received a response, I can’t comment on that further. Can send the relevant parts to you as well, if you are interested.

    Q8. All the artists, painters, poets ( i am also a young poet of nineties of Bengal) are participating in the Civil Society movement. What is your message?

    Nothing beyond the obvious. It takes courage, dedication, and integrity to struggle against injustice, repression, and social and economic programs that are likely to be very harmful the large majority of the population and to society at large.

    Q9. To change the public opinion what should be our mode of movement?

    Skipped, (A)

    Q10. Do you think that fascism is changing its meaning? Is it not very much tagged with the power structure, the state terrorism?

    The term “fascism” has come to be used very freely to refer to whatever one doesn’t like. That does not seem to me a useful procedure. The term had a fairly definite meaning, not precise of course – terms of political discourse and theory never are – but neverthless fairly clear. In the interests of constructive discourse, it seems to me worthwhile to keep to the actual meaning instead of using it as a general term of abuse.

    Q11. Will you please come to Kolkata to participate in the civil society movement which has no such bar of nationalism?

    I’d be very happy to return, and have had many invitations. But I am afraid that for complicated personal reasons, I cannot be away from home for more than a few hours, and have had to cancel all planned trips, for an indefinite period.

    Yours sincerely

    Hindol Bhattacharjee

    Kolkata

    9830751535

  9. radical hypocrite permalink
    December 5, 2007 10:40 AM

    “Nothing beyond the obvious.” As expected. :)

    @Hindol:”This letter refers to an earlier one, but the only earlier one I have seen, to which I responded a few moments ago, did not contain any questions.” What does this exactly mean?

    And wouldn’t it have better if you had referred to the dates of correspondence?

    And can you use ‘single’ or “double” quotation-marks so as to separate your words from Chomsky’s? This is beginning to read more like your poetry than a proper transcript!

    Eta jeno jhuli theke ek-ekta kore durmulyo biralchhana ber korar moto byapar hoye dariyechhe! :roll:
    (this resembles priceless kittens arriving out of the conjurer’s sack,one after the other, to translate the above exclamation in Bangla for other readers).

  10. basudev permalink
    December 8, 2007 5:53 AM

    A great mistake of Chomsky. Anyone holding a red flag is not a communist.

  11. December 12, 2007 5:08 AM

    Budhyadeb says: Sorry. Please do not be deceived.
    It is now time to make a new left front excluding CPM

    Hindol Bhattacharjee

    Mr Budhyadeb Bhattacharjee has commented under pressure that the massacre what has happened was not wanted and it was really a brute event. About the protest and the great procession held a Kolkata, he also commented that it is a natural thing to react after the massacre held at Nandigram. How juxtapose any man can be! It seemed that general people would forgive him but the civil society and commonplace people now can easily understand that these are only the reflections of the political shrewdness of a mass party which is claiming to be a communist party still. We are not against peace. But we are completely against the false manufacturing of reality. We are against the inhuman task driven by the cadres of CPM, and if after a massacre, and after several fascist attacks, the fascist leader made statement to forgive him and remarked his pain over the affected persons, then should the civilian like us forgive him?

    It is obvious that CPM and the parliamentarian parties want to be representatives of multinational markets and multinational economy. The global economy needs a calm and quite market. Budhyadeb was instructed by the central committee of CPM to not to make a hazardous situation in such a way that people think that they are living in a democratic atmosphere.

    It is our pain that many a people of our city has already forgiven the CM and media is going to make an atmosphere where people go on to believe that the power structure would not make such a dungeon anywhere. But the fact is that still the fascism is being practised but in a subversive mode. To keep CDs of the massacre of Nandigram, people are being arrested, are killed, and people at nandigram are being threatened all the times.

    The role of the communist intellectuals is also very much confusing. Prabhat Pattanayk and their friends are manufacturing the consents that the civil society movement is reactionary. It is necessary now to be united against CPM and to make an alternative left politics as well as alternative left front to combat against CPM and other forces.

    It is an appeal. Pl. utilise this opportunity to form a new left front including CPim(Liberation), Maoists, and other parties of left front

    Hindol
    09830751535

  12. December 12, 2007 5:10 AM

    My friends in kafila, pl make an opinion poll about how people are thinking about the civil society movement which is being organised in Kolkata

  13. December 20, 2007 10:01 PM

    Nandigram bishoyok —Kichu bhabna

    Hindol Bhattacharjee

    Swadhinota laver por theke edesher baro shashontantra manusher upor probhutyo kore eseche. Aage 10-20 ta grame thakto ak akta jomidar, tader jomidari kere nie protiti grame du-panch jon ebong baro hole 20-30 jon amon loker abirbhab holo jara sujog paoa matroi protibeshider haye chipke jay ebong tader kichu na kichu nie tobe chare. Grame, sahore, paray paray, office-e, adalote, dokane bajare, manusher jiboner sarbokhetre efder abadh rajotyo. Rabindranath bolechilen baro loker baro jaale baro fans thake, tate baro mach dhora pore kintu chunopunti benche jay. Kintu eder choto jale thake choto fanse. Tate chunopuntio mara pore. Jomidarer bodole je sashok poschimbanger gram theke sahore jal fele barachche, tader jaler fans khubi choto. Tai chunopuntirao rehai payna. Aage ei sashokder , arthat baro jaler sashokder satangsho chilo 2-3%. Akhon seta 20-30%. Eder astityer karone baki 70-80% manusho bhalo bhabe banchte parchena. Sadasatorko abosthay din katate hochche. Ei bujhi keu mangso khuble nilo. Fole paschimbanger manusher jibon aj durbisaho. Je satorko noy, se protidin kichu na kichu khoachche.
    Congress party’r hat dhore, juktofront hoe ei ajker cpmer sashonkele eder sashon aro bereche. Cpm na hoe anyokono dol thakleo ei poristhiti akirokom thakto. Manusher dhormo—er proti-i astha kome gache manusher. Charidike sudhui sandeho. Er upore royche rashtrer khyomotar proti biswaser prashna. Biswaajudhya, soviet er pratistha, fascibader protistha, samajtontrider khyomotadakholetyadi ghotona rashtrer swavab bodle day. Je rashtrio santras thakto simante, ta dhuke pore desher bhitor. Sara paschimbanglar akhon ei poristhiti. Birodh optimum level atikrom kore gache. Jekhane je dol khyomotay roeche era tader khyomotar arale khyomotasineder pichone darie tar samner manusher kolata mulota rakto-mangso theke ijjot porjonto khuble khachche. Ar je ba jara nichche, khyomotar chaya chole gele tar vba tader upor theke nirapottar chadoro sore jabe.

    Santrasto thakle manush nijer bikasher kotha, unnayoner kotha ar bhabtei parena. Jara ekhane santras korche tarai ekhane unnayoner kotha bolche!Biswayon o biswaito santraser ei juge panyo, byaktimalikana, punji, hingsha, samyobader name fascibad, rashtrio santras, judhyo—manob savyotake kore tuleche santrasto. Fole ak dhoroner gor bhabnakhyomotar janmo hoeche. Kayemi khyomotar tinti dik—1. sanskritik store-brambhonnyotantra. 2. rajnaitik store—bohubol ar 3. arthanaitik store—munafa. Muloto bhable dakha jabe ei tinti apekhyik o parosporik samporker upori cpm tatha bohujatik samrajyobad darie.

    Aj Bolan gangopadhyaer ak article e porlam Nandigram e choto choto chelemey’ra parospor rape rape khelche.

    Ami shiure utchi bhobishyoter kotha bhebe. Bhobishyote rape ak choto theke moner modhye genthe jaoa swavabikota hoe jabena to agami kale?

    Er janyo ki bartaman arthanaitik samrajyobad ar sashokder ( ekhane CPM o Gujarate BJP o anyanyo jaygay sob sashokdol, sthan hisebe) bhumikai dayi na?
    Ke er uttar deben? Chomsky? Bharot ke jini cheneni na?

  14. Satyajit Das Gupta permalink
    January 25, 2008 5:47 AM

    I’ve done a little bit of academic research on varied histories of left-led/communist movements in late colonial and early post-colonial India/West Bengal and have also been involved in planning and monitoring a couple of NGO-run service delivery and capacity-building projects/programmes for about a decade now.Although it was quite heartening to see fairly large sections of academics coming out in protest against what I surely consider as the CPI(M)’s messy and autocratic handling of political skirmishes at Nandigram,I would like to express a concerned citizen’s worries about the following issues:

    (1)Lack of specific political ambition(in the sense of managing to enter active politics here and now–while willingness to participate in specially organized rallies,etc.is readily available,plans or programmes for a longer term involvement would be subject to numerous ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’conditioned by very differenly structured existential compulsions/dilemmas) on the part of both academics and civil society functionaries/activists(who could also be salaried or self-employed/engaged development professionals these days when activities of most big and medium-sized NGOs/CSOs/CBOs are becoming more and more centred around all kinds of pecuniary gain/benefit).As a result, we’ll have representatives of both sections functioning more or less as outstation campaign-trotters.I’m not trying to suggest that all of them have to be Nandigram-based as that would be rediculous,but serious problems of continuity/sustainability of practical attachment to ground realities would remain,especially given the fact that their contact persons/mediators may indeed be quite discernibly devoid of effective means of communication/linkages with the prime victims.

    Artful grasshopping of political feat of some sort may take the form of activism that we’ll then be goarded into accepting for want of any other alternative.In fact,that has already become the order of the day wherever we’ve tried to enlist the support of these professionals who would,at the end of the day,maintain a certain distance from politics that “seems so very muddy and lumpenized”.Just consider the “attitude” of most of them,whether of leftist/rightist/centrist dispositions,towards Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamul Congress.

    (2)Civil society activities remain publicity-oriented(wherever you have the media chasing you in whatever earnest,you get hooked up and start reaping harvests for your next projects)and research and documenattion are almost a taboo for reasons of both competence and lack of perspective.I wonder whats going to happen to Nandigram once the electronic media finally decide to dump/give it up in favour of something else with greater potentials of sensationalization like what some of them have already done to Singur.The ‘dull’ and ‘uneventful’ everyday of Singur and Nandigram may then face another kind of violence of silence and abandonment.

    There is tremendous ill-advised and ill-structured replication/duplication of civil society work in West Bengal due to lack of trust and understanding among agencies/individuals and Nandigram and Singur have already had their share of all this in abundance.Putting up a stage-managed brave front for a short while may not see us through at all against such heavy odds.We’ll need to introspect quite a bit to spade through years of muddled thinking about state-civil society interfaces,especially in a situation where state machineries are sharpening instruments of cooption with renewed vigour.

  15. Satyajit Das Gupta permalink
    January 28, 2008 6:20 AM

    As anticipated or rather expected in the current media-propelled conditionalities of interest,The Nandigram debate seems to have lost much of its euphoric contemporaneity we all were struck by just two-three months back,to what I was trying to draw the attention of most concerned commentators/activists who were writing on the Nandigram issue in this portal.I wanted to post a bunch of an inward-looking statements/propositions,which I thought would continue to have a solid bearing on the course of developments we’re going to witness in the next few months.

    Quite intentionally,I didn’t relate my observations/assessments to what I consider to be the main crux of the arguments/counterarguments Prof.Chomsky and his intellectual compatriots and detractors were trying to spell out———–the need for maintaining left unity or creating a new left combine,basing on the lessons that struggles at Nandigram are in the process of concretizing.But my contention would be whether or not the left remains united,we’ll need to grapple with the built-in shortcomings that I’ve tried to write about rather independently,irrespective of the colour or creed of the party/parties that would go on to meddle there in collaboration with other civil society groups/forces,all of which have become conditioned to functioning under the spell of these structural incombencies/shortcomings.In fact,I would even go up to the extent of saying that political parties and/or civil society groups/forces will find it very difficult to come out of such patent styles of functioning that I have written about.

  16. Satyajit Das Gupta permalink
    January 30, 2008 4:41 AM

    Let me also provide some necessary clarifications as to what kinds of ‘structural shortcoming/incomebency’I was trying to hint at when I forwarded the proposition that both the mainstream political parties and civil society groups/forces will find it difficult to get over their ‘patent’ styles of functioning,which at the present juncture is characterized by superficiality of interest/orientation or inability to do necessary home work or outdated rhetoricism not reflecting requirements of political situations that are constantly undergoing transformation of all sorts.I’ve written about ‘media-propelled conditionalities of interest’and the culture of ‘publicity-oriented’civil society work in West Bengal.This is not to suggest that the local groups and functionaries lack genuinity or seriousness of concern or the palpability of their struggle is something that I’ve failed to recognize.I’m talking about the impending need for orchestration of methods/programmes in line with tactics of organized politics.Everything said and done,are we not somehow bringing back the entire matter to some sort of what has been called ‘politics of the formal places’? There,I would say,Trinamul Congress or the various factions of the CPI(M-L) would lag far behind the seasoned gamers,bureaucrats or plutocrats involved in defending the interests of the state or the party which presides over all the ‘statist’/’state-run’ activities.

    Till date no one has seen even a partially comprehensive list of peasants who have declined to part with their lands in Singur or details of their occupational dispositions or some thing on the real support base of the CPI(M)in this area.Why hasn’t a single big daily newspaper published so far anything on this crucial aspect of the problem?Discenibly impressionistic and rather inadequately panoramic tracts have been generated from various sources,which cater more to the ideologically/emotionally charged observers/activists,but will that be enough to sustain a long-term foray of practical concerns?What about those who suffered at Nandigram and on what basis are we to advance into the exercise on payment of compensation,the demand for which will now be generated from within the areas and all kinds of dilly-dallying and sidetracking of concern and obligation will be witnessed on that score?Given the culture of organized politics and civil society work in West Bengal,we need to go a little beyond the spirited and/or informed rhetorics of both the mainstream politicians and politics-mongering academics.

  17. February 5, 2008 11:04 PM

    Join rally on the 7th February protesting the Dinhata massacre. The rally will start from College Square. Time: 3 pm. Destination: Esplaned.

    A call by Nandigram Mancha.

    Marudyane Nandigram

    Marudyane Nandigram, a book written by Kabir Suman is going to be inaugurated. It is going to be published by Bijolpo.

    Kabir Suman. We all recognize him as a singer-song-writer. We know his only religion is Music. The deserted Bengali song has been rejuvenated by his words-tune-songs and magical voice. The groundbreaking performances and creations of new Bengali songs have given Bengal and the world a new genre of music following the tradition and improvising the individuality. Besides, we know that music is not his only religion. He has raised his voice against any kind of inhuman practice of ruling class, power structure. He mesmerized the people with his arms, towards the sky to protest. But he is not a political figure. The hypocrisy of Bengal politics, establishing falsehood —these are not in the character of Kabir Suman. He is a complete artist. An ideal artist. His radiance of persona, his reactions over any kind of inhuman practice, his tears, his depression—all have poured an impression upon us tremendously.

    Due to him, we are not afraid; we do not feel us alone. To protest against the incidents happened at Nandigrm-Singur, he has not encapsulated himself in his protest in the language of music, but he devoted himself making involved in direct protest, like a concerned citizen, like a journalist.

    Throughout the year, he has written a lot articles in dailies and magazines. Now it is our duty to accumulate these and publish for all in the form of a book. Thus the book is a result of our desire and necessity for all citizens whom we believe the charioteers of the next generation democratic persons.

    Bijolpo is proud of publishing this book.

    Price: Rs.20/- only

    Again a massacre. At Dinhata, Coochbehar, West Bengal, some people of Forward Block, one of the parties of the Left Front, were protesting against the SEZ and imperialist economy. They were preceding their procession towards the District magistrate. Police fired and 5 died instantly, many injured. What should we say these?

Trackbacks

  1. Response to Chomsky et al. from Arundhati Roy, Sumit Sarkar, Saroj Giri and others at Sanhati
  2. Impetuousness, internationalists and the making of a magical stew « Radical Hypocrite
  3. The Daily Salty: Letter to a letter to a letter
  4. Nandigram: Left is right at India Unplugged
  5. ptr » Facing up to Nandigram
  6. HaloScan.com - Comments
  7. Nandigram Reloaded: Dissenting the Gods « Life’s Elsewhere
  8. "Response to Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, et al. on Nandigram"
  9. The Acorn » Between Iran and an American invasion
  10. Second Statement from Chomsky, Tariq Ali et al at Kafila
  11. The Great Indian Mutiny » Gujarat and Nandigram
  12. Just Jo: Nandigram & Gujarat
  13. Defining left « Jagadguru on Politics
  14. Michael Deibert, Writer: The fields of Nandigram
  15. nanopolitan: Left intellectuals attack CPI(M) ...
  16. Read Up Young Ma-…Urrr, Old Man. Read Up « The Mustard Seed
  17. Communist Party of India (Marxist) « The Ghost of Tom Joad
  18. Anti-History / In Another Life: Nandigram and the 'Other Left': Some Additional Thoughts

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