The story that dominated national headlines all through last year has found its way into literature. Journalists Prabhash Joshi and Kuldip Nayar released Pushprajs Nandigram Diary at the India Habitat Centre this week before of a packed audience. Written in Hindi,Nandigram Diary is a battleline view of the conflict that led to the CPMs biggest defeat 32 years.
Prabhash Joshi,founder editor of Jansatta,said,I was hearing tales of horror from Medha Patkar and couldnt believe what was happening. Nandigrams kalank can only be washed off slowly.
Kuldip Nayar,former editor of The Statesman,said,I didnt want this book to come out before the elections,so that the Communists could not allege that they lost because of it. It is an authentic account of the Nandigram conflict and I wish everyone reads it. Pushpraj has once again reminded me that journalists still have idealism.
Pushpraj spoke about the year he spent in Nandigram as a witness to the horror. It was a peoples struggle in Nandigram. Hundreds of men were killed,dozens of women raped – it was an anti-people Communist government, he said. It was very difficult to write it,but it was necessary. Namvar Singh,noted critic,predicted a few of the reactions to the book. People will call it a reactionary weapon. But the struggle begins here, he said. Nandigram is a blot on Marxism and Leftist ideology.
Medha Patkar was the last to speak. Our own people everywhere are facing life and death. Nandigram should be remembered for the women and children who were victims of the state-sponsored violence, she said.