The Gun Barrel And Bengal…

Captured Maoist Deepak (aka Venkateshwara Reddy) is apparently singing. Like a canary. This is what the controlled leaks would have us believe. And, what’s interesting, the Indian Express flyer on Page One this morning (read here), has an exclusive line into what he’s revealed to interrogators. He has apparently hinted at a power struggle between him and the Maoist leader Kishenji. The story also tries to plant the seeds of future discord (rather insidiously too, but in quite an amatuerish sort of way): apparently, the tip-off to the Kolkata Police seems to have been a “deliberate” leak from someone in the Maoist party.

Now, now…this is such an old and shop-worn trick. The Brits did it during the Independence struggle; so did many others, including Kolkata Police while trying to flush out Naxalites in the 1970s.

But, the story then takes another interesting turn. Deepak has re-confirmed what Kishenji had said in a May 2009 interview to Mint newspaper: that Trinamool did play a critical role in the Nandigram agitation. Kishenji, aka Koteshwar Rao, had also made another stunning revelation then which went largely unnoticed: Trinamool, it turns out, had brought to the table a cache of arms that was substantially large than what the Maoists possessed. An earlier Mocha posting (Time For Another Spring Thunder?) also had a take on it.

I was expressing my disgust and shock about this to a Kolkata resident recently and he seemed to be quite blase about the development. He felt all was fair in this battle to get the CPI(M) out of Writer’s Building. Fair enough. The CPI(M) has ruled over West Bengal for 33 years and that is a recipe for disaster anywhere in the democratic world. But, the question that arises then is: will Trinamool give up its hoard of arms once it assumes power? Or, will TMC use them to return the favour to all CPI(M) members who have pursued and persecuted Mamata all these years?

The gun barrel will continue to cast its ugly shadow over Bengal for some more time.

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