CPI(ML)Liberation hopes to attract cadres let down by CPM
NEW DELHI: The CPI(ML) hopes that the continuing disenchantment with CPM in West Bengal will result in a realignment of Left forces in the state and that it will emerge as the new rallying point, for peasants and intelligentsia alike.
CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya told TOI that Nandigram was not just another violent incident but a turning point in the contemporary history of West Bengal. "CPM cannot accept that some area can hold out and defy the party and government. That too, an area where their domination is complete. The party cannot tolerate political dissent. In that sense, it is a turning point, just like Naxalbari where it killed its own people and mocked at intelligentsia," he said.
Maintaining that in terms of brutality in Nandigram, West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was no different from Narendra Modi — a comparison which he himself changes to Mikhail Gorbachev — Bhattacharya says, "This is not the government which came to power in 1976. They are speaking a different language. In terms of its content, orientation and positioning, it's already gone. Just the old signboard is left. Now content and form is striking new harmony."
Politically, Bhattacharya sees an opportunity for his party to emerge as a rallying point. He said simmering discontent against CPM in West Bengal and elsewhere had come out in the open. "I hope it happens," he said about CPI (ML) becoming the rallying point for Left-inclined people. He said that in West Bengal, rift with the CPM has happened at two levels. One, the social base of sharecroppers and middle peasantry, which brought CPM to power more than three decades ago, was in complete unrest. Two, the pre-1980 CPI/CPM veterans, who participated in Teebhaga and other such movements, were also getting disenchanted with CPM, which had become the "agent of capitalists."
However, the new breed of party cadre in CPM is too obsessed with power. "We are trying to keep them in the Left fold," he said, adding that outside three states (West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu), CPM was finding it difficult to defend Nandigram. Not happy with the role Left Front allies — CPI, RSP and Forward Bloc — have played in Nandigram, Bhattacharya said he would open talks with them later this month. "We are in touch. It is not that CPM is not scared of these parties leaving the front. It could have long-term repercussions for the party," he said.
Hitting out at the ideological dilution of CPM, Bhattacharya debunked the bogey of industrialisation. "West Bengal is not new to industry. There is blatant appeasement of big business. There is no real opposition to land acquisition but why in Singur or Nandigram? Farmers are not committing suicide here. Is West Bengal government in a position to transform peasants into industrial workers? Peasants would become paupers," he averred.
Toilet Paper of India