Skip to main content

Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: 'Failure' to address Adivasi concern over their natural resources

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 

The brutal Naxal attack on the security forces in Chhattisgarh is a reminder of how the Naxals have amassed huge weapons to 'protect' their zones. It is a complete intelligence failure on the part of both the Central and state governments who allowed this massive assault to happen. This was the same region where earlier the Maoists had ambushed security forces killing them in large numbers.
Chhattisgarh's Congress leadership was virtually wiped out by the Maoist attack in Sukma. If this is a dangerous terrain, then the Central intelligence agencies must ponder as to what is the reason for this continuous failure, because there is no other region where the Naxal attack on security forces has been so intensive.
With this kind of violence, no sane government will appeal for peace. The security forces are expected to follow the 'rule of law' and should do the same. At the same time, no one should encourage them for violating their own code of ethics, because that is the difference between private militias and professional forces, who are there to protect the people and the region.
It has been seen that in the din of avenging deaths, many in the security forces make the ordinary Adivasis their victims. One can only hope that they won't do it this time. Targeting Adivasis and assaulting them for this would be playing in the hands of those who wish to strengthen their narrative against the security forces.
As Naxals have now confined to a few zones, it seems their desperate attempt to assert their 'presence' in the region and the violence unleashed by them will harm the Adivasis and ensure more government money being pumped in for security purposes, thus ensuring entry of the big corporations, which is being resisted by the Adivasis.
It is sad that the real issues have been pushed to the backburner as successive governments have not ensured Adivasis anything new. Their forest rights are under attack, and not much land has been given to them in these regions. Will the government in Chhattisgarh as well as the one in Delhi come out with a comprehensive package to ensure the protection of Adivasi land and their participation in the decision making process of the region they belong to?
The irony is that Chhattisgarh has more outsiders as 'landed' and 'business' people, but the Adivasis and Dalits remain the same. The Adivasis, perhaps, can't even think of having a chief minister from their community in the state, as for all the practical purposes the outsiders have had more stakes in Chhattisgarh than the local people. How long will this inequality be allowed to continue?
Will the government come up with a comprehensive package to protect Adivasi land from corporate loot?
Equally important for the government is to sensitise the Central forces about the sensitivity of the local population, particularly the Adivasis. Treating every Adivasi as a Maoist falls in the trap laid by those who 'glamorise' them as 'revolutionaries' . Maoist violence actually legitimizes the Central government efforts to militarise the zone and hand over the beautiful natural resources to the big corporates.
If the government really wants to eliminate violent insurgency in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, it must address the anxiety of Dalits-Adivasis and ensure their voice is heard in all the decision making processes. There is a need to strengthen the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 or PESA in all the forest zones and provide them autonomy, build schools, and credible public health system. Also, one must ensure that young Adivasi leaders flourish, and their concerns are heard. Without that it won't be possible to tackle the issue of violence.
Most of the jawans in our armed forces as well as para military forces hail from kisan families. One knows their pain, as they have to go in a different terrain, follow the order and lay down their lives. They live in difficult circumstances, and their service terms and conditions too are far inferior to their other counterparts.
Indeed, the internal security battles are extremely tough. Treating them as a mere law and order problem will not work. It is time for our political class to ponder and sit along with diverse sections of people, including the people of this region and other zones, listen to their voices and do the needful.
Adivasi zones need everlasting solutions and such brutal violence only helps those who do not wish Adivasis to live peacefully. Let the Adivasis be given autonomy over their regions to decide about their future and developmental work, and we will see a big change.
Our condolences and solidarity with the families of the martyred security personnel. One only hopes the government will do enough to take care of their families so that they don't suffer in future.
---
*Human rights defender

Comments

Anonymous said…
india is the worlds largest democracy. democracy is also always biased and selective. invariably the disenfranchised suffer in a democracy

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Haven't done a good deed, inner soul is cursing me as sinner: Aurangzeb's last 'will'

Counterview Desk The Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last of the strong Mughal emperors, located in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, has this epitaph inscribed on it: "Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast" (the rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves. For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough to shelter my grave).