March 15, 2009


By B Prasant
A facetious if factual slogan has started to appear under the supervision of the Left student-youth all over Bengal. The slogan is popular, it attracts attention of passer-by’s, and it creates ripples among the ranks of the opposition as well, against whom it is directed.

What does the slogan say? It merely paraphrases and gives a slight warp to Mamata Banerjee’s policy outlook on Singur. “We, too, want industrialisation-- we, too, want the small car to be produced – not of course in Bengal but in Modi’s Gujarat.”

The politics of destruction, of delusion, of lies, of sabotage—face utter rejection amongst the youth, a wide cross-section of whom we spoke to and interacted with all over south Bengal for the past week. The ranks included students, unemployed and employed youth of various tiers and conditions, young women of various communities and the youth belonging to a bewildering variety of caste groups, and Communists, left liberals, even those who vaguely try to stay away from what they (mis)understand to be ‘politics.’

They were united in one point. The point is the bane of counter-progress advocated by and foisted on the people by Mamata’s men and women. Even more, they detest the strong and malodorous smell that the Trinamuli campaign gives out and which tells, in so many words—you can have industrial development, you can enjoy tranquillity, you can revel in amity, provided you vote us in and the Communists out. Otherwise, we will ensure that mayhem descends on you lot, and we shall let loose the dogs of war on you.

This mind game the youth reject completely. They are also furious at the naïveté political outlook of the Mamata brigade that boasts of the fact that unless the Communists come around to kow-towing to them as the Pradesh Congress has started to do they are going to ‘bash them into submission.’

Older readers will recall the famous slogan of the Hitlerjugend or the youth vandals of the Nazi party in the Germany of the terrible thirties of the last century that we understand CPGB leader Harry Polit was fond of quoting: Seien Sie mein Bruder, oder ich werde Ihren Kopf in verprügeln (‘Be my little brother or I will bash your head in.’)

Whether it is a small gathering during the dusk of a rural evening at Joymollah at Singur or at Gopinathpur in Haripal –both in Hooghly—or a large brightly lit rally at a crowded corner of the Alimuddin Street where Mohd Selim is to open an office of the CPI (M) local committee, the youth predominate the crowd that raise the slogan of triumph, give out the sweet whiff of popular electoral victory, and speak confidently of people’s success, come the elections. The feeling is already in the air before the campaign-counter-campaign has even started: ‘we shall overcome.’

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