Fear & Loathing
In areas where the government has forfeited its writ to the Maoists and other insurgent groups, a whole generation has been brought up in an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and depravity. They are subjected to extortion and Kangaroo courts.
Their movement is restricted, their interaction is restricted, their communication is restricted, and their occupational choices are restricted. All government plans and programmes reach them after the filtering process of the Maoists or insurgents.
In tribal areas, even worship of traditional deities has been forbidden by the Maoists and have been forcibly supplanted by Mao.
In many areas, no female can refuse to marry an insurgent leader, and cannot marry even otherwise if an insurgent leader has his eye on her.
No development is allowed to take place in the Maoist or insurgency-hit areas. Inaccessibility and backwardness is of critical importance to the Maoists. It is for this reason that they blow up schools, hospitals, bridges, railway tracks and target road construction parties.
A visit to the Red Corridor will reveal huge swathes of agricultural land lying uncultivated because of Maoist ban or threat. The Prime Minister can keep talking about the second 'Green Revolution', but he must realise that it can only take place in a conducive and fear-free environment.
In these Maoist-controlled areas, elections are held under the shadow of the gun and therefore their legitimacy is in question. It is for this reason that the mainstream political parties do not hesitate to tie up with the Maoists to influence votes. The people are very well aware that after the elections, the government will retreat and they will be back to the mercy of Maoist masters.
Image: Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol inside a Maoist stronghold jungle close to West Bengal and Jharkhand bordering the village of Belpahari, some 150 kms. west of Kolkata, on April 8, 2010. Picture copyright AFP. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.