The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) hails the Supreme Court verdict on the Singur case as a victory for the people's rights movement. The Judgment has upheld the points raised by APDR in a Special Leave Petition (No. 13645 of 2008) filed way back in 2008. The main points are : a) the land acquisition in Singur under The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 was unlawful: b) the land acquisition did not take place without observing mandatory procedures including the holding of public hearing and environmental impact assessment; c) it was not at all in "public purpose" as claimed by the government but to benefit private entrepreneurs and d) the state government had violated its own notice prohibiting transaction of the land in Singur by handing it over to the private company. APDR is happy that people's support and forceful argument by its Counsel Prashant Bhushan brought in success in this long legal battle. Ruling simultaneously on the state government's SLP No 23843 of 2012, the Supreme Court has also upheld the validity of the Act passed in the state Assembly after the new government came to power to return the land to the peasants of Singur. APDR hopes that it will be implemented without delay
All governments at the Centre and states should take lessons from the glorious struggle of the people of Singur as well as the court verdict, scrap all anti-people land and natural resources acquisition laws and stop promoting "development" in the interests of corporates at the cost of the people.
General Secretary, APDR
Because personally I have never seen or talked to Mr Samar Sen and know nothing of him. My association with Frontier was quite meager in the sense we all admired it very much for its bold coverage of naxalite activities and problems in those times when there was hardly any paper prepared to write in support of, or at least in sympathy of, naxalites. Further we were quite relieved by the ready coverage Frontier gave to any letters about activists of naxalite movement missing or arrested and the imminent danger to life they are put to and it was the only paper which would immediately publish such appeals and there was even a feeling among us that if the news of arrest appears in Frontier, perhaps the life of a revolutionary at least could be saved and the police would not dare to shoot him but produce before a court. May be farfetched imagination, but that was what we felt.
In those days when I was underground, I remember to have written a letter to Frontier, most probably on Bangladesh phenomenon or so, and it was published though I only furnished a pseudonym and no address was given. I, as also my friends and sympathizers in the movement were quite elated on seeing the small piece in print.
It was only after my release on bail in 1978, and my taking up research on the topic of Indian national revolutionaries and their role in the freedom struggle, that I used to come frequently—almost annually to Calcutta, during 1980-1990 period, and also occasionally first and then each time next visit Frontier Office. My whole acquaintance and interaction was with the present editor alone. I wrote many articles which have been published in Frontier, including the article which EPW refused to publish on the identity of the poisonous gas that killed hundreds in Bhopal. I am always an admirer of Frontier and like its broad-minded approach to give room to all dissenting opinions on burning issues of the country as well as the world at large.
All this is due to the original founding of the journal Frontier and dedicated contribution of Samar Sen in this regard, and its continuation by his worthy successor Timir Basu.
I M Sharma, Hyderabad
Vol. 49, No.17, Oct 30 - Nov 5, 2016