Leftfascism:nandigram and Left Fascism of 30 Years

[Author: Soumyen Guha. Translation: Rama Kundu from the original in Dainik Statesman, 23 June 2007]

In order to rescue West Bengal from the clutches of Left Fascism some kind of ‘Solidarity’ in the model of Poland is needed at once. Already it has been late. An immense price had to be paid in the last thirty years. Any further delay in this regard will lead to the disappearance of the last slender chance that still remains for resisting the usurpation-repression-oppression-heinous cruelty-violence of the left government.

This is not a new phenomenon. In various countries peoples’ attempt to resist fascism or state terrorism has led to the formation of various organized movements like ‘Peoples’ Front’, or ‘Solidarity’. This has happened even at the international level. In today’s west Bengal two questions may come up immediately: one, if the present left front alias CPIM rule can be compared to that of fascism; second, since the state terrorism of 14 March at Nandigram many an organization have come up to protest against the oppression-torture.

Regarding the first question, this much can be said, in whatever name we may call it—‘the left front misrule’, or ‘state terrorism’, or CPIM oppression– the grim reality of the data of the subjugation-exploitation-oppression in West Bengal over the last thirty years remains unalterable fact. Still there are many personalities, and media groups who flaunt their ‘left image’. Furthermore if we look a little more backwards we should be able to detect the vague form of left fascism underneath the misty veneer of the pretenders of so-called culture. But suppose every bit of event through every moment of these thirty years that took place on the vast stretch of West Bengal from Sagardwip(extreme South) to Sandakfu(extreme North) were recorded, then , even then wouldn’t the left front appear to epitomize ‘left fascism’? Did the oppression –torture come to a halt because the intellectuals- writers- speakers of West Bengal had preferred to look the other way for thirty years? Had not hundreds and hundreds of people been endangered and destroyed, injured and killed at the very same moment when the educated elite class of Kolkata were playing hide-and-seek in the courtyard of education-culture-music-arts-literature?

In 1979, before the police shot down the settlers at Marichjhanpi, the water-route was seized in order to force thousands of people into the jaws of death through hunger and thirst—an operation which can be compared only to the operation of Hitler’s Nazi army laying seize upon the city of Poland and forcing them to death by hunger and thirst. It was about 27 years ago that the police brutally crushed hundreds of labors at the Santhaldihi thermal power plant, the police oppression about which I directly learnt from the people of Purulia; the ruthless repression of the police upon hundreds of daily wage labors at the Santhaldihi thermal power project. The offence of these labors, belonging to the Santhal and Bauri tribes, was that they did not belong to the CPIM union. Therefore they were denied jobs. As they protested against this the police came down upon them; around seventy women and men were tortured and arrested. After coming out of the jail they carried the marks of torture on their body. The women told how the police had struck them with the rifle butt on the lower abdomen and between the thighs. Is rape the only form of sexual torture? Twenty years ago a teenage girl was picked up from Kumorpara under Kalighat Bridge; shrinking in shame and disgust the girl of sixteen told me– in the name of interrogation the girl was stripped and forced to do sit-ups naked in the office in the presence of all. Dumdum police station arrested Rita Vaidya on 26 July, 1984; subsequently , as ‘admitted’ by the superintendent Sultan Singh, Rita was given electric shock by means of some special gadget. In “Evidence of Torture”, an Amnesty International Publication of 1979 we come to learn that similar machines to give electric shock were used as device of torture in Cyprus. On 24 January 2003, in Roshannagar, Murshidabad ‘verdict’ was passed against Khajema Bibi. In the name of ‘trial’ nails were driven into the knee of Khajema Bibi (30 years), struck by iron rod on the skull, and bathed in mobile oil on 24 January. On 26 January half-naked , half-dead Khajema was forced to walk several miles on the public road of the village. Who has heard of nails being driven into a live human body since the times of Christ; perhaps Hitler too failed on this account. Under the CPIM reign this is the system of horrifying monstrous torture that has been installed and put into practice from village to village throughout the state.

In 2003, in Chakdah, Nadia, local anti-social Abdul Mandol and his six companions forcibly picked up Saonli Biswas from her house. None dared to resist as the captors belonged to the CPIM. Abdul and his six mates raped Saonli and throttled her to death. When the case came up at the court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate of Nadia it was found that the chargesheet submitted by the police did not include the name of the main accused Abdul. Therefore, when Abdul prayed for release the magistrate asked him to make petition for the same. After fifteen days it was found that both the petition of Abdul and the police case diary were missing from the police file. In 1991 in Kanthi, Medinipur the Police fired on the crowd protesting against rape of women by the police inside a hotel at Kanthi, Medinipur. Several were injured as result of the firing. In1992, at Bhutnir Char Malda, about 60 kms off from Malda town on the islet of Bhutni on the basin of the dried river, an armed band of 17 pounced upon the poor residents, plundered the huts, beat up the people; the team raped 11 women of the char. As there was close link between the rapists and the CPIM the leader of the Left Font women’s wing dismissed the case with the declaration that the women raped there were of ‘bad character’.

After thousands of such events does it require any deep speculation to declare whether West Bengal can be called ‘Police State’ or ‘Fascist regime’! There have been countless isolated fragments of Nandigram over many many years. If any investigation starts today with reference to Nandigram, we will have to place it within the extended periphery of space and time across the whole of West Bengal, through thirty years of bloodbath, of the unrecorded misery of unsung pauperized people, of the systematic dehumanization of ourselves……………

[Author: Soumyen Guha. Translation: Rama Kundu from the original in Dainik Statesman, 23 June 2007] Words: 1, 121