July 29, 2012
A Nonsensical Note from a Reactionary
by Satyabrata Chakraborty
It is rather cruel that Kshamata Banerjee and her cronies have offered some more stuff for fun at the cost of the dispossessed and hungry farmers of Singur. Immediately after the slap by the High Court, two precious gems of the ruling party, reportedly on the advice of Swartha Chatterjee, the Phd-aspirant Mahasachib of the party, staged a ‘c-grade’ jatra on the floor of the assembly. Absolutely irrelevant to the on-going proceedings, Mr. Papas Pal raised a point of order asking for the names of the judges having been allotted land at Rajarhat. To everyone’s amusement, the other gem, Nirhad Dalim, ever-busy in flaunting as a minister (probably himself baffled by such sudden elevation and always apprehensive that people have taken it as a joke), immediately read out a list making it clear even to a baby that the script was pre- (and, as natural, poorly) written. The first name that the minister-gem mentioned was that of Justice P. Ghosh who delivered the verdict against the government some minutes before. This indecent hint of a link between the two reflects extreme disgrace for the judiciary. But who expects graceful manner from such persons!
Maddened with power, Kshamata was suddenly alarmed by this development and called a hurried meeting of the Krishi Jami Raksha Committee she had long forgotten and had systematically thrown the non-TMC elements out of it in order to project that Singur was her solo song. Though committed to the cause of the dispossessed farmers, most of these small organizations and individuals preferred to abstain from the meeting. By now they have possibly discovered the asur having long pretended as Durga! However, the Trinobhojis and aspiring-Trinobhojis attended. (If the buddhijibis (intellectuals) close to the Left Front could be dubbed as buddhajibi (surviving on Buddhadeb), for ‘intellectuals’ regularly or intermittently paid from Trinamool government’s exchequer Trinobhoji should be an apt term, if linguists do not discard it on grammatical ground!)
This grand assembly of the leaders of ‘peasant rebellion’ at the Town Hall — who often recharge their rebellious batteries by the dream of acting, during mid-day nap, in the role of Sidhu, Kanu and Titumir – heroes of peasant rebellion of bygone centuries – resolved to kick-start the movement again — to take the issue from law-court to the people’s court. The compulsions are not difficult to decipher. The great Singur-bluff earned them the Assembly. Exposure of the bluff might cost them the panchayats. Over and above, how would the Kenarams (Kenaram is Kshamata’s man at Singur) live there if such impasse and resultant hunger continue?
Rebellion is sacred. So should be the proposed Second Singur Rebellion! But petty reactionaries have already started raising some nonsensical questions — mostly in social networks because that is the Queen’s latest fad.
Movement against whom?
Against whom will the movement be directed this time? a) Left Front for acquisition of land? But, out of power, it is no longer in a position to return the land. b) Central government for not sacking the LF at the time of acquisition? It would appear ridiculous. c) the President of India who did not give her assent to Mamata’s bill? But it was not sought! d) Ratan Tata for not violating a judicially pronounced unconstitutional law and returning the land to the government without compensation? e) the farmers who received cheques? f) the smaller democratic groups and concerned individuals who had then participated in the movement but now are less than willing after burning their fingers (Shyamolina Chakraborty, Kshamata’s Naxal associate in the Singur and Nandigram movements is still in jail for protesting against another eviction, this time by the netri herself)? g) Justice Pinaki Ghosh for observing constitutional provisions? But he has already left for Hyderabad! h) the advocates who pleaded for the government, obviously Akalyan Banerjee — the Solee Sorabji(!) of TMC being exempted? i) the semi-literate ‘experts’ who had drafted such a weak law and advised Kshamata to go in haste? But Kshamata can never disclose their names! i) against judiciary itself for violation of human rights? But that requires prior confirmation from Bijito Bhadra, the moving Oxfrord Companion to Human Rights. j) against imaginary enemies? The netri herself being a poet-painter and always roaming in company with Bijay Goswami, another great poet with his eyes being never on the people around, ‘honest’ journalists with enviable capacity of ‘making’ news and doing nothing but echoing Their Master’s Voice, Oscar-deserving film directors, actors and actresses and a row of all-time great painters not remembering exactly when they had last used their easels, there should not be much problem in imagining enemies. k) against God — the softest prey always pretending to be both deaf and dumb? The only problem is that agreement on identifying the appropriate enemy from such a long list will take at least four years and nearly forty sessions. Moreover, any decision will require Her consent, and She these days is too busy in noble activities like evicting slum-dwellers from Nonadanga, covering up rape cases and denying farmers’ suicides. Can She spare so much time for Singur? But, then, by the time the target is identified both the panchayat and the parliamentary elections will be over and the assembly elections would be knocking at the door!
Who will lead the movement?
Madam Kshamata already being too preoccupied with the beautification of the city, announcing exotic projects at breakneck speed, transferring upright police officials, roaming with scanners for identifying conspiracies and, of late, posting on the facebook, cannot be expected to lead the movement with regular personal presence. The second-in-command, Sri Goukul Ray may not be that effective. In his last meeting at Singur, he could, reportedly, mobilize only 300 buses and 1500 people! Bibrata Mukherjee’s problem is that from the dharna manch itself he might switch over to the Congress Party. Akalyan Banerjee, one of the most authentic bearers of TMC culture, is firebrand. But he cannot deliver enough publicity because even the paid newspapers may not be very comfortable with Banerjee’s extremely civil lexicon! As already noted, Swartha is too busy with his Ph. d. His further dilemma is that he, reportedly, trembles in Madam’s presence and crumbles in Her absence. He appears to be a good-for-nothing howling guy. Among local leaders, Kenaram Manna’s expertise is, as reported during the First Rebellion, mainly in distributing khichri among the gathering masses. He will make a mess beyond the make-shift kitchen. Kabi babu, on the other hand, is a respected teacher of the old school, and can never be an effective distributor of bluffs that his party thrives in. His being in the TMC seems more of an accident. In the inner circle of the party, he is reported to be treated as an outcast. Outside TMC, Timir Putatunda of the PDS may be both partly capable and fully agreeable because, despite all the honour he was greeted with by Kshamata in recent past, sheer survival instinct is likely to inspire him take any plunge whatsoever. After all, persistence pays. This time, if he can please Her Highness, he may at least be made the pradhan of a Gram Panchayat around Diamond Harbour. But if we think of ‘non-political’ persons enjoying Her full confidence, Bivaprasanna, the ‘great’ painter, will definitely rank first. However, the problem with him is that at the end of the movement, the farmers might discover that their land had slipped into Biva da’s hand, obviously in the ‘public interest’ of setting up another ‘art academy’ to be run by a trust with Biva da as the founder, permanent and sole trustee.
What will be the mode of the movement?
Again, there are several issues. Should there be only occasional rallies and mass meetings? That may not be adequate to keep the flock together, and the rallies will turn thinner quite soon. With the number of cadres declining and the anger of the hungry farmers increasing the likelihood of the processionists experiencing the taste of brooms hurled by desperate women getting neither compensation nor their land back cannot be wished away. Sources report, Kenaram has already become a non-frequenter in some areas of Singur. One way out may be to assign the duty of taking out processions to the Hoogly district police in civil dress but with hidden arms. (After all, as human beings, they are also scared of their own lives.) What about the idea of blocking the Durgapur Expressway till the case is settled by the Supreme Court? Knowledgeable persons say that such settlement should not take more than three/four years! But reactionaries think that by that time there will be only mosquitoes in the dharna manch. A viable alternative may be indefinite fast. After all, last time it proved quite effective. But, then, who will be the sacrificial lamb? Naughty journalists had spotted one member of the last fasting team shopping at Puri after three or four days. Another, belonging to the Socialist Party was, reportedly, badly beaten up before the last Assembly elections by Her non-violent ‘brothers’ though the gentleman accompanied didi in Her ‘fast’. The most effective way would be for Her to go on ‘fast’ again. True, She has to ‘run’ the administration too. But with the divine power at Her disposal She can carry on the ‘fast’ from the Writers’ Buildings itself with – wicked people allege and one ex-TMC MLA has recently written – some more bites of sandwich hyphenated by calorie-disbursing chocolates.
What will be the outcome?
As of now, only God and She know. The problem with God is that He neither speaks nor writes. But She will definitely declare the success of the movement even before it starts. There is, however, one small problem – She has recently vowed not to speak any more (much to the relief of the saner people). So what? Visit her ultimate asylum – the facebook. After all, it does not cost you anything! Only a little bit of patience.