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

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Frontier Threatened

In these dark times, when "the rebel" who "stood for rebels," Frontier magazine, is desperately needed, its survival is at stake as its offi ce space is sought to be grabbed by real estate sharks.

The article “‘Frontier Magazine’ Faces Threat: Defend ‘Frontier’” by Farooque Chowdhury (Countercurrents.org, 14 March 2015) says it all: “Frontier itself stood as a rebel, and stood for rebels, the rebels of the flaming 70s.” Over the past few months Frontier is being pressurised to vacate the premises in Kolkata where it was born in the summer of 1968 and still exists in the spring of 2015. Towards the end of February 2015, a pack of intruders let themselves loose on the first floor of 61 Mott Lane. They started measuring the office space. In the absence of the editor, two employees of Frontier who were present were threatened and asked to leave the premises. An FIR (first information report) with the New Market Police Station was lodged on 23 February 2015. Earlier, neighbours from an adjacent building had been dumping refuse on to Frontier’s premises and two FIRs, one in 2013 and the other in 2014, were lodged against these proxy predatory acts of the local building mafia.

While the local English press chewed the cud, it was the vernacular press that went for the predator’s jugular and the administration’s throat. After some initial dilly-dallying, amends were made by the administration when the police visited the Mott Lane premises and assured security to the employees by leaving with them with 24×7 contact numbers. The predators acted tough with the reporters, but only over the telephone lines. On being questioned, one of the intruders said that he had been asked by one of the co-owners to repair the premises and so he had come there to measure the place. He then passed on the telephone to a cohort who spoke more toughly. After attributing motives to the reporter and the present editor of Frontier, he threatened that the reporter will be at the receiving of his wrath and that he could not care less for the police. Things have quietened since then and this could be due to delayed but necessary tough talk by the local police. An option of proposing that the premises be included in the list of “Heritage Buildings” is being pursued.

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