Naxals in Judicial Wisdom

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“The poor and the deprived people revolt” when “manifest injustices of all forms perpetrated against the weak”, the Supreme Court of India had observed in what is famous as “Salwa Judam” judgment. It had held, “People do not take up arms, in an organized fashion, against the might of the State, or against fellow human beings without rhyme or reason. Guided by an instinct for survival, and according to Thomas Hobbes, a fear of lawlessness that is encoded in our collective conscience, we seek an order. However, when that order comes with the price of dehumanization, of manifest injustices of all forms perpetrated against the weak, the poor and the deprived people revolt… … …”

But the very same fellows who have never condemned Nathuram Godse for having cold-bloodedly murdered Mahatma Gandhi, while demanding death for killers of so-called Swami and Saraswati Laxmananand, whose acts of religious revivalism had breached communal harmony in Kandhamal in such acrimonious velocity that a mayhem had to get rid of him at the cost of peace and tranquility in that beloved land of tribal magnanimity, have been condemning the “the poor and the deprived people” when they “revolt’, their leadership that the Naxals/Maoists constitute.

Laxmananand’s extinguishment forms the crux of a Judicial Enquiry headed presently by a former Judge of Orissa High Court, Justice Naidu. Yet, the Godse admirers and their allies in the pro-rich administration – always eager to perpetrate State-terrorism on progressive people – are one in condemning the opponents of caste-divide in Hindu society in general and Orissa’s icon of modern revolution Sabyasachi Panda in particular, for the homicidal death of the Hindu sectarian leader who was executing a mission of conversion of vulnerable people from other religions to Hindu, oblivious of how Indian Constitution was being denuded of its spirit thereby, even though the commission of enquiry is yet to find out who really was responsible for the death of Laxmananand.
It may so happen, if the Commission of Enquiry acts without any bias, Justice Naidu, who has wanted Sabysachi Panda to be produced before him for study of his role, if any, in the murder and its environment he is inquiring into, may held Laxmananand responsible for his own death.

But, the Godseites have been trying to obstruct the process of free thinking of Justice Naidu by shrouding the Judicial Commission with clouds of libretto that the Naxala/Maoists are criminals.

Had it been so, people would never have punished Manmohan Singh

There was a Prime Minister of India in Manmohan Singh whose Americanism was so shamelessly anti-Nasxals that the people of India have avenged their ruin by throwing his party to such filthy depth of the dustbin of electoral politics that the Congress, despite all its cries before its party-planted President, has been rightly found too stoutly rejected by the people to claim the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, had described the left revolutionaries as “left viruses”. People have punished him and the Congress for this nasty conduct, though in their anxiety to get rid of the Congress they had become so rash that they are yet to extricate themselves from another set-up of supporters of FDI in India, which the middleclass opportunists and ultra-high-rich combine, has brought into power in a climate of conglomeration of rich media and religious revivalism. Lest the Supreme Judiciary, known for its free thinking so far, becomes a hurdle, the new set-up has already taken steps to make it easier for the pro-rich elements entering into the high benches. Yet, it looks pertinent to see what the Naxals are in the wisdom of the supreme Judiciary.

In the eyes of the Supreme Judiciary

In trying to locate the reasons of the growth of Naxal movement, wherein tribal youths are conspicuous by their participation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in ‘Nandini Sundar v. State of Chhattisgarh’ (AIR 2011 SC 2839), have noted: “Many of these tribal youngsters, on account of the violence perpetrated against them, or their kith and kin and others in the society in which they live, have already been dehumanized. To have feelings of deep rage, and hatred, and to suffer from the same is a continuation of the condition of dehumanization. The role of a responsible society, and those who claim to be concerned of their welfare, which the State is expected to under our Constitution, ought to be one of creating circumstances in which they could come back or at least tread the path towards normalcy, and a mitigation of their rage, hurt, and desires for vengeance” (Para 52).

At Para 71 the Court further observed, “As we remarked earlier, the fight against Maoist/Naxalite violence cannot be conducted purely as a mere law and order problem to be confronted by whatever means the State can muster. The primordial problem lies deep within the socio-economic policies pursued by the State on a society that was already endemically, and horrifically, suffering from gross inequalities”.

In the eyes of the Father of Indian Constitution

“We must remove the contradiction (this gross inequality) at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”, Dr. Ambedkar, father of the Constitution had warned while replying to the last debates on the draft Constitution (Constituent Assembly Debates, Volume 8, p.279).

The Supreme Court, in their observation quoted above had to so observe, as the gross inequality between the Indians divided in two parts – the meager numbers of the rich and the massive numbers of the poor – instead of being removed, has become more savagely severe.

As Naxal/Maoist movement has grown against this background, agents of imperialism in power have made rigorous laws like Act No 15 of 2002 that equates the Naxal/Maoists with terrorist and applies the Act to them with retrospective effect.

But, by enactment of this act, the Supreme Court verdict cited supra is not denuded of its wisdom and Dr. Ambedkar’s words of their wise relevance.

Human conscience cannot be suppressed by Laws of Intimidation, whosoever in power frames and enforces them.

Revolutionaries were there, who brought us freedom.

Revolutionaries are there who dare State-terror to bring us emancipation.

Revolutionaries will be there, on whom shall depend people’s liberation from the yokes of exploitation.

And, in true judicial wisdom, not the exploiters, but the ones suffering for saving the people from exploitation, shall always have the right place of importance.

Therefore, despite draconian Laws equating politico-economic revolutionaries with cross-border and communal terrorists, in Judicial wisdom, as per Justice K. S. Ahluwallia of Calcutta High Court. “Naxalism or Maoism is a political movement wedded to violence and the participants thereof are political offenders”, not criminals.

Interpretation of Laws in various Courts by various Judges may differ, but judicial wisdom uttered in cases of politico-economic relevance, such as the ‘Salwa Judam’ and ‘Political prisoners’ cases, cannot be viewed as anything but expressed wisdom in matter of social and politico-economic developmental perspective.

One is to decide how to read between the lines.

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Abduction of Italian in Orissa; Issue Involves Human Rights Not Only of the Foreigner, But Also of Hundreds of the Oriyas

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The abductors of two Italians – one of whom has already been released – in Kandhamal of Orissa, can be condemned for contravention of human rights in their respect.

But, the three demands the abductors have projected as prerequisite to release of the other one from their hostage raise a question as to whether human rights of greater number of people of Orissa violated by the State, deserve equal attention and care or not.

The soil of Orissa has bathed in blood many a times by police bullets in the name of Naxal encounters. But that the police had coined cases of false encounter to cover up killing in cold blood whosoever was found disadvantageous to misrule, has been established by findings of Courts and Human Rights Commission. To honor the victims’ Human Rights at least posthumously, the abductors have demanded that, the police officials involved in those false encounters be prosecuted against and punished.

To keep people intimidated in order to stop any voice rising against exploitation and misrule, hundreds of them are thrown into jails under charges of being Naxals or their sympathizers. The courts have held that the cases lodged against them were false cases and ordered for their release. Yet the police has kept them under detention. The abductors have demanded that innocent and illiterate people thus victimized by the State be released immediately and compensated.

The third most emphasized demand of theirs is release from jails of the supporters of Naxalism as people have every right to support the political economy they deem most suitable for betterment of the country.

Do these demands not demand attention of human rights activists all over the world who really are honest in their purpose?

IF NAXALS ARE FOR COMMUNISM, THEY ARE TO SHUN TERRORISM


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Mainstream communists, hobnobbing with capitalists, even with the direct agents of the imperialists, have almost forfeited their credibility.

Ever since the impatient ultras ripped apart the Communist Party of India and formed the CPI (M), communism has suffered set back in the country where it could have been the natural refuge for the massive majority of the countrymen. There was time when not only the common man in India was dreaming of emancipation by allying with the communists, but also eminent intellectuals, patriotic poets, authors, artists, professors, jurists and lawyers were priding in supporting the Communists. There was time when despite their lower numbers in legislatures, Communists were the politicians that were rated highest in political credibility.

But eagerness to grab power divided the party. And the same eagerness divided the branched off segment leading to subsequent fragmentation thereof in blatant disregard to the urgent need of Communist unity.

The development has become so chaotic that when mainstream Communists are making compromises to capture or stay in power, ultras are using guns in pursuit of power.

Both the syndromes are killing Communism.

People are no more being educated on why Communism is necessary. No time for this. Cadres are shrinking. Confusion is rising. Communist credibility is receding.

Change of this scenario is necessary for the country.

But the mainstream Communists have fallen so pathetically deep in the labyrinth of power that they will no more be able to extricate themselves unless they identify India as a plutocracy and refuse to participate in elections that only help plutocracy to emerge stronger. By refusing to participate in elections, the Communists can generate a shock wave that would make Indians think afresh about democracy and define their duty towards the motherland as was dreamt of by martyrs and freedom fighters.

Mainstream communists should convince the people that their attempts to save India from plutocracy through their parliamentary participation have failed; because elections in a plutocracy further weaken democracy.

So, in order to save democracy, people must first be educated on and against plutocracy.

Participants in elections cannot convince people about this.

Hence, mainstream Communists should declare to stay away from elections and if they really refuse to stand for or plant candidates in any constituency, a new thinking process shall start to save Indian democracy from plutocracy. If they fail to do this, they should be viewed as equal with the capitalists and entirely rejected.

In fact, the people have started rejecting the mainstream Communists because of their participation in electoral politics. This has helped the ultras such as the Maoists or Naxals to grow in stature as they are perceived as people without selfish motive for power.

But their activities are in no way conducive to Communism.

Killing contractors or corrupt officials or small traders or political sophomores is not Communism.

Because of this mistake, the exploitive State has been projecting them as terrorists, even as they are in such restless run that they are unable to educate the people about how the State is exploitive.

On the other hand, by raising guns against individuals they have failed to raise revolution against the capitalist system. This is evidenced in the fact that there is no revolution against the system in the areas they are active. People have stayed distant from them, even though they know; it is only because of them the pro-rich government makes provisions for their welfare.

These ultras are the last hope for our country. They are the ones that are far from electoral politics. They can maintain their aversion to election under the pro-rich constitution. Therefore, they can raise the revolution against the plutocratic system if they shun killing any human.

They ought to understand that the exploitive State might be engaging hired killers to kill persons in their name just to project them as terrorists. As long as they use guns against any in the areas they are active, there would certainly stay scope for misleading the gullible people to believe that such planted killers are also ultra Communists. Thereby distance between the common man and Communism will continue to grow. The real revolution will fail to rise.

Hence, if the Naxals are for Communism, they should shun terrorism.

Freedom Day Homilies and Where to Go from Here


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The day that we call our Independence Day is over. The nation has heard the President on the eve of Independence Day and the Prime Minister as he unfurled the National Flag on August 15. We in Orissa have also heard the Chief Minister on this occasion. Each of them has stressed on a single point that the Naxalites shall be dealt with firmly as they pose the toughest challenge to their administration.

“We will deal firmly with those who resort to violence. I once again appeal to Naxalites to abjure violence, come to talks with Government and join hands with us to accelerate social and economic development,” the PM has said addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, unfurling the Tricolour at Bhubaneswar has declared that the Naxals “will not be allowed” to hinder development. So to both of these leaders, the Naxals are the only obstacle to their brand of development.

Both of these leaders delivered their speeches amid tight security.

Security was for them, not for the general public.

So they know, the development they have prioritized is so anti-people that amidst the general public they need tight security to deliver even the customary Freedom Day speech.

The Naxals, the only obstacle to the development as both of these leaders define, are, as such, admittedly against the anti-people activities of administration. Therefore, they know, despite ruthlessly repressive measures taken against the Naxals, they are enjoying public support and expanding their organization. The PM knows this. He knows that in the States where the State Governments are corrupt and exploitative and distinctly anti-people like that of Orissa, it would be impossible to defeat the Naxals. So, in his speech, he has admitted, “It would be very difficult for any State to tackle this problem without cooperation from the Centre and coordination between States.” But various States are also grabbed by equally anti-people but politically anti-Congress parties. Therefore the PM has argued, “We all need to rise above our personal and political interests to meet this challenge.”

The President has also put her emphasis on end of Naxalism. “The proponents of extreme ideologies and the followers of Left Wing Extremism must abandon their path of violence. I call on them to join national efforts for growth and development,” she has said.

The British was raising such allegations against our freedom fighters and using exactly such homilies to hide its own bloody design behind soft words. It was torturing them, questioning their patriotism, prosecuting them, killing them in false encounters, incarcerating them, deporting them out of their motherland, displacing them from their soil, confiscating their properties and always was claiming that its aim was development of India to which the freedom fighters were the hurdles. In British parlance, Indian revolutionaries were violating the rule of law.

The leaders who have no qualm in handing over India to foreign traders are now using against the Naxals the same words that the British was using against our freedom fighters. This distinguishes the Naxals from the present pack of rulers of India.

As is clear from the PM’s and Orissa CM’s speeches quoted supra, their brand of development is being opposed to by only the Naxals. On the other hand, as the President has inadvertently admitted, this brand of development has been killing India.

The President, in her speech, has rued, “Strong family bonds are weakening. Social consciousness is on the decline.”

So, the brand of development the PM and Orissa CM espouse has ruined our society so much that our family bond and social consciousness are in the process of slow death.

History has witnessed and political science admits that such degradation occurs only under the grip of pernicious capitalism. And the President who is known for her bond with her family is certainly worried over this injury to the spirit of India.

Her speech is a soft but sure disagreement with the Central Government’s brutal plan to exterminate the Naxals by use of arms and the Army. The British was executing such plans against our freedom fighters.

Therefore, our President has said, instead of oppression, solution lies in conciliation.

In her opinion, “It requires a spirit of conciliation. This is possible when dialogue is chosen as the channel for communication. By listening to each other, respecting each other’s viewpoint and understanding one another, we can address issues before us,” she has emphasized. Given the wont of the PM, this particular portion of her speech must be her own, composed on her own wisdom. It requires serious attention, in reality.

In the recent meeting with CMs of the Naxal-hit States, the PM had advanced an agenda, which the Orissa CM has also reflected in his Independence Day speech that accepts that the rural segment must be developed at par with industrial growth for progress of all, though he does not say that progress of the tiger is progress of the deer.

However, his is a veiled confession that his government has so far neglected the rural segment that has provoked Naxals emerge as the aggressive voice of the aggrieved.

And this aggressive voice of the aggrieved has become so resounding that the entire emphasis in the Freedom Day speeches of the leaders of the governments of the day was laid on instigating the countrymen only against the Naxals exactly as the British was using its entire tact against our freedom fighters till forced to succumb to their patriotism.

The right viruses (PM Man Mohan Singh had called the Communists as ‘left viruses’) should better refrain from braggadocios over development and pay attention to what the President has said despite disapproval of violence. India can be revived if they hear the President’s advice.

If instead of oppressive treatment to the Naxals, the rulers put priority on conciliation and agree that not the bullets from the sky as the union home minister has said, but “dialogue as the channel for communication” as the President has emphasized, is “chosen” as the way, then the scenario may change and take a turn towards the cherished democracy.

If they agree, they are firstly to put a shilling on accumulation of wealth in private hands as there is a shilling on lands and secondly to stop industrialists diverting the profit they fetch from India to establish their industries abroad.

If this is done, it may save our people from denudation of their assets and usher in new version of freedom that would free people from every economic menace leaving no room for Naxals to grow in the way they have grown.

The sooner it is done the better. The President has aptly said, “Today is the best opportunity when ground-breaking achievements along with a moral and ethical renaissance can take place.”

Will the servers of foreign firms’ interests that have taken over the country and their associates in Indian politics pay heed to what the President has so softly but so surely said?

MUFP CONDEMNS POLICE RAID ON HOUSE OF JOURNALIST AND WRITER DANDAPANI MOHAPATRA

A large number of members of MUFP family who met under the Freedom Tree this forenoon, unanimously condemned the unwarranted raid in the house of journalist and writer Mr Dandapani Mohapatra at Chungudikhol in Ganjam district on March11, without any search warrant, while Mohaptra was away from home.

Mohapatra is also the General Secreary of Dakhina Orissa Sahitya Sammilani since over past 25 years, and is known for his free thinking and raising voice against corruption and nepotism in the society and administration through his writings.

Mohaptra, who was present at the MUFP meeting narrated how five van loads of police belonging to five police stations, reached his home and virtually terrorised his family members and broke open all the boxes and packets containing books, newspapers and personal documents. They seized some old copies of “Ghadaghadi” magazine (now defunct) and some other magazines, which he had collected and preserved in his personal library. Then the police forced his only son Gautam Buddha Mohapatra to sign on some plain papers. The local Sarpanch was also asked to sign on some plain papers.

During the raid, a police officer had said that Mohapatra’s house was raided because of his links with Naxal leaders.

While returning after conducting the raids for around five hours, Mohapatra informed, the S.D.P.O. Chhatrapur, who was leading the police team, asked Mohaptra’s son to ensure that his father should meet him at Chhatrapur immediately failing which he would have to face serious consequences.

The members of the MUFP felt that this was a deliberate attempt by the police to harass and terrorize the media persons and writers with an intention to shield free flow of news and information, which is a very dangerous phenomenon.

While condemning the police action, the MUFP demanded that the Government should use caution while dealing with media persons and writers and should not harass them physically and mentally in such manner, unless they have enough of evidence against any one. Government should try to realize from the case relating to arrest of Mohana based journalist Laxaman Chaudhury under false and baseless allegations about his ” Naxal link” for exposing misdeeds of the local police, and subsequently the Inspector-in-Charge, Mohana police station had been caught red-handed and arrested by the vigilance sleuths for partnership with a ganja mafia.

OPPOSITION TO OPPRESSION CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh is now known for two things: (1) inaction against price rise and (2) action against Naxalites.

Price rise in health service sector had given birth to Naxalism. Price rise in essential commodities has kept alive Naxalism. Were there no price rise there would have no Naxalite in India.

Price rise is what exploitation is.

Every exploiter finds his / her enemy in the Naxalites. Pressing state power against Naxals is using state power in support of the exploiters. The PM is expected not to support the exploiters; but he is aggressively against the Naxals!

As consumers Indians are severely jeopardized by Price rise. The Country had developed a practice of studying Consumer Price Index to equip administration with analyzed instruments to save consumers from price rise.

But in Singh’s style of administration the Index is not being used to curb price rise. It is being used to sumptuously enhance dearness allowance of government servants to enhance their purchasing power and to equip them with funds to go for costly consumer goods. This is helping price rise getting increased from high to higher. The trading class is easily making massive profit, but the majority mass of the country comprising the landless laborers, marginal farmers, industrial workers and unemployed persons is left in the labyrinth of wretchedness. Majority of Indians is in slow starvation, unable as the commons are to meet the price rise. This abject wretchedness is giving birth to corruption in the grassroots and vitiating the base of India with stark opportunism that man’s survival instinct is bound to bring about.

Whether the PM has understood this or not is not material. Let him understand that human society is a living collective that is bound to oppose oppression. Price rise is a slow killing form of oppression. Man’s opposition to this oppression cannot be extinguished. Hence, instead of steering administration to extinguishment of Naxals, it would be better for the PM to halt oppression by bringing down price rise as soon as possible.

GOVERNMENT GUILTY OF MISUSING POLICE, ALLEGE OPPOSITION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Initiating Opposition observations on demands of Home as well as General Administration, whip Prasad Harichandan alleged that the government is using the Crime Branch as its shield while using the Vigilance wing as it weapon against whosoever is found disadvantageous to its design. No wonder, the Transparency International has concluded that Police is the most corrupt wing of Orissa administration, he pointed out and added, the Government, unambiguously guilty of misusing the police politically, has dragged them to such a sorry state.

He remarked that the Police in Orissa are being looked at askance by the general public as in-charge personnel invariably fail to take up speedy, appropriate, successful action against miscreants. But in reality they are jeopardized by non-provision of essential effects by the Government, he said, showing how absence of adequate manpower and work atmosphere has eclipsed their motivation.

Mr. Harichandan, trading on the Congress line on Naxalism, categorically pointed out that 12,370 posts out of 55,025 approved posts in the State’s Police set up are lying vacant due to habitual nonchalance that incorrigibly afflicts administration under the incumbent Chief Minister. Even the importance of keeping a Director General of Police stable in his post for at least two years to enable him work in perfect pursuit of his action plan is not being appreciated by the Government, he alleged.

When the top Cop is not sure of his positional stability, when as many as 36 sensitive Police Stations are not provided with vehicles and those having allotted with vehicles are in paucity of funds to procure fuel for them, when the available and assured funds for modernization of the Police are not being utilized due to dullness in administration, how does the Home department justify the demands it has placed before the Assembly, he asked.

Mr. Kalpataru Das of the ruling BJD defended the demands by projecting a picture of programs under execution and on anvil for infrastructure improvement to suit the Police set-up. His party colleague Asok Panda, however, advised the Government to appreciate that the Naxal tangle couldn’t be tackled through Police force alone. He emphasized on sincere implementation of welfare measures in rural areas to lessen the scope of Naxal expansion. Dealing with the demands of the GA department, he stressed on retention of the State’s rights over lands being given to BDA and Housing Board.

Members Amar Pr. Satapathy, Anup Sai, Prabhat Biswal, Naba kishore Das, Pratap Kumar Sarangi, Niranjan Pujari, Mamata Madhi, Jiwan Pradipta Das, Jeorge Tirki, Prafulla Majhi etc also contributed to the discussions.

In replying the debates, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik informed the House that extinguishment of Naxal fire is his government’s top priority, which, if not today, tomorrow he will accomplish. As a step towards that 4000 new home guards would soon be appointed with enhancement of their existing wage from Rs.90 to Rs.110 per day and assured engagement from 90 to 300 days a year.