Us and Them

Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows its not what we would choose to do.
Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side.
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end its only round and round.
Haven't you heard its a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
Theres room for you inside.

- Pink Floyd
"Us & Them" from The Dark Side of the Moon

Have you heard of Nandigram? You may not have: it’s only a remote village in a remote corner of West Bengal. I, born and raised in Kolkata, a few hours away from Nandigram, had never heard of it, till last year, when there was a proposal to set up a Chemical hub there. As with most change in West Bengal for various reasons, this one met with protests. The government announced that they will not go on with the project there, earlier this year. Everything there should be normal by now, the end of the year, right?

Wrong! Because while the protests were going on, some of the opposition parties in West Bengal formed a Bhumi Uchhed Protirodh Committee (BUPC), literally: Committee opposing people being uprooted from their land. They clashed with cadres of CPI(M), the largest party of the ruling Left Front in West Bengal. People from both sides were uprooted from their land, and people who were not aligned to any side were the hardest hit. Both sides seized villages and posts. Some people were killed, the area turned into a battlefield. The local police was hopelessly inadequate to control this, so the government called for Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). So, CRPF arrives, takes control of the situation, and bring things back to normal, right?

Wrong again! Because, while the CRPF is on its way, CPI(M) armed cadres formed formidable battalions and took control of most of the area. All in a day. The police were supposedly ordered not to interfere. The Chief Minister, Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharya’s reaction to that? “They have been paid back by their own coin”!

Who are they, Mr. Chief Minister? Aren’t they part of your state? Aren’t you responsible for their welfare? Is anyone who is not part of your us (the left front), they? I am politically non-aligned, am I also they?

More than 30 years of ruling a state is a long time! Perhaps this gives the ruling party and its Chief Minister a sense of invincibility! Perhaps he thinks he is almighty! I say, when a man thinks he can do or say anything and get away with it, those are the sure signs of decadence, hence ultimately downfall. This is not communism, this is not democracy, this is organised ochlocracy! And this simply cannot go on!


Aarbee said...

I hope you vote.

Anuradha said...

check this post too:

~ Deeps ~ said...

30 yrs of ruling can indeed make them feel they are doubt abt that

B. O'Hemian said...

I do

Good write-up. Apt comparison between Mr. Modi and Mr. Bhattacharya.

Unfortunately, yes.

Reeta Skeeter said...

"organised ochlocracy" true! It cannot go on!

That was it... said...

Just figured out your other blog through Om's blog - man, the pictures there are awesome...specially the 'The great wall of Pangong'...keep it up...

IG said...

"They" are the people who bring this idiotic party back to power time and again...Maybe this will open the eyes of rural bengal after 30 long years.

arobindo said...

ig, there is no opposition, brace for at least another 40 years, only hope lies in either, something happens and Central rule takes place or cpm breaks into many factions....unfortunately, we (people in west bengal) cannot have any other master, it is CPM only...too frightened to try something new....

B. O'Hemian said...

How does it change? I don't know, yet!


You know how things are in rural West Bengal. I am not optimistic.

That's one factor! The rule before that was worse; of course that was before we were born.