Riding the Supreme Court verdict to return the Nano factory land back to the farmers, goddess Durga is returning to Singur. While a few clubs will resume Durga Puja this year after a gap of a few years, others will model the pandal on the Supreme Court building to honour the verdict capping a 10-year land agitation.
“We are grateful to the Supreme Court for the division bench verdict that restored the land to us after so many years. We want to express our gratitude said Dipankar Ghosh, an office bearer of Beraberi Friend’s Union, the club that is modelling the pandal on the Supreme Court building.
Another club of Beraberi Purbapara village adjacent to the factory land, Sitalamata Sangha did not organise Durga Puja for the past eight years. They resolved that they will hold the puja again only after getting back their land.
The villages of Berabari, Khaserbheri, Gopalnagar and Bajemelia that surround the 997.11-acre plot of Singur became synonymous with the anti-acquisition movement. It is difficult to find a household in these area where members did not participate in the resistance movement.
On August 31, the villages exploded in merrymaking after a division bench of the court ordered immediate return of the land to the Mamata Banerjee administration to be returned to the villagers.
Villagers told HT that all the puja committees in the locality will organise a community lunch to celebrate their victory. Whether the lunch will be limited to a day, or will extend to three, will depend on the subscription that they will be able to collect.
“The fertile land of Singur has turned into a metaphor of the struggle of the local villagers. To honour that struggle that is now being hailed across the country, we have decided to recreate a slice of agricultural land in front of the pandal to highlight it,” said Manik Das, an activist of Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee that waged the struggle against the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government.
“After our land was taken away, we did not worship Durga,” said Das told HT.
Located in the lower Gangetic plains, the soil of Singur enjoys high fertility. To the farmers the concept of a productive land and mother goddess are intricately linked, and they landlosers thought they were deprived of their mother after the government fiats and police lathis took their land away.