Saturday, May 24, 2008

CPM says: "...they will make them all Radharani" -- Mahasweta Devi

CPM says: "...they will make them all Radharani" -- Mahasweta Devi

CPI-M violence continues in Nandigram: Mahasweta Devi
Saturday, 24.05.2008, 12:39pm (GMT)

Kozhikode, May 24 West Bengal's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) continues to unleash violence in Nandigram even after they lost local bodies elections in the trouble-torn region last week, Bengali novelist and rights activist Mahasweta Devi has said.

"They are going around burning houses and raping women," she said.

Mahasweta Devi was delivering the inaugural address at a meeting of the Adhinivesha Prathirodha Samiti (Committee against the invasion of imperialists) here Saturday.

Nandigram, about 150 km from Kolkata in East Midnapore district, flared up in January last year over land acquisition plans for a proposed special economic zone (SEZ). At least 35 people were killed in 2007 in intermittent violence with activists of the CPI-M, which leads the state's ruling coalition, and opposition Trinamool Congress-backed farmers fighting pitched battles.

"The CPI-M cadres are saying it is their duty. They are threatening women who are protesting against the project. They say that they will make them all Radharani," Mahasweta Devi said. Radharani Ari, a villager from Nandigram, was raped allegedly by CPI-M activists.

Mahasweta Devi said the rural West Bengal badly needs development. "Indoctrination will not end people's misery. Now, crores of rupees are spent through panchayats, but not a single road has been constructed in West Bengal by panchayats."

Commenting on the CPI-M-led government in Kerala, she said it should listen to people.
Two months ago, the writer had addressed two open letters to Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on the plight of the landless in the state.

"Achuthanandan thinks I write for vested interests. I only fight to bring basic human values," she said.

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