Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU president compares Nabanna march with 1966 food movement

Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU president compares Nabanna march with 1966 food movement

Biswabrata Goswami

KRISHNAGAR, 4 MARCH: Remembering the martyrs of 1966 Khadya Andolan where Anada Hait, Nurul Islam, Hari Biswas and others were killed by the then state police for conducting food movement, the Nadia district SFI students and leaders today organized a discussion meeting followed by a rally in Krishnagar.

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Aishe Ghosh, JNUSU president and SFI member led the rally said, “ In 1966, several people were killed as they were protesting against price hike of rice and kerosene. In the same perspective, DYFI member Maidul Islam Midhya was killed by the state police as he took part in the march to the Nabanna state secretariat for the demands of employment and food.

This apart, she said it is the time to oppose the anti-people and privatization policies of the Modi-led government.

She said there was growing unrest all over the country as the BJP-RSS was fanning communal passions. “Those raising their voice against the draconian laws are being killed, women are assaulted as never before and the BJP leaders are supporting the perpetrators of such crimes.


The February-March of 1966 witnessed a more fierce food movement in the state than the movement held in 1959. This time the source-place of the movement shifted from Kolkata to districts – involving a greater number of rural people than before and making the small towns and villages, the theatre of an exciting and gruesome drama. Unlike, the movement of ’59, the ’66 movement was more spontaneous and popular. The price of rice reached Rs. 5/ per kg that year. Kerosene, the main domestic fuel for the village people and the city-poor became more and more scarce. To cap it all, Prafulla Sen, the new C.M. after the demise of B.C. Roy, made a unique suggestion in a speech. In view of growing scarcity of rice, he advised the people of state to change their food habit. He suggested that people should shift in their choice: from rice to wheat/flour. He also argued that they could also live on “green-bananas” because it had more nutrition value than potatoes. On the 16th, the police again fired on the agitators at Swarupnagar, killing a15- year-old school-boy, Nurul Islam and severely injuring his schoolmate, Manindra Biswas during a demonstration against the scarcity of kerosene and the steep prices of essential commodities. The news spread like forest-fire. And unlike ’59, this time the people from districts/villages did not assemble in Kolkata to meet their demands but they fought back the police and administration in their different localities. Towns and villages of the southern parts of the state like Bashirhat, Swarupnagar, Habra, Krishnanagar, Ranaghat, Chakdah, Hindmotor, Uttarpara Assansol, Dhubulia, Plassey, Beldanga, Berhampur and many other places saw incessant processions, demonstrations, blockades of roads/railways, destruction of electric points of railways, closure of schools and clashes between the agitators and police, during the month-long movement, spanning between 16 February and 14 March.

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