The ill crafted legacy of deprivation and resentment
By: Arjun.R. Shankar & Jacob Oommen Arikupuram
Wise says that chronologically and geographically ‘History repeats itself’, this seems to us like an old age adage. The veracity and authenticity is well proved with the passage of time. Again in the public domain of India as a threat, history repeats itself making all the prophecies true.
Prime minister of India terms this as the ‘biggest internal security threat’ that the country is facing. This has really affected the whole internal domain of India. The situation has really gone out of all reasonable levels of tolerance and limits. These misguided ideologues are obsessed with their so called ultra left romantic notion of violence to smash the system.
Changing nomenclature of the Maoist has raised serious concerns among the people of this country.
Week after week they are unleashing violence killing civilians and officers of the paramilitary. Repeated attacks of such magnitude bears the testimony of their wanton disregard to human lives flouting the country’s guiding principles.
The ideology and the movement have spread rampantly at an alarming rate across different states. The area under operation has increased tremendously.
This is nothing but the real reflection of the truth that millions of people across our country are exploited. In all these places what happens is ‘collective mobilization of inequality’.
As of June 2010 The Indian Govt. has identified 83 districts our country as the most Naxal sensitive areas spanning the different states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh making it the Compact Revolutionary Zone (CRZ).
Since 2005, 1441 Naxalites have been killed, 1647 civilians and 189 security causalities have been reported.
The main scapegoats of all these sponsored crimes are the poor tribal’s of the land who have been ruthlessly exploited and deprived of their basic life and livelihoods. The story revolves around them. This is not the first incident in history that the tribal’s are displaced and exploited. This has the historical element and has the ill crafted legacy of deprivation and resentment.
Tribals have been here around us since the origin of society. They always had a central role in this, though some of them were socially excluded. Since time immemorial they had been subjected to gross exploitation. Since then they had learned to rise against these forces. Tribal uprisings and resentments are not new in our soil. That has happened and is still continuing. They were oppressed during the period of King Siddharaja Jayasimha and of course during the British regime.
History tells us that since 1770’s they had been fighting relentlessly against injustice. The Sanyasis, Kuka, kukis, Santhals, Pahariyas, Khasis are all examples of calibrated uprisings against the oppressors. With the passage of time the socio political climate has considerably changed, but the victims at the receiving end remains the same. Only the oppressors have changed.
Their virtual privation has always helped them to garner unparalleled energy, will and endurance to fight until the last.
In almost all the rebellions and uprisings the success factor rested with an iconic and towering leader who could muster the support and mobilize people to wreak havoc and tremors at the door of the oppressors.
When we flip the coin of history we see leaders who had fought for the tribal’s as well as for their individual gains.
In one sense it is clear that, those who fought for their grievances exploited the poor tribal’s. History proves this well beyond doubt. The iconic king of kottayam
‘ kerala varma Pazhassi Raja’ fought against the British to settle the score of his personal grievance. He used the deprived tribals as his fuel. But at the end The great king definitely had the greater colour of patriotism.
Similarly the Maoists craft their agendas with precision by using the poor deprived tribal’s by ill motivating and indoctrinating them.
N.B: never confuse the Naxals with the tribal’s. Both their aspirations and needs are different.
Weaknesses of the concerned state institutions, abuse of power, gross negligence, utter discontent, structural inequalities and commercial exploitation in these CRZ Compact Revolutionary Areas , has caused aggravated the conditions of the tribals.
Social and Administrative angle
Social discontent was indeed the prime reason along with the corrupt actions and atrocities committed by the officials, police, Forest Dept., timber mafia, money lenders etc.
The formation of Salwa Judum enabling the civilians to fight for the state lies completely outside the realm of legal and constitutional methods.
Large scale mining is one of the biggest reason. The CRZ forest belts are extremely rich in minerals like Bauxite, Limestone, Coal etc.
A recent report says that 1% of the mining contribution to GDP displaces three to four times more people than all development projects put together.
Maoist extremism in many areas is due to this large scale ravaging of natural resources.
Many successive policies and programmes for the tribals are not properly implemented due to malign actions of the bureaucrats.
Foreign interest and patronage
The meticulous planning and audacious executions by the Maoists reflects the genius of their system. These people have access to latest weapons and technologies which is corroborated by the magnitude of various attacks. They have access to sophisticated weapons and technologies which can’t be handled by the illiterate tribal’s. There is certainly a foreign patronage.
Changing Targets-------South India under the scanner
The targets have changed. As the ground realities suggest Gujarat has high chance to absorb this menace.
South India is definitely under the scanner. Kerala for example witnessed a heavy migration of workers from West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh etc at a cheaper wage in the recent times.
This can be an attempt to spread their ideologies and prepare for a future uprising.
Or this can be positive sign as they are the people who have broken the deadlock of stigma, poverty by working and earning money for their family.
These people should be brought under the scanner to avert a future crisis.
POSSIBLE SOUTIONS AND THEIR SCOPE
Always aim for a long term and permanent solution rather going for a short term solution. India as a country took many haste and abrupt decisions to meet many problems.
We need a long term and sustainable solution. But people are very cynical about these as they perceive such solutions as impractical and insensitive.
- Bring them to the negotiating Table: India’s Home Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram has asked them to abjure violence to create the necessary atmosphere to discuss their problem. But their violent and brutal killings never qualify them for that.
They had proved that violence is centre to their ideology. Such a move should be viewed critically as they could use this tactic to buy time or divert the attention of the state to reinforce them.
- Giving them development ?
Many of the people and even the govt. of this country in its two pronged strategy aims to give them development. But the larger question is whether it is feasible to give them development at such a vulnerable stage.
That would be the failure of the govt. and democracy by succumbing to the pressure of a group. This would definitely send wrong signals and set a wrong standard. It will prove that armed rebellions are the good way to achieve demands. We cannot deter other groups as they will also resort to violent and aggressive methods. Jharkhand was carved out after a series of hue and cry by armed pressure. But till now the state has not achieved stability.
These people should be brought to the mainstream the social condition and background doesn’t seem to be favorable for them to reap the benefits of development.
- Should we give them Infrastructure facilities ?
It is a ground reality that there are no doctors, hospitals, schools, roads for the people.
The moot question is “can the problem be solved by giving all this?”
Here comes the clash of ideologies. The wants and aspirations of the Maoists and the tribal’s are different. The biggest irony is that innumerable schools, hospitals roads have been destroyed by these people.
They kill the doctors, blast the roads, and make the schools as their camps.
The real aspirations and wants of the people cannot be met unless the Maoists are isolated from them.
TOUGHEST THING is to separate the ill motivated and the indoctrinated tribal’s from the blood thirsty revolutionaries and win the confidence of the tribal’s.
Game changing equations---- conditionally feasible
- The magic bullet solution is to separate the ill motivated and the indoctrinated tribal’s from the blood thirsty revolutionaries and win the confidence of the tribal’s.
The people should stop seeing the govt. as tyrant and oppressor.
For this the govt. should do its maximum.
The tribal’s are inputs and fuel of the Maoists. That should be severed.
The govt. should effectively implement the Surrender cum rehabilitation programme along with Effective rehabilitation to people displaced by mining and other activities.
Encourage them to come forward and avail govt. help. Only then the option of developmental activities can proceed as there will be a conducive atmosphere.
- Give them EDUCATION---- or else no development schemes can give them benefits as long as they remain illiterate. If they are not empowered more and more exploitation will take place and will lead to other future uprisings.
This becomes a paradox to the statement of District Magistrate of Dantewada Reena Kangale who said “what they need is state support to their traditional livelihood and not roads and electricity for that matter education”. Without education nothing is possible for them. Unless and until they don’t get empowered nothing is going to happen.
· Ensure effective implementation of Forest Act 2009, Scheduled Tribes and Other forest dwellers Act, 2006 and policies like Integrated Tribal Development Programme, Gram Sampark Yojana etc.
Institutionalize the panchayati raj system with more people centric programmes.
This is an internal threat emanating from our own soil and is dangerous than the external threat. The whole issue is a reflection of the fury and sense of outrage that the tribal’s carry in their heart.
This definitely underscores the pathetic situations of the tribal’s and the hiatus that exist between the govt.
The whole issue presents the living manifestation of disastrous negligence.
Convincing is a slow and gradual process and the need of the hour is to make a conducive atmosphere by maintaining strict law and order in the infested areas.
The CRPF should be strengthened to meet the standards to avert any future attack.
We should continuously foil their dreaded plots.
There should be a clarion call for modernization and speedy legislations of the concerned strategic systems in accordance with the changing gravity of the problem. Or else the causalities will keep increasing. It’s better to take speedy decisions
Rather than taking a dawdling step making the issue catastrophic resulting in loss of many more lives.
It’s high time to adopt confidence building measures rather than just paying lip service.
We need positive action and an amicable solution. As this has become cancerous, bloodless solutions are difficult.
The priority is to minimize the causalities….
Development is always the first priority. The larger question that pop’s up is “why are the poor and the tribal’s paying the social cost while the affluent are virtually given a clean chit”?
Wasn’t the Socialist Democratic India set up by ‘we the people of India’ to protect the interest of its people ? ……