Singur still on the path of Struggle 16 April 2007
More than 700 acres of land was forcibly acquired for Tata’s at Singur, latest
admission of the West Bengal government. Farmers have not accepted
compensation for 350 acres of land.
Workers of FIAT group condemn the forcible land acquisition for Tata-FIAT joint
venture, cheap car project.
Big investment of Italian corporates in WB is the reason for political stubbornness
in Singur issue.
The struggle by the farmers, share croppers, labourers, artisans and others in Singur has entered
the second phase. The West Bengal Government that was compelled to stay out of Nandigram
but only after a massacre, is, however, adamant on Singur, in spite of atrocities, hunger-strikes
and agitations, one rape and murder, one suicide and one hunger death! The Left Front is not
bothered yet about the defamation and public outcry in and outside West Bengal and one may
wonder, why ?. The power behind the power holder at face is not only of Tata but also the Italian
multinational, FIAT and the Italian corporate-politician nexus as a whole.
While the Italian troupe of 430 politicians and businessmen toured India in February it was no
news that Tata-FIAT joint venture is to be responsible for 1 lakh Rs car project. FIAT it’s known
and announced from the official sources within Tata and FIAT both, is going to produce engines
for market the cheap car in Latin America. This was not announced when the Italian Prime
Minister was awarded a doctorate by the Kolkatta University but happened to be made public a
few days later when they reached Mumbai. Now it’s also known that beyond Singur, Italy’s
capitalist corporates are much more deeply involved in the foreign investments being made.
There is an atmosphere created in Italy, a country where it’s own people are fighting
globalisation and its impacts on the people yet Italian media is only pro-corporate, that all is well
with the joint venture between Tata’s and FIAT, Italy. The workers of the FIAT group under the
Italian Metal Unions and IUF have condemned their employer and called them to shift the car
plant to an alternative site. This solidarity, which has crossed national frontiers, needs to be
strengthened with more strength, back home.
It is also clear, that, against the propaganda of the Left Front government, in Singur land
acquisition with the consent of the farmers, was for only 220 acres out of the total of 997 acres,
which has been forcibly acquired as per its own affidavit filed in Kolkata High Court. As per the
affidavit rest of the more than 700 acres has been forcibly acquired even if few of them had
accepted compensation. Any way affidavits have been filed by land owners having 350 acres of
land, expressing their non-willingness to hand over the land for the project. These facts are
significant in the context of renewed decision of the Union Government regarding no role of the
governments in acquisition of land for private companies.
Also the report of CBI on the rape and murder of Taposhi Malik has still not been released and
no compensation granted to the aggrieved family, what to talk of the action against the guilty.
Similar is the disturbing story of Haradhan Das’s family, who had committed suicide but not
been paid any compensation.
Since 12th April more than 500 people from Singur were in Kolkata, sitting on a dharna that
highlighted the on going struggle. In the field too programmes are going on, although a cement
fence is now standing in front of their eyes en circling the land of farmers and making bargadars
and labourers also landless. From the time being they are living on last years crop, while many
families are facing hunger. Need is to force the Tata group to leave the fertile, multi crop land of
Singur and the West Bengal government be honest and accountable to the citizens and not
Nandigram struggle has gained victory when violence from the State erupted and affected
farmers, artisans, labourers, fish workers laid down their lives and had to bear the brunt of State
brutality as a cost to protect their land, livelihood and lives. Is the West Bengal government and
Tata waiting for Kalinganagar and Nandigram to be repeated in Singur, till they take decision to
withdraw themselves from the forcibly occupation of farmer’s land.
Singur to Posco, the situation is same, land is being acquired forcibly for the private interests and
profits of companies, ignoring, bypassing and violating the rights of the resident communities.
The need is to express our solidarity with the struggling people, in every possible way, stand by
them and oppose the anti-people policies of our governments.
Simpreet Singh Medha Patkar