Nano@Singur: Update

It is ninth day of Mamta’s agitation. Barkha Dutt’s ‘We, the People’ on NDTV 24×7 this Sunday could make some of the best people on the subject discuss the Nano and Singur. The crowd included Meghnad Desai, Tarun Das, Harish Salve, Sunita Narayan, Anuradha Talwar, and many invitees some representing next generation from Kolkata too. One thing was almost agreed that Mamata must go for dialogue, and Nano project must come up fast.
In response to West Bengal Governor Gandhi’s bid to end the stalemate, to call off the agitation and hold talk with the state government for ending the agitation, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee sent a group to talk to governor and on their report has agreed for talk with the government, but will not withdraw agitation.

According to West Bengal Industry Minister Nirupam Sen said quoting a ruling from the Supreme Court, “Legally, it is not possible to return the land acquired under Land Acquisition Act.”

And Pranab Mukherji, the senior most minister of Man Mohan Singh government from West Bengal said, “Who will invest in which state is a matter between the state government and the investor? It is not possible for the Centre to take any initiative on this issue.’ ”We are opposed to the shift of investment made in Singur and industry to other states,” said PR Dasmunshi reiterating that the Centre would not take any responsibility in bailing out West Bengal on the issue. All these smell as political statements. How can a responsible government at the center be not responsible to take initiative to help solve a problem of national importance?

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reiterated again, “When (Mamata) Banerjee has failed to understand that ancillary industries and the mother plant must be together or else Nano cannot roll out from Singur, it’s no point in showing any logic to her.” “Banerjee says the government has illegally acquired land at Singur. But it is she who has put up a dais on the National Highway-2 (NH2), which is illegal, and clogged the entire road.” Why can’t he walk up to Mamta’s camp office in Singur and tell her to withdraw agitation so that work at the Nano’s plant can start immediately? Why are their egos allowed to worry the whole nation?

Work at the factory got stopped since Friday. The employees are not turning up due to threats by the agitators and the blockade. Tatas will not like to start work with agitation on. Let both Mamata and Buddha spare Nano plant from the West Bengal style of labour agitations. Neither Sunita Narayan nor Anuradha Talwar has any experience of the way the union creates disruptions in companies in West Bengal. If Bengal is not ready to change their ways, Ratan Tata must mend his wrong decision to get the mother manufacturing plant of Nano set up in Bengal.

Kolkata’ s Intellectuals that are basically left-leaning have reacted. For instance, Sunil Ganguly, the litterateur says, “I’ve been waking up to this nightmare far too long. Enough is enough. It makes me angry, too.” Author Amit Chaudhuri, the author of Afternoon Raag, and working at University of East Anglia in the UK remarked, “It ought to end next week. Or it will be a pretty bad prognosis for the state’s industrialization. It seems to me that she (Mamta) doesn’t have any clear, workable plan or solution – either short or long term.” Filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta considers the movement as “anti-people.” “I do know it for a fact that the land-losers for whom Mamata is fighting want her to sit across the table and seek a good rehabilitation package for them. Why doesn’t she talk?” Stage personality Chandan Sen, a former Mamata follower sounded worried “What’s going on in Singur? We certainly don’t support it. Doesn’t Mamata realize that the state needs the Tatas and all the investment?” Actor and retired professor N Viswanathan said, “We certainly don’t want the Tatas to go -this state needs a high dose of industrialization. But there is little hope because Mamata isn’t the type to talk. She would rather pace up and down a dharna mancha.” Elocutionist Bratati Bandyopadhyay remarked on Friday, ” An entire generation will suffer if the Tatas go, blackening the image of the state.”

Now people are reacting in usual Bengal’s way that I know. More than 16,000 people have signed up in less than a day for a campaign in the state’s tech hub against Mamata Banerjee’s siege in Singur. “Mamta Didi plz don’t stop Bengal’s development,” read one of the messages on the 100ftX5ft sheet where passersby in Salt Lake’s Sector V were struggling to find space to put in their names this evening. And the messages read as: “We want industrialization and the state’s development.” “One must understand that no industry will come to Bengal in future if the Tatas are driven out.” “We felt it was our duty to take part in the campaign.” “Let us all support Project Nano.” Teachers, housewives and students traveled to Sector V from as far away as Howrah to pen their signatures and comments in support of industrialization.

However, I wish the younger generation of Kolkata and surrounding area including students and housewives in large number on own would have gone to Mamta at Singur on Sunday and appeal to her to withdraw the agitation against Nano’s project immediately. She is putting the whole nation to disgrace.

I appeal Mamata not to let Naxalistes enter the scene and dominate.

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