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Operation Green Hunt fuelled by corporate interests

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Operation Green Hunt is the name assigned to the concerted efforts by the government against the Maoist rebels in the states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

In the first phase of the operation in November in the Kanker district of Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, the objective was to cover the 6,000 sq km swathe of forest called the Abuj Marh, hold the territory and to help and assist the government agencies to initiate developmental work. The seven-phase operations are expected to last for two years. The Central Paramilitary Forces along with special action group (SAG), anti-Naxal special action squads (C-60) of the state security agency and Commando Battalion `for Resolute Action (CoBRA), specially trained in jungle warfare, were deployed for the operation.

According to Home Minister Chidambaram, Operation Green Hunt is purely an invention of the media. The Central Government is just providing assistance by way of central paramilitary forces, intelligence-sharing and technical help.

But what made the government to take such extreme measures against its own citizens? And what has forced these people to take weapons and fight against the state? The unanswered question is whether this problem could be solved by military operations?’

 Maoists are the members of the banned CPI (Maoist), a descendent of the CPI (Marxist –Leninist) that led the Naxalite uprising in 1969 and was liquidated by the government. ‘ They believe that the innate, structural inequality of Indian society can only be redressed by the violent overthrow of the State.’ The Maoists’ guerilla army mostly consists of desperately poor tribal people who are denied the benefits of development and have been mercilessly subjected to exploitation for decades.

The problem of Maoist Naxalism is to be addressed immediately and their destructive activities brought to an end. The Naxalite activities have spread to 90 districts across 10 States in the country. But a military solution to suppress and eliminate the Naxalites and their supporters will never succeed. The root cause for the resistant movements and the people’s agitation should be sorted out which requires genuine efforts on part of the state and central governments.

Studies show that 85 of the country’s 100 poorest districts are in seven of those 10 states. In these ‘disturbed areas’, 32% of the population is below the poverty line. The state governments have a terrible record of delivering public goods and services in these districts. Only 68% of homes in these districts get safe drinking water while in other areas the number is 74%.

The people living in these areas are mostly tribals who never receive the special rights and privileges they are entitled to but are instead subjected to exploitation and caste discrimination.

Even after 60 years of independence they don’t have access to education, healthcare or even drinking water facilities. It is in their desperation and frustration that these people resort to violent protests. For them it is a fight to sustain their life because the government had failed to provide them the basic necessities.

Instead of trying to find a solution to these issues, government has decided to take military action against them. “Chidambaram is not alone in this decision; he represents the interests of the entire ruling class of the country, which constitutes not just the cabinet or the parliament or corporate,” Gandhian activist Himanshu Kumar of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada who has been working in the area for the past 17 years said at a convention in Banglore on November 7.

The mineral wealth of these ‘disturbed zones’ explains the sudden spurge in the military action against Naxalite movements. A  number of multinational mining and steel companies are waiting to get hold of mineral rich land in these areas. It is quite interesting to know that Chidambaram was a non-executive director of ’Vedanta’, one of the biggest players in this game which has a track record of human rights violations and gross environmental damage.

As Arundhathi Roy had pointed out there are bauxite deposits worth 4 trillion dollars in Orissa alone. There are millions of tons of high quality iron ore in Jharkhand and Chattisgarh and 28 other precious minerals like uranium, limestone, coal, tin, granite, marble, copper, diamond, gold, quartzite,corundum, beryl, alexandrite, silica, fluorite and granite. The power plants, dams, highways, steel and cement factories and other infrastructure projects that would be built include hundreds of MoU’s that have been signed already.

Salwa Judum- the people’s militia in Dantewada to fight against the Maoists was formed soon after an MoU was signed by the Tata Group, and was followed by the setting up of a Jungle Warfare Training School in Bastar. The government is alleged to have sanctioned 1,40,0000 hectares of prime land to industrialists for more than 300 Special Economic Zones and was forcibly acquiring lands in the name of public purpose to give it to private corporations.

In the name of counter-insurgency operations, other resistance movements against the state will also be named as Naxalism and swept off. For example in Lalgarh, the Pulishi Santrash Birodi Janasadharaner Committee (People’s Committee against Police Atrocities), a people’s forum separate from Maoists but sympathetic to them is constantly referred to as another wing of CPI(Maoists). All these are clear indications of the nexus between the government and the corporates and their well-planned strategy to silence protests by the people.

 See Also:-

Mr.Chidambharam’s war– Arundhati Roy

On war footing 

Naxalbari to Nalgonda

The road from Naxalbari

Naxalbari(1967) : The Naxalite movement in India

 

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