August 30, 2008


Biman Basu, chairman Bengal Left Front believes that that there ‘is scope aplenty for A discursive resolve of the situation that Mamata Banerjee and her adjutants on the violent left and the irresponsible right, have chosen to set up at Singur.’ Bimanda was addressing a crowded press conference at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan late in the evening of 28 August.

Elsewhere we found, on our third consecutive visit to Singur that the line of trucks carrying food articles, vegetables, fruits, fishes (how these stank) and most important, ampoules of life-saving drugs in a cold chain, like anti-rabies vaccine and insulin, plus a variety of anti-cancerous drugs in liquid form as well as thousands of refrigerated bottles of normal saline (NS) and other ‘drips.’ As the trucks run out of petrol, the drivers are seen shutting down the engines – and the refrigeration – periodically.


A dangerous situation has arisen as the medicines await the inevitability of getting useless what with the temperatures starting to fluctuate. Bengal manufactures Rs 500 crore worth of medicine and imports Rs 7400 crore worth per month. The road blockade, a meaningless, politically motivated, counter-humanitarian exercise by irresponsible bunches of opposition politicians has verily put the lives of patients, critical and otherwise, at stake.

The latest exercise in hoodlumism we saw in the early afternoon of 28 August was when a bunch of armed goons led by a leader of a ‘khet mazdoor sangharsh samity,’ abruptly blockaded the main portals of entry and exit points of the motor vehicles factory, thus suddenly escalating the nature of the ‘movement’ that we have noted has always been hovering, hanging, teetering nervously and dangerously at the very edge of anarchy and violence.

The press chose to unjustly attack Bimanda by singing in chorus with Mamata Banerjee that it ‘devolved on the state administration to find out alternate routes for the truckers,’ who are still on ‘hold’ on the NH 6, and now also along a big stretch of the Delhi Road -- right into Jharkhand and Bihar -- as the line of the grunting trucks at idle engine speed, spewing smoke, grow longer, and the drivers and the helpers become hungrier and thirstier.


A patient Bimanda responded to the bellicose form of questions by politely pointing out to the excited journos - especially of the audio-visual media- to ‘realise that the alternate routes are not suitable to carry the ten-tonners and the 16-wheelers for, these roads were not wide enough or smooth enough for their passage.’ The media perhaps also chose to forget in a cruelly deliberate mode, the difference that has to exist between ordinary macadam, pitched, tarred road and a national highway. It is the latter that the Trinamulis and their brethren-at-arms (sometimes literally) have chosen to block up, and the people’s plight be damned.

We could not but fail to note how Mamata’s speeches too had become highly provocative today. She saw to it that the media was attacked, physically, including the OB vans of the Ananda Bazar Group’s ‘Star Ananda’ channel and those of the ’24 Hours.’ She also called the Left Front government as comprising a bunch of abnormal people, perhaps in a self-reflective mood.

Biman Basu condemned the attack on the media and added to say that whenever he had been the subject of uncalled for attacks by the media in the past, he had merely given the attackers the cold shoulder for “I know I am ‘spot on’ when I am amidst, with, and for the toiling masses, beyond whom I needn’t look.”



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