By Gladson Dungdung
15 April, 2010
Soon after hearing the heart breaking news from Dantewara of Chhatisgarh, where 76 CRPF personals were killed in the Maoists attack on April 6, 2010, the India’s Home Minister P Chidambaram gave his resignation saying, “I have no hesitation in saying the buck stops at my desk. I accept fully responsibility for what happened in Dantewara”. Of course he is right; apparently because he is the person who had sent the CRPF personals for preparing the investment roadmap by killing the Maoists as they are the biggest threat to the investment climate that’s what our economist Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh had said earlier.
A brilliant corporate lawyer turned Home Minister P Chidambaram’s odd face had also appeared in the media, shedding tears for the CRPF personals who laid down their lives in Dantewada. But how could the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had accepted Chidambaram’s resignation when his assigned job for preparation of the investment climate has not yet accomplished? As usual, the corporate media did not hesitate in coining Chidambaram as hero of the day merely for submitting his resignation not for his deeds for the nation. But is he? Is it not true that he shed the crocodile tears merely to mobilize the middle class sentiments in the favour of his war against the Adivasis in corporate interest?
Perhaps, the ARMY Chief General V K Singh has unmasked the corporate Home Minister saying that there appeared to be “internal deficiencies” in the training of the personals lost their lives in the attack. Though Chidambaram has rejected it by saying it “incorrect and baseless” but question is how the ARMY chief who is responsible for the security of the nation can talk on the baseless matter? Does Chidambaram know better than the ARMY chief about the security related matters? Of course, he can not be challenged on the matters of the corporate but every one can doubt on his ability on the security matters if he challenges the ARMY chief.
Secondly, the matter of the law and order is the state subject but there were no support extended to the CRPF personals by the local police during the anti-Naxal operation in Dantewara. Thirdly, there is no electricity, good telephone service and other facilities available in the CRPF camp of Dantewara. Ironically, the CRPF personals had no vegetables for last three months. They were having chapattis with mangos available nearby the CRPF camp. In fact, the CRPF camp was established in Dantewara without availability of the required infrastructure, support and facilities. This is how our brave security personals are being treated and our ruling elites shed the crocodile tears when they lose their lives and we also walk with them. Is it not true that the CRPF personals were left to die in an unknown utterly dangerous place without any help of the local police and the villagers? Who is responsible for the loss of 76 brave lives?
Paradoxically, the opposition party the BJP has backed Chidambaram saying ‘it is not the time for a Senapati (commander) to step down. His resignation at this stage would be meaning a victory for Naxalites’. A question comes into one’s mind is whether the BJP would have behaved in the same manner with Chidambaram if the Jehadi terrorists would have done the same damage to our security forces? If the 26/11 can end Shivraj Patil’s career as Home Minister then why should Chidambaram stay back?
However, the Left parties especially the CPI (M) has shocked the most as now Bhudhadev Bhattacharjee has also agreed to work together with Chidambaram and of course, his party is very keen to establish corporate corridor in the so-called red corridor. The people are amazed to see the rights left and centre alliance on the issue of cleansing the Maoists. It is apparent because all these parties are working hard for converting the so-called red corridor into the corporate corridor. Now the corporate houses have also become the election investors therefore our political parties are committed for the corporate interest rather than the people’s interest. Obviously, they are the main actors who run the biggest democracy of the world, where the marginalized have only a day once in a five years to rejoice the democracy and rest of the days they have to face the brutality.
Indeed, the untrained CRPF personals were deliberately put into danger with the expectation, if they are killed by the Maoists that would be the best opportunity for mobilizing the middle class sentiments for using the Army to get the Adivasis land clear for the corporate sharks in the name of cleansing the Maoists. Precisely, because we have tendency to call each and every security person as brave even the person loses his life due to illness is also called ‘martyr’ in the language of ruling elites. Of course, one must have respect for those brave security personals lay their lives for the national but one should not allow the politics to play in each and every matter.
We should also find out whether our security forces are united as we are in a delusion of unity in diversity. According to the prominent Indian writer Arundhati Roy, Indians were never united. Of course, she is right. Even our security forces are never united. One can clearly see that how our security house is divided. Can one imagine for the unity when there is a regular practice of untouchability in the military camps? The caste based kitchens still exit in the military camps. One can find separate kitchen for Adivasis, Bhumihars, Yadav, Rajpur, Pandit and list goes on. Similarly, the caste based forces still exit. Are we still united? Did our Home Ministers, Defense Ministers or the Parliament ever think of cleansing these dirties before they cleanse the Maoists? Only the ruling elites shed their crocodile tears, whenever the damage was done to the security forces by the non state actors.
Our CRPF personals were made to pay the heavy price for the corporate interest in the name of the national security and Chidambaram’s resignation is just a drama to shield his failure, bury the mistreatment of the CRPF personals and also to emotionally mobilize the middle class sentiment for the corporate interest. Indeed, the buck stops at Chidambaram’s desk for what has happened in Dantewara and will continue to stop but will he ever be punished for what he has done to the security forces? The expected answer would be ‘no’ therefore we should expect only the crocodile tears from him and the other ruling elites as well?
Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer from Jharkhand. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org