At one side is the raider, and on the other stand the unarmed populace. This is the picture of the besieged Nandigram. The children, the women, the peasants, the peasant women are invaded. There are numerous killed, innumerable injured. Thousands of homeless sans any resource to fall back upon. Walking rows of helpless faces. No one knows where they are walking to. In any war inflicted area, this has been the familiar picture; these are the recognisable faces of History.
What has been happening in the past few months is Nandigram is actually ‘Low Intensity Conflict’. Rightfully has the Home Secretary accepted it as the ‘War Zone’. In any war, there exists a definite planning, a specific schedule which is actively legitimised. In all these respect, Nandigram is a war zone.
There have been various conflicting opinions on Nandigram with the ruling party rationalising the atrocities perpetrated there. At times it is claimed that it had become a liberated zone without any rule of law, at others that it had been a political battle. This is what is called ‘Manufacturing of Consent’, a persistent process to acquire consent. Besides this, there is the artful device to divide people in the name of religion, community, party and a strategy of naming or branding the people as terrorists, radicals, Maoists, provokers of disorderliness or else, a blind supporter of the ‘opposition’.
One can recall 9/11. George Bush along with Tony Blaire declared ‘war against terrorism’. The world was made aware of the theories of pre-emptive strike, its necessity.Then came the all-out strike against Afghanistan followed by Iraq, defying the world-wide popular resistance, the verdict of the UNO and the rules of international politics. One can see a replication in Nandigram. When there is unleashing of violence and raid, the ruling party talks about peace. This has been happening in the Middle East for the past three decades where the conflict has been kept alive at one hand, the necessity of peace process is being propagated on the other. In Nandigram, the peace process that the ruling party is talking about is in reality an effort to re-establish its ‘control’ over the area, to acquire ‘consent at gun point’.
No war is perpetuated without realisation of an intrinsic interest and a plan of profit realisation. What one finds in Nandigram is the radical face of globalisation and its aggressive capitalistic profit motive. The party in power tried to create a free economic zone in Nandigram for the benefit of the multinationals. The aim of the SEZ was to displace and evict the people of Nandigram and hand it over to the foreign multinationals. This is also the aim of aggressive imperialist exploitation. Nandigram has become to the world the symbol of resistance against neo-liberal globalised policies and the battle of the people there is a set back for globalisation.Through state-sponsored terrorism on innocent children, women and men and political recapture, what the party in power is trying to do is to gain the confidence of the multinationals. As an active agent of globalisation, it has become impossible for it to accept the resistance and refusal of the people to bow before global capitalism.
[ Abhee Dutt-Mazumder, Translated by Maroona Murmu ]