Why Do The *Tribals of Chhattisgarh Feel Grateful to the Maoists ?
If we want peace in the areas engulfed in violent movement under the leadership of the Maoists , we have to understand why they get a wide support of the local people .*
The goal of the Maoists is not limited to some relief for the people but to radically change the existing system and the society so that everyone may live in peace and prosperity .
They believe that it is not possible to achieve it under the present system .
They also believe that the change required is not achievable so long as the society is divided into classes, and a classless society is not achievable without an armed struggle.
But do the tribal of Chhattisgarh, Odisha,Jaharkhand, Maharashtra, A.P. and West Bengal support the Maoists for the creation of a classless society in which there would be no exploitation and oppression ? The answer is no.
There may be a few who are wedded to the Maoists' ideology , but the rest support them for the immediate goal of living in peace in their own way.
It is even this minimal aspiration which is being thwarted by the government with the tacit support of the rest of the people , which has driven them to support the Maoists because they alone have come forward to stand by them.
In the name of development, the tribal are being deprived of their home, land and their way of life .
They have a way of life , which is not possible if they are driven away from their home and hearth.
They are very different from the migrant non-tribal laborers who have been going to different parts of the country in search of work without a trauma. Displacing the tribal and alienating them from the forest is to destroy them in all but physical sense.
For them, it is actually a matter of life and death. The sudden attack on their way of life is nothing less than a tsunami which uproots them, destroys their culture and abandons them to cry in the wilderness of a hostile world.
They are victims of our notion of development. It is considered quite legitimate to have mining and big industries at the cost of the poor and the weak. Unfortunately, the tribal have lived for centuries where minerals abound.
So, they must be sacrificed at the altar of development What is development to the non-tribal is destruction to the tribal.
What is happening in Chhattisgarh is inhumanity in action.
The helpless tribal are being killed, their women are being ganged raped, their villages are being destroyed and hundreds implicated in false cases.
It is the police ,which has been given a license to kill, rape, implicate the people to in false cases to teach them a lesson with the intent to break their spirit and morale for facilitating 'development'.
As if it is not enough, the rule of law has been dispensed with.
The tribal area of Chhattisgarh is no more governed by the Indian constitution.
Anyone demanding the restoration of the rule of law is branded a Maoist and implicated in false cases.
Anyone visiting the area to expose the tyranny or oppose it is victimized. Lawyers are hounded out by the police .Independent observers visiting Bastar and other areas subjected to brutal oppression are shamelessly accused of murder or of other heinous crimes.
Recently, Prof. Sundar and a few others from Delhi were implicated in a case of murder.
The students of JNU are treated as if they are terrorists from Pakistan, who should not be seen in the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh.
Any independent observer is a persona non grate for the Chhattisgarh administration as if it is a different country and the people wanting to see for themselves the plight of the helpless tribal are aliens.
But is it the Chhattisgarh government alone , which is to blame and shame ? The blame certainly is theirs, but the shame is of India and her people.
What kind of people we must be to support such shameless oppression of the tribal simply because they are different !
What about the indifference of the non-tribal of Chhattisgarh ?
Would they remain so indifferent if they receive the same treatment ? The fate of the tribal is a matter of indifference to the political class.
It is a matter of indifference to the rich ,who reap the benefit of the development.
It is a matter of indifference to the media, which has to serve their masters.
It is a matter of indifference to the urban middle class , which is a beneficiary of the development , and it is a matter of indifference to the rest because, to them, the tribals are not one of them. It is their problem not ours.
Thus, the Maoists are the only ones to stand by them (whatever their reason). What should they say to them ? No, thank you, let the police kill us, rape our women, send our youngsters to the jail and displace us from our homes where we have been living for generations but we wont accept your support because you do not believe in our constitution and our democracy .
LET US HONESTLY ASK OURSELVES WHETHER WE WOULD SAY SO IF WE HAD BEEN PLACED IN A SIMILAR SITUATION ?
*The word tribal is used as a descriptive term and implies no disrespect for the tribals .
* I have no special knowledge of the ideology of the Maoists .Thus , my simplified version of their view and intent may not be absolutely correct .