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March 14, 2019

Nandigram: Looking back at March 14, 2007

Nandigram: Looking back at March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007 was a red-letter day in the history of modern Bengal politics – literally a red-letter day as innocent, unarmed villagers (protesting against the forcible acquiring of land for a chemical hub by the Left Front Government) were gunned down by hired goons of the then government dressed as police.

Several of the injured were women and young children. The media was barred from entering the area. An atmosphere of fear and terror engulfed the region.

Two days later, on March 16, more than a thousand villagers took out a peaceful march. Media personnel – both print and television – managed to enter the villages and talk to the residents. At last, news was coming out in trickles.

Soon the trickle turned to flood. Mamata Banerjee, then the most prominent opposition leader, took up the people’s cause. It was a turning point for Bengal. Singur and Nandigram paved the way for the end of the 34-year-long Left rule in Bangla.

Twelve years have passed since then. The martyrs of Nandigram will never be forgotten. As the slogan goes, ‘Aamar naam tomar naam Nandigram’.

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