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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

The backlash force CPM won’t name

Calcutta, Jan. 12: The CPM sticks, at least publicly, to the conspiracy theory about the Nandigram events. But there is a growing realisation in the party, its allies and the Opposition that the Jamait Ulema-i-Hind and to a lesser extent the Maoists were primarily responsible for turning the area into a liberated territory for anti-land acquisition forces.

Ironically, the area’s history of anti-colonial uprisings, which had helped the Left launch militant peasant movements and consolidate its position there, now came to the advantage of its adversaries.

Observers said a section of farmers took “inspiration” from the August movement of 1942 that established the short-lived Tamralipta government in undivided Midnapore.

The CPM is keen to underplay the Jamait’s role in mi- nority-dominated Nandigram lest it gives the party an anti-Muslim image and the issue a communal overtone. That’s why it complained of a “communal campaign” but sought to portray the Trinamul Congress as the main player.

Jamait state secretary Maulana Siddiqullah Choudhury said it was a “secular resistance” of farmers. “It wasn’t a religious issue. Both Hindus and Muslims joined the movement. Our poll among 600 farmers of both communities had revealed that only 12 were ready to consider selling their land if it fetched a good price. Our organisational work over the months had earned the people’s trust.”

The CPM’s partners and the Trinamul-led Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee also pointed to the presence of the Maoists, but described the “militant resistance” as a “spontaneous upsurge by farmers”.

“We have joined the save farmland movement in Singur, Bhangar and Nandigram. Our people are working there. But we don’t have much contribution to the farmers’ uprising. The present generation of farmers has learnt to rebel from history. Jamait played a significant role in organising them. We were part of it,’’ said Chhoton Das, the state leader of Gana Pratirodh Manch, a Maoist frontal organisation.

CPI state secretary Manju Majumdar felt “movements led by communists in the past also played a role in shaping the militant farmers’ psyche”. “It’s a mistake to dismiss the spontaneous fury of farmers as outsiders’ conspiracy.”

It is now clear that the Maoists are an integral part of the Trinamul-led anti-acquisition agitation, like six other Naxalite factions.

“We will join anybody who fights for the farmers’ right to land,’’ Das said.

Trinamul leader Partha Chatterjee said: “Whoever fights the Fascist and terrorist CPM is welcome to join us.”

However, not all Naxalites are charmed by Mamata. “Maoists are anarchists and the Naxalites who have joined Mamata are political fossils,’’ said CPI (ML) Liberation state secretary Kartick Pal.


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posted by Bimal 13.1.07,


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