Maoism a hit at Kolkata Book Fair
Kolkata: A slew of pro-ultra publications, on killed Maoist ideologue Azad and jailed activist Binayak Sen, sold like hot cakes in the two-week long Kolkata Book Fair that concluded Sunday.
Activists brought out booklets containing the writings of Azad alias Cherukuri Rajkumar, about jailed paediatrician-cum-rights activist Binayak Sen, and in support of the Maoist movement in the fair held at the Milan Mela ground.
The Communist Party of India-Maoist is not a banned outfit in West Bengal as it is in many other states.
Booklets like "Maoism, State and Indian Communist Movement", "Dr Binayak Sen", "Prostitutionalisation of Justice: Life term of Binayak", "Azad and his Writings" and `At this Moment" - voicing protest against the government, found buyers aplenty.
In the booklet "Maoism, State and Indian Communist Movement" published by Liberation Publication, and displayed in the Little Magazine enclosure, author Arindam Sen raised the slogan: "Green Hunt: a war against democracy, stand against it."
The tomes on Binayak Sen narrated his ordeal, giving in-depth account of how the Chhattisgarh administration `framed and convicted` him for `sedition` and Maoist `links`.
The booklets appealed to the people to unite against the government, demanding Sen`s immediate release.
The book "Azad and his Writings", published by the Friends of Azad, contains his media interviews, and letters to different social activists. The book also claimed that Azad, the spokesperson of the Maoists, was killed in a fake encounter in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh July 2. They urged people to put pressure on the government to initiate an inquiry for unearthing how he was gunned down.
Maintaining that several writings of Azad still remain unpublished, the publishers appealed to the people to join hands with them in printing all his writings.
"At this Moment" - a periodical published by the United Students` Democratic Front, a students` union of Jadavpur University, contains `Azad Song` narrating how brutally Azad was killed in a stage-managed encounter.
Several booklets were seen rooting for the Lalgarh movement and criticising the government`s policy against tribals.
The booklets flooded the book fair.
This is despite senior government functionaries like Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, West Bengal governor and former national security advisor M.K. Narayanan time and again castigating the civil society representatives and intellectuals not to show sympathy for the Maoists and their cause.
Earlier, Chidambaram had urged intellectuals to refrain from propagating the Maoist propaganda and supporting them, and had even warned that legal actions will be taken against the sympathisers.
"I regret that no representative of the civil society has called for an inquiry into the brutal and unlawful killing of civilians and other acts of depredation committed by the Communist Party of India- Maoist," he said recently.
Narayanan echoed Chidambaram`s sentiments: "Maoism is becoming `fashionable` in some state universities. The ideology appears to be gaining an upper hand in the minds of people. After doctor Binayak Sen`s conviction, the civil society has been very much on the attack, demanding his release."