Alik Chakraborty, Bhangar Committe
The Bhangar movement has shattered the West Bengal political scenario since last six months. The claims of the TMC government that it is not snatching land from the peasantry for the so called development projects, has been exposed in a big way. It is proving that its claims are nothing but a hoax.
The people of West Bengal who want to protest against autocratic measures of TMC government is getting new lease of enthusiasm through this movement. Every political force in the state including the parliamentary parties ate trying to relate themselves in various ways with this movement.
At the same time, the Mamta government is trying to crush this movement by unleashing state terror. It is particularly indulging in random arrest of the leaders of this movement and those who are taking active role in developing the solidarity movement, knowing fully that the movement is indomitable.Seeing the increasing strength of this movement, the chief minister Mamta Banerjee is engaged in all possible efforts to crush it.
Imposing UAPA is nothing but one of the instances of this effort. In spite of all the repressive measures, people of Bhangar have proved their determination. This movement is indomitable because after several arrests, encirclement, imposing draconian UAPA, the people are still in the streets to fight back. Through these relentless struggles the Bhangar people have not only organized themselves with more determination, but also have succeeded to gather larger sections of democratic people in support of them. Even the parliamentary parties are compelled to take part in this movement. Other people’s movements like Amdanga, Bhabadighi etc. are getting momentum from this movement.
After several arrests, the Jomi Jibika Bastutantra o Poribesh Raksha Committee has decided to launch the second phase of the movement. The first step of this second phase of the movement was an indefinite sit in demonstration on the demands for the peaceful resolution of the problems. In this demonstration various sections of democratic forces had come forward to extend support. Among them the forces belonging in the revolutionary camp have come forward. Various mass organisations, democratic organisations, human right organisations, cultural organisations had also come in support. Many eminent intellectuals like filmmaker Tarun Majumdar, poet Mandakranta Sen, Adv. Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharjee and many others came and took part in this demonstration. Eminent social activist Miratun Nahar inaugurated this program. The Left Front Parties also took part actively in this program. Congress leaders also came. Through this the support base of this movement has taken an all encompassing character. After seven days of the sit in, when no response had come on behalf of the government, the Committee decided to withdraw from this sit in demonstration and go for a more vigorous step to compel the government to accept the people’s demands.
The Committee has announced the Raj Bhaban March on 8th May on the basis of the following demands:
- Withdraw the Power Grid from Bhangar according to the declaration of the CM.
- Release all the prisoners of this movement. Withdraw all the cases imposed on the activists of this movement.
- Compensate all deceased, injured and tortured people adequately. Compensate for the ransacked houses, shops and mosques.
- Scrap the UAPA
- Take definite steps against communalism.
It was in the discussion with these various forces, based on these demands, the Rajbhaban March was declared. The forces participated in this sit in demonstration supported this March and promised to make it a great success. Another announcement was made at the conclusion of the sit in demonstration. If any one of the comrades of this movement is picked up again by the police, people will answer it by gheraoing the police station. In spite of this announcement, the police arrested com. Abul of Machibhanga, from outside of the area of the movement. The TMC leaders immediately threw up the challenge to the Committee to gherao the police station. The Committee has accepted this challenge, but it did not go to the PS. A massive demonstration was organised to the District Magistrate’s office at Alipore. To be precise people took control of the road in front of the DM office at Alipore, a part of Kolkata, near to the place of CM’s house. Thousands of people participated in that demonstration on 19th April. All the forces except Congress participated in that demonstration.
At first those in the DM’s office said DM was not there, so the Committee was asked to meet to Additional DM. The Committee refused to meet any one except the DM. It announced that so long as the DM would not come the demonstration would be continuing. Under the pressure of the people’s demand the DM was compelled to come to his office and meet the delegation. This created enthusiasm among the people and conveyed the message that government is bound to bow its head if the movement will go on.
It is with this spirit people are organising more vigorously for the Rajbhaban March. With this, the struggle will reach a new height, because if on 22nd December of last year when the first Rajbhaban March took place only Bhangar people and some democratic sections and political activists were there, in this March thousands of people from all over the state will be marching along with thousands of Bhangar people. So under the circumstances of overall suppression, the Bhangar is rising up with new vigor.
It is sending the message all over the state as well as across the country to stand behind it and come together to struggle for democracy of the people. It is giving the message to the ruling class that if they want to suppress hundreds of people, thousands will get awakened. If thousands will be suppressed, then millions will come marching. It is in this way the Bhangar is rising.