Academics and human rights activists from inside and outside India appeal to the democratic minded people in West Bengal and across the country to condemn and expose violence against the members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Left Front Government in West Bengal.


Since the results of the Lok Sabha elections have been announced, West Bengal has been witnessing a spate of organized attacks against activists and supporters of the Left, particularly the CPI (M). In Khejuri (East

Midnapore) and Lalgarh (West Midnapore), Left activists have been physically attacked and assassinated, Party offices burnt down and Left supporters forcibly driven out of the villages, by organized and armed gangs.


Targeted assassinations of Left leaders have also taken place in the districts of Bardhaman, Birbhum, Purulia and Howrah. These forces appear to have interpreted the election results as a license to unleash terror against the Left activists working at the grassroots level. The open or tacit support accorded to Maoist sponsored violence by some political parties suggests a concerted attempt to create anarchy and dismiss the democratically elected State Government. It is disturbing to note that this attempt to destabilize the State Government is occurring at a time when lakhs (one lakh is 100,000) of people devastated by Cyclone Aila are in desperate need of relief and rehabilitation, and exposes the insensitivity of these anti-Left forces to the plight of poor people.


We, the undersigned, call upon the democratic minded people in West Bengal and across the country to condemn and expose these forces which are threatening the very edifice of democratic politics in West Bengal. We also appeal to the State Government to take stern steps, both political and administrative, to protect the lives of citizens. We urge the Central Government to provide full and effective support to the State Government in tackling the situation.


Irfan Habib, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh; Prabhat Patnaik, Kerala Planning Board, Trivandrum; Aijaz Ahmad, Literary Theorist, New Delhi; Utsa Patnaik, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; C P Chandrasekhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Jayati Ghosh,  Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; D K Bose, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; Ratan Khasnabis, Calcutta University, Kolkata; Nripen Bandhopadhyay, West Bengal Planning Board, Kolkata; Shamshad Hussain, Painter, New Delhi; Badri Raina, Delhi University, New Delhi; Mohan Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Prabir Purkayastha, Delhi Science Forum, New Delhi; Rajendra Prasad, SAHMAT, New Delhi; V K Ramachandran, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; Githa Hariharan, Novelist, New Delhi; Madhura Swaminathan, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata; Venkatesh Athreya, MSSRF, Chennai; Seema Mustafa, Centre for Policy Analysis, New Delhi; M K Raina, Theatre Artist, New Delhi; N K Sharma, Act One, New Delhi; Indira Chandrasekhar, Tulika Books, New Delhi; T Jayaraman, TISS, Mumbai; D Raghunandan, Delhi Science Forum, New Delhi; Vijay Prashad, Trinity College, Hartford, USA; Ayesha Kidwai, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Vikas Rawal, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Ananya Mukherjee Reed, York University, Canada; Sudhanva Deshpande, Jan Natya Manch, Delhi; Surajit Mazumdar, ISID, New Delhi; Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata; Atulan Guha, ISID, New Delhi; Parthapratim Pal, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata; Satyaki Roy, ISID, New Delhi; Chirashree Das Gupta, ADRI, Patna; R Ramakumar, TISS, Mumbai; Shamik Chakraborty, IOAP, Berlin, Germany; Ginu Z. Oomen, ICWA, New Delhi; Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode; Arindam Banerjee, CDS, Trivandrum; Srinivasan Ramani, Economic and Political Weekly, Mumbai


(Released by  Rohit, ex-President, Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union, New Delhi) 

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