THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fwd: [Occupy Kolkata] The Great Communist Betrayal



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Calcuttan JB <notification+kr4marbae4mn@facebookmail.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 7:56 AM
Subject: [Occupy Kolkata] The Great Communist Betrayal
To: Occupy Kolkata <occupykolkata@groups.facebook.com>


The Great Communist Betrayal During this...
Calcuttan JB 7:56am Nov 21
The Great Communist Betrayal

During this period, in late 1960s and till mid-70s, the Bengali communists led by CPI (M), which was in opposition then, took up the case of these refugees and demanded the government to settle them within their native Bengal rather than scatter them across India on the lands of other peoples.

The communist, again its leadership monopolized by 'upper' caste, started raising their voices in the support of Dalit refugees and promised to provide them rehabilitation in West Bengal. The sites they mentioned in West Bengal for resettlement were either the Sundarbans area of the Ganges delta or vacant land scattered in various places throughout the state. The party leaders went around various Dalit camps campaigning for their return to West Bengal, simultaneously promising full support after coming in power.

Particularly one, Mr. Ram Chatterjee, who later became minister in the CPI (M) led government, exhorted the Dalit refugees by thundering, "The 5 crore Bengalis by raising their 10 crore hands are welcoming you back."

In 1977, when the Left Front came to power, they found that the Dalit refugees had taken them at their words having disposed off whatever their meager belongings were and have marched towards West Bengal. In all, 1,50,000 refugees arrived from Dandakaranya region of what is now Chhattisgarh expecting the communists to honour their words.

Instead the Left Front government started sending them back forcibly citing the lack of space in the state - the same reason that was cited earlier when the Dalits arrived from East Bengal during the partition. It was a rude shock for the refugees who were depending on the newly elected Left Front government. When they opposed this, Dalit refugees were brutally evicted from various railway stations, being fired upon by the West Bengal police and were denied food and water.

Still many refugees managed to escape and reached Marichjhapi, an island that lies in the northern part of the Sunderbans. Thousands of other Dalit refugees also marched to Marichjhapi on feet along the railway tracks, avoiding the police.

By the end of the year 1978, there were 30,000 Dalit refugees in the island of Marichjhapi who rapidly established it as one of the best-developed islands of the Sundarbans. Within a few months tube-wells had been dug, a viable fishing industry, saltpans, dispensaries and schools were established. In short, in just few months, the hard working Namashudras built a thriving local economy without any government support in the region that is considered the poorest in West Bengal.

Deeply humiliated by the successful resettlement of Namashudra refugees in Marichjhapi, the Left Front government started their propaganda against them by stating that the 'Marichjhapi is a part of the Sundarbans government reserve forest' and therefore Dalit refugees were 'violating the Forest Acts and thereby disturbing the existing and potential forest wealth and also creating ecological imbalance'.

This was a blatant lie as Marichjhapi did not fall under government reserve forest at all. The Bengali Bhadralok leadership of Left Front had to resort to such lies and take up environmental concerns as an excuse as the Marichjhapi exposed their earlier lie too regarding 'lack of space in West Bengal'.

The West Bengal government launched a full frontal assault on the Marichjhapi and the Dalit refugees. It started with the economic blockade. The police cordoned off the whole island, cutting every communication links with the outside world.

Thirty police launches encircled the island thereby depriving the settlers of food and water; they were also tear-gassed, their huts razed, their boats sunk, their fisheries and tube-wells destroyed, and those who tried to cross the river were shot at. Several hundred men, women and children were believed to have died during that time and their bodies thrown in the river.

And those who tried to defy this economic blockade by swimming across to other islands in search of food and water were brutally shot. On the January 31, 1979 the police opened fire killing 36 people who were trying to get food and water from a nearby island.

It was not that the media was not aware of the sufferings and police brutalities on hapless Namashudras. When the reports of Marichjhapi started appearing in the media, Jyoti Basu, then chief minister of Bengal, shamelessly, termed it as 'CIA conspiracy' against newly elected communist government of Bengal and exhorted media to support the government in 'national interest'.

Jyoti Basu justified the police actions by accusing Namashudra refugees of being agents of foreign forces and using Marichjhapi as arms-training centre. Moreover, Jyoti Basu declared the whole area to be out of bound for media and thus effectively silencing any dissenting voices or reporting of the killings of Dalit refugees.

It took more than five months and killings of thousands of Dalit refugees for the West Bengal government to effectively crush the Namashudra resistance in Marichjhapi. Totally devastated by the government brutalities the rest of the Namsahudras were packed off, as prisoner of war, back to Chattishgarh and Andaman.

After destroying all the huts, markets, schools and all other visible markers of Namashudra settlement, West Bengal government declared, in May 1979, Marichjhapi 'finally free from all refugees'.

Regarding the total lives lost during the West Bengal government's assault on Marichjhapi we will quote from one of the earliest writings on this incident by A. Biswas who wrote, in 1982, that '.out of the 14,388 families who deserted [for West Bengal), 10,260 families returned to their previous places . . . and the remaining 4,128 families perished in transit, died of starvation, exhaustion, and many were killed in Kashipur, Kumirmari, and Marichjhapi by police firings". [A. Biswas, 1982, "Why Dandakaranya a Failure, Why Mass Exodus, Where Solution?" The Oppressed Indian 4(4):18-20.]

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Palash Biswas
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