Singur movement to be part of Bengal’s class 8 history book

Kolkata, Feb 13 (IANS) The peasants’ movement in Singur will be part of the history curriculum in schools of the state-run West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) from the current academic session, a senior minister announced here on Monday.

State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee doled out the information while replying to posers during Question Hour in the state assembly.

Describing the Singur movement as a “historic win” for the farmers, the Minister said history books of class 8 would have a chapter on the agitation.

To a supplementary query as to whether the Singur agitation would figure in the college curriculum, he said there were no such plans.

Later, the Minister told the reporters that he had already instructed the WBBSE to ensure new books with the chapter on Singur were distributed in schools across the state.

The iconic Singur movement dates back to the middle of the last decade after the then Left front government acquired 997.11 acres to set up ‘Tata Motors’ small car Nano factory in 2006.

Demanding return of 400 acres to “unwilling farmers” (from whom land was allegedly taken against their will), the then opposition Trinamool Congress led by Mamata Banerjee spearheaded a violent and sustained peasants movement that ultimately forced the automobile giants to shift its plant to Sanand in Gujarat.

Subsequently, civil society organisations moved the court seeking justice.

After the Trinamool came to power in 2011, with Banerjee becoming Chief Minister, her cabinet’s first decision was to return 400 acres to the “unwilling farmers”.

Towards that end, the state government passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, but the Tatas moved the court.

In August last year, the apex court set aside the land acquisition done by the LF government and ordered return of land to the owners within 12 weeks.