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Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 17, April 11, 2009

Oust the Tyrants!

Sunday 12 April 2009, by Mahasweta Devi

The following is a message from Mahasweta Devi, veteran novelist and one of the foremost intellectuals of West Bengal today, to a Press Meet organised by the friends of Kabir Suman, a noted progressive singer, contesting from the Jadavpur constituency of Kolkata for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Press Meet took place at the Kolkata Press Club on April 2, 2009. The message speaks volumes of Mahasweta Devi’s passionate advocacy of the cause of democracy in the present scenario of West Bengal ruled for more than 30 long years by an insensate dispensation that has done precious little to mitigate the miseries of the common people. It has been rendered into English by D. Bandyopadhyay, former Secretary, Revenue, Government of India, and the real architect of ‘Operation Barga’ that ushered in the first stage of land reforms in rural Bengal in the early eighties.

I would have sincerely liked to participate in the Press Meet on April 2, 2009, organised by the friends of Kabir Suman to support his candidature for the Lok Sabha elections from the Jadavpur constituency. But as my blood sugar is danger-ously fluctuating, I don’t find the courage to
make it.

I have only one message to one and all: give up all your reservations, in case you have any, and get committed to the one and only one mission of defeating the CPM in the ensuing election. It would not be an easy task. For the last 30/32 years, the CPM had been denying food, employment, health care, drinking water and electricity to the people of this State. They are only interested in converting free and autonomous individuals into slavish supporters of the Party, and for this purpose they have developed a full-fledged industry. It is against this vile industry that people should rise up and register their protest. In the last panchayat elections the people had voted against the CPM.

Those who achieved this feat, we have to go to them, talk to them, learn from them and get committed to that one objective of ousting the CPM in the election. The industry that has been developed of not doing any work and embezzling crores of public fund, we are definitely against that industry. There is a Left Front Government in West Bengal and this State ranks first in India in crimes against women—from molestation, rape, kidnapping to selling and exporting these female bodies to other States and abroad. They have developed this abhorrent calling into an organised industry. There is a massive army behind it—such practice is carried out with direct help from the government. We are surely against this loathsome industry.

That is why we should all stand united. Whatever strength we have we must employ that strength to oppose that industry while standing by the people. This is the industry which has brought the State to such a pass—touching the rock bottom in all spheres of activity in the country.

Wherever you are, oppose the CPM. Let all opponents of the CPM, including Kabir Suman in Jadavpur constituency, emerge victorious. The Opposition forces too must unite. The times are changing. These times and the people at large are calling upon the Opposition to defeat the CPM. The Opposition too must have only one platform—this is the demand of the times and the people.

I am with you as always and shall continue to be so.

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