The Nandhigram massacre of West Bengal has unveiled many naked and secret facts; there is no more telling indicators of the policies and priorities of the political parties.
The police shootout at Nandhigram had killed 14 innocent civilians which included women and children who stood up against the unfair acquisition of their farm lands by the government to develop it into Special Economic Zones, which the ‘Bhudhadev Bhattacharya’ the chief minister thinks will solve all the economic problems of the state.
The attack has exposed the cancer of imperialism, capitalism, privatization and all such ‘devils of the world’ spreading in the communist party which had a long and red history of blood shedding for rising against them. The idea to recover the land of the farmers to industrialize it, had been the focus of widespread criticism and contempt right from the beginning. Across West Bengal, the agitation had turned aggressive in various places. In the same way, an agitation in Singur against the proposed TATA car factory had been quiet violent.
The majority of the farmers of the state were not happy to leave their homes for money or any other alternative; they are so attached to their lands that they have formed a sense of hostility against the government and its dominant party (the CPM). The CPM members of the village were forced to leave the village and the villagers voluntarily roamed the village to keep it free from intruders. The tension at the area which was proposed for the Special Economic Zones was visible for some time that the government decided to send force to check the situation. But the villagers read a wrong message from the move, and it all ended up in the mishap.
But the way in which the government handled the issue was completely incorrect. The government even failed to show the basic tact essential for any kind of leadership. The police usually keep their tolerance at maximum when facing the masses. Enough forces are deployed in such situations and the protesters are arrested and moved away from the area. If the agitation is too strong to handle by force, governments normally resolve to negotiations.
But in Nandhigram, police ignored all these. The irresponsible shoot out has drawn heavy contempt all corners and is unpardonable. The government which had been at the receiving end ever since it put forward the idea of procuring farm lands had made things worse for themselves. CPM, the dominant party of the government which had become the national party of the state by shedding blood and sweat for the uplift of farmers and other working class is now killing them to serve the ideals which were once thought to be most ruinous.
The ‘Common mans party’ image that kept the party afloat in the few states where its roots could penetrate has been shattered at the fertile fields of west Bengal. The issue has not only ended up in internal disturbances in the party but also has alienated all others who had shared chairs with them. The Congress has already said that their co-operation with CPM is restricted to the center and that they have no interest to extend it to other states like Kerala and West Bengal.
The CPM leaders out here in Kerala too were searching for words to justify the attack. CPM state secretary Pinarai Vijayan has reportedly explained that the police were forced into the shoot out. He said that the protesters had many modern weapons which they used against the police (which the live telecast couldn’t cover), what a silly way to glorify the crime that his comrades had done at west Bengal.
Though the attack cannot be pardoned, Bengals call for Special Economic Zones can’t be termed a needless move. The fact that agricultural sector of our nation is at its prime in employment generation can’t be ignored. Not only that the sector can’t be expected to contribute much to employment but also is fast declining to death itself. In this background the Special Economic Zones can be justified to attract industries thus ensure employment to the ever increasing population of the concerned states.
But it is the duty of the state’s government to make sure that the area selected for the purpose does not threaten the basic rights to life of the common man. It should not become the ‘spokesman’ of the corporate society their duty and obligation is entirely to those who sent them to the houses. This is where CPM has made the unpardonable mistake. It took up the cause of the corporate sector to such extend that they felt no guilt in flowing blood at their homeland.