There must be an explanation for the CPM cadre’s brutality!
Self-conceit and arrogance? Stalinism’s legacy? Mao’s madness? Call it by any name. The Communists in West Bengal have exposed their limitations when it comes to economic development through conventional means. Police firing and the killings of the poor is the last thing they imagined. What they felt sure as their development strategy is in tatters!
West Bengal CM is a sad man indeed. He has to. As a sensitive man, the CM should do much introspection and must draw conclusions for what went wrong. He should give a pause for his approach and let in private businessmen to negotiate with the farmers directly. Violence continues in Nandigram, with Trinamul led gang throwing bombs and destroying party and public property. Nandigram has become inaccessible to police, more roads dug up.
Those injured and in hospital told the visiting MPs and others it is the CMP cadres who fired at the villagers! So, real trouble started for the CPM which has to fight hard for long to retain its prestige and honor.
He had inherited a party and a mindset that has a long history. The Bengal Communists succeeded as the other chauvinistic parties like DMK and Shivsena have flourished. You may speak Communism without knowing a thing, cant you? The Chinese did it and now the Chinese have changed. They have introduced private property rights, even some semblance of internal democracy, though they remain an authoritarian government. It can be truly said now the Bengal Communist is the last authoritarians as the world knows the term.
If the readers read Geoffrey Moore’s “Calcutta” you will get an idea of how the previous generation of leaders like Harikrishna Konar, Promode Dasgupta and Jyoti Basu built up the party, they did so with a dose of irrational authoritarianism, a peasant view of the economy and a ruthless cynicism that tied the poor to small pieces of land. That was the ultimate reality!
Now after so many years of this irrational indoctrination, you go about announcing grand big industrial projects which require chunks of agricultural land and you just use the same antiquated land acquisition acts to take over land forcibly by the government machinery, revenue and police, you didn’t expect the current happenings? Then, you are not a proper Communist, prim and well-dressed, with pant and belt and a typical office going type of bourgeois Communist!
Yes, the Communists never understood reality. That is what the 70 year history of Soviet Communism teaches! So, you have created an illusion that encapsulated a wider middle class, the academics and government servants and others and the Communists managed to keep people of Bengal in such a deplorable development paradigm that even great intellectuals and experts were made to subscribe to this thesis and the state is notorious for its very poor social development indices, be it education or medical facilities or social security and other schemes like midday meals and ICD, in each one of this sectors the state is now recognized as the most backward and bracketed with BIMARU states!
So, now you have to go through the hell and yes, that is the price you have to pay if you want to catch up with the other states, even if that means you have to shed lots of arrogance and conceit etc. Economic development is never a magic of sorts in any sense. Unfortunately, the great many talented Bengali economists, there are too many, somehow didn’t have the guts and stamina to stand up and tell this government what is wrong with its policies. Under Jyoti Basu, the development deceleration reached its lower limits.
So, when Buddha took over as CM, in his second term, and when he talked about economic development, as in other states, there was consternation in the beginning even in the CPM ranks! It was only when he persisted the Delhi-based bourgeois Communist party officials woke up and had a second look at the man whom they detested in the beginning. It was a measure of sorts for Buddha to have persisted with his vision for development and he managed to convince the party to concede his demands.
So, the Tata project has now come. Though the violence-seeking mass of people is it of the Trinamul variety or the Naxalistes or as now suspect and even confirmed by the CBI findings, the CPM militia are involved in triggering the killings! The CPM cadres and not just the police attacked the villagers. The Congress and the BJP teams were the first to reveal this new finding. Now, the CBI has confirmed it, what are the implications? The bullets received from the site points pointed to the CPM cadres fired at the protestors.
A large number of bullets recovered from Nandigram didn’t match the ammunition used by the police. More troublesome is the finding that the CMP cadres are also engaged in the cover-up operations! Even the home secretary who functions directly under the CM said the CM was aware of the intelligence reports about possible violence even before the police action on March 14.”All steps had been taken in consultation with the chief minister” home secretary P R Roy said in Kolkata.
So the CM knows beforehand the likely violence which led 14 dead.
There is more disturbing news. Bodied were dragged away from the area of clash on March 14.”The dragging marks’ stumbled upon by the CBI suggest the toll or the injured might be more than the official figure. There were also” a large number of outsiders’ who could have taken part in the “operation”.
There are other troubles. The CBI report is ordered by the Calcutta high court. There is a petition before the Supreme Court to decide whether courts can order the CBI enquiry directly without the state government’s sanction. Also now the three police stations in charges have been transferred for “pre-promotion training”!
So, there are going to be more problems than any immediate solution.
The CPM polit bureau man, Sitaram Yechury has claimed with “tongue in the cheek” that the PM is good while the government he heads is bad! This is typical Communist doublespeak if not plain twist to a bigger lie! What is truth and lies in the Communist lexicon? Everything shows that the CPM in its ability to hold on to for 30 years of uninterrupted power had turned the “CPM’s cadres become crorepatis” and others had went over to the “reject shops” like Trinamul Congress.
Any move to defeat the CPM would, as one rickshaw-wallah in Chandernagore whispered “We have no alternative; otherwise they would break our hands and necks or even kill us”.
Jyoti Basu’s call for no front within the front is timely advice. But then, where do the Communists begin now? It looks speedy economic development has suffered a jolt. May be, after a long time, perhaps, after the Tata car project, if and when it takes momentum a change of mindset might come about in the urban intelligentsia as well as in rural areas. It looks still a time far-ff on the distant horizon.