In This Country Of Cant----10, 000 Dead Do Not Count
By Trevor Selvam
06 March, 2010
Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.
From Four Dead in Ohio, Neil Young
India has a Home –boy Minister who has a Harvard MBA (good for him) and he has been a Vedanta Board member (the outfit that has now become internationally famous and indicted for sleazy, grubby-fingered, anti-environmental politics including dirty mining and forced displacement of tribals). He has also been a lawyer for the mega-scam outfit Enron (all former friends of Richard Nixon, Dick Cheney, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld). He has no regrets that he flirted with corporate criminals and scamsters. Not once has PC Chidambaram expressed any doubts about keeping the company of such low lives. How can one third of India’s population, tribals and aboriginal people, untouched until now by the sleaze and filth of the mall-culture that has taken over India’s urban millions, ever get to level with the “development” angst that this boardroom-MBA “Home ” Minister suffers from ?
The CEOs of Enron are still in jail. India’s Home Minister is not. Nothing sticks to him. Like Bill Clinton, he operates on an “I never inhaled” basis. Like Teflon Bill, we have Teflon PCC. He is dodgy and smooth, despite his nerdy, outsized spectacles and arrogantly Brahminical togs. Like a slippery eel, he asks for a ceasefire for 72 hours, gets an offer (and is temporarily flummoxed) and then starts waffling about conditions. Here was a chance for a cessation of hostilities and all he had to do was pick up his mobile and dial up Kishenji and have a chat. It’s been done before. Nehru met Phizo in December 1951 near Tezpur in Assam, in March 1952 at Delhi, and in July 1952 at Dibrugarh. Of course after that Nehru had him arrested at the Burma border. In 1978, even Morarji Desai met Phizo in London. Even as late as 2008, Delhi was talking to the Hizbul Mujahideen and Jihad Council in Kashmir. Phizo was a “hostile.” The Kashmiri militants want independence from India. The words Naga and Hostile had become inseparable. Today the GOI and the Indian media are desperate to coalesce two words, Maoists and Terrorists. So, what is this infantile game of dishing out fax numbers and school teacher threats? Kishenji does not want to secede from India. According to Teflon PCC, he is a citizen of the country. So why could Teflon PCC not swallow his little home-boy-MBA ego and talk it over with Kishenji? Because he never intended to!
Teflon PCC says he does not understand the Maoists. “They are bizarre” he says. One day after the cease fire offer, he says, they attacked a CRP camp in Kantapahari, Mednipur. Now that is a blatant lie, for a start, now proved beyond any doubt, by the testimonials produced by various civil rights organizations. The truth is simple. Maoists did not carry out that attack and in fact it is the CRPF who concocted the incident to justify the murder of the President of PCAPA. But Teflon PCC keeps peddling this and the Indian media keeps repeating it. Does Teflon PCC check the facts with his Intelligence chiefs before he shoots off his mouth? No, he does not. Because he knows that the loyal Indian press will repeat the lies he dishes out.
The Maoists had actually offered a genuine ceasefire. It was an offer. It had not yet reached the stage of a unilateral declaration of ceasefire. If Teflon PCC had responded immediately and said, “OK, that is the first step for ceasefire for both sides,” it would have been a wise step. It would have been genuine. But, no! Teflon PCC made a soap opera out of it and made his famous “no ifs or buts” statement followed by dishing out a silly fax number. This is typically Bollywood and feudal. “I want it in writing. I want to show it to the world, that I have got Kishenji by the balls! ” Teflon PCC does what Bollywood film stars have always done. Run around trees (read silly words), chase gangsters to screechy music (provided by the voices of Barkha and Arnab) sing a doleful song (Oh! Why Oh ! Why! The Rudeboy Naxalites can’t give up them guns!) and then he plays arm-twisting games with his gangster Chief Ministers, like a Mafia grand council meet. Hardcore Bollywood. Other than the naïve Patnaik of Orissa, all the CMS are talking from both sides of their mouth, like true sub-clans of the Cosa Nostra Indiano. When it comes to violence, “there is their violence and our apostolic police.” Violence is only “Maoist.” The violence of the Salwa Judum, the rape committed by the CRPF is not violence. In the weeks before, when Chidambaram asked for a “72 hour” ceasefire and Kishenji made a counter offer of a 72 DAY ceasefire---on that very day, Teflon PCC ‘s forces dragged the President of PCAPA from his home in Mednipur, shot him dead in front of his relatives and then called it an encounter. As per Chhoton Das, Secretary, Bandi Mukti Committee, “There was no exchange of fire. The joint forces entered the house of Lalmohan Tudu around 11 pm. He was killed along with relatives Yuvraj and Suchitra, who were husband and wife, in front of his mother, wife and daughter, who is appearing for her Class X exams starting today.”
D oes anyone in the media ever bother to get to question the lying, double-dealing, Mengele-like IG of Bengal, Bhupinder Singh on this? No! His word is parroted around the media by all those who have chosen Arnab Goswami as their role model. There is not a single mainstream reporter in Bengal, who has stepped out of his or her shoes and felt the dried and caked blood drops on the soil of Bengal when President Lalmohon Tudu of the PCAPA was shot dead. When the Maoists strike back, it is headlines. Why is it not headlines when the PCAPA President gets shot in cold blood?
Is Bhupinder Singh and Manoj Verma beyond scrutiny? These two shysters announced how Chatradhar Mahato had amassed a fortune, built a house in Orissa and had crores of rupees in life insurance. All turned out to be blatant concoctions. Did they retract? Did Teflon PCC question them? Of course not. He is Teflon coated of course. It is a State government responsibility, after all to question your lying DIG! Nothing sticks to Teflon. It is always a nice dodge.
India has become a country of cant. Lies, repeated lies, distortions, half-truths, plants, perceptions, biases, defensive notions of nation, national pride, national shame come before the objective reality. And to cap it all, there is a new crop of intellectuals who are attempting to cash in on the anti-Naxalite fervour in the mainstream media and posturing as upholders of non-violent struggles. They have had no presence anywhere in Bastar, Dantewada, Lalgarh, Chattisgarh (unlike Himangshu Kumar and others of Vanvasi Chetana) —but they would desperately like to sit around a table with Teflon PCC and hog the limelight, if they could.
10,000 Dead Naxalites is not enough
India’s new ersatz intelligentsia class, who articulate their cravings through the Arnab Goswami/Barkha Dutt generation, do not perhaps know that the government of India and the provincial governments systematically annihilated 10,000 Naxalites between 1967 and 1990. Day after day bodies of Naxalites were found all over Bengal, Bihar, Andhra, Punjab, Orissa, UP, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and other provinces. Floating in swamps, open drains, fields, behind police stations and in forests. Shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs. At that time they were not tribals, like now. They were city and town kids, engineers, doctors, teachers, students, mothers, brothers, grandfathers, daughters, lawyers, salesmen, architects and some were workers. Does Arnab Goswami and other graduates from the school of mendacious and creepy journalism ever bother to look up the past ? Does Barkha Dutt and others in her flamboyant entourage ever have even the slightest pangs of conscience to ask why forty years after the Naxalabari uprising, the number of Naxalites have increased several thousand fold, despite all the obituaries written on them by the CPI(M), the BJP, the various Intelligence and Security Think Tanks and the Dilip Simeons of this world?
During the emergency period, the Tarkunde Commission documented the names of thousands who had been killed in Andhra and Bengal. The APDR document The Real Face of Indian Democracy listed scores of in-custody deaths and fake encounters that resulted in hundreds of Naxalite deaths. Congresman and Indira Gandhi right hand, Siddharta Shankar Ray became the Fujimori of Bengal, before his time. What he did in Barasat and Cossipore would make some of the cases being handled in the International Criminal Court look like neighbourhood squabbles. But Ray is alive and well. Teflon does not stick. It has no memory. That is its special property. Nothing sticks to Teflon. Neither the truth nor the crime. So Teflon PCC is in good company. He is with Teflon Buddha, Teflon Nitish, Teflon Mamata, Teflon Biman and Teflon Manmohan too. They are a club of non-stick fryers of truth and justice.
Forget all the recent incidents in Dantewada of babies’ fingers being chopped off, mass rapes by the CRP and Salwa Judum, chopping off the breasts off 80 year old adivasi women, shooting up or arresting women who have dared to launch court cases against the police for the disappeared (Sodi Sambo). Teflon PCC! let us now talk about the over 10,000 Naxalites who were killed since 1967 to 1990. Was that violence or were those benign accidents?
Is there some lawyer in India who will take up the case of the violence of the Indian State since 1967?