On Anil Barua

[Excerpts from speech at a condolence meeting in memory of martyr Comrade Anil Barua in Calcutta on 24 March. From Liberation, April 1998.]

....So many questions have arisen out of this (assassination of Comrade Anil Barua by ULFA). There are people who go on saying that regionalism is basically a question associated with the issue of self-determination of a nationality and hence must be supported. This is a valid proposition seen from the point of view of principles. But it is not necessary that every struggle for the self-determination of a nationality or for regionalism is a progressive one. There is no such formula. So the question of support or opposition, to these movements must be ascertained by judging their attitude towards democratic movements. What we see today is that regional parties like Telugu Desham, AGP, Akali Dal are all leaning towards the BJP, the rabid communal force. We have seen the Khalistanis and now we see the ULFA, for both of whom the target today is the left forces. Today these things are coming to the surface because there has been large-scale protests against Anilda’s assassination. But even earlier they have killed many workers of CPI-CPI(M). Activists of the PCC have also been killed. Their movement today has become dependent on funding from Tata Tea. Their camps are being organised in Bangladesh, Rawalpindi and Karachi. They are arranging international passports with elan and they are amassing funds of crores of rupees. And as these aspects in their movement gradually grow, they take a more and more anti-left position. The murder of Comrade Anil Brooah is a symptom which shows that ULFA is no more a democratic or progressive force. Hence their ‘Free Assam’ promises to be nothing but a fascist Assam.... They had declared after the elections that 53% of the Assamese population who voted in the elections are not Indian citizens and so don’t have any right to stay in Assam. They will have to leave Assam within a month. They have issued this order to at least 50 lakhs of Assamese people. Our Party will continue its struggle with greater vigour against this barbarism.