The Times of India, Kolkata print edition, 1 July 2009
It does not matter whether Lalgarh is 170 km from Writers' Buildings or just 17 feet away. The attitude and the apologetic defence of the central forces show it all.
First, Marxist rulers resisted banning the Maoists. Then, the ruling front is at pains to issue daily statements that the central forces will not be allowed to commit excesses on the tribals (read CPM workers). Does the chief minister think that the security forces love to commit excesses on tribals that he had to state in public about being vigilant on them? Was he vigilant against the excesses of the Maoists in the last 10 years? Did he ever issue any statement against their violence and reign of terror? Did he ever think of banning the organization before the Centre exerted pressure on him? Has he issued any one-liner appreciating security jawans for the excellent work they have done risking their lives?
The fact of the matter is, there is hardly any difference between the Maoists and the Marxists ruling from Writers'. Both are invariably ideological comrades one operating from the jungles and the other enjoying urban amenities. Both have alien heroes and adore Lenin, Stalin and Mao, who were responsible for the killings of millions of people. They all have an extra amount of love and loyalty for the alien powers and have no qualms accepting their support. They have never condemned China for 1962 and still have no clear policy on its claim over Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin. And the poor tribals remain cannon fodder for demonstrations, with half-clad villagers wielding indigenous weapons and singing international for a CPM magazine.
One has to go and see the abject poverty and nothingness in areas adjoining Lalgarh. Jungle, soil, leaves, small huts completely synchronizing with the nature and tribal men and women, semi-clad, working day and night to eke out an existence. You will be amazed, what meticulous design it takes to keep your own people so low? It becomes a vested interest for the Red revolutionaries and their art-paper magazine producers to keep people poor, backward, so that they are always ready to provide the crowd and the boys for mass struggle and revolutionaries zeal while the leaders enjoy Padma's Ilish. And then the usual page 3 clique in metros, would say with an oomph: "Oh, these Marxists are fighting for the poor, like Buddha ji, a very nice man'." If votes were not diverted in this Lok Sabha election to other non-CPM parties, the CPM tally would have come down from 30 MPs to just one under Mr Nice.
Trinamool, Congress and BJP kept Kolkata Corporation out of CPM's reach by a clever strategy in 1995 and with a Congress mayor; BJP had its deputy mayor. One must revive that spirit in national interest and make sure that CPM is ousted in the next Assembly election. Only then will Bengal begin to regain pride, ending the era of goli and garibi.
It's interesting to know how the Marxists reacted to Lalgarh. Was it in consonance with the way they had reacted to other such incidents of violence? It was a sort of a battle to recapture the lost ground by the CPM from local tribals, who had formed a committee against police repression aided by Marxist workers. Hence the ghost of Maoists helped. The newspapers writing fearlessly against Buddha's partisan regime were stopped ads and the other Bangla paper had to proclaim it feared none but god and hence it will continue to expose Buddha's helping hand to the Lalgarh's red Stalins. The historical truth is Marxism has always been rude to its own people and deceit and doublespeak have been ingrained in it since the early formations of the Bolsheviks when bread and dictatorship of the proletariat were assured.
Now, what will happen to the tribals when the security forces leave Lalgarh? Someone needs to ask what has been the contribution of the government in West Bengal swearing by an ideology that binds it into a psychological camaraderie with Maoists both promising the rule of the proletariat? What the poor got except bullets and backwardness?