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‘Resist organised atrocities, overcome fear’

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chattopadhaya, former city mayor Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya, theatre personalities Rudraprasad Sengupta and Koushik Sen, poet Mandakranta Sen on Wednesday gave a call to the people to resist “organised atrocities” by some ruling party activists which have come to the fore during the rural polls.

Addressing a Press conference during the day, these eminent persons from different walks of life felt that the people should overcome their fear of hooligans and join forces to rejuvenate democratic values.

After coming to power by peaceful elections, the ruling party have reduced rural polls to a farce, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said. The people’s rights have been violated in a planned manner and it is time to fight against “organised atrocities”, he said.

Democratic values were eroded by the ruling party after coming to power, Chattopadhaya said. Hooligans are being patronised and women voters are being attacked when they were going to exercise their franchise, he pointed out.

“I wonder why we are not protesting yet,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker said. People irrespective of their political ideology have to unite and resist, he said.
Things have to such a pass that some people in the rural areas are stepping back rather than cast their votes, Chattopadhaya said. Why should the situation deteriorate to a state that people should retreat before the goons, he asked.

Things have to come such a pass that a person like Anubrata Mondal can criticise an eminent poet like Sankha Ghosh, noted theatre personality, Rudraprasad Sengupta said. The less said about Mondal’s literary sense the better, he felt.

But Mondal is a mere volunteer, Sengupta said. The silence of his leader is a matter of concern, he said.

We have witnessed a slanging match over the death toll in the rural polls, the veteran actor-director said. It is to be kept in mind that even one death is not desirable, he added.

It is unfortunate that lumpen elements infiltrate into any party that somes to power, Sengupta said. Such elements change their political ideology overnight and once they join a political outfit these elements are asked to ensure that votes are cast in favour of their party and not protect the democratic values, he added.

“We had hoped that democratic principles will be protected when the ruling dispensaton changed in 2011, the former city mayor said. But right from the beginning with an attack on Ambikesh Mahapatra, the crticism of chairman, state Human Rights Commission by none other than the chief minister, a process was set in motion to crush democratic values,” he said.

The words of Anubrata Mondal can be dismissed, theatre personality, Koushik Sen who had protested against the incidents of violence at Nandigram and Singur said. Mondal is a mere instrument to call names and threaten, but it is the people who encourage him to do so have to be unmasked, he felt.

The rural polls saw a democratic exercise being turned almost into a massacre, poet, Mandakranta Sen said. Why is the ruling party which shouts from the rooftops about development being achieved during its regime be so chary of the Opposition so as to prevent its candidates from contesting the rural polls, she asked.

The incident at Kakdwip in which a couple has been burnt alive in their home belies the ruling party’s claim of development being on the streets, Sen said. The incident is a pointer to the fact that it has reached their homes, she felt.