The changer unchanged

Written by RAJIB CHATTERJEE | Singur | Published:May 21, 2012 3:43 am

In Singur,from where the tide started to turn against the Left Front,what was once new hope has turned into disillusionment. Farmers of Singur,who had waged battle against land acquisition for Tata Motors’s Nano factory,now feel betrayed that it has not culminated in the return of their land,now the subject of a court battle. The “unwilling” farmers — as opposed to those who willingly surrendered their land — are making do with a relief package of Rs 1,000 a month and rice at Rs 2 a kilo.

“How long will we have to wait?” says Mahadeb Das,Eleven bighas of his land are in the fenced-off plot. The Trinamool Congress had fought alonsgide Das against land acquisition. Today,he says,“Those who used the farmers have stopped visiting our poverty-ridden villages.”

“Where has the movement gone after the formation of the new government?” echoes Krishna Bag of Beraberi Purbapara,one of the faces of the movement. Her father-in-law Haradhan Bag had hanged himself after losing his land; she was among thousand who stalled the distribution of cheques to the willing in 2006,and was arrested,with her baby daughter Payel spending a night in jail with her.

Her family has been given Rs 1 lakh; Sanjoy Dhara of Khaserveri has been given a job as a rail sevak. “What about the families of the others?” Bag says. “We can understand the land return issue is in court,but what about compensating farmers who haven’t been able to cultivate?”

“We cannot remember when Becharam Manna,who has become an MLA,last came to us,” says Shyamali Das,also arrested in 2006. “Let the panchayat polls come. Those who betrayed us will be taught a lesson.”

Mamata milestones

Singur: Mamata decides to return 400 acres to famers; decision gets into legal wrangles

Gorkhaland: Treaty signed with Gorkha Janmukti Morcha,paving the way for a semi-independent administrative authority,but Adivasis of Terai and Dooars opposed to inclusion of those areas; a panel to decide

Junglemahal: Government starts recruiting for a 10,000-strong force from among locals; Maoist leader Kishenji killed

Cartoons: Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra arrested for allegedly circulating cartoons that govt found derogatory,a move many found smacking of intolerance

Imams: Mamata announces Rs 2,500 a month as allowance to imams and Rs 1,000 to muezzins,priests of temples and bishops demand similar allowances

Newspapers: Government selects the newspapers that state-run libraries should keep

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