By Ashutosh Mishra
Bhubaneswar: Maoist rebels recently ransacked the camp office of a road contractor in the Jagdalpur area of Rayagada district, torching JCB machines engaged in road construction. The radicals left behind posters threatening villagers who cooperated in the project work.
This has become a pattern with the ultras who appear determined to oppose all kinds of developmental work. It is obvious that despite their public vow to fight for the oppressed people they do not actually believe in ameliorating their lives. They certainly do not want them to lead better lives with improved facilities.
The truth is that these votaries of violence have a vested interest in keeping people backward and underdeveloped. The more underdeveloped they are the more their dependence on these gun-toting revolutionaries. It is like politicians having a selfish interest in perpetuating poverty which becomes an easy excuse for them to control the lives of the downtrodden and make them follow their diktat at the time of the election.
Even late Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi’s slogan of ‘ garibi hato’ has been criticized on similar grounds with her critics accusing her of actually ending up increasing poverty ( garibi badhao). The logic is simple—poverty breeds under-development which makes people dependent on doles and consequently on the government sponsoring this kind of charity which is masked as welfare.
Poverty often co-exists with illiteracy which again keeps people chained to their political masters who on their part maintain the façade of being generous and trying to change a lot of the “ unfortunate ones.” But these so-called socialist messiahs of the masses have their own axe to grind—they want a solid and trusted vote-bank which will not fail them at the time of elections. There cannot be a more trusted vote-bank than the poor who cannot take decisions on their own. They remain forever dependent on their political masters.
The Red rebels are no different from these politicians, only they talk a different language, dress differently and have publicly rejected the Indian Constitution. What is significant is that these radicals are particularly against infrastructure development because it threatens their own existence. For example, better roads apart from making the lives of people in the concerned areas better can also facilitate the movement of security forces.
This is the reason they tried their best to stall the construction of Gurupriya bridge connecting Malkangiri’s “ cut-off” area ( now called Swabhiman Anchal) with the mainland. The fear of violence by Maoists scared away several contractors delaying the project inordinately. The bridge would never have seen the light of the day had Naveen Patnaik government not deployed BSF at the construction site to ensure the security of workers and contractors.
The radicals have also been targeting mobile towers in the areas of their dominance because mobile connectivity is seen as a threat by them. In their perception, it can easily help establish communication between police and the people who have so far been living under the shadow of Maoist guns. It is more than obvious that the left-wing extremists who swear by their so-called ‘revolution’ are no friends of the people they claim to protect. The truth is they, too, exploit people for their survival.
(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same)