Nandigram, 14 March
Then came the end of beliefs. In our half-reached, quarter-dreamt, woken-in-between, little-believed and broadly accepted CPI (M) parenthetic lives. Development in Nandigram is now measured as the investor-friendly space between the legs of nine year old girls.
14th March. Nandigram. 100 people mowed down. Firing squads replicated. Organized genocide in the name of development. Industries more than the efficiency of oil and electricity need blood to function.
Then we understand the viscosity of blood. How thick it is and how easy it flows, into the Haldi river where the alligators and sharks build camaraderie of the flesh. Soft, expendable, non-developmental, human flesh.
Ah, but we cannot indulge in the stupidity of humanity. This is not a read to arouse your sympathy. Only rage. Undiluted, focused and pure rage.
Rage that makes us stir in the middle of our midnight dreams filled with love, lust and tenderness. Only bitterness matters. The acrid taste on the tongue of the dead and the dying.
Government reports: 10 people dead. SFI echoing the politburo statement, speaking with the split tongue of the snake, says, it is unfortunate that these people were killed in the police firing but the Naxals, Trinamulis and the general generic ‘outsiders’ are to blame, to take responsibility.
In the meantime people crying out for help in the fields are made invisible by the glittering police. The orders are take no prisoners, leave no evidence. There is a slight wager running underneath, a little Faustian trick, here the men in uniform say to anybody who wishes to concern unnecessarily with the singleminded mindlessness of the violence, ‘show us five bodies and we will pay you’. Women are raped as is the logical direction of violence, children are cut up in slices and thrown into the river. The stakes still remain insubstantial. Only card games on the side of silenced streets make sense.
And while aces come up and hide in the sleeves of CPI (M) cadres and the state police (Who can draw the line? How can one talk in spaces one cannot speak of? Who can read the lines on faces that decorate bodies on trucks?) the prickly sensitive artistic chief minister Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya speaks, I was under immense internal party pressure to reclaim order in Nandigram.
So the night comes in a falling with Sonachura under siege. Bullets in concerted directions scream through the skin of the night and darkened silhouettes. To meet resistances of people who will quaintly do a Houdini trick. Disappear. Without remembrances. Without traces. History will have other lives to spill into. Only the Caribbean World Cup in the Shantiniketan weekend explodes onto the comfortable television screen.
What is the story, the point you may ask if you haven’t stopped reading already, if the other images haven’t already taken toll on your eyelids, slipped into reality shows, enmeshed in particularities of the new flick, be a little patient and no answers will come forth.
The small story that unfurls, peppered with dismembered limbs, has only one moral. Aesop spent too much time on too many things. The dead don’t count, they can’t follow you. The political dead can be remembered through white busts on the corner of the street. You can still find people playing cards, even if you don’t look too hard. Nuclear plants at Haripur will show you the way.