Wherever it may be and whatever may be the nature of atrocities, it is the poor and the downtrodden who suffer. Unfortunately the majority of Muslims fall in this category. The sad events in Nandigram bring home this point beyond any doubt. The irony of Nandigram atrocities is that the poor, who are being taught violent lessons to submit to the dictates of a callous dispensation, are receiving this treatment in the hands of the CPI(M) which claims to stand for the rights of the downtrodden. The majority of Nandigram people are poor marginal farmers, landless labourers and petty workers. The highhandedness on the part of the CPI(M) has resulted in death and destruction and even shameful incidents of rapes of innocent women. According to media and independent sources about 100 persons have lost their lives, 25,000 have lost their dwellings and about three dozen women have been raped. It is an irony of greatest magnitude that mostly the CPI(M) cadres have committed these atrocities. It has been an open secret that the CPI(M) government of West Bengal made clever use of the Muslims’ sense of fear and insecurity and made them their turf. It neither solved their problems nor uplifted them educationally and economically. All it assured them was security of life and protection from attacks of communal forces like RSS, BJP and VHP who were kept in control and not allowed to play their anti-Muslim card. The Muslims, who form one-fourth of the State’s population, are still suffering from overall deprivation. Their representation in government and semi-government jobs is pathetically low. Their literacy rate is far below that of Hindus and other communities. Recent atrocities in Nandigram have brought to fore the sad fact that 65 per cent of the sufferers in Nandigram are Muslims. The chairman of National Human Rights Commission Dr. Justice (Retd) Shri Rajendra Babu has also endorsed this fact and likened Nandigram to Gujarat. The mammoth gathering of one and a half lakh Muslims in Kolkata on November 16, called by 12 Muslim organisations, gave a clear call to the State government that Muslims will not tolerate any more injustice. They demanded that the guilty must be punished, justice must be done and Nandigram should never be repeated in future. The goonda elements who form part of CPI(M) cadres, should not be allowed to play with the life and honour of innocent people. They also demanded that the government should give them their due share in socio-economic and political structure. Otherwise, they warned, it should not take their support in future for granted. The writing on the wall is quite clear. If the State government does not mend its ways, it may end its days. Now it depends on Muslim leaderships in the State and in Delhi how they take forward their fight for socio-economic justice, enlist the support of like-minded forces and get their due. Muslims who have suffered a lot under Communist dispensation appear to be ready to play their constructive role to bring about the desired change. A change in which they and others can hold their head high in an atmosphere of dignity and socio-economic justice. Let not the blood of innocents of Nandigram go in waste. Let there be an end to injustice.
New Struggle for Justice
Wherever it may be and whatever may be the nature of atrocities, it is the poor and the downtrodden who suffer. Unfortunately the majority of Muslims fall in this category.