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Home > National Interest vs People’s Interest : A space for social movements > India: Statement On Nonadanga From Students’ Forum Against Mal-Development

India: Statement On Nonadanga From Students’ Forum Against Mal-Development

18 April 2012

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Students’ Forum Against Mal-Development, Siliguri

How many ears must one man have,before he can hear people cry

how many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died

Yes, we are speaking from Nonadanga slum area, Kolkata. Our government has uprooted all the slum-dwellers of Nonadanga from their habitat. On 30th March, police and Kolkata municipal development authority (KMDA) bulldozed the homes of some of the poorest of the poor people of our country; more than 300 homes were burnt. Even the evicted people wasn’t given any time to move their things of daily usage. They were being compelled to stand roofless under the heavy rainfall and northwester; they are living the same life along with their children under the open sky struggling with all adversities of nature till date.

Who are these people? They haven’t come to Kolkata to live in slums by
choice. Most of the people have come from Sundarban after the devastating
storm ’’ AILA’’ destroyed their villages last year. Some have come to ’’The
city of joy’’ only to make two ends meet. There isn’t enough employment in
the villages, so they have been compelled to leave their homes and to come
to the city to find jobs. Some are rickshaw-pullers, some work as
electricians, masons; some work as maids in others house.

Are they illegal? Twenty-five years ago, the land-reform department of the
state govt. made acquisition of the land on the condition of providing
sufficient rehabilitation to the people. But the promise was never kept.
Some years ago, the state govt. sold all those land to some corporate MNCs
who are to build high-tech cities,shopping malls, IT hub and to use the
land for real estate business. Ponds were being filled to make high-riser
buildings.But the rehabilitation wasn’t ever provided. The people who were
on the verge of being thrown out from their own homes,requested the govt.
for several times to stop eviction and to provide them with place to live
in. But it was a far cry for the govt. to hear and one day the bulldozer
started dismantling everything.

The people of Nonadanga along with many democratic individuals,
organizations and students started their protest campaign which is still
on. These protestors were severely beaten by the police; on 4th April 68
and on 6th April 114 protestors were arrested. Though police released most
of the protestors but haven’t released 7 of them who were participating in
the movement in solidarity.

Just a few days back, state govt. had released one of them, famous
scientist Parthasarathi Roy when the govt. was put under enormous
international pressure. But the other 6 activists are still living behind
the bar convicted with false charges and even one of the activists,Deblina
Chakraborty has been accused with the charge of sedition and has been
charged under UAPA (unlawful prevention act)!!- Their crime? These
activists have participated shoulder to shoulder with the people fighting
in several movements for justice, against forceful eviction by the govt.
and for livelihood. These people have denounced the development policy of
the govt. where the poor,general people are being tortured,exploited in
order to raise corporate profit.

From the arrest of the professor of Jadavpur University for making some
cartoons of the chief minister to the brutal attack on the protestors
fighting for democratic rights; from imposing false charges to the
activists to bulldozing Nonadanga,Chandmoni- the tendency of onslaught
against democracy has turned to be epidemic and is increasing.

Even if today we seat deaf and dumb and act ignorant in-spite of knowing
everything, the longlasting effect is not going to spare us tomorrow. It is
eating up the society and will swallow every single space of breathing in
near future- it will destroy our society. So its not the time for making
condolences, its the time to be vocal and to come out with indignation.
’’Which organization, which ideology do you belong’’ - is obsolete in this
time when social injustice is turning to be the rule of the day

.Friends, we are urging you to come up against all forceful evictions which
is going on throughout our country including Nonadanga. Lets stand hand in
hand to build barricade of resistance against these mal-development and for our democratic rights. Lets incorporate our friends, associates and
neighbors in this fight for justice and humanity.

Because its only the struggle of the people of Nonadanga which has stopped
the state govt. and its powerful machinery for this long from uprooting
their homes.Our collective struggle is our only weapon to defeat this
tyranny because struggle does matter.



- University of North Bengal , Siliguri