Singur March

Tapan Batabyal

The history of the Singur movement is well-known. The fundamental issues now are return of the lands taken away forcibly, reclaiming the lands turned waste by the Tatas and establishing the rights of recorded and unrecorded share-croppers. The people of Singur are in no mood to allow these demands to be swept under the carpet of distribution of a few stalls or the proposed railway coach factory. The people knew our party's position independent from both the LF and Trinamul Congress (TMC). Being aggrieved at TMC’s betrayal of these issues, the people began keeping themselves aloof from the TMC rallies and mass meetings and a section of them approached us to raise the issues at the state level. This constituted the backdrop of our 15th July Singur March, which started as a procession and culminated in a mass meeting.
The meeting was presided over by Comrade Tapan Batabyal, State Committee member of CPI(ML). Addressing the gathering Comrade Subimal Sengupta – Secretary of the West Bengal Peasant Association – said that the TMC had declared that lands would be returned to the peasants. But after the parliamentary elections they are keeping mum over the issue. The TMC is talking about change in the seat of power in West Bengal, but the panchayats led by the TMC have failed to play any role in changing the conditions of the poor people in the area.Singur March
Com. Prabir Halder, Secretary of the District Committee of CPI (ML), told the masses that the movement in Singur has developed on a solid peasant base. The Left Front Government had unleashed repression and taken away lands. But the people of Singur did not pardon them and they will have to exit from the seat of power in West Bengal. The TMC too has betrayed Singur, by shifting the movement to Kolkata. But the people of Singur are eager to build the movement anew. And the CPI(ML) will surely try to build up this movement.
In the midst of the mass meeting, in which about thousand people had gathered, some youths came and spoke about their demands. They said that there is so much talk about development­ – but when the agrarian crisis has assumed such a huge proportion, why could the panchayat samitis (which are under TMC control) not take any initiative to clean the river Kana and put it to use for irrigation purposes? This could be done through the NREGA work, they asserted.
Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Partha Ghosh said that the ruling class parties fear and wish to suppress the peasant movement – in this respect, there is not much of a difference between the CPI(M) and the TMC. He further said that very recently a TMC leader visited Singur and he could sense that the people of Singur were getting aggrieved. Comrade Partha Ghosh told the masses that wherever the TMC controls the panchyats and the zila parishads, there is rampant corruption, party politicking and arrogance. He called upon the people of Singur to build movements once again and on a stronger premise.

CPI(ML) Politbureau member Comrade Kartick Pal observed that as the days of CPI(M)’s exit from power are approaching, the CPI(M) leaders are saying in the assembly that no more land will be taken away from the peasants. And the TMC on the other hand is indulging in empty populism. He further said that it is imperative to realise the essential class character of the TMC and build up movements on the issues on which the people of Singur are aggrieved.