December 12, 2010

Rahul does not know Marxism: Karat


Posted online: Fri Sep 17 2010, 15:25 hrs

Patna : CPI(M) today hit back at Rahul Gandhi for dubbing Marxism a 'dead ideology', saying the Congress general secretary does not know history.

"Rahul does not know the history of Marxism. He should know that Karl Marx, the main protagonist of the Communist movement, was born in the 19th century and not the 20th century," Karat said at a public meeting here.

"In any case, Gandhi does not have the political understanding that the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi had," he said.

Attacking the Left Front government in West Bengal, Rahul had yesterday said it was "blinded by a dead ideology, which has failed worldwide, including in Cuba".

Karat also said the Left movement was there to stay till the issues of peasants, workers and class struggle existed.

Prakash Karat accuses UPA govt of patronising Mamata Banerjee and Maoists

PTI / Friday, September 17, 2010 18:46 IST

PATNA: The CPI(M) today accused the UPA government of patronising Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and the Maoists to oust the Left Front government from power in the 2011 West Bengal assembly elections in the state.

"The Centre is patronising the TC supremo and the Maoists to oust the over three decade old Left Front government from power in next year's assembly elections," CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat told a public meeting in Patna.

He alleged that the UPA government was abetting Banerjee 'using Maoists' to kill 170 CPI(M) workers in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia in the state.

Thousands of CPI(M) workers had also been forced to leave home by armed Maoists apparently to ensure that the Trinamool Congress-led alliance won the assembly elections, the CPI(M) leader claimed.

He questioned the Centre's handling of the Maoist problem while drawing attention to the Lalgarh rally by the Trinamool Congress chief where a number of central ministers were also present.

Claiming that the killing of grassroot CPI(M) workers had increased in the state since 2008, he alleged that the Centre was a mute spectator to it.

He alleged that even secessionist forces like the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and Kamatapuris were allowed to be roped in by Banerjee in her bid for power.

Karat, however, said Left workers had launched action to retrieve lost ground in three naxal-infested districts bordering Jharkhand.

Warning the Maoists, he said they would soon be driven out from Lalgarh by his workers and not because central forces were deployed there. "Lalgarh me Maobadi nahin rah payenge."

He defended the Left front government and cited the implementation of land reforms, panchayati raj, scientific education in madarsas, prevalence of communal amity as its landmark achievements.

No riots took place in West Bengal during the anti-Sikh riots in late 1984 and post-Babri mosque demolition in Ayodhya in 1992, Karat said. The CPI(M) leader said the fight against reactionary and communal forces would suffer a blow if the Left forces were to be weakened in the country.

Pradesh Congress meet turns stormy over faux pas

06:09 PM,Sep 17,2010

Kolkata, Sep 17 (PTI): A West Bengal Pradesh Congress meeting to empower party president Sonia Gandhi to appoint WBPCC functionaries turned stormy today following a faux pas by senior party leader Virendra Katariya that former PCC chief Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi was "not in our midst". Katariya, who is PRO for the PCC elections, was giving a summing-up speech at the meeting when he made a reference to Dasmunshi and said, "woh hamarey darmiyan nahi hai (he is not in our midst)."

The remark drew immediate protest from Dasmunshi's wife Deepa, an MP from Raiganj, who said such a comment was insensitive towards a senior leader like her husband. Some senior state Congress leaders in the audience, also stood up in protest and demanded that Katariya withdraw his comment. A visibly-embarrassed Katariya quickly apologised. With a section of Congressmen continuing the protest, WBPCC chief Manas Bhuina ended the meeting abruptly by singing the national anthem. Dasmunshi was Information and Broadcasting Minister when he suffered a stroke on October 13, 2008 and has remained bedridden since.

He should read Nehru's writings: Md. Salim

TNN, Sep 17, 2010, 12.51am IST

KOLKATA: CPI(M) is not reading too much into Rahul Gandhi's denial of Trinamool's links with Maoists. CPI(M) central committee member Mohammad Salim said that links between Maoists and Trinamool have been exposed time and again.

"He hasn't said that there is no link between Maoists and Trinamool. He has only denied any direct link between the two. But the Jnaneswari Express carnage and Umakanta Mahato have proved the links," Salim said.

During his three-day trip to Bengal, Rahul Gandhi had commented that Marxism was a "dead" ideology.

"His father had said Kolkata was a dying city. Now, he is talking about dead ideology. He should remember that there is a difference between the situation in China, Cuba and West Bengal. We are running a state government here in a federal structure, while those two are sovereign countries. Here he can go and have dinner at a public place. In Kashmir, the government is run by their ally. Can he go around Dal Lake?" Salim said.

Salim said that Rahul should read his great-grandfather's writings. "He is from the Nehru family. He should read what Nehru's views on socialism were. We are happy that he has talked about Subhas Chandra Bose. Congress didn't allow him to work despite being elected president. They don't even mention him. But, if he has to talk about Subhas Chandra Bose, then his socialism, five-year plans also have to be spoken about. Rahul should decide whether he is a Nehruvian, Gandhian or a Manmohanic," Salim said.

Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal promotes eco-tourism

Sukna (West Bengal), Sep. 17: The officials of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Sukna near West Bengal’s Siliguri District have involved the local villagers in protecting the wildlife and the bio-diversity of the sanctuary.

Divisional Forest Officer of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary Tapas Das said that eco- tourism would enable the villagers to make themselves economically stable.

“See what we are doing here is we are trying to conserve the bio-diversity and protect the wildlife by way of this kind of eco-tourism. We are trying to make the villagers economically sustainable,” said Das.

“They can earn something from this, and as a result what happens they get interested and they protect the wildlife as far as the bio-diversity of the national park and the sanctuaries,” he added.

Villagers have been enrolled to participate in the project as guides and local girls will display their talent by presenting dance and vocal music for tourists.

The area is replete with wild life such as spotted deer; elephants, bisons, birds and butterflies which could be a great tourist attraction.

Villagers say they are happy with the initiative of including them in uplifting their economic status as well as promoting their culture and tradition.

“All the tourists who will visit, we will be able to interact with them and have a direct interaction with them. They will understand our culture and tradition. We want to promote our culture and tradition through this. And with the eco-tourism our culture and tradition will be able to move forward,” said Karan Thapa, a forest villager.

Some other exotic animals seen in the sanctuary are Royal Bengal Tiger, Himalayan black bear, rare mountain goat (Serow), porcupines and snakes. by Tarak Sarkar(ANI)

Leftist peasants forums meet Buddhadeb on drought issue

09:09 PM, Sep 15, 2010
Kolkata, Sep 15 (PTI): West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was today urged to approach the Centre to declare the 11-drought affected districts as a 'national disaster'."A six-point charter of demands have been placed before the CM in the interest of farmers in 11 affected districts in the state," president of CPI(M) peasants' forum Pashimbanga Pradeshik Krishaksabha Madan Ghosh said.

The chief minister was also urged to waive crop loans for the khariff season, besides extending loans to farmers for the next crop at 4 per cent interest.Regretting that the state government had received only Rs 170 crore against an allocation of Rs 1400 crore from the Centre under National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the forum demanded that the Centre release the remainder immediately.It also urged the state government to create more water bodies through panchayat departments in the affected districts, besides supplying the farmers with better quality seeds.The chief minister also elaborated on steps taken by the state government to overcome the drought situation, Ghosh said.

WBIDC to hand over land to ITC for production base


The West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) would hand over 18 acres later this month to the cigarettes-to-hotel conglomerate ITC to set up an integrated food factory in the state.

'We will hand over 18 acres to ITC on September 25. The cost of land per acre was in tune of Rs.20 lakh,' Subrata Gupta, managing director, WBIDC, told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by Ficci.

During the annual general meeting of ITC in July, chairman Y.C. Deveshwar told reporters that the company had not been able to get land to set up production base (factory) in the state for long.

The land is at Panchla village in Howrah on National Highway 6, 35 km from Kolkata. The unit is planned to manufacture snacks like Bingo.

'Maoist'-TMC Goons Kill Five More CPI(M) Supporters

From Special Correspondent (INN)

West Medinipur, September 13, 2010: The ruthless 'Maoist'-Trinamul killers have struck yet again in West Medinipur district killing five poor agricultural labourers belonging to dalit Dome community in the early hours of today. Around 30 of these barbarians crossed over from the jungles bordering Orissa state into Nichu Patina village in Nayagram block in Jhargram sub-division of the district and brutally killed four brothers in one family and another person at around 2 a.m. These killings occurred in the midst of growing people's resistance in the district against 'Maoist' depredations that has resulted in many villages being liberated from the clutches of these goons during the past few weeks. The killings also mark the beginning of the two-day bandh call given by these killers against so-called terror of the CPI(M) from today.

The crime of Amrit Agwan (46 yrs), or the four brothers Rahim Agwan (43), Samaresh Agwan (38), Sapan Agwan (35), and Prasanta Agwan (27), all poor dalit agricultural labourers, to invite such brutal end has been the fact that they are supporters and workers of the CPI(M). The killers knocked down the doors of the victims homes and barged inside. Even as the terrified women folk and children, among whom included the 83 year old mother of the four brothers, watched in horror, the killers chopped off the limbs of the brothers. They then cold-bloodedly shot the four with 9 mm pistols from close range resulting in instantaneous deaths. The 84 year old mother was also injured while trying to protect her sons. The murder of Amrit Agwan was also equally brutal. The five dead bodies were taken by the police to the Jhargram divisional hospital where post-mortem was conducted. The bodies have been kept there at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, people in the adjoining villages of Patina, took out processions condemning these killings. Hundreds of people in Tukuria and Sikarpur villages marched giving slogans against 'Maoist-TMC' barbarism. Six of these villagers returning from the processions to their homes were waylaid by Trinamool goons and beaten up resulting in injuries.

It is clear that the cowardly goons of this anarchic combine are letting loose their terror on the most downtrodden sections of people in newer areas in the fond hope of weakening the CPI(M). These ignorant beasts do not seem to be learning from the drubbing they have received from these sections in the so-called liberated areas, which they had to abandon. The patience of the common people in these areas as far as tolerating the mindless violence is concerned, is indeed running thin. And, many more would willingly take the place of these martyrs and carry on the struggle for peace.

Mamata using Maoists for party benefit: Karat

Express news service

Posted online: Sun Sep 12 2010, 03:34 hrs

Chandigarh : CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat on Saturday accused Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee of using the Maoists for her party's benefit prior to the West Bengal Assembly elections scheduled for next year. He said that the Maoist violence in Bengal was targeted at CPM workers and more than 270 of them have been killed.

Addressing a press conference, Karat said that keeping in view the increasing violence by the Maoists, the central government had sent paramilitary forces to the affected areas, but Banerjee demanded that the joint operations be stopped. Instead she held a rally in Lalgarh with the Maoists last month.

"How can the Prime Minister tolerate such a thing? The Centre should specify what is the government's policy on the issue. Our people are campaigning against the Maoists. From tomorrow, we are starting a programme wherein leaders of our party would be going to different parts of the country to inform people about the situation in Bengal," said Karat.

Talking about the court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit to be pronounced later this month by the Allahabad High Court, Karat said that all sections should accept the verdict, whatever it may be. He said that this would be the only solution to the problem.

Karat also touched upon the issue of rotting foodgrain in godowns. "The Supreme Court's direction for distribution of foodgrain free of cost to the people should be complied with. At least in drought-hit areas like Bihar and Orissa, these must be distributed. The judiciary should not encroach on the sphere of the executive. However, in this case the spirit of the judgment should be appreciated. It is an issue pertaining to failure of the Public Distribution System. The families below poverty line should be helped," he said.

Karat demanded withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from urban areas in Srinagar as well as those areas where the situation was returning to normal. He informed that a delegation of the party met the Prime Minister on this issue. He said that a political solution was required to solve the problems in Srinagar.

Who am I, really?

TNN, Sep 12, 2010, 12.00am IST

Fifteen-year-old Nayana Dasgupta is caught in an identity crisis and can't figure out whether she is a Bengali or Kannadiga!

I am what people call a Probaashee Baangali, or a Bengali settled anywhere away from West Bengal. In such a situation, one has to face many contradictions. On one hand, one has to adapt to the culture of the place you live in and at the same time, retain your ties to West Bengal. To worsen my state (funny I should use that particular word!), I was born in Bangalore and have lived here all my life. So, I have the task of enriching my Bengali culture as well as having to appreciate the culture down South.

So far, I have been able to balance both cultures and I may state without any hesitation that I like, rather love being a Bengali as well as a Bangalorean. But, on the path to maintaining equilibrium, one scale sometimes seems to weigh a little more than the other.

For example, I am very fluent in my mother tongue, Bengali. But I am officially illiterate in that language as I can neither read nor write it. On the other hand, I have learnt Kannada in school for four years (and have done pretty well in my tests!). I can read and write Kannada, thanks to my teacher, but am not as fluent. My friends and I, however, converse in Kannada sometimes and I too contribute generously in these conversations, with a few grammatical errors, of course!

My relatives in Kolkata are not exactly distraught about me not being able to read or write in Bengali, but ask me, "I assume you are learning Bengali as well?", to which I sheepishly smile and my parents say, "She has a lot of studying to do — you know, the pressure!" An enthusiastic uncle also sent me several Bengali textbooks from Kolkata. Slowly, he too realised that it was of no use. No one asks me the question any more.

As a result, I compensate for my incompetence in my mother tongue by learning Rabindra Sangeet with my aunt's 55-year-old harmonium. And to add feathers to my half-Kannadiga status, I can say that I love bisi bele bath more than any 'Baangali' khichudi and I prefer buttermilk over mishti doi.

One of my classmates has lived in several districts of West Bengal and is well-informed about Bengali culture despite being a Kannadiga. One of her favourite series of books is Feluda, whereas I quite enjoy reading Malgudi Days. She likes rice payesh (a well-known Bengali sweet) and I like nothing but sheemayer paayesh. Though my choice sounds more Bengali, her choice is more liked among Bengalis. She too is often surprised as to how my preferences differ from the average Bengali — for an ideal Bengali exists no more. Therefore, we have concluded that I should have been a Kannadiga by birth. I too often consider that this would have been a wiser decision by the Almighty. Things would have been much less complicated.

For example, once, when I had been to Kolkata for a cousin's wedding and was complaining that Bangalore was a much better city to live in, my mother gave me a stern lecture and the finality in her tone made my heart sink. She simply said, "This is your culture and your own state. You just have to accept it." I remember that I just looked up at the high ceiling of the room and inwardly wailed out a cry of frustration. I wondered wildly,

" Who am I? Where am I from?" The question still haunts me.

While I just can't stop liking kosambi, idli, rava idli, dosa, I just can't leave shorshe bata maach or shukto!

However, I have been somewhat able to manage the situation, since Bangalore is now Bengalooru. No finer name could have been given to this city — Bengal - ooru!

And, if none of these tricks work, I'll just say I'm a Bengali and talk in Hindi to strike a balance!

'TMC has rainbow alliance with Maoists':said Biman Basu

India Blooms News Service

Kolkata, (IBNS Sept 11) Trinamool Congress (TMC), the main opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, has a ‘rainbow alliance’ with Maoists since 2007, said Biman Basu, state secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M).

“The TMC, since 2007 in particular, started a nefarious game plan forming a rainbow alliance combining right wing forces with the left sectarian so-called ‘Maoists’ to beat back CPI (M) and the Left as well as the Left Front government. These ugly forces concentrated their attacks in the democratic rights of the people and democracy to create anarchy, lawlessness, and terror-stricken situation,” Bose said here.

“TMC the main opposition in the Bengal Assembly have started a nefarious game plan attacking democratic initiatives of the CPI (M) and the Left front parties. Since the Lok Sabha elections, these anti-democratic forces killed 279 CPI (M) and Left leader and workers. These martyrs are mostly poor agricultural workers, daily wage earners, and many of them are from the tribal community,” he said.

Alleging that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has the patronage of the corporate media barons, Bose said the party is continuing its ugly campaign based on ‘sheer lies’ and ‘slander’ in the state as well as in the rest of the country.

“Serious violent activities are perpetrated by the right reactionaries and ‘left’ sectarian so-called ‘Maoists,’ along with TMC in different parts of Bengal. In certain areas, these undemocratic activities are unleashed by the Indian national Congress (INC). Now it seems that the TMC and the INC want to move jointly together,” Bose said.

Saying the Left Front government of West Bengal stands for democracy & development, Bose stated ‘democratic’ people of Bengal, under the leadership of the CPI (M) and the Left Front, are continuing a serious campaign-movement against the anti-democratic violent activities of TMC and CPI (Maoist) joint forces, and Congress.

“With the assistance of UPA-2 government, TMC as a part of the central government, takes the advantage of all anti-democratic forces and continues their slanderous campaign against the achievements of the Bengal Left Front government.”

“Since the people of Bengal are fighting against the exploitative system, campaigning against the treaties with the US, which may jeopardise the sovereignty of India, and fighting for the workers’-peasants’ interests and for the interest of the democratic people, the reactionary forces of all hues are bent upon attacking the Communists and Left forces for their own class interests,” Bose added.

Eid celebrated in West Bengal

2010-09-11 18:40:00

West Bengal joined the rest of India in celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with prayers and exchange of greetings Saturday.

The biggest Eid congregation was held on the sprawling Red Road in central Kolkata, where over 42,000 devotees took part in prayers.

Verses from the Quran were read and explained to the masses before Nakhoda Mosque Imam Fazlur Rahman conducted the prayers.

People greeted and embraced one another, visited relatives and friends on the occasion.

Heavy security arrangements were made across the city and all districts of the state to prevent any breach of peace.

'We have deployed more policemen this year, especially in areas where the major Eid congregations take place like Red Road, Park Circus and Belgachia. A large number of policemen in plainclothes have also been deployed,' said city Police Commissioner Gautam Chakraborty.