Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Commanding Cronies of India and the Meek Naxalites

Adam Smith has stated, “The disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful…neglect persons of poor and mean condition…is the greatest and most universal cause of corruption of our moral sentiments”. Indian capitalists have become so strong that the political parties have no other option than to worship them. Crony capitalism has always been a part of this modern industrialized corporate world. But what price are we paying? Are we really electing the government who works for our betterment? Are we living in oblivion that one day our net worth will increase as our country’s GDP is increasing? Are the so called fruits of development really gonna reach us? Is there a real free market regime or we are getting more cartelized? And above all, are we living actually in a democracy or is it just an institutional democracy?

It’s a well know fact, that India faces internal as well as external insurgencies. It’s relatively easier to understand the external threats, maybe because they straight away attack our integrity. I guess that’s what we understand when it comes to internal security as well, when we talk about Kashmir or Naxalite like issues we are made to believe that they are a threat to our integrity, they are the proclaimed separatists. Bu the equation is not that simple. Our Prime Minister has stated that Naxalites are the single biggest internal security challenge. Let’s ask a few questions to ourselves and then see how big this threat is.

Who actually are Naxalites? Are Naxalites and Maoist same?
In 1967, an uprising occurred in a village called Naxalbari near Siliguiri in West Bengal. They had a simple demand of “land to tiller”. They were fed up of being landless agricultural laborers. They decided to distribute the land amongst themselves (following socialism as enshrined in our preamble) and carry on their activity. Somehow the government did not like it, as they cannot allow the poor and uneducated to take decision for themselves. When their whole intelligentsia thinks it is suitable for them to be landless, how in the world they can they decide against it. So police was deployed, and the result was the uprising. So from then, anyone who decided to fight for their rights is termed Naxalite, the biggest threat to our constitution and democracy.
As, every group with political ambitions follow some or the other ideology. Here the ambitions are more administrative than political. Still as their leaders are following the ideology of Chairman Mao, so eventually they all become Maoist as well. Now, if you also like the ideology of Mao you are Maoist and in turn a Naxalite and thus a threat to the nation, you must be killed.

What is Salwa Judum?
As India is incessantly working for our development, so it is one of the major employment schemes in the tribal areas. Here the tribal people who like to follow the government instructions are employed and provided with weapons. Their job is pretty simple…just kill the ones who do not like to follow the government. This is a part of poverty reduction scheme as well. As per the government, tribals cannot bring themselves above the poverty line on their own, and also they are not allowing government to do so, so the best option for them is to die. And thus we also inch closer to the UN Millennium Development Goals, and thus keeping our global obligations.    

What is the government’s interest in that area?
Of course Development! What else the largest democracy in the world wants? They want to teach those uncivilized tribals how to live. As till now they have known the principles of sustainable development, and were able to survive in the jungles for years, but now they do not have the requisite skills remaining with them. They need the state’s support to survive. The industrialists are not pushing them to make the way clear for mining (for the thousands of MOU that they have signed). Our industrialists are concerned more about the people than the money. Government does not give it a damn, if bauxite worth 4 trillion is lying in the hills of that area. We are not a capitalist economy… we are a socialist democratic country, believing in welfare economics. No one is fool to not to understand as simple thing as that. The interest is more of the capitalists, who see the wealth beneath those mountains, and government just acting as puppet in their hands. They do want to through all these creepy creatures out of the forest and dig out all possible ores and minerals.

The cases like Niyamgiri got attention because it received some global support as well, otherwise that area is also supposed to be infiltrated by Maoists/Naxalites, and should therefore be a national threat. The mining has made the life of people living in the jungles a hell, they definitely do not have the know-how to survive in such climate, where the dust full of alien elements fill their lungs and destroy their crops. The shining India needs that mineral wealth to become brighter. The tribals cannot allow this to happen, as it is land they worship, it is the land they admire, all they want is their land to remain their own.

Why violence?
State believes in the Gandhian philosophy of satyagrha and non-violece, so when a policeman comes running to you, having no other intention than to kill you, try sitting on a hunger strike, trust me you will get heard. When a Godman is beaten in the national capital (for whatever reasons), how can a Dogri, Kondh or any such unheard human (considered uncivilized and uneducated) tribe expect itself to be heard from the jungles. When comrade Azad came to carry a few rounds of talks with the government, he was shot point blank. I guess the government was sure that his existence could bring the real issues out. I must make it clear I do not support any form of violence (is it too late to say that? I hope the forces have not already started surrounding me reading the above questions). But when money involved is so huge, and people in the area know, that government is ready to cross any forbidden lines; then survival becomes the only fathomable question. When all possible sort of forces available in the country, ITBP CRPF, BSF, CISF and adding to them the specially designed-to-kill COBRA, GREYHOUNDS,SCORPIANS become hyperactive in the area, then non-violence will only end up giving away your lands. And that’s what they are fighting for, that’s what they are protecting. The sad part is that along with the tribals, the precious army men are lost in this battle for the capitalists. The Dantewada Massacre was done to just send the message to the state that stop flooding the jungles with the army men, don’t convert schools and hospitals into military camps. They also do not like killing, but in this jungle warfare the rules have been laid down, either kill or get killed. But yes, the tribals have two options- either get killed by the bullet or follow our terms and get killed yourself slowly. They have chosen the first path for the fight for their dignity, for their survival and for their existence.
Politicians have made these poor tribal people the enemies of the nation. The media of the country also display a hapless situation, by being sold in the hands of the riches. You will find an energized host shouting at full throttle and asking questions like, why do the Maoist not come out and contest elections and come to mainstream politics? Next time you can tell him “they are not rich enough to pay you”.  The country boasts of its democratic fundamentals, the ministers say we are not a communist government, so we cannot grow fast. The capitalists are making them dictators, and they are paying them handsomely for being so. The power of the industrialists has overpowered the democratic powers. Poor people are paying its cost by giving away their lives. If the state thinks that tribals cannot survive on their own then please let them die on their own. And as u are sure they will die, once they are dead you can fulfill your cartel dreams.     

Here I would like to quote Fali Nariman, “In the relentless march of the history of a nation, there is no second chance. There are only lessons to be learnt from a similarity of situation elsewhere. Dictators take over and establish themselves wherever and whenever the situation in a country goes completely out of hand (in the minds of right thinking people), when law and order breaks down, when politicians will be bought and let it be so known, and (confound them) when once bought, they have not even the residual decency to remain bought!
When settled principles and norms of decent behavior are set at naught, when established conventions are thrown to the winds, no constitution, not even the best-worded, can work.
In such situation, democracy tends to commit suicide.”

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