Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nandigram – True Face of the Indian Communist Party Exposed

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The news from Nandigram, West Bengal, India is truly disturbing. The ruling communist party cadres led a massacre against the local people fighting to preserve their own land. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M) that prides itself as the party of the poor and working class – here they are massacring the same people whom they are supposed to protect.
Am I surprised by this event? Is any one who really knows how communist party grows their party and influence is surprised? I don’t think so. Having born and brought up in Kerala, a state ruled by communist for half of the state’s existence I am not surprised. In fact I am happy that outside world could know the various undemocratic tactics employed by communist party members to terrorize the people to grow the party.
Throughout my stay in Kerala, I had the chance to see how communist party and its sister organizations use the muscle power to achieve its end with blatant disregard to the law of the land. Having studied in a private school till 10th grade, I never had a chance to experience the venom called Student Federation of India (SFI) - the student wing of communist party. For my predegree (Plus Two) I joined the Govt. Arts College – the so called fortress of SFI. SFI never allowed any other party to function in that college and any student who joined the college was considered as a supporter of SFI. The students are supposed to obey the orders of the SFI leaders in the college and should participate in all the events conducted by SFI. If you don’t obey them they will beat you and because of that fear most students obey them. Every year the SFI candidates win the election unopposed. It is not because every one in the college loves them. In fact majority hates them. They win just because if some other candidate files nomination then not only him but also his family members become target of the gunda’s of the communist party.
I clearly remember one incident – one of the SFI leaders of the college burned a public bus in protest against some action of the Government (that time Kerala had a Congress Government). Next day SFI called for a boycott of the college and made all the students march to Police Commissioners office. Majority of the students were of the view that police did the correct thing by arresting the student leader who burned a bus. But if you express your view in public they will be considered as traitors and dealt with properly by the party. They made the entire college to march in front of commissioners’ office and it turned out to be a massive protest against police in front of the media. In reality it was a show of terror by SFI against the students of that college.
Now in the engineering college (NSS College of Engineering) things were worse. SFI there in the engineering college was another version of the SFI in my plus two College. Their mantra – any one who didn’t join SFI should be considered an enemy. They would stoop to any level to harm their class mates/batch mates just because they don’t believe in SFI. Once a big fight broke between SFI and those who were opposing SFI. Both were equally responsible for the fight but the police came and arrested (by that time Communist Government has assumed power in Kerala) the students shown by SFI leaders. The police not only arrested those students but charged them under 307 (attempt to murder) – a non-bailable offense. The SFI leaders who lead the fight were walking around the campus as champions. No one dare to talk against them as they had the government machinery to shut you down.
Expanding the influence by terrorizing people, by the communist party is prevalent in all walks of life in Kerala. My brother got a government job in Kerala about 4 years back and before he joined for work a communist party leader of the employers union came to my house. He had employer’s union membership forms fully filled up and made my brother sign up. Before my brother could realize he was doing he was forced to join the employers union affiliated to communist party. The leader didn’t even enquire if he wanted to join the union, so far so good. The first day my brother joined work – the same union leader came with another form. This time the form was to deduct Rs. 250 from his monthly salary to party fund. My brother told that Rs. 250 is too much for him and cannot afford to give him that money. The leader threatened him with dare consequences and he was forced to sign that paper also. So now every month from his salary Rs. 250 goes to party fund. Now you know how communist party is one of the richest parties in India.
After few months the leader came again to my brother and “ordered” him to subscribe to “Deeshabhimani” party’s newspaper. It is one of the crappy newspapers around but my brother had no other go but to subscribe to it. The party bosses sitting in party head quarters will boast – the subscription of the party newspaper increased manifold. Outside world won’t know the tactics employed to achieve that.
People who have not lived in Kerala may be thinking that I am exaggerating. Go and talk to a non-communist who has lived in Kerala and he will have hundreds of stories like this to tell. The communist party uses terror tactics to hold on their power base. This is exactly what happened in Nandigram. They tried to terrorize the entire village and when the villagers understood that communist people are taking them for a ride, they opposed them. Communist cadres started using force to silence the villagers. The whole world should know and condemn the undemocratic, unethical and militant ways adopted by communist party to have grip over their own people.
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Blogger Jiby said...

brijesh, its a shame to see how communism has degraded in kerala. this is an evil of the cadre system...i studied in a college where the abvp were stronger than the sfi...must be why the sfi leaders there were well behaved while opposite held true for the abvp guys...the rotten apples(read the rowdy elements) side with whoever is in the majority.

it is a shame that while we laugh at pakistan for the emergency, our youth who are interested or take part in politics come up in a system where democracy is just not allowed to flourish. on a side note i was watching a wonderful malayalam movie, Out of is a movie abt life in campus and student involvement in social issues. i felt sad i didnt exercise my political freedom and responsibility when i was in college. but my mother's pleadings to me to stay out of it all still rings in my ears.

even we were made to forcibly subscribe to the deshabhimani for a year...thankfully they never came back to renew! do you think communism will fall away in kerala...they are so firmly enmeshed thru political, religious, work, trade associations, etc. they will never allow a new political thought to come up in kerala...they brand themselves as progressive and tell people that the choice is between them and the religious-casteist moorings of the udf.

i am slowly becoming a socialist, but there is something abt communists that makes me wary about them. a fellow traveller of the left like my dad learnt years back a bitter lesson...he was a member of several leftist forums in the kerala university but he was conditional in supporting the party agenda...slowly party members took control of these associations and people like him who were mere sympathizers became outsiders.

sorry for the long comment...but i really loved this post...when bloggers like you write such stuff people like me get a forum to voice our thoughts.

November 14, 2007 8:32 AM  
Anonymous s said...

I totally agree with Brijesh. There is no exaggeration in his words at all. I was his batch mate in both the colleges. I also took part in that "march to Police commisioners office". I would like mention a few more things about that incident. We were forced to shout slogans. They were quick to spot if anybody is not loud enough or not throwing their arms properly, and threaten them. Then we were made to sit on the middle of the road in front of the Commissioner's office blocking the busy street, surrounded by dozens of armed policemen. I still remember hearing my own heartbeat expecting something like a lathicharge at any moment. Fortunately nothing happened. With me was one of my best friends in the college who was so scared, he was holding my arm tightly all the time. Interestingly he was a strong supporter of communist party and he remained so. Similar incidents took place many times after that. But we used to escape all the time.
Another incident happened in the same college during my second year. There was something like a SFI quota (of course illegal) for admissions secretly happening in the college. But that year somebody objected and the news came out. I think only one newspaper reported this. The next day saw huge protests and strike in the college by SFI people against the newspaper. It turned out that this quota was not for admitting any low-scoring, SFI supporting students as was assumed, but for admitting gundas. And these people were getting money and loyalty from the gundas in return for the college admission.

Another incident: One day I reached college and my class mate told he saw a group of SFI students beating up somebody violently. He tried to avoid the scene, but was curious about a female voice coming from there, he stopped for a moment and realised that it was voice of the mother of the boy being beaten up. The boy was not a student of the college, his mother was imploring to leave him and trying to cover him up. Later I saw a senior communist leader talking to a group of SFI students. I hope he was advising them not to do something like this.
Incident of forcing students to participate in protest marches happened in the Engg. college also. This one was against the introduction of self-financing colleges in the state by the then ruling Congress led government. Strangely, before we left the college, CPM led government came to power, and they kept on announcing new self-financing colleges on a regular basis. The number of such colleges almost doubled before we finished our course. None of the SFI people uttered a word against it.
Before joining the engg. college, for a short time I was in a ABVP dominated college. There I learned that nobody from that college takes part in University events like arts/sports competitions, because the SFI led university union wont allow it. And ofcourse those who had the guts to try ended up in the hospital bed

November 14, 2007 1:04 PM  
Blogger Vijay Ramamurthi said...

err ...arent we the great educated ppl of the first communist govt into power??

the ppl of Kerala deserve it!..they make a for it..

i know its a sadistic view of things...but isnt that the truth?

November 14, 2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the educated people arent the ones who vote!!!

Sad its every where not just Kerala.

November 14, 2007 6:51 PM  
Blogger Vijay Ramamurthi said...

oops.anon..the there are no un educated ppl in kerala :)

November 14, 2007 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Sony.

One of the problems is that as long as you live in Kerala, what happens there is as per your expectations. The frustrations with officaldom and the political process in ingrained in us from the start of our life: We expect nothing, we get less than that for return.

Though I have never been too much of a socialist, being the poorest among my friend circle in school made others think that I was a leftist. Going to a church in Mangattukonam, where I was the richest member of the parish, I will never be a socialist. Guess who has to bribe more? Guess who gets less from the government? Guess who gets screwed more by buerocrats?

I do believe that social entreprenuers can do more good to Kerala than any political system. But they will be nipped in the bud by politicians.

As for student politics, all parties in Kerala are equally to blame: Even in the aftermath of the killing of the policeman in Kerala, none of the leaders or "social leaders" came out and said, "student politics is bad".

As for the CPM being well entrenched, my brother subscribes to Deshabhimani, because of pressure from the president of the Residents Association!

What the leaders of all polictical parties want is a bunch of mindless goondas, who can do their bidding. As much as "serial saha-nadi" is a euphemism for not being upto certain moral standards, so is being a "worker of DYFI/Youth Congress etc" one for Goondas.

Sony, the guy who burned the bus will soon be running for elections.

BTW, I did Arts College for PDC too, great place that you never have to go to.


November 14, 2007 7:55 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

Yes, I have also seen Out of Syllabus. I also felt the same thing seeing that movie. You cannot do anything creative in the college these days without joining any political party. Once you join them the party will dictate what to do and what not to do. If you slightly disagree you are considered as traitor. You lose interest in continuing with such morons and end up doing nothing. I can easily associate with what has happened to your father as I have seen a lot like that. The best example is Prof Vijayan who died recently. He was a hardcore socialist who had the guts to tell the whole world that communist party has to change and he was branded as traitor and thrown out of the party.

I remember both the incident you are talking about and wanted to put those in this post. Then if I want to put all the incidents then I have to start a separate blog for that. I have seen so much of their atrocities in the time I was in Kerala.

November 14, 2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

I know it is sadistic view but sometimes I also feel the same. It is the Kerala voters who elect them and let them suffer for their wrong choice.

Vijay, there is no illiterate people in Kerala but there are lots of uneducated people.

Anon - few educated people also supports them

"great place that you never have to go to."

Exactly - i rarely use to go there in the second year.

November 15, 2007 5:03 AM  
Blogger Saffronized said...

Some one said.. aren't we the Educated people electing CPM to power..

Who said we are educated? Literacy is not education..

I know the MSc Mathematics PG guy going to communist study class taken by LC secretary who did not even pass PDC... Education is not wisdom...

Literacy is not Education and Education is not wisdom.. So don't be too proud that We Keralites are or should be right...

Every time we are proving we are just fools by electing either LDF or UDF... :) who else we will look at then? the fighting leaders of BJP? who is not even bothered to win atleast one assembly seat?

Kerala is turning in to Devil's own country...

November 15, 2007 7:27 AM  
Anonymous SHIVAJI CHOUDHURY said...

Diffrence between MODI,BHUDHDEV,HITLER
In Gujrat thousands goondas are arrestted by police, punished by court.
in Bengal no one arrestted till date .WHY

November 15, 2007 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am from an academic community. Sometime back, just after the LDF govt. came to power, there was a student unrest in the college, hosted by the SFI, since they did not have a good following there. The Principal suspended two SFI leader guys. Then all hell broke loose. The great Local Committee Secretary of the CPM with a bunch of goodas came to the college and threatened the Principal in front of the students and teachers saying that "the police now is not Oommen Chandy's police, but Kodiyeri's Police. If you do not revoke the suspension, you and your children (who were studying in the town college) will not "walk on their two legs".

Is this much different from Pinarayi (is it he or somebody else) who said that those who resist "will be laid up clad in white" (vella puthapitchu kidathum)

Devil's own country. Yes that is Right.

Looks like the only true resistance now a days has come from the Church. RSS used to be a good match for SFI/CPM, but skull for skull policy does not seem to work in the long run, because CMP has got more number of skulls to spare. So dear Bishops, please go ahead, perhaps you will be the only true match for the CPM.


November 15, 2007 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Pras said...

Good post, Brijesh. As biased as I am against communism, I have always valued socialism in a country like India. The fathers of our constitution had clearly foreseen that a balance between capitalism and socialism is required to ensure a free and fair economic development and social prosperity.

Clearly, communism has bastardized the idea of socialism. The very concept of communism inhibits democracy and restricts free will. It is wonderful to know that there is a momentum at the grass root level in a state like Kerala, to fight the evil of communism. Keep up the good work dude!

November 16, 2007 12:17 AM  
Blogger Brijesh said...


The people have to select from 2 devils. They don’t have an alternative in front of them. I agree with you about education and literacy. It is good only in paper.

Shivaji Choudhury

I cannot agree with your comparison of Hitler and Budhdev. I don’t support what has happened in Gujarat. But at least we media could bring the truth but in communist ruled state of WB the truth will never come out thanks to the cover up by communists

Anon @ 10.55 AM
I am sure common people living in Kerala will have thousands of stories like this to tell. It is sad that there is no one to oppose the highhandedness of communist cadres.


I completely agree with you – the real socialism and “socialism” followed by communist are so different.

November 16, 2007 2:42 AM  
Blogger Anand said...

Good post Brijesh. The high handedness of the Communists continues unchecked. People are afraid to challenge or even question their arbitrary actions.

Just the other day, they raised their party flag arbitrarily smack in front of my relative's house in Palakkad without even a courtesy question. No one dares question them. It is almost straight out of a malayalam political film.

November 16, 2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

brijesh, same in bengal. calcutta is somewhat safer for anti / non - communists.

jiby, your shame in seeing communism's "degradation" is touching but stupid. The system promoted by communism / socialism has a strong attractor: a one party state. Kerala hasn't gotten there yet, but it will. In India the party just happens to be cpim, unless it is replaced by one of the maoist groups. I have also read (with mild amusement) of laments of old time cpi supporters who thought themselves somehow superior; as if once they achieved power they wouldn't behave in exactly the same fashion.

November 16, 2007 8:10 PM  
Blogger കെ പി സുകുമാരന്‍ അഞ്ചരക്കണ്ടി said...

Dear Brijesh ,
Why don't you creat a malayalam blog ? Please try to write one in malayalam .
with regards,

November 17, 2007 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hai brijesh......

i really feel pathetic to read ur comment... i dont think u gave a justifying explanation abt the communism and its sis concerns. being an outsider of the party may be u can blame it. but could u tell me what the other ruling party of kerala do when they come into power??? what u did was same as what u say the communists did when they wewre in power.... bitch the other ............ i really feel shame to read ur one sided blog


November 17, 2007 7:51 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I believe each incident should be analysed seperately in its entirety before running into conclusion that satisfies your political beliefs.

November 18, 2007 5:09 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

The Hindu

Opinion - Editorials

The challenge of Nandigram

Three days after the Left Front in West Bengal appealed for peace and for the “safe and secure return” to villages in the Nandigram area of all people forced to live outside, and in the aftermath of the beginning of peace talks at the local level, violence has erupted again in this area of rural West Bengal. The Maoists have resumed their armed campaign of terror; working people have been injured and killed in political violence; and, ever-willing to give chaos a chance, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has been reported as saying that her party would “paralyse West Bengal” indefinitely. For 11 months, the campaign spearheaded by the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC, or “Committee to Prevent Eviction from Land”) has brought administration and development work to a halt, and has sought to cut the area off from government and state power. According to one estimate, 15,000 children could not be given pulse polio doses; Rs.2 crore worth of expenditure on health infrastructure has had to be abandoned; health facilities have been unable to function; and Rs.2 crore worth of investment on electrification could not be made. People of the region, particularly peasant families owing allegiance to the Left Front, were systematically evicted from their homes and villages, with the number of refugees swelling to 3,500.

In February 2007, the government announced that the chemical hub would not be established in Nandigram. Even that announcement brought no respite. On the contrary, the forced withdrawal of the police from certain areas provided a new opportunity for the Maoists to set up an armed presence in the region, and for the opportunist alliance represented by the BUPC to regroup and continue their campaign of violence and externment, and of preventing the administration from functioning. No government worth the name can stand aside when people are indefinitely denied the right to occupy their homes and pursue their livelihoods in peace, and, when finally the internal refugees seek to return to their homes, their paths are blocked by arms and landmines. The Central government, which depends on the Left for survival, has eventually responded to the request by the Government of West Bengal by releasing a battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force for deployment in the Nandigram region. Intelligent and speedy deployment of these paramilitary forces can contribute to the resumption of peace directly by means of their armed presence and, more importantly, as a confidence-building measure among the people. This newspaper has editorialised on the part played by political slowness in responding to a tricky situation as well as administrative mishandling of a volatile situation in the tragedy of Nandigram in March 2007. But once the State government made it absolutely clear that the chemical hub would not be established in Nandigram, what raison d’etre could exist for the disruptive activities of the BUPC and the continuing violence of the opposition in West Bengal? What is now manifest is that the peace process in Nandigram has its determined enemies.

The role of Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has, for a second time, come under the spotlight. In March 2007, he clearly stepped out of line in publicly airing his philosophical and tactical differences with the State government over Nandigram. He does not seem to have learnt any lessons from that experience and, in fact, his latest speaking out of line has had the effect of adding fuel to the flames. Let us concede that Nandigram represented a situation where the moral urge not to remain silent came into conflict with the restraints imposed by the constitutional office. Yet, of the restraints imposed by the office, there would seem to be little doubt, and a public statement critical of the government’s handling of the issue could not have been made without transgressing them. The Hindu has consistently regarded this as a major question of principle in the constitutional realm. The classic 1867 exposition of the role of the British monarch by Walter Bagehot applies equally to the office of the President and the Governor: “To state the matter shortly, the Sovereign has, under a constitutional monarchy such as ours, three rights — the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn. And a king of great sense and sagacity would want no others. He would find that his having no others would enable him to use these with singular effect.” The right to advise and the right to warn are to be exercised in private and in confidence, and not through public statements. This restraint required of the head of state is not a mere constitutional formality but is based on sound democratic principles. In the first place, the head of state must not, through statements critical of its functioning, place himself or herself in conflict with the representative government, which has a greater democratic legitimacy. Secondly, the head of state should appear non-partisan and remain above the fray when controversial and divisive questions are being debated in the political sphere, and avoid any public statements that could give comfort to one side or the other. The Governor’s public statements on Nandigram both challenged the wisdom of the government’s approach and came down on the side of the critics of its action. Further, Mr. Gandhi laid himself open to the charge of remaining silent when the supporters of the Left Front were at the receiving end. His conduct through this crisis has been constitutionally indefensible. Yet the Left Front government must not get distracted by this. Its top priorities must be to re-establish peace, ensure human security, and resume development work in Nandigram. The CPI(M) has a special responsibility in this regard — among other things, to be manifestly fair in its dealings on the ground, and to restrain its cadre from any campaign of reprisal.

November 18, 2007 5:11 AM  
Blogger Manoj said...

from your comments on NSSCE, ABVp, 307 etc, I am sure we both know each other. Please write to me

November 19, 2007 11:36 PM  
Blogger Manoj said...

Who ever studied in NSS COllege of Engineering would know the true face of communism!!

November 19, 2007 11:37 PM  
Blogger Brijesh said...

The people living in Kerala will have infinite stories like this to tell.

Anonymous @ 11.39 AM
My friends in school who hails from Bengal use to tell me the same kind of stories about highhandedness of communist. The ultimate aim of communist party is to make Kerala another Bengal.

K P Sukumaran

I doubt if I have enough time/energy to maintain 2 blogs. If I look into the statistics of my blog the majority of the people who read my blog are not malayalis. So I don’t want to stop this and start another one. I was thinking of starting it long time back but some how got postponed. May be I will start one after coming back from India.

After living in Kerala for 27 years I can tell you one thing – UDF ministries have lot of drawbacks. But one thing is there. They never try to impose their will on the people. The truth is even f they try they don’t have the organizational set up to do it. I don’t think Congress can never ask their employees union member to subscribe to party news paper Veekshanam. It is next to impossible.

I can show of hundreds of news paper link that clearly shows the highhandedness of communist in nandigram.

I saw your profile/photo in Orkut but cannot make it. What batch you studied in NSS College of Engineering?

November 20, 2007 4:53 AM  
Blogger Nagar said...

Greetings, people.
I really don't know what a so-called "communist" you have, but I can say about my country, USSR and then Russian Federation that our Com. Party (CPSU) at the end of it's life was really antycommunist in it's course and ideology. It was an usual opportunist-revisionist party like CP of China now or worse. And we have a lot of bad things in cause of it.

But when it collapsed...
When so-called "democrats" (capitalists) come to ruling - it came a real Nightmare... They plunder and destroy all that our people built many years... Great collapse of industry, agriculture, science, education? peoples' health... Great rise up of criminals, capitals, businesmans' money and state-oligarchs corporations...

We lose _MILLIONS_ of people!!! They dead since 1991 in many causes, main - poverty and society collapse. We have great depopulation (approx. 10 millions of people in these last 15 years) in cause of big number of deaths and very small of borns. It's a true genocide capitalist-attack...

Now we have here in Russia so-called "Communist Party of Russian Federation" too in half-opposition_half-coalition with capitalists government. This party talking about many good things too, about socialism, problems of poor people etc, but they do very different from what they speak about. They are traitors, opportunists. But they maning themselves "communists".

And we have some true communists that struggle for working class not only in words but in work.
It's very hard, but I now it will end when we'll do the new Socialist Revolution.

I agree that main part of modern so-called communist parties need a great correcting or full licvidation and building of new parties. To be the true communists like Marx, Engels, Lenin etc.. But it is only right way. So-called capitalist "democracy" is democracy only for capital, is way only to what I named before about my country.

I'm very sorry for my bad English.
With all the best wishes from Russia.

November 22, 2007 6:18 PM  
Blogger Nagar said...

November 22, 2007 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Ramz said...

Brijesh, You cannot tormate communism and communists like this, only because you are pro congress and a great Mr.Karunakaran fan (This guy is very famous for his revenges/change of words and back stabbing.).

Communism currently seen in Kerala and Bengal may be bad. But if you have learned communism, then I would tell you, that’s one of the best way of leading life in par with Bible, Kuran or Gita. It prompts people to believe in themselves. Rather than saying communists are bad, we should say communism died long time back, it doesn’t have existence in the current world. Currently what is happening in Kerala, Bengal or India is all politics and no ethics

I am not a communist, but admire communist thoughts. I worked with SFI at NSSCE, not that I am attracted to communist leaders there. But most of my friends were SFI. I remember, you were also one. But I have maintained very healthy relationships with the ABVP guys there as well as CRABS there. And if you are talking about charging 307, You should remember those days, one of our best friends, Baiju, was hit in the back of his head with a iron rod and the hit was so close to Medulla Oblongata, which resides in the back of your head and if hurt there, you will be dead or parlayed for ever. And the case was with drawn as he came out of the trauma and injury.

December 09, 2007 2:39 AM  
Blogger Rajeswari said...

Very well u said..there exists a very wide gap between the socialism and communism..when leaders like V.S are there ,at least to a lesser degree,we can define it as socialism..But what happens when the so called Pinarayi,Kodiyeri..are controlling the party?its not is COMMUNALISM!Yes,thats going on in our kerala.

December 11, 2007 9:10 AM  

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