Wednesday, November 4, 2009


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    • Many tribals, failing to find a real leader who can lead them into light, have fallen prey to a few who have made them believe that like Mao, they too will free them from the yoke of a state that has done nothing for them, a state that cannot be distinguished from the colonial regime that preceded it, a state that suppresses them using the same tools of governance that it found demeaning when their reins were in white hands.

      Those few - call them Maoists, Leninists, Naxals, whatever - left a viciously violent legacy, wherever they held sway, be it the Soviet Union, China or Kampuchea. In the last century, they murdered close to 110 million people, many more than the 38 million who were killed in all the wars of the century put together. That is what they will do in India too, should they get power in the name of the people whose cause they are championing. What they did recently in Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere in India should have left no one in any doubt that this path has the same ending, no matter where it is followed.
    • If the bauxite had remained in the mountains, how would Roy have travelled to get her Booker? Now that she has discovered , like a certain Gandhi did nearly a century ago, that to keep her and 'neo-colonialists' like us motoring and flying and connected to the whole world, the tribals of India will have to pay a price that she finds unacceptable, why does she not walk the Gandhi talk? Why does she not begin by making a personal sacrifice to reduce the burgeoning demand for metals and minerals worth trillions of dollars that lie inside the mountains? Will she, or anyone else, like to go back to the lives their ancestors led a few hundred years ago, to save the environment and to effectively ensure that those who have missed the progress bus do not catch it ever? Or would she rather live in a country that follows the development model of, and is run by, the likes of Lenin, Mao and Pol Pot? Does it matter to her that China, not the one that Maoists want to emulate, produces 10 times more steel than India? Have China's tribals paid a heavy price or are they happier, wealthier and better fed than ever before?
    • Why is she not talking about the fact that arms and ammunition that Maoists have require money which tribals don’t have, as she herself admits? Why is she silent about the manner in which Maoists are extorting money from the very corporate houses and mining companies that they are supposed to be fighting against?