Nation on Friday paid homage to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru on their 76th Martyrdom Day. What freedom have we acieved ? Tolerating all the nonsense, the rotten system, it is not a tribute, but in fact Insult to Martyrdom itself as the Nation faces Genocides of masses and Untouchablity sustained with Vaidiki rituals!
Golabalisation is Post modern Manusmriti and this is why, despite industrialisation and urbanisation, IT, mobile 4G technology, computor and internet, the Caste System gets stronger!
Ninety percent top policy making posts are occupied by the ruling Brahmins!Despite Voting Rights the masses in India, the underclasses, the dalits and minorities have no political representation!Money power and Cast system have the ultimate say in Polity , Economy and Society!
Communist Party was formed by the Hindu Zamindar Brhmins to stop any Revolution in India following Russian and chinese line! Now the Left in India has ensured well that there won`t be any revolution. Buddhadev has not committed a crime to follow the capitalist way of development as we examine all the cases of Brahminical betrayals from Telengana to Naxalbari.
Congress had to get the Statepower from the British to make the Brahmins dominating. Reservation and quota policy were adopted to appease the underclasses. The Dalits got some insignificant percent of govt jobs but the Dalit movement was undermined fainally. That reservation has become the bone of contention now and globalisation with disinvestment and privatisation have made the constitutional reservation irrelevent. Now the Ruling Brahmins are trying their best to abolish Reservation.
They have not got the political power despite the share of power in some states as bargained for sleeping with the Caste Enemies. Mayabati fields mostly Brahmins to get power back. Is this the way for Social Change?Social Justice and Equality are the terms which actually means inherent Injustice and inequality!Yes, we have got Freedom to be enslaved!We have got Freedom to be Killed!We have got Freedom to be Raped!
Nandigram: Horror Stories Emerge Fact finding report of the delegation deputed by the Calcutta High Court23 March, 2007Countercurrents. org Report of the team who went to Nandigram in the district of Purba Medinipore in terms of the order of the Hon'ble High Court dated 15.03.2007 passed by the Hon'ble Division Bench comprised of Mr. S.S. Nijjar, Chief Justice and the Hon'ble Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh in a writ petition filed by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and Paschim Banga Khet Majdoor Samity.http://www.counterc urrents.org/ nandigram- report230307. htm
Nandigram: Women complain sexual assaultMohuya Chaudhuri, Bano Haralu
http://www.ndtv. com/template/ template. asp?template= nandigramviolenc e&slug=Nandigram% 3A+Women+ complain+ sexual+assault&id=102415&callid=1&category=NationalFilm clip: http://www.ndtv. com/ndtvvideo/ default.asp? id=12412
Basu rubbishes news of Buddha removal.Nandigram fallout: Bengal CM holds high-level meet.Meanwhile, The West Bengal government has provided ‘Z-plus’ security to Tata Motors’ small car project site at Singur in Hooghly district following a blast and the recovery of explosives near its boundary wall on Sunday.Police fear Maoists may try to attack the site.Officers from the bomb disposal squad of the Crime Investigation Department have been deputed at the site along with regular police personnel. The bomb squad will comb the site regularly with metal detectors. They will also get two sniffer dogs. Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu on Friday termed as absurd the speculation over removal of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya as Chief Minister of West Bengal in the aftermath of the March 14, 2007 Nandigram killings and the groundswell of protests demanding his resignation. In the wake of the massive outcry against the West Bengal government over the police firing in Nandigram, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday held a meeting with top administrative and police officials to review the overall situation. The state government's stand on land acquisition for industries and the Nandigram police firing on March 14 is understood to have figured at the meeting. There was no official briefing. Refusing to divulge what transpired at the meeting, Home Secretary P R Roy said, "Why should I disclose it to the media?"
Besides the home secretary, the meeting, was attended by Chief Secretary A K Deb, DGP A B Vohra, IGP (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia, ADG (CID) Sujit Sarkar, SP (Hooghly district) S Sarkar and Industry Secretary Sabyasachi Sen.
"This is an absurd news (of Buddhadeb's removal). There has been no such talk in the party, neither has the Chief Minister expressed his desire to step down," Basu told reporters while emerging from the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) office at Alimuddin Street.
"If there were wrongs done by the cops that day it would be probed and action taken," Basu said.
The former Chief Minister also questioned the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court in ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Nandigram mayhem.
"The Supreme Court should review if the high court has such power," Basu said amid widespread speculation that the CBI report on Nandigram submitted to the court contained anomalies on the police version of the firing that killed 14 villagers and left several others injured and homeless. Some women were reportedly raped.
The court would start hearing of CBI report on Monday.
The CBI team had last week recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition and arrested 10 suspected CPI-M men from Khejuri, adjacent to Nandigram.
Prakash Karat, CPI-M general secretary, had met Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence to discuss the Nandigram fallout. He had ruled out the possibility of removing Bhattacharya as Chief Minister.
Bowing to pressure from its constituents, the CPI-M-led Left Front government in West Bengal ordered withdrawal of police from Nandigram in phases and scrapping of the proposal to establish special economic zones by taking over farmland.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal assembly continued to witness noisy scenes as Trinamool Congress legislators protested the Nandigram incident.
On the other hand,CPI(M )stands against piecemeal changes in SEZ policy.
The UPA government on Friday came under fresh attack from ally CPI(M) for amending the SEZ rules as it demanded a stop to "piecemeal changes" in the act while the group of ministers was reviewing the overall policy. The party slammed the changes made in the SEZ rules by the Commerce Ministry last week, saying it goes against the suggestions given by the four Left parties, which support the Congress-led government at the Centre, on the issue.
One of the changes allow the developers to acquire more land in contiguous areas while the other seeks to continue with the tax concessions for the contractors working for the private SEZ developers, it said. "This would mean that the scope of the SEZ can be expanded beyond the initial approval. This goes against the suggestion given by the Left parties that a ceiling should be fixed for the size of the SEZ," it said in a statement.
The party also slammed the decision to continue with the tax concessions for the contractors.
The overall SEZ policy and the changes required in the Act and rules are being considered by the group of ministers. While this exercise has not been completed, it is surprising that the Ministry of Commerce has made certain amendments to the SEZ rules, it said.
"The empowered group of ministers must finalise their report and only then the required changes should be put in place," it said and asked the government not to make piecemeal changes in the SEZ rules. Blood on the soilBY BARKHA DUTT
23 March 2007
THE images of the bloodbath at Nandigram are haunting — a young woman's dead body being rolled off a rickety vegetable cart, her green sari soaked in blood; an old man's head draped in bloody bandages, his arm outstretched for help that never came; a policeman mercilessly thrashing an unarmed villager. This looked like a one-sided battle.
But the grim emotional dimension to the West Bengal violence does not necessarily help in answering the questions at the heart of the debate. Is this Brand Buddha's fall from grace? How much of the trouble is because of the chief minister's own bungling and how much of it is him being offered up at the guillotine by rivals within his own party? And most importantly, which side does the conflict between farms and factories leave you and me on? Does this herald the end of India's much-hyped SEZ scheme? And more to the point, should it? http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2007/March/opinion_March76.xml§ion=opinion&col=Pl read these stories, too!Kanika Datta: Communists fail in communication Business StandardBrand Buddha gets a pat from Karat Daily News & AnalysisSEZ, lies and massacres Economic TimesFinancial Express.bd - Socialistworker.co.ukall 24 news articles »
Our Land, Their Development: A Photo Essay On Singur - India ...Our Land, Their Development: A Photo Essay On Singur News and Commentary.www.indiamike.com/india/showthread.php?t=27438 - 77k - Cached - Similar pages
Focus on the Global South
Peoples' Memorandum to the G33 Ministerial meeting in Jakarta:
Now is the time for Food Sovereignty
20th March 2007
We, representatives of peasant organisations, social movements and civil society organisations from across the world welcome the trade ministers from the Group of 33 to Indonesia. We recognise the importance of the G33 meeting at this juncture when the developing countries are under significant pressure to reduce their tariffs and allow more "market access" to agricultural products from the US and EU. We recognize that your efforts to resist this pressure and to gain meaningful special and differential treatment in the Doha round of WTO negotiations are important, however we would like to raise some vital issues and demands.
FARMERS DEVASTATED BY LIBERALISATION
Liberalisation of the agriculture sector under structural adjustment programmes and the Uruguay round of commitments has devastated millions of farmers throughout the developing world. The incidence of farmer suicides in India and other developing countries has shown an alarming increase and the deepening economic and social crisis in the rural sector is largely the result of liberalisation polices. Rural unemployment has increased as subsidised agricultural imports flood into developing countries. The agrarian distress has reached serious proportions and have left millions of farmers starving and landless. Countries who used to be able to feed their people have become dependent to giant global corporations, who are the main beneficiaries of the liberalisation and market opening that has taken place under the Agreement on Agriculture. A "development" outcome that meets the needs of small and marginal farmers is impossible within the WTO framework.
WTO IS ANTI FARMER AND ANTI DEVELOPMENT
The WTO is inherently anti-development. Studies by the World Bank and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace show that the gains to developing countries from the conclusion of the Doha Round are either minimal or non-existent. Projections of the gains from a "likely Doha scenario" show that just $16 billion out of $96 billion would go to developing countries. Adjusting for Special and Sensitive Products in agriculture, developing country gains come to just $ 6.7 billion (to be shared between 110 developing countries) out of a total of $ 38.4 billion. These are the figures; the human cost is millions of lost livelihoods. The full statement can be read at www.nyeleni2007.orgIf you would like to endorse this statement, please send us an email by tomorrow, March 21, 10am Jakarta time (which is at 11pm US Eastern Time).
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Afsar H. Jafri
Focus on the Global South
To,Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia,Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission,Government of India.
Dear Shri Ahluwalia
We are shocked to learn that noted senior activistsfrom many organisations across India including MedhaPatkar, as well as poor people from different states,who came to meet you on World Water Day weremanhandled and arrested at your office building. Asyou know, the work that the Planning Commission has anenormous effect on millions of people of India and theaffected people have a right to meet you and talkabout their concerns.
The police and the Rapid Action Force used excessiveforce on the peaceful protestors including many women,and today we received news that all the 63 people havebeen remanded to judicial custody for 15 days. Thispolice and legal action is completelydisproportionate, and if the cases are not withdrawn,we are forced to conclude that the government wants todivert attention so that it can avoid listening to thepeople.
Thousands of people and activists have come from manystates across India since March 19th, as part ofAction 2007 program, to draw the attention of thegovernment to the enormous problems being faced bythem. They have been holding a Jan Sansad (People'sParliament) from March 20-24 at Jantar Mantar withsessions focused on the burning issues affecting them.For each session, invitations have been issued to theMinisters and Secretaries of concerned ministries sothat they have the opportunity to hear the peoplesproblems and respond to them. However, apart from oneexception, no representative of the government hasshown up to hear the people.
Therefore the people themselves were forced to come tothe government offices to have a dialogue and conveytheir demands. In this context, if all the governmentcan do is impose police force on the citizens and takeexcessive legal action, then it sends out a message toIndian citizens that the government is not interestedin peaceful methods of engaging with its citizens.
We request you to take immediate action to ensure that(a) all those arrested should be released immediately,(b) the cases against them withdrawn and (c) adialogue be held by you with them on issues ofnational concern that they had come to present to you.
Sincerely, Palash Biswas,Kolkata
Get in touch with us call 9910345405 or e-mailaction2007@gmail. com / www.action2007. net www.action2007. net
Delhi Office: Action 2007, 1-A, Goela Lane, Under HillRoad Civil Lines, Delhi â€“ 110054Tel.: 011-23933307, (0)9868200316 E-Mail:action2007@gmail. com
Mumbai Office: Action 2007, C/0 Chemical MazdoorSabha, 29-30, First Floor, 'A wing' Haji HabibBuilding, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (East),Mumbai-400014, Tel.: 022-24150529, (0)9969363065As you already know that 62 activists of Action 2007have been arrested on 22nd March 2007, 2 pm at thePlanning Commission Office. The group includingactivist Medha Patkar were having a symbolic protestagainst the privatisation and appropriation of waterresources (by large dams, coke and pepsi bottlingplants and other unsustainable forms of development) leading to deprivation and water scarcity faced by alarge population in the country on World Water Day.
The police and Rapid Action Force did not allow theactivists to take an appointment with the Deputy Chairof Planning Commission and arrested the activistswhile waiting in the compound of the Yojana Bhavan(Planning Commission office). While arresting,unnecessary force was used and many of the activistswere manhandled and many women activists were manhandled/attacked by menpolice. In spite of the fact that this was anon-violent protest, Rapid Action Force was deployedto arrest the activists, and they used such excessiveforce, tearing clothes of some of the women activists.
The activists were then taken to the Parliament StreetPolice station and were asked to sign blank arrestmemos. There were procedural delays and only after 9pm were they presented to the judicial magistrate whowas called to the police station itself.
The magistrate has remanded all of them to judicialcustody for 15 days until April 5th. This iscompletely disproportionate and excessive police andlegal action against peaceful protestors who went tohave a dialogue with the Planning Commission memberson World Water Day!
Woolmer was strangled to death: police
Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was strangled to death in his hotel room during the World Cup, the Jamaica Police have said."The official report from the pathologist states that Mr. Woolmer's death was due to asphyxia as a result of manual strangulation," Police spokesman Karl Angell read out from a statement.
"In these circumstances, the matter of Mr. Woolmer's death is now being treated by the Jamaican police as murder," he added.The Bob Woolmer murder storyMeanwhile, International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed, who was present in the press conference, announced that the World Cup would continue despite the development.http://www.rediff.com/wc2007/2007/mar/23woolmer.htmSuspect held in Woolmer case: Geo TV http://www.rediff.com/wc2007/2007/mar/23woolmer5.htm?zcc=rl
SEZ policy to stay: PM
Making it clear that the SEZ policy has come to stay in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said a humane and just policy on the resettlement of land oustees was being formulated by the government.
"SEZ as an instrument of economic policy has come to stay. But in the process of implementation, we have been exposed to certain problems which cannot be dismissed. It is the strength of our democracy," he said when asked whether the government was planning to overhaul the SEZ policy.The Prime Minister was replying to questions after his speech at the India Today Conclave here.
He said "if we find there are some flaws in our policy, we can set in motion a mechanism to redress those gaps in our policy".
Asserting that "a more humane, more effective and a more just policy" with regard to the resettlement of land oustees was in the process of being formulated, Singh said pending that, there was some delay in going ahead with the announced policy of the government on SEZ.
"I do believe that we should address these concerns if we want the policy to succeed in the long run," he said.
• Live Score: India win toss; elect to field vs SL
What would happen if India loses Sanjay Rajan March 23, 2007 13:00 ISTIf India fail to reach the Super Eights stage of the World Cup, analysts and businesses have already started to weigh up what the impact would be in the cricket-crazy nation. The 1983 winners need to beat formidable Sri Lanka in the final Group B match on Friday to stay in contention for one of the two berths.http://www.rediff.com/wc2007/2007/mar/23loss.htm
The sovereignty of the nation state is under pressure from all sides, undermined from below by "nationalistic" forces in the form of ethnic or other groups asserting their desire for autonomy and pressured from above through participation in treaties, international organizations, and other transnational structures necessary for dealing with urgent global problems but that also impinge on a nation's independent decision-making power. Forces of economic globalization both in trade and capital, also exert pressure, driven forward by the collective actions of transnational business, investors, and the governments of the major trading powers, but still immune to control or even direction by the publics most affected. Structurally, the state is at the same time both too large and too small to solve modem problems.
SEZ yes, but farmers consent must: Deshmukh In the wake of farmers' protest over land acquisition for special economic zone, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Friday assured the state Legislative Council that his government would not interfere in the process and "nothing will proceed until farmers are satisfied."
"Both the Centre and state government have consistently maintained there will be no interference from their side in land acquisition (for SEZs)," Deshmukh said in the Upper House.
India's great rush for SEZs
"It is up to the developer (of SEZ) and the farmer to sit and decide among themselves. Until the farmer is satisfied nothing will proceed," he added.
The chief minister said the state government has only notified the land for SEZs and farmers would get the market price of their land.
He said no agricultural land would be sold and there would be proper rehabilitation.
The CM was replying to a special mention by PWP MLC Jayant Patil who said the government was helping in land acquisition for Reliance SEZ in Raigad, where farmer were protesting.
Other members, including Diwakar Raote and Madhukar Sarpotdar of Shiv Sena and Sanjay Dutt of Congress, also raised the issue in the House.
Probe CIA funding of Kerala journalists: CPI
Thiruvananthapuram: The Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into allegations that a section of Kerala journalists were being funded by the CIA.CPI state secretary Veliyam Bharghavan told reporters: "Either the CBI or RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) should inquire about the alleged funding of some Kerala journalists by the CIA (US' Central Intelligence Agency). It is now clear that there is a media syndicate in Kerala that plants false stories."http://content.msn.co.in/News/National/nationalIANS_230307_1730.htm
Shukla P Sen Posted this ItemOne WeekThis report deals with some of the things that I haveseen, and with some of the events that I have takenpart in, during the week starting on Monday 12th 2007.
If it seems too long please remember that compellingreasons make it so. The feeling of terror thatNandigram evokes is one reason. That terror isnatural. But it is no reason for forgetting thatterror exists elsewhere as well. It exists in Singur,for example. The report therefore begins with Singur. I visited Singur on March 13th. The place is50-minutes away from Kolkata. It is easily reached bycar. One goes along a National Highway that headsnorth out of the city, towards places beyond Singur.Gopal Nagar is the first mouza in the district thatyou hit after you get off the highway. It looksprosperous. A main road runs through the middle of thevillage. Many ponds lie on either side of the road.There are many pukka houses. I would be happy to livein one of them. We stopped for water and tea at one such house. Itbelongs to the Koley family. Ratan Koley is (or was) aschoolteacher. His wife Mayarani greets us. She ledthe first protest against the move to locate a moderncar plant in Singur. The entire family is involved inthe Andolan against giving up land for industry. Thewomen of Singur are at the forefront of the protestagainst land acquisition. Medha Patkar has described Singur in a recent DailySouth Asian article. I can, with one exception,confirm that description. For Haradan Bag was dead.The events that started in May 2006, events over whichhe had very little control, had led him to take hisown life. We visited the Bag home in BeraberiPurbapara. The para is a relatively poor part ofBeraberi, the mouza that lies just beyond GopalnagarWe reached the Bag household between 3 and 4 pm. Thewidow was prostate with grief, lying on a bed in adarkened room adjoining the veranda on which Haradanbabu had consumed the pesticide that killed him. Alittle girl (may be her grand daughter Payel) lay fastasleep by her side. The widow's eyes were closed. Butshe was not unconscious. She kept on repeating onephrase "Amra kee korbo?" (What shall we do?), over andover. We asked her relatives about her behavior. Theyhad to use force repeatedly to restrain her from goingout of the house in the direction of what used to beher husbands field. She would do so even at night. Therelatives did not seem much troubled by her behavior.A local doctor, they said, had told them that thewidow's behavior was not at all uncommon for someonein that situation. Earlier on, we had been to see the Bhui family. Theyhad lost a young son Raj Kumar (aged 22 I believe)some months ago. Raj had been beaten severely withlathis, and I do not know what else, when he went outto attend a meeting at night. He had returned home tosleep, got up as usual, went to bathe and collapsed.He was dead by the time medical attention arrived. We attended and spoke at several Shok Sabha's forHaradan Babu. Little white monuments were thecenterpieces of all the Sabha’s. They all carried thesame message "Haradan Bag, we will not forget you."The last Sabha was held in an open field just by theside of the wall enclosing the part of Singur that thevillagers no longer own. There were plenty ofuniformed, armed guards around, within the enclosureand on a watchtower. There was no communicationbetween them and us. The Sabha, which was conducted asall such rituals usually are, needs no comment fromme. But the very impressive women that I met throughoutthe day certainly do deserve comment. They spokeopenly and vigorously about their agitation. Theydescribed how the police had assaulted them. When theyreached the part where the police tore their blousesoff, they mimed what had happened, holding their ownhands close together in the middle of their chests,and pulling them apart violently. "What animals theyare," was all that they said then. They pointed outthat some of the police wore Hawai Chappals saying"Have you ever seen a policeman on duty with hawaichappals? They were the CPM’s cadre bahini, notpolice." Wednesday March 14. Kolkata is gripped in a largenumber of very quickly organized processions. Peoplesquatted on the road, in protest against the State.The State had ordered its police to kill people inNandigram. The killings were incidental to the mainobjective of the operation, which was to enforce therule of law; if the state had been the USA, thekillings would have been called “collateral damage.”There had been no rule of law in Nandigram, after thebrutal fiasco called “Land acquisition, West Bengal,2007,” had erupted there in early January. Strangely, the same State did nothing to us when webroke the law, openly, in Kolkata. I squatted alongwith many others in the middle of Jawaharlal NehruRoad, in the heart of the city, from before 5 pm toaround 6. 45 pm. No policeman prevented us from doingthat. They even assisted us. They were very polite:“Sir, please sit a little on this side so that thereis some space for cars etc. to move.” I pointed thisout to Anuradha Talwar who said "Maybe, they have hadenough blood for a day." I replied, "Not so. They arethe pipes for blood to flow, to the people who ruleus." Policemen, In West Bengal, obey every order theyget, verbal or written, constitutional orunconstitutional. They complain vociferously - inprivate while they are in service, and sometimespublicly, after they retire. They are machines atbest, mercenaries at worst. Take your choice. We had marched to J L Nehru Road along two other majorcity streets. We started from Wellington Square, whichis to the East J L Nehru Road, at 4. 30 pm. We marcheddown the middle of both streets. We were disruptingtraffic, in a major metro and doing it during a peaktraffic period. The State was silent. The people onthe street watched us in silence as we marched insilence. They did not seem to mind the disruption thatwe caused. We carried a vivid banner showing BuddhaBhattacharya obsequiously shaking hands with a smilingRattan Tata. Both men were on top of a mountain ofhuman skulls. Try to imagine us doing that inNandigram, at the same time, far away from urbanIndia, its media and its people. Something else happened on that day. The Governor ofWest Bengal released an official statement on thehappenings in Nandigram. He said, in part, that thehappenings "have filled me with a cold horror." I wasvery struck by that, and by the whole statement. Overa month ago, the Governor had promised us (meaningSamar Bagchi, Sujato Bhadra, Aditi and Sumit Choudhuryand myself), when we went to Raj Bhavan to meet him(Mamata Banerjee was on hunger strike then; MedhaPatkar was confined, along with several other people,to a guest house in Chandra Nagar and prevented fromgoing anywhere near Singur) that he would do all hecould. He said, very eloquently "I will saturate myconstitutional role." He had lifted both his arms ashe said those words. His eyes looked very serious. The Governor had kept his word. What about theelectronic media, at the national level? I watchedNDTV before going to bed. They have a "most importantevents" list, or something like that. The list had 8things in it, but nothing from West Bengal. One personis killed in Gujarat and that makes the list. Many diehere and the event is not recognized. I guess WestBengal has joined the country's North Eastern statesas part of India that the mainstream need not careabout. The Central Govt. certainly does not care about it. Ithas to rely on the support of the left. It istherefore obliged to let the warlords of the left dowhat they like in their own territory. March 15th. Another day of meetings and processions,including one by the Buddhi Jeevi people. They ask meto attend their Press Conference at the Kolkata PressClub, at 3 pm. I think, however, that Nandigram is theplace to be active in, and spend some time convincingpeople that we need to go there, fast, if possible onMarch 17th. The 16th is out because there is an allBengal 12 hour Bandh. A telephone call brings the dreadful news that lots ofpeople, including children were brutally murdered atthe Bhanger Bera Bridge. The bridge separatesSonachura from Khejuri, and also separates the peopleopposed to the SEZ from the CPM’s cadres in Khejuri. Ithink of relaying this to the Governor, but decide notto do so till checking further. I arrive late at the Press Club. The atmosphere isextremely tense. Lots of people are there in a verysmall room; lots of speeches are made, by people fromthe theater, literary and cinema world; lots of peopleannounce their resignations, from various Governmentsponsored Academies. The Press meet is followed by amarch towards the Esplanade, and a public meeting.More speeches are made there. More constructively,money is collected for the people of Nandigram. Thepeople of Nandigram need money and medical help invast amounts. The Presidency General Hospital inKolkata also needs lots of blood for the wounded ofNandigram who have been shifted from Nandigram toKolkata. Once the meeting ends, I go to the College Squareoffice of the National Alliance of People’s Movementshoping that they will agree to go to Nandigram. Theyhave other plans for the 17th. But a team from Dilliconsisting of B .D. Sharma, Arun Khote, D. Thankappan,Medha Patkar and other people will be coming on theevening of the 16th and going to Nandigram on a factfinding trip the next day. I am asked to accompanythem, and I agree. March 16th. There is a 12-hour Bandh. I stay at home,getting ready to go to Nandigram early the next day. March 17th. A phone call from Devjit wakes me up at 4.30 pm. I think, “Good, we are going to start early.”Not that early, alas because it is past sunrise whenthe van finally picks me up. We reach Nandigram by 9pm. The drivers are very good; so is the drive. First Stop: Nandigram hospital. It is not a hospitalat all but a small cluster of small, one-storybuildings located on a compound just off the road intotown. The wounded are in a new looking block. A largecrowd is waiting for us. They accompany us into theward; the two guards by the gate are powerless. Thewardroom is clean; there are no people on the floor asone sees in all big public hospitals in Kolkata. Ispeak a little, and listen a lot, to the wounded, justas all the other team members do. I shall be doing alot of both things till midnight. The notes that I kept of the day start with A. M. Sheis 35, and has two girls
(Contact: Palash C Biswas, C/O Mrs Arati Roy, Gosto Kanan, Sodepur, Kolkata -&00110, India. Phone: 91-33-25659551)Email: email@example.com