Friday, November 03, 2006

Our Family Daity at Cuttack, Orissa, India

Dasabhuja Durga with Lakshi, Saraswati, Ganesh, Kartick and Mahishashur, Year 2005 which is built by my younger brother.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Naxalite Menace - What is the reason?? How can it be solved??

I read the recent discussions in various forums and write up by many others on Naxalite movement in Orissa(India) and it's menace. Here are my 2 cents.
I worked in Koraput district nearly six years from 1970 to 1979 except 4 years in between. The deprivation and exploitation I saw was unacceptable and revolting. Have you read Late Gopinath Mohanty's "Paraja"? Though fictional the story is not far from truth for many people in the district. Many leaders have been killed, jailed and maimed. Yet the movement has survived for nearly 40 years now (from 1967). Obviously the ground realities are creating more revolutionaries as they are being killed, won over or withering away with age. These objective conditions must be changed. And 40 years is a long time. What GOO has done is, raised more OMP platoons and provided them with more and better weapons. Have you seen Nishant, the movie, by Shyam Benegal? Tell me if those conditions persist - how can the resistance to it go away? I am more than 25 years out of the country but when I go back I see that a few have become much richer by out right theft (high level of corruption) and the rest are probably as a percent of population going backwards. The difference between "India" and "Bharat" is on the increase. The buffer, the Gandhians are dieing one by one and the civil society consists of spineless people who say what the Govt of the day, want to hear. To day after 60 years of Independence 600 million people of what I call "Bharat" don't have Food security, health security, shelter security, education security, basic human rights security. It is all available in the law book but not actually for "Bharat" but "INDIA" can buy their way or influence, to get it. For "Bharat" there is no chance because it does not have the money to buy into it. Interestingly for whole of India - "India" is 600 million and "Bharat" is 600 million, i.e. 50/50 but for Orissa it is 75/25. I only hope and wish GOO and GOI will be wise enough to spend 75/25 on breads vs. guns rather than the other way around.In such a case the so called menace would go away. At least I think so. Some will say that GOO does not have money to spend on anything so where is the question of buying Guns vs. Bread come from?

To them I say that this will continue as long as the give away to the MNCs and the big business continues along side continued neglect of the small man and backward areas, for lack of resources. Tell me why should GOO give away iron ore rights to POSCO for less than Rs 250 / tonne, when market price of ore is Rs. 2500 / tonne? The curt answer of our intellectuals is Oh, they will go away from Orissa. Are there no Economics or Business professor in Vani Vihar to advise the GOO, as to what to do, under such circumstances? What the history says? Why Govt of Orissa can't form a cartel with Govt of Chatisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharastra and Karnataka, the only other states of India, who have Iron ore and coal? Instead they compete with each other and bring down the prices? Whose interest thus they serve?
Why can't we learn from what middle east's OPEC has done, since mid 70s when it was realised that Petroleum supply is not infinite? I still remember in 1970 a barrel of oil was $1.32. Today it is hovering around $70.00. Yet GOO seating on 91% of chromite ore is practically throwing away the money that could be used for education, Roads, and other development in the state. And the state is always running short of money, while it gives away the store. I can go on and on. It is a confluence of incompetence, lack of imagination, corruption and lack of compassion which has landed us in this unenviable situation.
Naxalite movement is a symptom of this desease. It will go away once the desease is cured and objective conditions removed.