Government, opposition acting childishly on Singur: Mrinal SenSeptember 3rd, 2008 - 11:43 am ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) Holding both the ruling alliance and the opposition in West Bengal responsible for the Tata Motors’ decision to explore options outside the state for the Nano plant, city intellectuals Wednesday said the situation would not have come to such a pass had the political groups been more accommodating.Veteran filmmaker Mrinal Sen felt the Left Front government and the Trinamool Congress-led opposition acted childishly.
“With all due respect for the government and the opposition, I must say that both are acting childishly. If the government had held talks on special compensation and alternate land and jobs at the time of land acquisition, things wouldn’t have been so bad. As for Trinamool Congress, the entire demand that the same land acquired for the project will have to be returned to the farmers is absurd,” Sen said.
Sahitya Akademi president and noted Bengali litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay was still hopeful of a happy solution, but wanted the political protagonists to be flexible.
“There is an old saying - what is done cannot be undone. The land acquired cannot be returned but the farmers can be compensated well. The opposition must understand that. The government too will have to be more careful when they handle another land acquisition in the state. We cannot do without farming but cannot afford to lose opportunities of industrialisation either,” Gangopadhyay said.
“The only solution at the moment is to come to a mutual agreement. Let there be peaceful ties between the state and the opposition,” he added.
Singer Swagatalaxmi Dasgupta said the government-opposition conflict would tarnish the state’s image.
“All I have to say is that this government-opposition conflict has started diminishing West Bengal’s reputation and in the long run our next generation will suffer due to our politicians’ wrong decisions,” Dasgupta said.
Singer Rupam said: “This is a perfect example of what happens when both the government and the opposition only think about their respective welfare and not that of the state. I wonder how many farmers of Singur actually support Mamata Banerjee’s agitation and are against industrialisation. After Tatas’ withdrawal from Singur, chances of the state’s development are very thin.”
Eminent theatre personality Manoj Mitra says he was not surprised by the Tatas’ decision to pull out from West Bengal.
“This is exactly what we were fearing…Tatas’ withdrawal from Singur will be a major setback for the state. I don’t think any major industrial house will even think of investing in any project here for another 10 years,” he said.
However, legendary film and theatre actor Soumitra Chatterjee blamed the media for the Singur issue.
“The Singur issue is a result of media hype,” Chatterjee said. “Even if the government and opposition parties want to sort out the Singur issue among themselves, the media will not let it happen so easily…after all it’s the question of their bread and butter in the form of scoops and breaking news.”