Revolution in South Asia

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People’s Truth: The Lalgarh Revolt a ‘Festival of the Masses’

Posted by n3wday on August 15, 2009

lalgarh_uprising_adivasis_women_india_CPI_MaoistThis article comes from People’s Truth #7 posted on Banned Thought. Thanks to D for bringing this to our attention.

The Lalgarh Revolt a ‘Festival of the Masses’


What has been taking place in Lalgarh during the mid-June period was a festival of the masses. It is a festival the like of which was not seen anywhere else in our country for a long time. People who had been oppressed and humiliated for a long time have stood up with arms, with their heads held high like a mighty storm and are attacking their enemies, and destroying their property, annihilating the most hated among them. The CPI (M) leaders and cadres–the most trusted stooges of the ruling classes, the revisionists and most notorious of the reactionary elements have been rightly identified as the main enemies of the people and they are being dealt crushing blows with ferocity. Never in the wildest of dreams could these enemies of the people think that they would be reduced to such a fate in a state where they had been lording over for more than three decades with sky-kissing arrogance. The heroic people of Lalgarh have targeted those symbols of power—the most hated CPM leaders and goons, those social fascists, their party offices and property. It was a scene worth beholding.

Locals describe the CPM cadre as the government’s rampaging bull. Thirty-two years of CPM has brought about no change in their way of living they say. The dirty primary health centre is in abysmal condition, there is not even drinking water, people have to travel a long distance to get basic medical care, the public distribution system has collapsed, wages are low, there is no infrastructure and acute poverty stalks the land. The chief occupation is agriculture; but there is no irrigation. The pent up anger of the masses has now burst forth.

A Festival of the Masses

On June 14, 2009, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities procession started from Lalgarh, covered 11 kms and took control of 48 villages including CPM party offices in Dharampur—an apparently invincible CPM citadel used by the CPM hermads (armed CPI (M) goon gangs) for launching armed attacks on the people. This was preceded by intense firing between the CPM goons and the Maoist fighters for five days in areas such as Dharampur, Jirapara, Hodhodi and Bhaudi. An unspecified number of CPM goons (around 14) have paid the last penalty for their misdeeds, many such goons left their homes from the battlefront and the Maoists, according to press reports, have seized the weapons left behind by the miscreants. Then they attacked Sijua, a CPM stronghold that would allow them easy access to the Jindal’s proposed steel plant site at Salboni. So decisive was the power shift in Dharampur that CPM zonal secretary Anuj Pandey, a resident of the village and notorious tyrant of that area, had to flee out of sheer panic.

Around midnight on 15 June, 320 policemen vacated their camps in Dharampur, Ramgarh, Belatikuti and Koima. Now thousands of villagers from Lalgarh, where the police had been unable to enter since November 2008, swept into areas known as CPM strongholds. They burnt down the police camps at Ramgarh and Kaima; one CPM party office after another was burnt down by the masses, thereby displaying the pent-up hatred the people nourished towards the CPM leaders. The first wave of attacks hit Koima police camp around 11 am ransacking it, destroying furniture and setting it on fire. PSBJC {Police Santrosh Birodhi Janasadharan Committee} activists had gheraoed the camp for the past few days, leaving policemen posted there without food and water. The police sneaked out at night. Then the PSBJC masses fanned out across 25 sq km area over the next few hours targeting administrative and CPM strongholds. One group ransacked and torched Ramgarh police camp at 2 pm. Two hours later another group attacked Dharampur CPM office and burnt documents. The next target was the palatial home of CPM zonal secretary, Anuj Pandey. The police tried to enter Dharampur on 14th night to protect the CPM forces, after the night long battle on 13th night between the CPM goons and the Maoists. But they had to retreat faced with an army of women and children.

The decision to vacate the police camps was taken at a meeting on Jun.14th night attended by the IG of police and SPs of Bankura, West Medinipur and Purulia. The District magistrate said that the reason for abandoning the camps was unease among the policemen.

One of the most hated of the despicable CPM lot was Anuj Pandey. The time he came to West Medinipur from Jharkhand, he was a person of ordinary means. But gradually through party connections, this fellow minted millions out of the toil and sweat of the people, constructed a palatial building in an area where people have been deprived of the basic necessities of life. He was protected by three bodyguards round the clock, and there was a police camp in front of his palace also. It was he who exercised total control over everything in the area, viz, distribution of pattas (land titles) among the poor in the Dharampur area, clearance of 100 days’  work under NREGS, BPL cards, application for the construction of deep tube-wells—all these and many more were controlled from the Dharampur party office. Votes were looted year after year by intimidation and application of terror. To suppress the opposition, armed hermads were sent from Dharampur by this fellow to Khejuri and Gorbeta. Whenever money came for bringing about development of the area, Anuj Pandey pocketed everything and bought arms and ammunition. In the name of giving employment, he robbed the poor of millions of rupees. The money that came through ‘Indira Awas Yojana’ could only belong to him. Many of those unfortunate ones who stood against or criticized him were killed by his hired goons. He had the last word there. Such a giant of a fellow proved to be a paper tiger, a pigmy and had to flee to save his life from people’s wrath. What happened to that palatial building? It is worth narrating, as it symbolized the destruction of reactionary authority in the area. The men in Alimuddin, we are sure, are spending sleepless nights having nightmares of those days when their party office would be reduced to dust and their leaders would meet with the same fate that the East European revisionist rulers faced after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Anuj Pandey’s palatial house was broken down by the people. This is how an English daily wrote: “The hammer rose and fell, the energy of the man behind it rising steadily as the blows gradually brought down chunks of concrete from the roof. On the first floor, three men were tearing down the fancy grills of the iron railing adorning the balcony. A huge crowd gathered below in an area now under Section 144, lustily cheering each blow that fell on the white two-story house, quite out of place in this land of deprivation under Lalgarh police station. By sundown, the hammers had chopped off the first floor, leaving behind a skeleton of what was a “posh” house in the morning’ (HT, 16 June 2009).  Every punch of the hammer was greeted with the sound of the conch-shells blown by the standing women (Sanbad Protidin, 16 June 2009). To them, it was like a festival worthy of rejoicing. For what was being demolished was the symbol of power, the symbol of oppression and domination. When Mao Tse-tung wrote his Hunan Report in 1927 during the Hunan peasant uprising, he hailed the rural revolution as the ‘festival of the masses’. The adivasi women remarked that for them it was a social festival like that of Dussera when the effigy of Ravana—the villain of the Ramayana epic was burnt down. The women on that day talked about the inhuman treatment meted out to the people by that fellow and stated that their act of destruction was a spontaneous outburst emanating out of their veins. And then to climax it all, the Maoist leader, Bikash, with an AK-47 slung over his shoulder, addressed the press openly and proclaimed their leadership in this expanding festival of the masses (Ananda Bazar Patrika, 16-06-09).

On 17th some Maoists on motorcycles killed three CPM goons right in the heart of their stronghold. These three were leading members of a vigilante force, called the Maoist Resistance Force, set up by the CPM to counter the Maoists and masses. One of those killed was the secretary of the MRF, while another was the CPM branch secretary of the area. This vigilante force, as is the norm, also doubled up as police informers, and was also responsible for getting a number of PSBJC people arrested.

In response to the comments made by some that adivasis have been duped by the Maoists to do such acts of destruction, the leaders of the People’s Committee (PSBJC) replied that the mystery lay elsewhere. The ‘Marxism’ of the CPM leaders and the ‘Maoism’ of the Maoists–both are foreign. Why is it that despite being in power for 32 years, the CPM had failed to win the people over to their side, while the people could grasp Maoism with ease?  In reality, the main thing is neither Marxism nor Maoism, but to remain by people’s side by sharing their weal and woe. They have robbed the people of the money meant for their development and fattened their purse by owning houses and cars, oppressing the people with the help of the police forces and  ‘looting’ votes during elections; the people of Dharampur-Lalgarh have proved that such things cannot go on forever (Bikeler Protidin, 16 June 2009).

To the HT correspondent, the destruction of Anuj’s palace was carried out in a manner which ‘appeared to shake to its foundations the world’s longest surviving, elected communist government’. To him, it was also ‘a small-time rerun of the storming of the Bastille’ (14 July 1789, that signaled the beginning of the French Revolution). What the people of Jangal Mahal have been doing is something which has great historical importance. They have been able to identify their enemies correctly, deal telling blows at them like a mighty storm and have sent them to their graves. The myth of impregnability of the CPM social fascists has been broken beyond repair; the Maoists have already made their presence felt strongly in this part of the country as the only alternative force genuinely striving for the cause of the downtrodden people. Meanwhile the Lalgarh party office of the CPM was destroyed by the people on 16 June, and the People’s Committee has declared that they would extend their movement to Salboni, Goaltore and other areas as well in the near future.

With the mass movement taking on the form of a massive revolt, after seven months of keeping the administration and police out of the area, and with the elections over, the central and state governments began plans for their massive crackdown. Notwithstanding the contradictions that existed between the CPM and the central Congress ministry, they began acting in tandem to crush the rising movement. This was despite the opposition from Mamta Bannerjee, who was now a central minister, and the West Bengal Congress, both of whose single aim is to oust the CPM from power in the next assembly elections.

The Crackdown & Resistance

In the midst of this mass upsurge, by June 16th itself reports began coming in that the central government and the WB state governments are sending 5 companies of para-military forces including one notorious Cobra unit (Combat Battalion for Resolute Action)  supposedly specially trained to deal with the Maoists. It is also reported on 16 June that Grey Hound units of Andhra Pradesh—notorious for torturing and killing Maoists and other fighting people in cold blood — are also coming. With this, the Lalgarh struggle began entering a new phase bloodier than the earlier ones. Mao Tse-tung remarked time and again that it is not the weapons, but people who are real motive forces of history. However powerful the enemy might appear to be, they are no more than paper tigers. The People’s Committee declared that the entry of the central forces would be actively resisted by the people. The CPM requested the centre for six companies but they were given 40 companies — including CRPF, Eastern Frontier Rifles, BSF, Greyhounds and the elite COBRA.

On June 19th the operation began with the helicopters dropping government handbills in Bengali and the local dialect, asking the villagers to fight the Maoists and support the government. The airdrop was from a height fearing being shot down by the Maoists. Simultaneously ground forces, as though in a military operation against a foreign country, began to move cautiously towards Lalgarh. The security forces unleashed a reign of terror in the region. They stripped women and girls, pointed lathis at their private parts, used the vilest language, beat and brutalized innocent men, and smashed shopkeepers and shops that refused to entertain them. Village after village were targeted by the police. In one place women attacked them as they were found urinating in a pond shared by locals for drinking water. At other places they have entered homes of sick people and dragged them out, beating women black and blue and unleashing relentless violence. Young men are being forced to look for landmines. 0theres are being detained with no evidence. Even family members of local Congress leaders or panchayat committees have been beaten up and hounded. Meanwhile, the CPM’s men, including the discredited Anuj Pandey are trying to come back and “recapture the territory” under protection of the security forces.

The imperialist stooge and Home Minister P.C. Chidambaram (once lawyer to the bankrupt company Enron and also on the Board of the mining mafia company Vedanta) banned the CPI(Maoist) and began spewing venom, calling them ‘terrorists’. He insisted on utilizing a British Act (used against the nationalists) to ban the Maoists, under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908, which has much wider provisions than the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He called on intellectuals not to visit the area, to hide from the world the planned rampages of the paramilitary forces on the masses. And when some intellectual went to the area, led by film star Arpana Sen, dramatist Shamili Mitra and poet Joy Goswami around June 21st, the faithful Buddhadeb clamped a case on them for supposedly breaking section 144.

After the banning of the CPI (Maoist) while the left front partners opposed the ban and the CPM did much doublespeak on it, the CPM not only immediately arrested the 60-year old open spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), Gour Chakravati, under the ban clauses, but also roughed up his house and remanded him to 14 days police custody torturing and interrogating him. Before the ban was announced the PM and HM consulted with Buddhadeb and got his agreement. Later Sitaram Yechuri, a PBM of the CPM openly endorsed the PM’s description of Maoists as the “single most serious security threat” and complained of lack of cooperation of the centre in West Bengal.

But for all the hype the forces sent to the area were a panic-stricken force, having faced the wrath of the people since the past six months. The social boycott the faced resulted in not a single person giving water or food to them In fact the policemen at the Lalgarh police station were allowed after four months to take water from a shop in front of the station.

After just four days of the operation a newspaper report said that from day one the state forces, besides battling the Maoists and fearful of guerrilla attacks had to also battle hunger, thirst, heat and lack of sleep. The report, dated June 24th, said: that since the operation commenced six days ago, 3,000 state forces have been marching on empty stomachs. They had reached Midnapore town on Wednesday evening and started for Pirakota at dawn. After camping in the heat for seven hours they were given just a little khichri. While marching again they had to battle Maoists fire and mass resistance from the people. At the end of the first day’s operation they had to camp on the road at Pirrukhuly. They had no food that night and no breakfast the next morning. After walking 7 kms they reached the Binpur camp — where they managed to get water but there was no arrangement for food.

On June 22nd the newspaper reported that the only visible activity amongst the 600 odd policemen camping near the Lalgarh police station was the IGP’s move into the danger zone with 10 commandos — he returned quickly after getting reports of Maoist movement in the area. The state forces are in a state of total panic, but without their initiative the central forces are not familiar with the territory.  One such commander said, “We do not venture out after dark, the forest is very unsafe and we do not even have torches. Let alone searchlights”. The BSF complained that they have been sitting in the same place for 48 hours after sanitizing an 8 km stretch en route to Lalgarh as the state forces are not prepared to move.

On June 19th shortly before noon a landmine went off in Kadashol village. Soon after, advancing columns of Central and State forces came under intensive firing. Many were injured and they had to turn back.  As the battle of Lalgarh began an IED blast hit the Domkal SDPO’s car at Pirakota, critically injuring three police personnel. This was 2 hours after the road had supposedly been sanitized. A culvert was blown up at Nimtala and gunfire was heard near the Lalgarh police station creating even more panic amongst the security forces.

On June 20th a police contingent — heavily armed but without the protection of Central forces — was ambushed at Pingboni (16 kms from Lalgarh) — Rattled by the attack many constables have refused to carryout any operation without Central forces accompanying them. In the 2-hour long battle six were injured. The same area had supposedly been cleared by the Eastern Frontier Rifles the previous day, but they retreated out of fear. In another incident as policemen waited, a large crowd charged at them. Some police rushed forward with lathis, only to scatter as arrows were shot at them. Suddenly a deafening explosion took place as a policeman tripped on a booby trap. This was followed by a hail of bullets and arrows. One sub-inspector and three constables were injured in this surprise attack.

But in some place the police went berserk terrorizing the villagers while in many other places the tribals have all fled to the forests. On June 22nd when the police went to Dhangori village they started beating up everybody. Homes were ransacked and food and utensils thrown about. On June 22nd the newspapers reported that more and more cases of clashes between security forces and tribals are emerging as the battle for Lalgarh enters a crucial phase. On 21st when security forces arrested 3 rebel suspects, they faced a hostile crowd baying for their blood. Scores of men and women resisted these forces as they caught hold of the three. A woman, Rajari Tudu, led the village folk and attacked the BSF jawans with household knives, injuring a jawan.

With shopkeepers refusing to give anything to the police many were beaten up and shops and huts were looted by the police. Even the Panchayat Executive of Banaspahari, Tarachand Soren, was not spared — thrashed and whisked away by security forces. All this ignited further tension in the region. A large number of women came out of their huts and dared the forces on patrol near Negusila police camp.

On June 25th, starting from Goumi Chowk (6 kms from Lalgarh) the PSBJC marched down the narrow gravel path through villages with traditional weapons, beating drums and shouting slogans against the police and CPM.

By June 25th forty companies of the para-military plus the state forces were present in the area, but most were confined to the main roads, too panicky to enter the forests. Few if any of the Maoists have been arrested and neither have the leaders of the PSBJC been apprehended. No doubt the battle will be protracted but justice on the side of the oppressed masses and the Maoists leading them.

Political Equations and Lalgarh

As a fact-finding report (April 12th 2009) says: The people of Lalgarh have expressed their demands in a 13-point charter which involves restoration of dignity and deliverance of justice. There is in addition a 9-point charter which makes specific demands relating to developmental needs like 365-day employment under NREGA, provision of basic health facilities and ration cards under the BPL scheme.

The report also adds: From eye-witness accounts, victims and families of victims we heard that the police was present on several occasions when the Harmad Vahini carried out murders and inflicted injuries on people in Lalgarh. The state administration has taken no action against the perpetrators and made no effort to compensate the victims’ families for these killings and neither have any medical assistance been provided to the injured.

Maoist leaders have sacrificed the luxuries of urban life to live amongst the tribals since over a decade. They have shared the weal and woes of the tribals and rural poor and won their confidence. They have slowly built up leaders from amongst them. Now the Party and the masses are part of a homogenous whole fighting the perpetrators of exploitation and state terror. And it is within this scenario that the ruling class forces of the CPM and the TMC have lately been battling it out for supremacy.

Revolutionary Storm Awaits WB

With CPM terror not confined to the Maoists but also the opposition parties in order to guarantee their vote strength, the sweep of the TMC in the Lok Sabha elections is for the first time in over three decades, shaking the CPM fiefdom as never before. Fed up with CPM social fascist terror and domination, and with no other alternative, the TMC (in alliance with the Congress) is emerging as a strong possibility in the next assembly. In the course of this entire battle the main focus of the two parties has to keep account of the forthcoming assembly elections within the next two years. After Nandigram impact the CPM is terrified of further alienating the masses, so is being more cautious at Lalgarh; while the TMC and Mamta Bannerjee is relatively silent on the Maoists more keen to discredit the CPM and take advantage of the clashes. On June 18th even the Congress spokesperson, Manish Tiwari, called the Maoist violence a backlash against 32 years of cadre raj enforced by the Marxists, saying “when you sow the wind, you can only reap the whirlwind”. These contradictions amongst the ruling class forces and the weakened position of the CPM is no doubt an extremely favorable situation for the revolutionary forces. And this situation is likely to continue till the assembly elections.

Besides this the Singur, Nandigram and now more specifically the Lalgarh struggles have roused to democratic forces in Bengal after three decades of confusion created by the CPM. Democratic minded people have only now come to realize what the Maoists have been saying for years — i.e. the social fascist character of the CPM. Till now they did not realize the nature of CPM terror in the countryside and would only judge it by its hypocritical talk. There has been a big upsurge of support for these movements by democratic and progressive people throughout West Bengal. Many have come to help out in the health centers and other development projects in the Lalgarh area. Intellectuals like Mahashweta Devi said: “send food not forces to Lalgarh. If Chhatradhar Mahatao is arrested I’ll go and sit in a dharna outside the office of Buddhadev Bhattacharya. Whatever the state government is doing is wrong”. She added “The people of Lalgarh have organized themselves to solve their problems. It is a shame that the state government has declared war on a section of their own people. Giver the Lalgarh people BPL cards, drinking water and solar lights and see what happens”.

Unfortunately even now some sections feel that the Maoists and masses under their influence are going too far in killing the CPM leaders and chasing their activists out of the villages. Some have even gone so far as to compare the Maoists attacks as being similar to that of the CPM, ignoring the class content of these attacks. The CPM terrorized the masses in order to loot the people, and now, is still utilizing their instruments of terror (in close coordination with the police) to fight back the Maoists and aroused masses. Without crushing this force survival in the area itself would be impossible. In any revolutionary upsurge the forces of reaction must either surrender to the new people’s authority, apologize for their mistakes, return the looted monies, and stop acting as police informers — or else face wrath of the masses. That alone is justice — not equating the violence of the exploiters and fascists with the counter-violence of the masses and Maoists.  Equating the two does not help the cause of the people to win justice and equality. You cannot look lovingly at a scorpion with the good intention that it won’t bite.

But most genuine democrats are firmly standing with the oppressed masses of Lalgarh. The conspiracy of silence against CPM terror has at last been shattered. There is no doubt that the revolutionary and democratic forces will once again bring to the fore the great revolutionary traditions of the Bengali people — witnessed first in the 1930s in the struggle against the British and then again in the 1960s and 1970s with the path-breaking Naxalbari uprising.

Send Food not Force to Lalgarh – Mahasweta Devi

Food and not force is the answer to solve the Lalgarh crisis. Noted writer Mahasweta Devi has asked the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government not to arrest Chhatradhar Mahato, the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities leader.  “If Chhtradhar Mahato is arrested, I’ll go and sit on a dharna outside the office of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. This is not the time to send forces to Lalgarh,” she told reporters in Kolkata on Monday. “Whatever the state government is doing is wrong. People are fighting unitedly for certain demands. Respect it. The state government has snatched the rights of the people living in Jangalmahal,” she said.

Mahasweta Devi said the Lalgarh movement was another example of the Left Front government’s failure.

“This is one more reason why the government should go. It came with much fanfare but has done nothing for the tribals. The state forest department has protected contractors involved in illegal felling of the trees. This has resulted in the loss of livelihood for the forest-dwellers. There are no roads, no water, no electricity. There is no other state like Bengal where the tribals are so deprived.”

The veteran writer said, “The people of Lalgarh have organized themselves to solve their problems. It is a shame that the state government has declared war on a section of its own people. Give Lalgarh people BPL cards, drinking water, solar lights and see what happens.”

Development Work in Lalgarh

Decades of neglect by the bosses of the CPM who ran this area like their fiefdom, minting money from government schemes meant for the poor, has resulted in the outburst at Lalgarh of West Midnapore district and the neighbouring areas in Bankura and Purulia districts. Led by the PCPA (People’s Committee against Police Atrocities) the people of the area have not only risen in revolt against the CPM, administration and police, but have also taken up developmental works.  They have work through shramdan (voluntary labor), to improve irrigation facilities and roads. They have even set up health centers and schools.

As the Indian Express Reported on June 3 2009:

Having mobilized the villagers to prevent the police from entering the villages in Lalgarh and boycott of the administrative machinery, the PCPA has collected Rs.40 lakhs – its budget for developmental works, it says.

Among the initiatives, stress is being given on irrigation projects like construction of embankments and digging ponds, construction of roads and setting up health centers. In certain pockets, groups of villagers are trying to turn barren or single crop areas into fertile, multi-crop land by introducing proper irrigation. Work is going on in villages like Dharampur, Kumarbandh, Banshber, Dargapara, Junglekhand in Ramgarh and Lalgarh blocks.

The PCPA is currently constructing roads in three areas. A 4.5 km stretch is being laid in Sizua in Lalgarh block, and another 8 km road is being constructed from Birkar to Patisol. A 1.5 km stretch from Dharampur to Sargapara is also being laid. It is also putting up tube wells in several villages of Lalgarh and Katapahari. In Baropelia, where many innocent villagers were allegedly assaulted after the police crackdown there, the PCPA has dug a large pond.

Two health centers have been set up at Katapahari in Lalgarh and at Chakkadoba in Belpahari. Another health centre is being run at Ranibandh in Bankura.

The PCPA has started teaching Alchiki in six schools of Lalgarh and Ramgarh, ignoring the norms of the state education department (i.e. of imposition of Bengali)

When asked about the funds, Mahato said the budget of the PCPA depends on the donations of the people and big donations from Lalgarh Andolan Samiti Mancha in Kolkota.

The Hindusthan Times Reported on June 10th 2009:

“…. a Maoist run state within a state where development for more than two lakh people is unfolding at a pace not seen in 30 years of Left rule. Apart from taking over the organs of the state, most notably the executive and the judiciary, the Maoists have built at least 50 kms of general paths, dug tubewells and tanks, rebuilt irrigation canals and are running health centers with the help of local villagers.

Today priority is to answer a desperate call for drinking water in Borapelia, said a Maoist planner. “We build a tank at least 50-60 ft deep. Otherwise the miserly earth won’t throw up water. But we are planning it to serve like a master reservoir of drinking water.” Apart from this tank many tube wells are being revived. You can see gushing tube wells in the villages of Amdanga, Khairashole, Bahadanga, Pairabila and Shyamcharandanga.

With crores at their disposal over the past decades this entire region has seen no development whatsoever with all development funds being siphoned off by the bosses of the CPM and the bureaucrats. Any dissent was ruthlessly crushed by the goonda vahini of the CPM in league with the police. For all their left talk, at the ground level the CPM was little different from any of the other ruling class parties; in fact in their ruthlessness against the masses they could teach many a lesson to the Congress and BJP.

Massive Increase in Instruments of Repression

As announced in the press on June 29th the state plans a massive increase in expenditure on the para-military — the main force in the country to suppress the masses rising in revolt. The ministry of Home Affairs has asked for a massive hike of 15-20% in budgetary allocation for the current year, which itself had risen phenomenally from Rs.21,634 crores in 2007-08 to Rs25,923 in the last budget. Even a force like the Special Protection Group, which is meant specifically for the protection of the Prime Minister increased phenomenally from Rs.117 crores in 2007-08 to Rs.170 crores in 2008-09.

Not only that, after the Chattisgarh action killing at least 50 security personnel, Chidumbrum announced a huge increase in the CRPF forces by 35,00 from the existing 2.7 lakhs.

The government and media keep talking on the need to curb expenditure on subsidies for the poor but not a word is mentioned on these gigantic wasteful expenditure which if used for the benefit of the masses could bring about a change in their lives.

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