December 27, 2006

Singur..Caught In the Quagmire

Filed under: India n Me,This Gets To Me — Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul @ 2:08 pm

Update 16th Mar’07: Showing no signs of abating, the problem seems to have mulitiplied manifold. 

Tata has indeed unfurled a dramatic explosion of unrest.

Saptarshi Das a regular reader at Sachiniti has written such a poignant post to do with the tragedy of Singur. It is an issue that deserves highlighting and pondering if not grieveing over. The chasm between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ seems to widen with no hope for reparation.

And of course that it was a young 19 year old girl whose spirit seemed threatening enough to be snuffed into a mere..Coincidence. India respects her women..the feminists/indignant citizens are only a volatile lot who enjoy blowing numbers and incidents out of proportion..or is it out of the comfort zone of those who WISH to project it otherwise!



If only being ashamed made a difference… if only…

Tapasi Malik. Along with her father, this 19 year old was protesting… the confused encroachment of industries on agricultural land. Tata Motors would be coming out with a four wheeler with an awesome price tag! The one lakh car might change some parameters in the lives of ‘so-called’ Indian middle class; many a dream might come true…

Early morning she was going to the fields afar- the nature calls (bloody we don’t even have proper toilets out there and lo! There would be industries booming and jobs galore! Guess am the only cynic around); like routine, like clock work, the day would begin for her- or so she thought!

The remains of her charred body were found later in a pit. Like some holy grail, there was still smoke curling out as the villagers discovered a new dimension of life! A life hellish than the depths of gloom!

She voiced her protest as with many others, with her father, over the fertile land acquisition, about the effects on the socio-economic fabric among rural populace- ha! Cowards of urban civilization aint worthy enough to honor a worthy fight? Funny! No one knows still the reason why she was burnt and there is discussions regarding CBI intervention! Investigation- the mother of all solutions!

Politics was never an easy game to participate in and now you can see the cocktail of socialism, communism and democracy head up a concoction that has no antidote. The village of Shingur, West Bengal has the fertile layers for the greens. There are areas like Purulia, WB where lands can be allotted for industrialization but political mileage and hara-kiri is burning WB en mass!

Opposition leader Mamata Banerjee is on a hunger strike, people are not allowed to venture near the disputed land, perimeters of the land offered- uncertain! And the House of Tatas is tight lipped. Whoever said there are emotions is business!

The trench of money, the smirk of political (the village in question is an opposition strong hold!!) coup and the illogic of policy making aside, people now don’t batter an eyelid before burning up women! And here Jessica Lal case goes down the books as exemplary! We see her sister opening a bottle of champagne, all smiles, in celebration! Hahaha… justice at last huh? And add to it the angle of women empowerment, gender equality and respect from the ego bubbled male counterparts!

How many such women are erased with ease everyday within the geographical bounds of India- my native land!

Is justice a priceless commodity beyond the reach of the have-nots’? Or is it that every time justice would be served cold over the remains, the memories of people WHO DO MATTER TO SOME!

The industrial renaissance, the battle of the states to feed on the opportunities opening up, seems to putrefy basic human ethos.

Sans everything, the devils within us don’t even shy from burning up a 19 year old! INDIA SHINING! The colors change with the electoral cycle but alas! The baton of shameless debauchery continues; and what worth is human life in the alter of insanity!

CBI, the judiciary, the pyramid of power and all of us would watch as the fires would die, the smoke vanish and the ashes would be lost- only the pain and hurt of a father would eat the soul inside him. But the wheels of technology, empowerment and progress would take us into years of ‘greater’ glory! 2007 we welcome- with deaths of people who never really matter, to us, ‘cause somewhere it has stopped making any difference.

Law and order, justice and Indian women- three legs of a tripod, guess they would never meet. And we, the people all poised to bid adieu to 2006, are we aware that these three arteries support the vitals of our society?

Hope it’s not too late.

Saptarshi Das


Update: Ratan Tata has finally spoken to NDTV .

In a no holds barred interview he has categorically stated that he will Not abandon his plans for matter the compelling tactics of his rivals, insiduously implying and implicating the complicity of Mamta Banerjee with his rivals.

He said that if someone held a gun to his head, they were welcome to pull the trigger, but he was not the kind to leave under pressure or threat.

This drama gets more bizarre by the day..and Mamtas blood pressure drops and pulse recedes.

More importantly however, caught in the crossfire between the two Giants, one political and the other industrial, the common man will die..unsung!


  1. its very confusing..i heard tata speak yesterday n he said that what he was doing was for the betterment of the people of singur.

    N there mamta is dying away..cuz she says that the farmers deserve their land..what i want to know is why singur???????

    Comment by Neha — December 28, 2006 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  2. The sezs that are being set up can to an extent eliminate the problems ..Why is mamta resisting it? if the money that comes from acquisition of the lands is disbursed fairly, there should be no cause for complaint.

    Comment by dilip — December 29, 2006 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

  3. So Mamta has broken her fast on the assurance of the PM. Tata digs his heels in and refuses to relent. Farmers appear as agitated as before. If the Govt gives in to Mamta then Gujarat and the Narmada andolan as well as other areas raise their heads all over again. They were resisting on the same basis.Tricky..with many hidden layers and veiled interests all playing a part..and the drama unfolds.

    Meanwhile another aged couple who had succumbed to tatas generous payoffs took the money but did not live to enjoy it..they were murdered.

    Comment by kaveetaakaul — December 31, 2006 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

  4. Gender equality,social justice……good irony!after seeing the grotesque incident of singur,i dont think that social justice will be ever provided in India.what sort of a mixed economy is this?growth of monopoly power-well,that is not coveted.what a stigma it is now to be a part of this atrocious state!will the omnipotent tatas finally hold the reins of our life?will the lower strata people be charred to death?will the dark ages return?will gullible people die unsung?and the questions go on……

    Comment by olivia bhattacharya — January 19, 2007 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  5. why tata has chosen singur as its location?

    Comment by ashwini — September 1, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  6. Pit where Tapasi Malik’s burning body was found inside the Singur cordoned area.(note- one can see the erected fences) .

    Comment by DAS SAMIRBARAN — April 6, 2010 @ 9:26 am | Reply

  7. The PIT where tapasi’s body was found , was dug one before. why such a big pit was dug at all ? why CBI not enquired about the motive behind dugging such a big pit ? what for such a big pit is needed at all ?
    thses questions are still un-answered. Should we wait for historians to find out answers to these questions ?

    Comment by ASIT GUIN — May 18, 2010 @ 10:50 am | Reply

  8. who is udayan das ? why he is fighting for industry at singur ? why he cannot satisfy himself with agriculture ?

    Comment by ASSIT GUIN — February 21, 2011 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

  9. History of Bengal after independence is divided into two periods; period of famine (1947 – 1977) and the period of delayed success (1977 – till date). There was famine in 1959, 1966, and 1974. Famines were mainly due to non-cultivation of land under jotedar ownership. Agriculture is not much profitable for them. After 1977, due to land reform, food production is up and famine problem is solved. There was one potential famine in 1978 (due to big flood), but panchayat and co-ordination committee avoided a famine like situation. So the new period of delayed success started. Haldia is delayed by 12 yrs; Bakreswar by 8 yrs. Singur may come one day after some delay like Haldia. Delayed success is better than famine. However now, famine period may come back due to wrong choice of people in the last election. Irrationalism practiced by media and many people is to be paid by famine.

    Comment by asit guin — January 31, 2013 @ 10:36 am | Reply

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