Sir,For all Indian Citizens with basic knowledge of Constitution, It is painful to read the self contradictory and misleading statement made by no less a person who is an elderly Ghandian and the Governor of Chhattisgarh, Sri. Shekhar Dutt. He is misleading the Citizens by saying that the Tribals in Chhattisgarh had to survive among the Naxals who were brutally attacking them and that KOYA force is essential to tackle Naxals. He was speaking on Monday the 11th April 2011 at the valedictory function organized by College of Defence Management, Hyderabad.
By Constitution, the Governor is the special Custodian of Adivasis, the Tribals. The Tribals in Chhattisgarh were already being brutally attacked by both the Maoists and Government forces. Now, our Governor has added a third force to brutally attack the Tribals through Koya Force or Commandos and SPOs or Salwa Jhudum.
Naxals have neither come from foreign lands nor are even most of them who are now in the field are from outside the area- Chhattisgarh. Most of them are tribals, who have joined the Maoists cadre or willingly and unwilling providing hospitality to the Maoists. Incidentally in Chhattisgarh majority of them belong to Gotti Koya Community with substantial number of Koyas in the cadre. Governor is the custodian of the Constitution in the State and in our preamble; we have made a solemn commitment to preserve National Integration and Communal Harmony. We abhor the British Imperial Raj Policy of divide and rule that was initiated in India by Robert Clive. Not only naming but exclusively organizing the Koya Communities as Koya Force will leave scarred minds and communal disharmony in Chhattisgarh in future generations. It is a dangerous precedence. We never organized Sikh force to fight violence in Punjab or Muslim force to fight violence in Kashmir or for that matter to tackle the so-called “Muslim Terrorists”.
Have our Government Police and other paramilitary forces become so weak to maintain “law and order” that there is a need to provoke and create rift among the local communities that will leave lasting scars in the minds of the communities, especially their Children, whom we saw Internally Displaced to Khammam at Bhadrachalam. In our short interview with them, they never wanted to go to their lands but settle down in Andhra Pradesh.
Is it not a case of poor fighting the poor that too instigated by the Government? Are we Indians not giving a WRONG impression of being invaders like the British, in our own country?
The Law abiding Indian Citizens get genuine doubts if these measures are only to maintain law and order OR employed as extra constitutional agents for the monster corporations that has become too powerful to control even by the Governments, given implicit protection by the Government.
All of us know very well that there is one or more scam behind each development corporate initiative in Dandakaranya? Knowing very well that each MOU is breaking the basic tenets and provisions of the Constitution? Knowing very well that these are anti Gram Swaraj and PESA Acts not respecting them but manipulating grama sabha resolutions by corrupt and coercive means?, Gram Swaraj is a value and culture that was cherished by Gandhi and our National ethos?
We appeal to the Ghandian in the Governor Mr. Shekhar Dutt to reflect on the fundamental deceit of Ghandian thought in nurturing Salwa Judhum (meaning Shanti Yatra- Peace March) with Guns, who should be actually “Shanti Yatris. Does this not look like Gandhi with AK-47 and his followers with guns in his freedom struggles?
(That Salwa Jhudum is also translated as ‘purification hunt’ as followed by local tradition. But to define so in this Maoists context is in no way related to the traditional context. It is a misinterpretation and misleading local communities to make believe.)
Shekhar Dutt Ji, kindly uses the special powers and be reminded of the responsibilities entrusted in you with trust by the Constitution to empower and work in the interest of tribals. Let Gandhian in you “speak out in action”.
What is needed in a conflict like the one between Maoists and the Government being the two sides is the third side to work in the interests of entire tribal community. Ideally, this 3rd side should have been sponsored and led by the Civil Society or Sarva Seva Sangh and SARVODAYA. There are hundreds of Gandhians left helpless and wasted in India. Sarva Seva Sangh and SARVODAYA are potentially dynamic Institutions but maimed to remain under utilised.
It is not late and it is good that Government is ‘funding’ Salwa Jhudum and its avatars/incarnations? Lock stock barrel, without circumventing the orders of the Supreme Court, not only disarm the forged, the Naqli Salwa Jhudum and all shades of it but reorient them to Gandhian Ahimsa Means of active persuasion and passive control in resolving any conflict. Make an appeal and request to the “wasted Gandhians in Sarva Seva Sangh, SARVODAYA and even other movements”.
Organise the Salwa Jhudum Youth in batches for reorientation under one command at Seva Gram and other such centres. Let us even initiate as many Seva Grams in not only Chhattisgarh but in the entire Dandakaranya to begin with. Influence your counterparts in the neighbouring States to join hands with you.
And now “the real- ASLI SALWA JHUDUM” funded by the Government can be lawfully let loose in Dandakaranya preferably under the command of Sarva Seva Sangh and SARVODAYA institutions, which are underutilised by this country. They will help the Government more effectively and meaning fully in maintaining law and order, in this situation.
Not only just that. As Citizens in the area on whose behalf and interest Naxals, the Maoists and the Government are claiming to be working, they can demand a dialogue with both of them leading to eventual choice of Ahimsa way of Democratic resolution of all conflicts effectively in the area.
We should now say that KOYA…rather “Adivasis Peace Force” is essential to tackle not only Naxals but also tackle the injustices that destabilize constitutional provisions pertaining to tribals in Dandakaranya.
13 april 2011
People’s Peace and Prosperity Mission, and
Convenor, Dandakaranya SAHYOG Ahimsa Yatra,
(Under the auspicious of Sarva Seva Sangh and SARVODAYA)
Chatti Post, Chinthur Mandalam,
Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh.