While the CPI-M is putting up a stony face on the question of Singur, its student wing Students Federation of India (SFI) is busy answering questions raised by political opponents and apprehensions voiced internally on the issue.
In a booklet in Bengali prepared by the SFI unit at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, nine questions on Singur have been raised and answered in detail, embellished with quotes from Lenin's works.
The booklet – distributed earlier among SFI and Party members in Calcutta - was distributed among SFI members who attended a four-session lecture series at the party headquarters over the weekend. Some 150 members from across the country attended the lectures.
Questions raised in the booklet include one on why the Left is going back on its slogan that land belongs to the tiller.
The answer argued that land reform itself is capitalist in nature because it makes the farmer the "owner" of the land. It added that the current process of industrialisation in WB is also a capitalist process. So, why is it being done? Quoting from Lenin's 'Collected Works', the booklet says reforms are, in fact, a part of the "revolutionary class struggle". And that it gives "breathing space" after the revolution when victory is achieved.
Some of the other questions included apprehensions about food security, the future of unskilled labour under the proposed system in Singur, whether working in the private sector would compromise a farmer's job security and why a fertile piece of land was handed over for industrialisation.
There were two reasons for selling agriculture land to Tata Motors, the SFI booklet said. One, there isn't much non-fertile land available in WB, and secondly, getting land from factories that have shut down would take many years as most locked out factories are mired in court cases.
On the issue of unskilled labour, it said that the government has initiated training programmes where farmers are being taught welding and car repairing among other things.
And what about a farmer’s emotional attachment to his piece of land? When it breaks, it is painful, on the lines of the pain when a woman gives birth, and the government's task is to assuage it.