At a meeting organised by media cell of BJP at Press Club in Thiruvananthapuram on March 18, to express solidarity with the Nandigram martyrs, father figure of journalists and senior columnist B.R.P. Bhaskar said that the massacre of farmers who were protesting against takeover of 40,000 acres of prime agriculture land for the Indonesia-based Salim Group, was unprecedented and cruel. He said for several months, the residents of Nandigram were under siege, since CPM had set up 18 ring barricades to prevent movement of farmers. ?Apart from the police, the farmers were also attacked by CPM men. The people have a right to protest against the anti-people moves of the state. What is going on is a war between India dominated by corporate and ruling class who are rooted in the British methods of state terrorism and majority Bharat represented by farmers, poor and have-nots. For the development of India, for IT, construction, real estate, corporate, desi and videshi, Bharat is suffering.? Babu Bhaskar also expressed grave concern at the urbanisation of entire Kerala'scoast and the anti-national forces funding it. Taking a dig at Pinarayi Vijayan, who justifies police firing at Nandigram, saying it was done in self-defence, Bhaskarji said nothing more can be expected from him.
Congress leader, spokesman and former Minister M.M. Hassan, said the Nandigram massacre is a blot on the CPM, which always declared it a party of farmers and have-nots. The party which always opposed landlordism and feudalism is killing hundreds of farmers to hand over fertile land on a platter to MNCs and big business houses. ?Whenever the CPM is out of power, they oppose all developmental activities like express highway, smart city IT zone, ADB loans for urban development etc. in the name of poor, farmers etc. But they do exactly the opposite when in power. CPM'sagitation for common man is a farce for political gains. The Nandigram uprising is the first massive agitation against the 30-year-hegemony of CPM and much more than police, CPM cadres were perpetrating atrocities on the villagers. The CPM'snew slogan is agricultural land for Salim and bullets for farmers?, he concluded.
BJP General Secretary, M.T. Ramesh, said despite dry and parched land available in Midnapore district, the CPM is bent on giving fertile agricultural land, where three crops take place every year and where tributaries of the Ganga are flowing in 29 villages, to the Salim group of Indonesia. ?The green face of Bengal will be wiped away and 2.5 lakh farmers are under threat of loss of land.?
Dr. Venugopal of SUCI, which is spearheading the agitation in Nandigram, said the genocide has no parallels in free Bharat and can be equated to the darkest chapters in British India like Jalianwallah Bagh, wagon tragedy in Tirur and firing on Indigo cultivators in Bengal. He said the toll may be higher than 250 and can reach 1000. Women have been gang-raped, killed and thrown into the Ganga, children butchered and houses mowed down. He said CPM is not communist but fascist.
Toeing the official CPM line, S.R. Shakthidharan, CPM leader and party organ, Deshabhimani editor, said the police acted in self-defence and that all anti-CPM forces from RSS to Jamaat-e-Islami, SUCI to Maoists to Trinamool Congress have rallied behind Mamata Banerjee to dislodge the Buddhadev regime.
Moderating the talks, journalist Hari. S. Kartha said when the communist party came to power, first time in the world through ballot, in Kerala in 1957, it sang the song ?All the fields, which we sow and reap, will be ours?, but now the CPM will have to correct it, ?All the fields, which we sow and reap, will belong to Salim and Tata.?
Leading Malayalam poet P. Narayana Kurup gave a poetic expression of the travails of Nandigram farmers.