Nandigram genocide is yet another example of a barbaric venture perpetrated by the communists who believe ?power comes through the barrel of gun?. On March 14 last, the police force of the communist-led Left Front government of West Bengal fired brutally on an unarmed crowed of Nandigram'speasant community and killed 14 (government version) on the spot, and injured more than a hundred of them. According to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry, a bunch of CPM (Communist Party of India – Marxist) cadres, disguised in police uniforms, also pumped bullets to kill.
It is a known fact now that the people of Nandigram, a village close to Kolkata, refused to sell their fertile lands for the CPM led LF government's?industrialisation at any cost? zeal. As a part of its SEZs (Special Economic Zones) policy, the LF government became almost impatient to acquire 10,000 acres of agricultural land in Nandigram for the business of Indonesia'scapitalist Salim group. At first, like Singur, Bhangar and other areas, the people of Nandigram lodged protest demonstrations etc. But when the aggressive moves of the CPM cadres for land acquisition crossed the limit of tolerance, they took to agitational programme like blockade. After the first week of January last, when there was also a police firing that killed three persons, the peasant community of Nandigram rose to revolt and gathering under the banner of ?Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee? they drove away many of the CPM cadres from that locality. Since Nandigram was a stronghold of the CPM for many years, it became a prestige issue for the party, and to re-establish the hold, a 4,000 strong police force was sent to Nandigram where ?outsider? CPM cadres in Khaki clothing joined that force to contribute in the shooting massacre. On March 11, three days prior to this tragic incident, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, also a veteran CPM leader, challenged the peasants? resistance movement at Kolkata meeting with words of threat like??We will see who is more powerful at Nandigram?. Another top ranking CPM leader of West Bengal, Binoy Konkar also threatened to make ?life hell? for the disobedient lot who disagreed to quit land for the sake of industrialisation. The result is indiscriminate firing, killing, rape and many atrocities that befell the people of Nandigram. It was clearly a ?shoot to kill? mission, because before pumping the bullets of fire, the police did not use water cannons, rubber bullets or smoke granades. Most of the people were hit above the waist level like head, chest, abdomen or back. Women, children and old persons were shot at without any sense of morality.
The gruesome act of a communist-led state government in a great democratic nation like India has raised sparks of condemnation and criticism all over the world. Even the Leftist think-tank, both national and international, had to react in sharp terms. In India, many of the Left intellectuals condemned the genocide.
In India, presently, what the Naxals or Maoists are doing is nothing but senseless terrorism. Even in pre-Nandigram West Bengal, the incidents of Saibari, Marich Thampi, Bijan Setu, Keshpur etc tell of the violence, murders and lynchings perpetrated by the CPM caders. So, it is an old fact that they have always used terror as a mode of Political management Whatever high philosophy of scientific socialism is there in the original ideology, the communist politics, in practice, goes hand-in-hand with violent methods and undemocratic means. The recent brutal and tragic happening at Nandigram has shown another such example.
(The writer can be contacted at C/o Guwahati Press Club, Guwahati-781 001, Assam.)