Now Nuagaon Resists
Something pleasantly unusual happened on 16th February 2013, when the aggrieved and anguished villagers of Nuagaon who were on the periphery of the anti-POSCO struggle had seen demolition of their rich betel vines by company decided now to raze to ground an illegal construction of 180 meters stretch of boundary wall built for POSCO. As people know POSCO constructed the illegal boundary wall ignoring the case that was filed at national Green tribunal. The villagers also destroyed the public relation camp office of POSCO and at the IDCO office held at Nuagaon. They have decided not to allow anyone from the POSCO, district administration or the police into their village. They have even erected a bamboo gate at the entrance to Nuagaon to prevent entry of anyone from today. The villagers did everything peacefully in the true spirit of the anti-POSCO resistance.
For one thing, in the name of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the POSCO has made repeated promises to provide compensation. This was a strategy by POSCO to woo the villagers of Nuagaon. Few of them had been trapped and misguided by these empty promises of POSCO. Now they have realized that the single agenda of POSCO is to acquire their fertile agricultural land and construct the boundary wall. Besides, this has hampered the peace and brotherhood in the area by luring a few youths to work for the POSCO.
POSCO, Administration and the Police are likely to plan their strategies to divide the people. They may even plan booking the notable fighters of the struggle in false cases, particularly those who were not in the site when this incident happened. The authorities may resort again to their dirty tricks. But the villagers look determined not to fall in their trap and allow POSCO in their villages. They need broader support and solidarity to continue the peaceful resistance against POSCO-the devil that haunts a large segment of the population in Odisha.
What's the point of being a citizen? I glory in the title "senior citizen" but have been turned into a supplicant and am being harassed by the inaction of two sets of sarkari people who sit on their back-sides and do nothing—and who do not even answer communications sent weeks or months ago. The Chief Postmaster General, despite this impressive designation, has still to answer a letter I wrote on 30 October 2013. All that the postal people have so far done is bounce my messages among themselves. No action taken and no direct response to me. The National Book Trust (an outfit under the Ministry of Human Resource Development) owes me royalty on a book by my late father. In September they sent—18 months late—a "claim form" which I signed and returned. Almost two months later, my bank account was credited with 73.1 per cent of the sum that was on the claim form. My question about this unexplained deduction has brought no response. Nor have the NBT people told me when they propose to send another year's royalty—which became due over ten months ago.
These are two examples of gross incompetence and a lack of basic decency. In both cases, I marked copies of my communications to bureaucrats and ministers who are nominally responsible. They have not shown themselves to be responsible people. I must pronounce them every bit as incompetent as those whom they are meant to supervise. All these people merely feed on the giant sarkari pie: on the money of the citizens of this benighted land.
Mukul Dube, Delhi
The CPI (Maoist) popularly known as Maoists are establishing their liberated areas only in the traditionally inaccessible forest areas of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Dandakaranya areas of some districts of Andhra Pradesh and the Jangalmahal forests of West Bengal. Now there is little presence in the areas formerly famous that is Naxalbari of Darjeling in the state of West Bengal. They are not present in the plains areas and in industrial areas and urban industrial conglomerations. There is no attempt to relate Maoism to the typically Indian conditions of multi-faceted society with barriers of language, caste and creed divides making unified command and organization difficult. The ruling classes having to their aid the scientific and technological advances of the 21st century warfare, having sharpened their tools of exploitation and oppression, the methods of Mao of 1930s and that of Lenin of 1920s are no more workable. Much has to be done to evolve a theory fitting into the objective conditions obtained in this century. They have to have new tactics and strategies in this high age of communications where mobilizing the forces by the state are easy to crush any revolutionary mass movement.
KMVG Krishna Murthy
It refers to Delhi government scrapping MLA Local Area Development Scheme in Delhi which was grossly misused by some MLAs in projects like fancy-lights and ornate gates rather than on public-welfare schemes. Earlier Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took a lead in abolishing such a scheme in the state. Unfortunately despite adverse reports from Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Planning Commission on terming such scheme for Parliamentarians (MPLADS) as useless and corruption-generating, Union government has not scrapped such scheme for Parliamentarians. Reports reveal that just 45-percent funds were utilised under MPLADS. A Parliamentary panel constituted on a TV sting catching Parliamentarians taking bribe to approve schemes to be funded through their MPLADS funds. The then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee had echoed likewise to scrap the scheme. Supreme Court should intervene to order scrapping such schemes both at centre and in states.
Already Union government has bowed to unjustified demand of Parliamentarians for allowing rupees one crore from their MPLADS funds of rupees five crores annually for transferring to trusts and societies of their choice. Many MPs and MLAs are over-generous to fund their -favourite organisations from this scheme even though such funding may have nothing to do with public-welfare. It may be recalled that trusts floated by the then Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla were generously funded by Parliamentarians from their MPLAD funds. Indian Parliamentarians and MLAs must have capability to get work done for public-welfare from existing administrative-machinery including wisely using RTI Act rather than needing short-cut by way of corruption-generating scheme! It happens only in India that the country has Union ministers who advocate for even better user-friendly licence to corruption for India’s law-makers by suggesting Parliamentarians to be allowed pick contractors for schemes desired by them under MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme.
Vol. 46, No. 37, Mar 23 - 29, 2014