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Maoists Nurse Grassroots

By Raja Jaikrishan

03 June, 2010

The success of evicting Tata from Singur catapulted Mamata Banerjee as the savior of adivasis in Singur. She maintained since that land couldn’t be taken from unwilling peasants. She has humbled the CPM in Bengal, twice –first during the Lok Sabha poll and now in the civic body poll with the support of the Maoists.

By stalling industrialization in Bengal she saved the peasants and Adivasis from the virulent exploitation but not from the violence of CPM cadres, disease and hunger.
Riding piggyback Trinmool Congress the Maoists are inching to Delhi.

Many of her Cabinet colleagues have been incensed by her nuisance politics. They are well aware of the Maoist strategy and are raring to go after the Maoists.
The Maoists have set up parallel governments in many adivasi areas in the Central and eastern India. The ‘governments’ organize collective farming and agricultural research and development, undertake irrigation projects, and build schools, health centers and roads with local materials. The Maoists have developed school textbooks in Gondhi. A real implementation of right to education!

This people –centric development has not eased the pressure of Operation Greenhunt and Salwa Jhudam on them. Security forces are clearing the way for Vedanta, Tata and Posco …to get at the iron ore, bauxite and coal inside the habitat of adivasis in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

In Orissa, besides the Maoists, CPI has taken initiative to lead the non-violent agitation of adivasis against their displacement from the habitat by Posco and Tata.
It is noteworthy that Chattisgarh Chief Minister cleared the Balco occupation of adivasi land after 75 CRPF jawans lost their lives in Dantewada. Home Minister P.Chidambaram threatened sympathizers of Maoists soon after. Like George Bush he talks about development and security in the same breath. The PC, Kishenji exchange over the talks offer has got stuck .The Maoists want ceasefire and PC wants disarming before talks. The Maoists have escalated violence against police informers and security forces.

Union home secretary Pillai wants India Inc doing business in the ‘Liberated Zones’ to make adivasis stake holders. The Army will train counter –insurgency troops to mount pressure on the Maoists.

It was in the Mumbai WSF that Arundhati Roy advocated the locking of offices and factories of MNCs in the country. Five years since, the MNCs have spread to the hinterland and their share values have gone up in spite of the Maoist-led resistance.

The groundswell in the central and eastern India war theatre has not taken other states by storm. MNCs are making hay while media flash protests against them. Their invasion is constantly adding to the long queues of dispossessed and displaced. The upsurge is yet to be the hope of the indebted farmers, jobless youth and underpaid labor and a confluence of people’s agitations.