That was a screaming 72-point headline.
If they ever have the balls to say that on the eve of a CITU bandh, their office next day will come close to looking like the Hampi ruins, in terms of diaster level, not magnificence, that is.
On most Trinamul Bandhs, people are not scared to go out. People who want to work are not stopped. This is taken to be a sign of the Trinamul's ineffectiveness or lack of popularity(!).
A couple of days ago, the body of a young girl of 18, Tapasi Malik, was found in a ditch in the fenced-off area for the car factory. When Medha Patkar finally reached the village yesterday, she found none of the fiery angst amongst the villagers. They were now clearly scared.
Just five minutes ago, my colleagues were busy deriding Mamata and her fast. In fact, they have done so for quite some days now. What surprises and shocks me is that they didnt have a word to say about what is happening to the farmers in Singur or about Tapasi's murder.
Forget what Mamata says, or any other politician says. Cant they see for themselves on TV? When I went home on Nov 28 and watched the 40-minute footage on Tara Bangla or ETV Bangla (cant remember which one), I felt so terribly helpless and small. Still feel that.
Police went after people and beat them up. They went into houses, climbed on to the terraces and hit a protestor shouting slogans, they hit women too. Mind you, the TV anchor kept telling us that the footage was not clips being repeated again and again. They recorded and broadcasted the entire 40 minutes, lathi blow by lathi blow.
I have to friggin work for a living, but how I wish I didnt have dependents, so I could take to the streets myself. A rage builds up inside me, and I look like a fool when all these people around me seem to have taken it in their stride. Everything I do, then, seems like it's no point.
And I wonder like I have wondered many a time before: is there something wrong with me or is it okay to feel this rage? Does every experience have to be personal for you to take a stand, for you to feel anything at all? Also, if something's a 'political' issue, do you shut off that part of the brain that handles emotions? I know, it's unfashionable to be 'political' or 'emotional' nowadays. Corporate slick is in.
When we complain about a work day lost because of a bandh (which is a fair enough complaint), do we even think once about those people who have lost their livelihood forever? What about their lost work days?
Even if I were a die-hard Leftist, when Singur happened I would stop for a moment and re-think my allegiances. Like my friend Finny did. She read and saw for herself what I had explained over chat, and she went with me to Esplanade where Mamata is fasting for two days, and showed her support.
Because, she was moved.
I think that's what gets lost in all this government propaganda about development. Your capacity to feel.
Of course, the other question is: I do feel for the farmers. But what can I do? Not everyone of us can go on fasts, or take to the streets. But there is one thing you can do: remember. Till the next elections.