July 22, 2009


BURDWAN: Comrade Falguni Mukhopadhyay, the popular CPI (M) leader of the Burdwan district was brutally murdered a few weeks back at a village near Mangolkote in the district. His murderers, ill-famed anti-socials in the pay and protection of the two Congresses, Pradesh and Trinamul, roam free, incognito, and have been correctly declared as absconding which indeed these criminals are.

It has become a fashion with the Bengal opposition to have accused criminals accompany them as sidekicks in a show of bravado whenever they pay raucous visits to places where CPI (M) workers have been butchered. We recall that this particular affliction, we could indeed call it a disease, had overwhelmed the present generation of the reactionary leadership of the aforementioned outfits when they had ruled the land of Bengal with a law of their own in the decades of the 1960s and 1970s.

First, a week or so ago, a newly-elected and gloatingly happy for it, Trinamuli MP visited the village. The entourage of the usual suspects were prevented from entering the hamlet for any length of time by the police. The people remained a sullen witness to the show put on by the opposition worthies.

Next, another leader of the opposition, arm-in-friendly-arm with the accused in the comrade Falguni murder case, chose to follow suit – and were similarly, politely asked by the police to kindly make themselves scarce, as the people’s rage had started to fulminate.

The mass of people indeed continued to fret as no arrests could be made thanks to the ill-gotten protection the killers received with a disgusting show of ‘loyalty’ from the opposition leaders some of whom have even chosen irresponsibly to go on record to say that the police could make arrests, if ‘they dared to do so.’ Could we ever conclude from these developments that all this pacified the people, fuming as the masses have been with a raging sea of pent up emotions, about the vicious murder of their beloved leader?

In line of the visitors now came eight Pradesh Congress MLAs on 15 July. They were in the not-too-august company of two of the accused in the murder case. At least one of the criminals in the team even brandished a revolver or two and waved it around, challenging anyone to harm him.

That broke the dam of passive response. We are told that more than a couple of thousands of villagers came out, rallied round, and sternly told the MLAs and their henchmen to ‘just go away and leave us be.’ That the Congress worthies, never known for their interaction with the masses, chose to panic, stumble on to water-filled rice paddies, fall down, get to wallow in the mud, pick themselves up, and finally have themselves admitted to posh nursing homes back in Kolkata, cannot really be packaged as an ‘organised attack by the CPI (M)’ now, could it?

Biman Basu, Bengal CPI (M) secretary went ahead to issue a statement immediately after he was apprised of what had taken place at Mangolkote, and where he said that he ‘sternly condemned’ any attack on the Congress MLAs and said also that whatever ‘has happened ought not to have taken place.’

Biman was clear in pointing out that the CPI (M) ‘has always been in favour of unimpeded movement of the leaders and workers of any political party,’ and that if anyone from the CPI (M) could be found to have been involved in the Mangolkote incident, the district unit of the CPI (M) would initiate appropriate punitive action. Had the police been present, they should have intervened, was how the CPI (M) leader would put it.

Nevertheless, would the evil the two Congresses represent disappear? Buses and trucks have continued to burn, roads are being blocked, railway tracks are sat upon, sporadic bandhs have been called, and a Trinamuli minister up in Delhi has even had the temerity to call for a Constitutional step to be initiated against the elected and popular Left Front government of Bengal. The people remain as yet silent witnesses to these perilous dans macabre being played out with fanfare, the obedient corporate media, obliging as ever.

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