The last week has seen a lot of activity in the streets of Delhi University in the form of protests and public meetings citing the situation of the tribal people and original inhabitants of the central and eastern states. This has come into light as a consequence of Operation Green Hunt launched by the Indian Government in order to stall the activities of Maoist insurgents.
A protest was held at Jantar Mantar on 10th November to resist the much talked about decision and was attended by many students, teachers and workers. They condemned “the impatience of the state/big businesses in the face of stiff resistance from tribals, by launching a full scale war on people who are already fighting an everyday battle for livelihood and surviva”l, as mentioned in the pamphlet which had been circulated around colleges. A student activist in the rally added that “It is our responsibility as youth of this nation to voice our opinions on these sensitive issues. We cannot let innocent people suffer in the cross fire between the state and Maoists”.
Another public meeting on ‘Campaign Against War on People’ was held on 13th November at Viveknanada Statue, Arts Faculty and distinguished journalist Madan Kashyap, Civil Liberties lawyer Prashant Bushan and Saroj Giri, Dept of Political Science, DU were invited for talks. The cultural show was attended by more than two hundred people. The key questions raised in the meeting were the state’s inability to distinguish between the millions of tribals in the area from the Naxal groups who are difficult to identify. Also, the inevitable vulnerability of Maoist-free Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dandewada was highlighted. They claim that the underlying factor is their interest in the mineral rich land of Central India which is also the hub of the Maoist activity. Another pertinent issue relates to the displacement and eviction of the inhabitants and their unsatisfactory rehabilitation in addition to tardy and inadequate compensation. In their view, this would further shrink the possibility of voicing pro people development views on democratic discontent. Though the views of the present academicians, civil rights activists and writers were not wholly identical, they all agreed on the point that the state’s offensive on the Maoists should be resisted as there are several tribals who would be severely affected.
The Government, on the other hand, justifies the need of such an operation in order to curb further movements of the rebels who pose a threat to the internal security of the state. Surprise attacks by them which include guerrilla tactics or the newly adopted mobile warfare have claimed the lives of many police officials and have also endangered lives of civilians.
The overall situation, many concerned students feel , is still shaky and has to be brought under control keeping in mind the security of the country and the provision of basic amenities to the deprived.