• kewal sethi

outrage in bastar

outrage in bastar

(written in may 2013)


a campaign to justify the killings at darbha in bastar has begun in right earnest. since the frontline newspapers are as yet shy of doing so, the side newspapers are to be used. one sudeep chakravarthy writing in mint has the article 'mahendra karma and his cynical form of vigilantism' in which he lays the blame on mahendra karma and his organization salwa judum. a sentence in this article is important –'his death should not be used to whitewash his crimes against humanity'. (according to mint, he has a regular column of Friday but the present article was advanced and published on Tuesday, probably in order not to lose time)

and what was karma's crime? he organized a resistance to the maoists who were infiltrating into bastar region. according to chakravarthy, no friend of salwa judum –

local rebel leaders and cadres, in their ideological enthusiasm and their bid for power grab, were dictating nearly every aspect of tribal life—deciding when people could go to the market and, in some cases, even marriages. The heavy-handedness that an ideological drive backed by weapons inevitably brings became an affliction, and resentment against the Maoists be to grow in several areas. not just against members of the dalam or armed cadre, but ably more so against members of the sangham, the militias and the recruitinformation and logistic networks. In a few villages, scuffles broke out between pro- and anti- maoist groups. in one case maoists even attacked villagers from nearby areas who had gathered to decide against cooperating against maoists".


once again according to chakravarthy "he (mahendra karma) toured the area, talked to people, held meetings with important people, with elders…. whipping up anti maoist sentiment till poorly attended meetings became mass gatherings".


salwa judum, thanks to vitriol propaganda against it by the so called human rights activists (actually, in my view, naxalites fifth columnists), persuaded the courts to ban salwa judum taking away the right of self defence which is provided for in indian penal code. but this right cannot be taken away so easily. again to quote chakravarthy, "judum continued in the garb of the koya commandos … in one form or other, the judum writ still runs in southern chhattisgarh".


it was this that the maoists resented and which led to the darbha killings. obviously, this is to the liking of the so called human rights activists. the human rights belong to the naxalites, not to any other citizen. they can be killed in cold blood like nand kumar patel and his son. they wish all speed to the naxalites in their drive to get rid of exploiters. they express satisfaction that naxalites continue to grow. chakravarthy concludes, "for now, maoists remain here in force, intermittently fighting security forces. and karma was hardly the last of his kind". are they hoping, wishing and praying for more darbhas.

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