When a government assumes a party's voice, democracy is slaughtered, filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh said on Saturday, when he joined activist Medha Patkar in protest against the violence in Nandigram.
Filmmaker Aparna Sen has also boycotted the ongoing Kolkata film festival and joined Patkar's protest.
"Things have gone out of hand in Nandigram and it is time the entire nation raised its voice against the Communist Party of India-Marxist's atrocities," he told rediff.com in an exclusive chat on phone from Kolkata.
"I am a filmmaker, film is my medium. Therefore, I registered my protest by walking out of the film festival held in the city. I visited the site where Medha Patkar is on a two-day fast and I will extend my whole-hearted support to her protest. Rinadi (Aparna Sen) is with me too.
The filmmaker lauded West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi for his 'courageous statement' indicting the state government and the ruling Left for Nandigram incidents.
This is the first time that any governor of the state has openly raised his voice against CPI-M, Ghosh said. "And we salute him for that."
"Hundreds of people have lost their lives in Nandigram, thousands of huts have been set on fire. Who is going to take care of these hapless people? Can the state government justify such heartless violence? Are we living in the middle ages?"
He said if the people of West Bengal do not raise a voice of protest even at this juncture, they will be acting like "soulless hypocrites" who are "blind to injustice."
"We Bengalis are a self-centered lot. We don't feel like voicing our protest unless and until our own existence is endangered. And that is a very wrong attitude. Who can guarantee that in near future me and my family won't be affected by any other Nandigram-like situations?"
The filmmaker sounded shaken by the state government's biased approach to the issue. "I just can't be a part of the Kolkata film festival as I feel any event organised by the state government is bound to be stained by the blood of the innocent people killed in Nandigram violence. We want the entire nation to stand by us to put an end to these atrocities."