Behind The Bars

The Unforgotten

Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri

All political prisoners must be released unconditionally.

The state government of West Bengal went back on its electoral pledge of releasing all political prisoners, and, may be to justify the breach of promise, did away with the very idea of a political prisoner. There followed a period of horse trading when you could get rid of police activity in your cases just by joining the ruling party. It became more than clear that this was why general release of prisoners was barred. Case by case review was intended to evaluate the possibility of the case taking the correct political choice. On the one hand, it is said that the people in the "affected" areas now have work in their hands and rice in their bellies. On the other hand, case by case review is aimed at barring those might continue to call for struggle against injustice and dishonor.. But if bellies are full and work is there for the asking, what can a released political prisoner do even if he calls for armed resistance? Why are the centre and the state so fearful. Or, the wait is still for the case to see the Light?

All political prisoners must be released unconditionally.

One agrees to the proposition that the best politics from the throne consists in filling bellies and employing hands. But to do even this requires a pro-people economic plan, something the previous regime never arrived at in their endless running at the heels of big capital. Their leaders still insist that they were right in the main to beg for the "sonar pathorbati" from big capital. Anyone who questions this policy is expelled.

If you don't have a pro-people policy you will have to rule by fiat and not by consultation. And see what that did for the previous rulers. The people show no signs of forgiving them. The people never forgave the Congress for the repressions of 1949-51,1959,t967,1971-74, and the Emergency. The khalnayak of the Emergency, the butcher of Leftist youth lost every election he entered. The people will not easily forgive those who unleashed their Harmads in Keshpur, Singur, Nandigram, the Jangal Mahal. And Marichjhanpi?

A writer of the Old Testament says:The mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small. All over the world, the indicators of progress in democracy include importantly the release of political prisoners and the withdrawal of punitive forces.

All political prisoners must be released unconditionally.

Vol. 46, No. 44, May 11 -17, 2014