The events of Nandigram have thrown up an interesting dynamic of the political Left versus the psuedo Intellectual Left versus the radical Left.

First the psuedo-intellectual Left bandwagon which waged token protests in the streets of Kolkota much to the irritation of Buddhadeb. The group calling itself “Concerned Citizens” issued a letter titled “Shameful events in Nandigram” had all the usual suspects from Praful Bidwai to Yogendra Yadav with one notable exception, Teesta Setalavad. The letter is a masterpiece in the art of political correctness. With carefully crafted language that distinguishes the “benign leadership” from the “anti-social cadre”, the letter strangely demands neither penal action nor judicial accountability. In fact it completely glosses over justice to the people of Nandigram while rapping the CPI-M on its knuckles with a school head-masterly reprimand that this should not be repeated. In fact the only victim who is dignified with demands of justice is Medha Patkar.

The letter makes one wonder with what credibility these psuedo intellectuals will face the women and children of Nandigram, mostly muslim (a fact that hardly finds mention in the letter).

Next the political Left versus the radical Left battle.

Barely 24 hours after contradicting his Chief Minister, Buddhadeb’s Taliban Act, West Bengal Home Secretary Ranjan Roy today did an about turn claiming evidence of Maoist Activity in the area around Nandigram. As evidence this is what he had to share

three arms and two land mines with detonators were seized by the CRPF from Nandigram

Three persons with suspected Maoist links were arrested at a place across a river flowing past Nandigram near Sagar Island

So how exactly did they establish “suspected Maoist Links” ?

because they confessed to having received training from Maoists

they had “some” Maoist literature

So from Prakash Karat to Buddhadeb the defense of their action in Nandigram rested on the fiction of Maoist activity in Nandigram specifically in the context of BUPC and the SEZ acquisition related incidents from March earlier this year.

But here is the problem with the Buddhadeb fiction,Offstumped has digging into news from the Nandigram area to discover that landmines and allegations of Naxalite activity surfaced in Nandigram as early as 2002 when Buddhadeb took over as Chief Minister, a full 5 years before the current SEZ issue exploded.

On October 7th 2002, Nandigram made news when Land Mines were found.

The chief minister is to visit Debra in Midnapore on Sunday. On Saturday, the Howrah police decide to conduct a surprise check on a certain bus bound for Nandigram in Midnapore. They stumble upon four landmines and a six-chambered revolver inside a shopping bag

On the same day, The Telegraph carried this story on the same incident.

As the inquiry into origins muddled through, investigators had more or less made up their minds that the end-point was not Nandigram or any other place in East Midnapore. Rather, the mines might have been going to some place in West Midnapore where the PW is fighting the police-CPM combine.

Although 10 activists surrendered in the district last month, a close-knit group is still active in West Midnapore, officials said.

The CPI-M mouthpiece carried a much more detailed story on the incident on 20th of October 2002 with quotes attributed to Buddhadeb

“We in the administration,” concluded the chief minister, “shall deal with the forces like the KLO-ULFA combine in the north and the PWG-MCC alliance in the south firmly—and we declare that no one should be allowed to try and strike at the progress achieved in Bengal under the Left Front government over the past 25 years.”

 The CPI-M reiterates its insinuation of Maoist support for the Trinamul during the 2003 Panchayat elections.

In Belpahari, on April 26, at the westernmost fringe of Midnapore (west), goons of the People’s War Group have been intermittently descending on the isolated villages on the edge of the forest area and threatening the villagers not to vote for the CPI (M) but to cast their votes in favour of the TMC

Following the Panchayat elections, in July 2003 the Times of India carries this story where the villagers of the Nandigram area complain to a visiting NDA team forced occupation of their agricultural plots.

Interestingly, villagers who spoke to the team members narrated more about forcible occupation of their agricultural plots, their inability to till them and a general atmosphere of terror, than about rigging in the panchayat polls

Offstumped Bottomline: The CPI-M stands exposed for running a reign of terror in the area as early as 2003 while resorting to allegations of Maoist activity in dealing with the political opposition.  The psuedo-intellectual Left too stands exposed on Nandigram with its tokenism. For far too long it has provided an intellectual veneer to the CPI-M’s mafioso tactics. Now when the mask has dropped it is issuing token words of protest that are neither honest to its cause nor serving justice to the victims.

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