Sunday, November 18, 2007

Marxists maul all in the way

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, Nov. 17: A day after the Division Bench of Chief Justice Mr SS Nijjar of Calcutta High Court ruled that the police firing on 14 March in which 14 Nandigram residents had been killed had been unjustified and violative of the Constitution, the CPI-M leadership made it clear today what it thought of the judiciary, especially Calcutta High Court, the Governor, intellectuals and the media. CPI-M state secretary Mr Biman Bose, senior Citu leader Mr Shyamal Chakraborty and senior leader of the CPI-M's peasant wing Mr Benoy Konar spewed venom at a CPI-M rally here today, and Mr Bose urged the state government to move the Supreme Court against yesterday's HC order.
"Democracy is threatened when one of its pillars (the judiciary) crosses its limits. It should stay within its parameters," Mr Bose said. "If the court decides everything, what is the use of the executive or the legislature in a democracy? What is the use of spending millions on elections? We can have only the judiciary... A democracy cannot be run like this. If the Centre thinks it can have a democracy by increasing the salary of the judges, then so be it," he said. "If a judge passes this way and is obstructed by the assembled multitude ~ I see a sea of heads before me ~ a catastrophe will take place," he said. "Please make way for the 'honourable judge' so that such a thing doesn't happen. Otherwise, much hue and cry will be raised on Monday," the LF chairman said, probably in reference to the last time he had been chastised by the HC.
"The court has held the 14 March police firing at Nandigram unconstitutional and illegal and ordered the CBI to conduct a probe," Mr Shyamal Chakraborty said. "What's the point of such a probe if the HC has already made up its mind?"
"It's not the police's job to paint or act," Mr Benoy Konar said in criticism of the HC's indictment of police action on 14 March. "The 'honourable judge' must be aware that policemen escorting him carry revolvers too... It's part of their job. If your office is under attack, will you ring up Lalbazar and ask the authorities to send policemen armed with rose petals?" he said.
Mr Konar called the Governor the Trinamul's flag-bearer. “I am asking the Governor to openly act like a politician if that's what he really wants to... You are a free citizen and you can carry the flag of the Trinamul Congress.” Mr Chakraborty found it "strange" that plight of CPI-M supporters from Nandigram "compelled to flee their homes" could elicit no sympathy from the Governor during a meeting with Mr Gopal Krishna Gandhi at the Raj Bhavan but the CPI-M "recapture" of Nandigram happened to be abhorrent enough to dampen the “ardour of Deepavali for Mr Gandhi. "The Governor's heart did not bleed when 27 of our party activists were killed over the past 11 months in Nandigram”, he said. In a literary faux pas, Mr Konar said: “The Governor’s actions remind me of what Lord of Chateau Noir, a character in Dickens' David Copperfield, said:"'I can endure your brutality not your hypocrisy'." Apparently, it did not occur to Mr Konar that the Lord of Chateau Noir was a creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and not Charles Dickens.
The silent march of the intellectuals seems to have riled the CPI-M leadership to no end. “A woman film director who participated in the march has asked what do I know of Nandigram,” Mr Bose said. “Unlike her, I do not stay in a south Kolkata mansion... Had she been a true buddhijibi (intellectual), she would have sympathised with the plight of our party activists living in refugee camps for the past 11 months,” he said.
“Buddhijibi buddhiman, sujog pele kore khan (Intellectuals are intelligent, they strike when the iron is hot), ” rhymed Mr Konar quoting a junior comrade. But the true intellectuals should be like the third eye of a God, as it is this eye of knowledge which lets the society progress, he said, making an astounding statement for a self-proclaimed atheist. “These intellectuals are like fledglings who are fed by their parents. The feeding is done by television channels and dailies,” he felt.
Some print and electronic media houses got a tongue lashing from CPI-M leaders at the meeting. “Some channels and dailies are spreading canards against us,” Mr Chakraborty said. “The media was silent when buddhijibis choked the streets. But it was strident in its criticism of the way Buddhajibis ‘held up traffic’ when they took out a procession,” Mr Bose said. Emboldened by the leaders’ media bashing, some cadres rose to the occasion, heckling reporters present in a burst of noise. “Sit down, do not heckle the media (henostha korben na)” Mr Bose said to calm the cadres.