Friday, May 22, 2015

Salwa Judum 2.0? What a disaster that will be

In the last ten years, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and his government have been at pains to claim that the 2005 Salwa Judum had nothing to do with the MOUs his government had signed with the Tatas and Essar the same year, and that it was a spontaneous people’s movement. It may have been coincidence the first time, but to proclaim Salwa Judum II just when Prime Minister Modi announced investment plans for Rs 24,000 crore in Bastar suggests that even Salwa Judum I was a made to order product, a ‘people’s movement’ purchased off some corporate shelf. At the very least, it was manufactured in Delhi, Raipur and in the RSS headquarters in Nagpur, and not in some Dantewada village.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Land Acquisition and Modi in Dantewada

Prime Minister Modi must be commended for visiting Dantewada. But while the last visiting PM recognized its unique biodiversity and culture, Mr. Modi wants to get rid of these as fast as possible.

The government has announced Rs 24, 000 crore investment in the region for a ultra mega steel plant at Dilmilli, and the Raoghat-Jagdalpur railway line among other things. The MOUs are with the public sector SAIL, NMDC and IRCON, but as ongoing construction at the NMDC Nagarnar steel plant shows, many private sector companies like the Tatas have contracts to build specific components.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Any attempt to start Salwa Judum II will be clear contempt of court

"The State of Chattisgarh shall take all appropriate measures to prevent the operation of any group, including but not limited to Salwa Judum and Koya Commandos, that in any manner or form seek to take law into private hands, act unconstitutionally or otherwise violate the human rights of any person. The measures to be taken by the State of Chattisgarh shall include, but not be limited to, investigation of all previously inappropriately or incompletely investigated instances of alleged criminal activities of Salwa Judum, or those popularly known as Koya Commandos, filing of appropriate FIR’s and diligent prosecution."


Judgement of Justice Reddy and Justice Nijjar, Supreme Court of India, July 5, 2011.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Chilling Effect of Restraints

Indian governments in general, and the Modi government in particular, can be relied on to elevate spurious notions of national security or national honour over actual change, just like the green curtains drawn over Ahmedabad’s slums when the Chinese president came to visit. God forbid the world should come to know, via a BBC film, that the saintly Indian man commits crimes against the revered Indian woman.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indian National Interest

Indian National Interest (INI) requires that our environment be ruined, our people displaced, our resources thoughtlessly mined, all for the benefit of foreign companies, and for the private benefit of people in power. This is the only conclusion that we can draw after reading the recent Indian Express revelations on Essar alongside the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) affidavit in the Delhi High Court responding to Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai’s plea that her constitutional rights were being curtailed by the government stopping her from flying abroad to testify before a British parliamentary committee.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Old Old War

http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/old-old-war/2/

It is easy to understand RK Vij’s article  (December 6) as a defensive attempt to keep high the morale of the CRPF. After all, while Maoist cadre are surrendering in larger numbers, there are also high attrition rates among the CRPF. In 2013 India Today reported that 13,658 CRPF personnel left their jobs between 2009 and 2012 tired of their jungle postings, the malaria and the working conditions among other things. While this may not be a large percentage of the force as a whole, and there are plenty more waiting to be recruited in these jobless times, it does indicate a weariness with this endless pointless war. Spectacles of the corpses of jawans being loaded onto garbage trucks or blood spattered boots and uniforms lying in rubbish dumps can hardly induce much enthusiasm. If anyone is violating the ‘human rights’ of the jawans, it is the government.