A Real-life Thriller
Gobindapur Rail Colony, with its 30,000 population and its ongoing dynamics, could - should - have been a good theme for a novel. If you don't want to write it as a literary fiction (It's not cool in today's market), you can write a thriller out of it.
The colony is dangerously stretched along a rail line. And the people have been living here for about five decades. If you ever board a south suburban train from Sealdah, you cannot miss them doing their daily chores - washing, cooking, eating, shitting, pissing - in the ghastly environs by the railway tracts. Because of the speed of the train, it's not possible to scan the whole scenario, still you feel like puking from your seat. But they look kind of settled in their own ways.
Now they face eviction, thanks to a Kolkata High Court order. They have only two weeks to leave with their belongings. Or their shanties will be demolished by the state machinery.
What's wrong with them? They're polluting the Rabindra Sarobar lake, and its surroundings, according to a PIL lodged with the High Court quite a while ago. The High Court has since then been directing the government to remove the population elsewhere. It being a sensitive issue, the Government was sitting on orders issued at different times. But the High Court now comes up with the final order for the squatters: leave or take the heat.
The order sets off the tension necessary for the thriller. Five top police officers, all ACPs, have now parked themselves in the colony to convince the sqatters to leave the place without any fuss. They're actually registering the names of those willing to leave on their own. Interstingly, not a single man comes up to them for registration. Instead, they're all united, firm in their determination to stick in here come what may, and ready to fight the state with the ordinary weapons they have in their posession. (A TV channel shows the womenfolk of the colony armed with bati, da, khunti, and vowing to fight to the last drop of their blood.)
So, there would be battle and bloodbath. Don't try to read any sub-text here. That would spoil the fun and excitement out of it. Enjoy! I'll be reporting on the run-up to the day of demolition on a regular basis. But are you interested?