Friday, December 29, 2006

TATA out of Singur

Headline Singur By Amitadyuti Kumar 30 December, 2006

It was the 3rd week of May, 2006 – the 18th day to be exact. The Left Front Government was sworn in for the 7th time in a row. Almost immediately Singur, an otherwise non-descript rural area in the Hooghly District, suddenly made the headlines. On that afternoon, the Chief Minister Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharyee, sitting alongside Mr Ratan Tata, the chief of a dominant Indian capitalist group - the TATA’s, announced in a press conference that Tata Motors had made an agreement with the state government to set up a factory for small cars at Singur. In the press conference it was also made public that the state government would hand over 1000 acres of land in Singur. It cleverly remained silent on whether any Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been signed.

Towards the evening the news spread in Singur and so did the people’s anger. The next day marked the beginning of public outrage. It did not wait for any organizational strength, political leadership. The fear of unemployment and starvation was so palpable that it broke all the barriers of age, gender and what’s more their political identities. It is not the first time that farmers’ land is taken away.

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