Tuesday, November 13, 2007




How can anyone support or condone the brutal antics of the cadre of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as well as the lack of a firm reprimand from the high command of that party for the horrors that have been unleashed on Nandigram? There can be no excuse for such unwarranted action anywhere, by any political dispensation. It is the primary duty of the state government concerned to act fast and quell the lawlessness that has been provoked by intellectually limited ideologues who have been trained not to look beyond their noses, not to tolerate a differring viewpoint and who are beginning to be seen as landgrabbers. A party that professes to protect the poor and that accuses all parties not affiliated to the Left of being exploitative, happily puts down rebellion among the peasants by allowing its cadre to shoot and kill. Dialogue and debate seem anathema to the Left, whether it is on issues such as Nandigram and Singur or the 123 agreement.

To the ordinary person the happenings at Nandigram show the division and complete confusion between the state government and the party cadre who appear to be pulling in different directions. The bott- omline is that the incident has proved the CPI(M) to be a party that is undemocratic and is living in the past, in the Stalinist/Maoist era. To ordinary citizens, who have a straightforward mind and who are not indoctrinated with ideological rhetoric, it signals the decline and end of the empire of the Left. Fortunately the CPI(M) leadership is old, upwards of sixty years, which is when the period of vanavas begins in our ancient culture and civilization! Soon the CPI(M) might well become a museum exhibit, a relic of the past.

Lost voice

For a vibrant democracy to have its Left pillar disintegrate in this manner because the party remains unwilling to think out of the box and speak a fresh language that is in keeping with the changing times is sad, to say the least. Is the Left not intellectually equipped to generate alternatives and new strategies of egalitarian growth in an aspirational age? Is it so superficial that it can only spout the rhetoric of the last millennium? The Left should have been a force to reckon with. Instead, it has descended into acting much like the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat. There is hardly any difference between the rhetoric, the staunch and unrelenting positions and the apparently polarized stances of the two parties. One is Left and the other is Right and yet both seem to be marching to the same tune.

The unpleasant, hysterical attack of the CPI(M), via Biman Bose, on the governor of West Bengal for speaking out against the atrocities in Nandigram on moral and political grounds is unacceptable to normal, honest citizens who are appalled by the goings-on in Nandigram and are grateful to the governor for relaying our collective sentiment.

It is time for those in prime positions to take a forceful stand on the terrible realities that have begun to destroy our society. People look to their leaders to lead from the front, to fight for what is right, to lead a dignified satyagraha. All good and humane comrades must be cringing with the exposition of the Rizwanur and Nandigram saga. It is ironic and unbelievable that a legal Hindu-Muslim marriage was not protected by the Leftist government of West Bengal. One would expect this particular incident to happen in Gujarat, not in West Bengal.

Where is the humane voice of the Brinda Karats and Subhashini Alis? They have led protests against all other ruling parties involved in similar situations but seem to have lost their strident vocal chords now. Why this inhuman silence and blatant hypocrisy? Will they be expelled from the party if they reach out to the brutalized women of Nandigram? I am bewildered and saddened.