January 22, 2011

Dial 'M' for Murder

Sat, 2010-12-18 11:55 — subhanil

Swapan Koley used to get up at 4am in the morning to collect his share of newspapers which he distributed to various households. This was his source of earning to continue his studies in the college. He also had a dream. A dream of changing the world where all students like him will be guaranteed the benefit of education, where man will not oppress man for higher and higher profits. It is this dream that the murderers of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) wanted to destroy when they brutally killed Swapan Koley on 16th December.

He was beaten with rods and swords in his college. When he took shelter on the roof of a house near his college, he was thrown down from this roof. When he was trying to reach hospital on a rickshaw with the help of his friends, he was attacked again by the TMCP goons. Swapan Koley could not take it any more and died. His only crime was that he was an activist of SFI.

Shouvik Hazra is a bright student of English Honours at Asutosh College, Kolkata. Like any other day he went to college on 16th December. On that day, the SFI along with the non-teaching and teaching staff of the college were participating in a procession protesting against the violence unleashed by TMCP. The procession was attacked by the TMCP goons and Shouvik Hazra lost his left eye when a stone hit his eye.

This scale of violence unleashed in educational institutions is being orchestrated by the TMCP under the direct instigation of Ms. Mamata Banerjee and her cohorts to terrorize the youth and students who fight for a left cause and dream about making a better society. This is however not something very surprising. Ultimately the modus operandi of the Trinamool since its inception has been a politics of provocation and violence with which they have mobilized a large section of the anti-socials under their banner. It is this politics that has killed Swapan Koley and has blinded Shouvik Hazra.

Skirmishes and stray incidents of violence has been a part of student politics all over India. It is also a common sight that the students who were fighting yesterday joke about the incident the next day over a cup of tea or coffee. What Mamata Banerjee has done through her brand of politics is to shred away the romanticism of student politics, the passionate appeal for one's ideology and politics, the liberal space of debates and discussions in college campuses. Instead with her brand of politics student politics has been hijacked by local goons and thugs, campuses are being turned into graveyards of students, politics is being turned into an arena where students will not dare to tread. In other words, Ms. Banerjee and her goons want to destroy the culture of politics within students. This is not mere speculation. The President of TMCP said that they believe that there should be no politics in campuses, in a program in the Bengali News Channel Star Ananda. This is the real agenda of the violent attacks on the student community in West Bengal. It is the compulsion of Ms Banerjee to pursue this agenda since devoid of any constructive politics she is the first person to know that thinking students can never be part of the TMCP. This agenda is being driven with full speed keeping in mind the forthcoming Assembly Elections in West Bengal.

The criminal activities of the TMCP in the college campuses is nothing but an echo of the larger murderous game plan of the Trinamool. Their leaders openly proclaim that if they win the Assembly Elections in West Bengal, they will drive out all the left supporters and will uproot the children of Lenin! It is their vision that in West Bengal they will not allow the red flag to fly with brute force. In their pronouncements we are clearly hearing the footsteps of fascistic politics.

What she and her followers have forgotten is a simple truth that dreams cannot be murdered, ideas cannot be suppressed and the left ideology cannot be physically exterminated. Swapan Koley's cold blooded murder is an assault on the idea of free speech, of the right to dream and think differently. With his murder however many more Swapan Koley will be born ready to carry forward the red flag and the ideology of Independence, Democracy and Socialism.

While the people of West Bengal were trying to grapple with the death of a student, news came from Purulia that 7 Forward Bloc workers have been brutally murdered by the Maoists. This is the first time that such a big number of killings of political activists has taken place in West Bengal. Moreover, most of the activists were tribals, whom the Maoists claim to fight for. Gopeshwar Mahato, aged 70 was not spared by the Maoists. The Maoists also did not spare Ms. Chopola Gorait, a wife of a rickshaw puller and head of a panchayat. All these people were poor and supported the Left Front in West Bengal because of which they were brutally killed by the Maoists. The so-called revolution that the Maoists want to bring in India is basically a charade. What they are doing in West Bengal today is acting as mercenaries of the Trinamool. That is why Ms. Banerjee till date has not condemned any murder that the Maoists have committed in West Bengal.

The current situation prevalent in West Bengal is one of intense attack against the CPI(M) and the Left Front, which is reminiscent of the semi-fascist terror of the 1970s. In this situation the party must ensure that all sections of the population are mobilized against the fascistic tactics of the Trinamool-Maoist combine. Already in the jungle-mahal area we have witnessed how thousands of people mobilized themselves and ensured that Maoists are sent on the back-foot. The heroic struggle of the people of jungle-mahal should inspire people across West Bengal to rise up in unison against the violence unleashed by the goons of Ms. Banerjee.

‘Bengal a lucrative investment destination’

Express News Service Posted online: Wed Dec 15 2010, 04:52 hrs

Kolkata: Assocham survey points to problem in land acquisition but says growth encouraging.

Many business and industrial projects may have hit roadblocks in Bengal but it seems that the chambers of industry have not lost confidence in the state. A survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has concluded that the Left Front-ruled state is the most lucrative destination for investments in the country.

West Bengal, the study stated, attracted a total investment proposal of Rs 5,77,904 crore till September, 2010. In the same period the country received investment proposals of Rs 1,04,93,601 crore.

Of the total investment proposals, 73 per cent has come from private sector and the remaining 27 per cent from government.

The state’s share of total investment undertaken by different governments in the country is 3.7 per cent and in terms of investments by the private sector, Bengal’s share is 6.7 per cent.

“West Bengal is a well established, matured economy. The trade off between equity and efficiency issues has affected growth of economy in the past. However, the state has the potential to achieve double digit growth rate by exploiting complementarities between its social and economic strengths,” said the new ASSOCHAM president, Dilip Modi.

The study also pointed out the problems of land acquisition that has hit many projects. It, however, added that despite such hurdles, Bengal’s position of being the sought after investment destination is an encouraging trend.

The survey stated that nearly 50 per cent of the investment proposals are in different stages of implementation and 48.3 percent of investments are in the announcement stage. Implementation of projects involving 1.5 per cent of total investment is stalled due to various reasons, the survey said. “It may be noted that owing to the prevalence of global recessionary trends and slow down of the Indian economy investments across states have been kept on hold. This explains that a major portion of the projects have not moved beyond the announcement stage,” the survey stated.

The survey also stated that there has been a balanced development of all the sectors of the economy.

This strategy is expected to help the state reduce dependency on agriculture, add value to primary sector products and augment sources of revenue for the state, it added.

Basu's demise marked 2010 in West Bengal

December 31, 2010

West Bengal witnessed 2010 the demise of its tallest political figure Jyoti Basu. Basu passed away on January 17 at the age of 96 in a huge loss for his party, CPI(M), but also the people of Bengal.