Sports latest: West Bengal lal-rounder Buddhadeb Battarcharjee was implored to recognise that CPM was in serious strife over the ‘firings’ in Nandigram mid week. This became acute when former chief minister Jyoti Basu said on friday what the other Left Front coalition partners had wanted to say, but thus far just sledged from the sidelines. Basu, a tail-ender that wags, declared: ‘comrade, get your act together or lose’. Subcontinental news reportage favours ‘alacrity’ as a watchword, and Buddhadeb thereby was said to have agreed to change line and length so as to consult with the partners (RSP – formed in the thirties, and Forward Block) and, I guess more importantly, he conceded that the Nandigram villagers would not be asked to give up their land. If this means the CPM’s economic program and its plan to attract greater FDI is stumped, what it means for the Indonesian investor in the proposed SEZ is now unclear, but there was one funny comment about the investor – ‘who is this Saleem chap anyhow, can he bat?’ – the company is called Salim PLC, but I also do not know their form or record – so will have to look it up in Wisdens [right, enough, its time to put a stop to all this cricket spin malarkey...].
So it comes to pass that the situation at Nandigram is resolved. Or ‘perhaps’ resolved – since there were a number of other measures in the package, such as bridges, roads, infrastructure projects. Whatever may be the case, the day of the Bandh (the entire city was shut down to protest the firings) looks more and more like a multifaceted coup. Though there is a slight danger of relying on standard visitor observations and cliché, for me it is somewhat personal and maybe oblique observations that stick in the mind. The streets were free of traffic, the air seemed so much cleaner, the city sounded so different, and I walked around for hours amidst middle-of-the-road cricket matches, with stumps made of bricks, old tyres, boxes etc. That this could happen while in the
Of course cricket is not incidental to politics in
More Nandigram discussion, rumours, global chat, horror scenes: here.