Friday, October 30, 2009

A new consciousness among the tribal people about their rights over their resources

Before I say anything on naxalite thought of to quote two things from an article published recently in the HT by a professor (whom I also met more than once).

He argues:

  • "Maoists have indulged in most reprehensible acts of violence, and this must be condemned. Currently the debates are squarely focused on issues that have pushed vast sections of tribal people in central India and elsewhere to armed struggle, mostly under the leadership of the Maoists. The fact that a number of such movements are taking place outside Maoist zones and are in defence of their livelihood rights has come to the centre of political discourse.
  • The fact that the Naxalite movement has grown in strength during the past four decades is not because of the so-called laxity in police operations by the state. It is time to recognise that the movement has grown in the tribal areas because there is a new consciousness among the tribal people about their rights over their resources. Attitudes were one of compassion for the "primitive" tribals during the colonial period while plundering their forest products and minerals. Independent India sought to change that attitude to "tribal welfare" and had many schemes under that name. But it too continued the exploitation of the forest resources in the name of national interest. This process got a huge boost after India adopted the path of liberalisation and globalisation."

Just think of these words.

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