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The Year That Was: 2007
Rediff looks back at the highs and lows, the successes and failures, the heroes and villains, the wild and the overblown that made this year.

Despair and Hope

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The slaughter of democracy

December 7, 2007

Fear speaks only one language: helplessness, and the people of Nandigram are too scared to speak.

"Ora amader mere felbe. Aamra kichhu janni na (They will kill me, we don't know anything)," mumbles a woman as she busies herself cleaning the debris of her burnt down home. It is this ghost of 'they' that has been haunting Nandigram for the last 11 months.

Who are 'they'? If Bhoomi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee members are to be believed, Communist Party of India-Marxist activists have been terrorising Nandigram residents for the last 11 months. They burned the homes of villagers and forced them to flee just because they stopped being CPI-M loyalists after West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced building a chemical hub at Nandigram.

The plan for industrialisation has been withdrawn, but that has not stopped the violence. The most affected villages are Satangabari, Ranichowk, Gokulnagar and Sonachura.

Those who have a firm faith in India's democracy must visit Nandigram at least once. They can witness for themselves how democracy is being slaughtered.

Reportage: Indrani Roy Mitra in Nandigram | Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty. Image: Many houses bore the brunt of violence that erupted in Nandigram in early November
Also read: Nandigram ripples in Kolkata
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