Yesterday was a ‘small’ high point in the ongoing agitation at Singur. Personalities from the world of art and culture like Aparna Sen, Saoli Mitra, and others paid a visit to the site and spoke to various people.
Late in the night there was a talk on the TV channel, Star Ananda, where Aparna and Saoli appeared.
According to them the disputed 400 acres are still barren – though surrounded with boundary wall – and so perhaps the Tatas could consider vacating that piece and locating the ancillary units across the Durgapur Expressway on the other side.
Should that happen, Aparna and Saoli argued, the 2 holdings on either side of the expressway could be joined with an underpass or an overhead flyover.
If indeed this could emerge as a solution to the impasse, I would stick out my neck and suggest that an underpass may be built because I believe it needs less amount of space. But then it must be sufficiently below the expressway to make room for large vehicles to pass under.
Whatever happens, two things stand out as easily noticeable.
One, a solution may be far off since the two sides harbor deep animosity toward one another – something that has happened as a result of several decades of strong-arm tactics by the left front.
Two, there is an unprecedented media coverage – note the debates on NDTV – ever since Ratan Tata’s statement that Tata Motors might consider pulling out of Singur if agitation persisted.
It is perhaps the case that the Tatas being renowned industrialists have sort of nudged the media to ‘take up’ their case. Whether true or not, the ringside view is it’s not all that bad for Bengal.
Being the industrial wasteland that it is for long, long time media coverage at the national and international level has been very few if any.
The ‘neglect’ is justified since Bengal’s story has been a constant denial of everything positive. So you can’t blame if sane people felt nothing would ‘happen’ here, that there was just no story worth spending time on.
Now, even as I feel a bit elated in seeing the media covering the event for an extended period, there is still my fear of clock turning ‘full circle’. But then there may be – just maybe – a silver lining in the distant horizon.
Which is that Bengal’s common people, fed with the limitations of smallness, may start thinking that being big is after all not bad…it’s rather unavoidable.
To that extent, if events prove so, the current Singur agitation will have done a large favor for this beleaguered state.
Let Singur’s solution be as beautiful..!