OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.

Maoist rebels stormed a police camp in the troubled central Indian state of Chhattisgarh killing 55. The Maoist strike on a police post at Rani Bodli  in the Bijapur district of the state on Thursday morning, left at least 15 soldiers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Forces and 34 Special Police Officers dead. Meanwhile their ideological cousins to the east in the state of West Bengal did even better. Fourteen people were killed and more than 70 injured during Wednesday’s violence at Nandigram in West Bengal. Doctors who operated on the injured villagers say many of them were not hit by bullets from police weapons. “Some of these bullets are surely not from weapons issued to the police forces in West Bengal,” a medic who wished to remain unnamed told the BBC from Calcutta’s RG Kar Medical College. “There are shotgun wounds, even injuries suffered from pipe guns widely used by local gangsters and political toughs in Bengal,” he said.

Here is the rub 

locals and opposition activists in Nandigram allege that many of those involved in Wednesday’s shooting of villagers were not policemen, even though they were wearing police uniforms

Offstumped examines the question – who is worse ?

Communists who kill police or Communists who police killing people ?

Towards the fag end of 2006, Mamata Bannerjee hogged the headlines with her fast over the acquisition of prime farm land by the West Bengal Government in Singur to be leased to the Tatas for the small car project. The West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee came in for fulsome praise and abundance of unqualified support from the mainstream media for his persistence with state sponsored acquisition of private property only to be handed over to private enterprises. Mamata Bannerjee’s shrill rhetoric and over the edge protest tactics came in for widespread criticism.

Offstumped had however broken ranks with many of the fellow bloggers and right of center commentators in the media to call into question the justification for such such state sponsored acquisition of private property irrespective of the purported justification passed off as “industrialization”. Offstumped had then speculated if the role reversal of sorts being played out in Bengal would drive a wedge between the UPA and the Left. Subsequently Offstumped had  argued that the State should play no role in land acquisition and it should be left to the local communities and individuals to directly negotiate with Enterprises, in the context of Land Acquisition for SEZs. 

Despite fissures within the Left front on the issue of land acquisition on account of sustained criticism by the likes of Sumit Sarkar, Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy as well as the reluctance of CPI-M’s own allies in power like the RSP, FB and CPI, the West Bengal CM persisted with his stubborness on the State playing an active role in land acquisition. The insenstivity and all pervasive arrogance within the Bengal establishment was further exemplified when the Haldia Development Authority issued a notification on land acquisition the block development office in Mahishadal on December 28 last year for a SEZ which was subsequently withdrawn and an apology issued when protests broke out.

However it now appears that the stubborness and the arrogance within the Bengal establishment runs much deeper and has very strong institutional and political roots to it. The mainstream media continues to have its head in the sand as it parrots the Buddha line by framing the conflict as “for and against industrialization” and blaming armed vilagers for provoking the police.

The public debate on who was at fault for the killings in Nandigram is not easily resolved with claims and counterclaims. But the three incidents this week highlight the deep hypocrisy and arrogance that characterizes the Left. Starting with the brawl in Parliament between Left and DMK MPs over the maritime university being setup in Tamil Nadu to the violence in Nandigram, we have once again been reminded that underlying the phony intellectual veneer is deep rooted arrogance and an ideology of violence. The Maoist attack in Chattisgarh bares the real face of the Left with its scant respect for rule of law or human life.

What is however galling is the selective outrage of the so called guardians of human rights who like to fancy themselves as progressive liberals. The progress rag tag comprising Teesta Setalvad, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Rajeev Dhawan who’s conscience perks everytime there is a so called “communal flare up” or “Rights violation”  in a BJP ruled state, is nowhere to be seen or heard to protest the 55 police deaths in Chattisgarh or the 14 deaths in Nandigram.

Offstumped Bottomline: The brawl in parliament by CPI-M MPs and the killings in Chattisgarh and Nandigram by Communists and Communist Policing expose the deep rooted arrogance and ideology of violence that epitomises the Left in India. The selective outrage of the psuedo-intellectual leftist cabal that seems to have lost its voice over Nandigram and Chatisgarh only goes to remind us of the hypocrisy and double standards  of the Left. This weeks events will hasten the unmaking of Brand Buddha and eventually the UPA-CPI-M axis of evil.

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