Sun, 2010-05-30 10:15 Roshan Kishore
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” - Joseph Goebbels (Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945).
Roshan Kishore writes on the Trinamul Congress' volte face on the Sardiha Rail Tragedy in West Bengal.
Goebbels is perhaps the second most notorious person after Hitler when one recounts the horrors of Fascism. The quote given above captures the essence of how dangerous fascistic designs can be. It was through his propaganda that he psychologically prepared the German population for the aggressive war and annihilation of civilian population during the Nazi rule. “Goebbelsian Propaganda” today has become a synonym for politically motivated false campaigns.
Today, in a Press Conference in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee blamed the CPI (M) for the tragic train accident that has so far claimed 120 lives. Tomorrow, the state of West Bengal will go to polls for 81 local bodies including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. It is an easy guess why such accusations have been made on the eve of an election. This act of Mamata is perhaps the nadir of unprincipled fascistic anti-left politics, which the Trinamul currently represents in the state. The people of West Bengal and those outside who closely follow the state politics are not unknown to the degenerate acts that the Trinamul has indulged in to malign the Left Front. One of the most infamous of these was the false charge that Champala Sardar, a Trinamul candidate in the 1998 panchayat elections was raped by CPI (M) cadres. The propaganda was used throughout the election campaign. Later the court acquitted all the accused and ruled that the charges were cooked up. Champala was abandoned by the TMC later.
To come back to the issue at hand let us look at some facts:
· Posters of the Maoist backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) were found at the derailment site, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
· The Maoists and the PCAPA have targeted Railway installations and trains in the past as well.
· On 22 May, 2010 Maoists opened fire on Tatanagar bound Steel Express at Banstala station injuring two people.
· On May 20, 2010 at least 15 diesel tankers caught fire when the Maoists targeted the tankers on the goods train between Dighwara and Pipra railway stations in Bihar.
· On 27 October, 2009 the PCAPA “hijacked” the Delhi bound Rajdhani Express near Banstala station.
· On April 23, 2009 Maoists blew up the Chiyanki railway station in Palamau district in Jharkhand. They also bombed the outer cabin of the railway station.
· On September 9, 2002 130 people died when the Delhi bound Rajdhani Express fell of a bridge near Rafigunj railway station in Bihar. The accident was most probably an act of sabotage by Maoists
· Yesterday, Mamata herself had pointed towards the involvement of Maoists in the accident. Her position changed after a press release was sent in the name of CPI (Maoist) denying their role in the accident. It appears that the Trinamul Leader articulates her political positions around those of the CPI (Maoist).
· The PCAPA, a frontal organization of the CPI (Maoist) in the Lalgarh region has close ties with Mamata and her party. Chatradhar Mahato, the leader of the front, who masterminded the killings of CPI (M) activists in the area during the siege of the area last year, is a former activist of the Trinamul Congress. Mamata has even shared stage with him.
· Maoists have openly admitted supporting the Trinamul during the violence in Nandigram before and after the tragic incident of March 14 with weapons and also training the Trinamul cadres. Maoist leader Kishanji alias Koteswer Rao has given interviews supporting Mamata’s bid as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal.
· Mamata has also reciprocated by making all efforts to block any political consensus against the Maoist killings in West Bengal. She has left no stone unturned to end the joint operations of the West Bengal Police and the Central Paramilitary Forces, demanding the withdrawal of the latter. She has gone on record saying there are no Maoist activities in West Bengal.
The facts given above clearly point towards two things:
a. The railways have always been a soft target for the Maoists.
b. There is clear evidence that Mamata Banerjee is hand in glove with the Maoists in West Bengal to serve her own petty political ends by grabbing power even at the cost of precious human lives.
It is also a fact that Railway Security has gone to the docks under the tenure of Mamata Banerjee. The required precautionary measures, which should have been taken to ensure safety of trains running through Maoist affected areas like plying pilot engines before trains pass through the Maoist affected areas were also not done in the case of the ill-fated train which derailed. But rather than doing some self-introspection and taking corrective measures, the Railway Minister has chosen to attack the CPI (M) for the attack.
Mamata’s fascistic anti-left politics and her pathological hatred towards the Left are well known. The reign of terror which has been unleashed in Bengal by the TMC-Maoist alliance since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections can only be compared to the semi-fascist Congshal terror of the 1970s. An attempt is being made by the Trinamul to put the entire state in a state of anarchy and chaos and Mamata is only ensuring the implementation of such violent fascistic designs. The recent campaign in the minority areas of Kolkata by her that the CPI (M) is planning to fan Hindu-Muslim riots in the city was another such attempt.
The country today is facing the problem of dealing with Maoist violence. Democratic forces have always opposed the diabolic vicious cycle of security centric approach of the state and anarchic Maoist violence and killings. A coordinated, matured and balanced political cum administrative approach, addressing the socio-economic issues of the people is the only solution to this problem. But a political consensus is the first pre-requisite for the success of any such strategy.
The situation in West Bengal is discernibly different from the rest of the Maoist affected states. The Trinamul is in a tacit alliance with the Maoists for the common cause of weakening the Left. Unfortunately the mainstream media, central government and intellectuals of some shades have refused to acknowledge this fact of Trinamul-Maoist entente and only portrayed this issue as some shadow boxing between the Left Front and the Trinamul in their own ways. Anarchic and illegal activities of Maoist fronts like the PCAPA were also given a soft go initially because they were furnishing the task of harming the CPI (M) which still has a formidable base among the tribal population in the three Maoist affected districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura.
It is very important that one calls a spade a spade. Or one is reminded of the harsh reality by heart rendering tragedies like the one that happened yesterday. Mamata Banerjee’s somersault from blaming the Maoists to now blaming the CPI (M) for the train tragedy has made it clear that there is still some advantages she plans to draw from her alliance with the Maoists against the Left Front. And she is not going to be deterred even if 120 dead passengers perish as cannon fodder. Things can be kept in control or worst manipulated by Goebbelsian propaganda by her party and the Sushil Samaj.
It is a wake up call for all those who cherish democracy when this year, the world is celebrating 65 years of the victory against fascism. What is going on in West Bengal today is not of concern solely for those who owe allegiance to the CPI (M) alone. It is democracy which is being butchered. It is Fascism which is raising its head. And precisely for these reasons if these nefarious designs were to succeed, the repercussions would also not be for only a particular political formation. People in general will suffer and the worst sufferers would be the most downtrodden under such a fascistic political project. All of us who value democracy must unequivocally condemn such acts of Maoist terror, Goebbelsian propaganda and false accusations of a power hungry party like Trinamul. Any attempts to settle political scores for narrow sectarian gains or adopting either a cynical approach terming it political bickering or depicting messianic moralism will only create confusion and ultimately weaken the struggle against this dangerous anti-people alliance of fascistic and anarchic forces.
In this context, it is worth remembering whatMartin Niemöller wrote about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power.
"They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."