Noted author and activist Mahasweta Devi on Tuesday slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for celebrating a year in power,saying: We do not need celebrations. We need electricity,food and health facility for all.
Speaking at a convention organised by Hawker Sangram Committee against eviction of hawkers in Kolkata,the author,who had supported the CM during Nandigram and Singur movements,said: I am strictly against the eviction of the hawkers,and think their agitation is absolutely justified. The government should reconsider its decision, she said,adding that the hawkers were an integral part of our society and government should look for a way in which they should coexist.
Author Sunil Gangopadhyay and legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee could not make it to the convention but sent letters to the organisers conveying their sentiments. A lot of unemployed youths are resorting to illegal activities and violence to earn a living. Mindless eviction of these hawkers will only raise the number. To evict these people in the name of beautification of the city is totally uncalled for, Gangopadhyay wrote. He also said the word ucched (eviction) itself is against humanity and that the views of the hawkers representatives should also be looked into while framing any policy.
Chatterjee wrote that hawkers cater to a huge section of society. Removing them from their place is no solution, he wrote while demanding that not only the practice should be stopped but also an Act in the interest of the hawkers should be brought in.