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Archive for April 1st, 2010

India: Tribal Village Issues Statement Against ‘Operation Green Hunt’

Posted by n3wday on April 1, 2010

Lalgarh Movement Solidarity Forum

This article was published in the progressive Indian publication Sanhati.

A leaflet from villagers of No. 9 Kenddungri Panchyat region, adjacent to Jhargram, West Bengal

Published by Nishith Mahato, March 17, 2010, Translated by Kuver Sinha (Sanhati)

To the officers drawing fat salaries,

We, all the villagers here, are writing this letter of protest directed at you. We are protesting Operation Green Hunt. Protesting against the horrific oppression meted out to us villagers in the name of catching Maoists. Protesting against the deployment of joint forces, under the declaration that any poor black villager may be a Maoist. We are also protesting against the brutal practice, reminiscent of the time of the zamindars, of imprisoning and assaulting any protest that is not satisfied with alms obtained from the government.

None of you stand in elections. But you exercise full control over the partition and allocation of government funds. The Party-babus we elect, the Panchayat leaders, District leaders, State leaders, Central leaders and ministers we vote into power, they are all blind without you. And that is why these leaders consult you and undertake work that benefits their own parties. And you too distribute a few crumbs amongst us, the poor, and then hang the label “development”. You assume the garb of great givers. And yet, all these schemes essentially profit the industrialist-businessman-big landowner-moneylender-dealer; your friends.

Isn’t that how things have been after Independence, since the time of our grandfathers? The Zamindari Abolition Act, the Ceiling Act – you made so many of them. But the zamindars still managed to collude with you and remained the owners of land. Most of us poor are landless or have gotten miniscule pattas, perhaps a few got one or two Bighas. In the land of the black adivasis-Mahatos, you choked the rivers with big dams. The water went to the rich farmers of Bardhaman-Hoogly-Panskura. The region of the adivasi-Mahatos remained torched throughout the year. You did the math and showed an increase in per capita income, production of food and crops. Your schemes are calculated on the basis that it is sufficient if the poor eat 100 days a year. You said that you would hang the black marketeers from lampposts. Yet everything that the farmer makes has to be bought by him at black market prices. Medicine is not available from the hospital for the last ten years. All of the poor do not get enlisted in your 33 point BPL list. Because either the rich take advantage, or the poor get left out to ensure your 33 percent or 27 percent cutoff remains true. Read the rest of this entry »

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