ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Notes on a Dying People

The political movement that came up from among the people of Lalgarh in November 2008 cried out for help and support from the civil and democratic society - for basic human rights, for a right to all decisions about what belongs to them alone: their water, land and forest. The movement negotiated with the intransigent Left Front administration of West Bengal for months, without much success. Their peaceful movement now lies in tatters, because of the violent intervention by the Maoists who have done incalculable harm to both the objectives as also to the people of Lalgarh and by the armed retaliation from the centre and state governments.

COMMENTARY Notes on a Dying People Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar and children without viable livelihoods, minimal medical help or basic education, often without food, clothes and shelter, dragged into police custody and ogged, mostly for unknown offences. The National

P ost-election West Bengal is, indeed, a gloomy, even alarming place. With the rst ever defeat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) CPI(M) after decades of virtually one-party rule, leftists all over India had hoped to see the beginnings of a new and democratic political culture. Especially after Singur, Nandigram and multiple other movements of resistance have shown how much popular deance can accomplish even against the combined might of an entrenched state power, multinational corporates and an autocratic party. Instead, we now see a politics of reprisals: CPI(M) political practice seems to have left an indelible mark on all organised politics in the state.

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