What the Left Front government did here is criminal, unpardonable and insane," a Nandigram resident told me on condition of anonymity when I visited the West Bengal town in early December. "Yet we can't speak our minds," added the middle-aged man, wiping away tears. "Lest we should be killed."
Another man, in his early 30s, held his hand in a touching show of solidarity and refrained, "Both of us have no clue where our families are, whether they are dead or alive. Life has come to a standstill -- we are shattered. Please write about our woes to the nation. We want the people of the entire country by our side."
While theatre personality and activist Salil Sarkar asks, "How long will the people of this state bear with the lumpen culture propagated by the Left Front government?" Nandigram residents know that in spite of the dastardly acts perpetrated by the Left Front, it will win a landslide victory in the next election.
"For, no election in the Left Front regime has been and can be fair," said a resident of Satangabari. Party cadres approach villagers with a ballot in one hand and a white dhoti in the other and say: Choose -- the underlying message being 'unless you vote for the CPI-M, widowhood is assured for the female members of your family'."
Photographs: Bijoy Chowdhury. An award-winning photographer, Chowdhury was caught in the crossfire between the ruling CPI-M and the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram on November 10.
Also read: Nandigram Ripples In Kolkata
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