Friday, September 19, 2008

Nano: Car with a corpse

The new crisis of Bengal is the politics of majority, which supports the profit of one section and suppresses the other. Today industrialisation is being looked as a means of development by CPM; however it’s the same CPM that wanted it to be eliminated completely, years back. However, in the last 30 years, the wheel of politics has turned and it’s visible now. Due to the Left’s politics, the jute industry is no more. Most of the industries that were established are now closed. Around 40 thousand acres of land under these closed industries is lying useless. This land, instead of being re-used for industrial purposes, is being transformed into commercial markets and residential areas. Also, in the last two decades Bengal has expanded in terms of cities and the land mafias and builders are looking at these lands as well.
The biggest trouble for the Left is that, till date, it has no industry which is productive. The production of Hindustan Motors got halted completely. It was started recently, but manufacturing was more a ritual than a work. Dabur’s biggest plant was in Hubly. It’s closed now. There was a time when BHEL’s industry used to be in Bengal. Philips’ factory was also in Bengal. Even that is shut now. Kolkata had Usha’s factory. It faced a lockout and now the same site has the country’s largest mall, which is the latest centre of attraction for the middle class. If in the new circumstances mall is the centre of attraction then manufacturing units are also important for employment. The politics in Bengal is in a fix on the Nano issue and is ready to put the politics of farmers on stake because in the era of a liberalized economy there’s a huge investment in the service sector. Every state has an IT sector unit, but Nano manufacturing unit by Tata is something new and will give Bengal’s politics a new direction. This new trend has modified the course of Left’s four decade old politics.
The new land is being given to two industries. Also, an infrastructure is being created for it, which was never done before, amidst people and farming. There’s no electricity and water supply in the rural areas, but with the incoming of industries, even this is happening. The question here is also about the financial policies structured by the Left. Ninety percent agricultural land in Bengal is so productive that it doesn’t need the support of the state. That is, it can produce the required without any extra infrastructure. However, there’s no infrastructure for the market sale of agricultural produce and its supply to other states for business purposes. It’s obvious that farmers produce and the mediators on the name of trade, smuggle crops, which is the most profitable business of all times.

In these conditions, is the farmer revolution building up itself again, like in the 60s? However, the conditions then and the conditions today are totally different. It’s Left instead of Congress now. Politicians like Mamta are trying to hold Naxalism as a tool. The Left is not reluctant of the policies that project a notion that farming is no more important. From 1964 to 1977, the way CPM initiated the movement using farmer politics and Jyoti Basu connected the cadre to social confrontation; all these circumstances have no significance now. Jyoti Basu, in 1977 initiated land development and this reduced the gap between the cadre and the society. The policies that were made in that era were implemented by the cadre. Cadre’s been coming in the scene depending on its reputation. The larger the influence circle, more the reputation. Hence, it can be said that Jyoti Basu instigated the feeling of collective responsibility among cadre and the government. No on had been able to challenge the Leftist rule in the last 30 years.
Can this question be raised, that if 4 decades back CPM started land development, it was because of a pressure from the farmers? At that time, the way Naxalite leader Charu Majumdar presented Naxalism and resultantly the tension that came forward, it tested the power reigning farmer consciousness. During that time the aggression of farmers wasn’t for the land or crop, it was for the power. After parting from CPI, CPM realized this and moulded politics into farmer confrontation, and formed the government. And since then, CPM never stops saying that politics is a mere tool that it uses to create an atmosphere of revolution. However presently, the way CPM is promoting capitalism shows that the scale of farmer’s struggle is getting confined to the needs of the middle class. And the politics that started 40 years back with the farmer consciousness has now taken a 180 degree turn and has changed into the market awareness of the middle class. Nano will surely make the lives of small families better, but it’s so small to carry the corpses of farmers to the burial. When a farmer will depart, either Buddahadev would make him travel in a Nano, else another Naxalite would emerge.
We’ll talk about the Delhi blasts on Saturday……