Meaning Of ‘Make In India’
Modi in Bastar
Modi’s visit to Bastar was
aimed at expediting the railway construction works. But the people of Rowghat have been opposing the opening of railway lines in the region for the last three decades. Rowghat people are fighting a life and death struggle for their existence, for the protection of environment against anti-people policies of successive regimes. Bauxite is the key raw material for the war industry. And bauxite is abundantly available in the areas of Maoist movement in Bastar. The money bags are craving for extraction of raw materials in many places—for bauxite mining in Buru Bursi in Kanker district, for digging of iron ore in Amdeyametta and Tuladmatta, for the proposed project by Tatas at Lohandigutha. Also for the construction of Jindal Thermal Power Project Llyods and Jindals are eying on the ‘good earth’ in Surjaghad and Dankodi in Gadcheroli. The entire Dandakaranya region has many such mining sites leased out to corporate houses.
In North Chattisgarh (this is also a Maoist movement area), despite people’s opposition many Coal Blocks were auctioned. Rs 7 lakh crore of investment was brought by Tatas, Essars, Jindals, Lloyds, Ambanis, Mittals and Adanis, alongwith foreign corporates in mining in 2009 itself. They brought these big ticket investments with high hope of easy exploitation of massive natural resources in Chattisgarh. Years passed by, but these mega bucks could not reap the dream profits. Hence they approached Modi. The PM Modi came to Dantewada, along with his pet ‘Make in India’ programme. Modi trotted the globe with a begging bowl of ‘Make in India’, supplicating shamelessly the Corporate Bigs to establish industries in India. This is quite unprecedented. No past PM had ever done this before. Tatas, Essars and other big business houses and foreign MNCs are eagerly waiting to invest in Dandakaranya region. Earlier UPA government led by Manmohan Singh represented the interests of big industrialists and now Modi is doing the same with more aggression. What is more the new incarnation of Salwa Judum under Chabindra Karma, son of late Mahenda Karma is sharpening their weapons to teach the people of Bastar a lesson or two.
To improve Indian economy, agriculture should be the pivot. But Modi’s developmental model with ‘Make in India’ campaign has given one-sided emphasis on industry at the cost of agriculture and is driving Indian agriculture to the edge of abyss. The suicides of peasants like Gajender Singh in Delhi—are pointers towards the consenques of pro-corporate policies. The same forces that are responsible for the agrarian crisis, the big businesses, are extracting the natural resources leaving mountains of debris after inflicting permanent damage to human race and environment.
By now, around 4000 foreign corporations are exploiting India, advocating jobless growth. Bailadilla, Kirandul—where iron ore extraction began way back in 1970—are living examples of this growth model. No compensation paid, nor jobs made available to the adivasis. After losing homes and hearths, land and livelihoods, the adivasis of this area are selling their bodies, doing arack (liquor) business, or accepting menial jobs like washing utensils in officers’ quarters or cleaning the streets. No adivasi got any reasonably well paid job in National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). The adivasis are remembering their 1971-72 struggle with grief against their loss of lands and livelihoods.
Modi is urging Naxalites to abjure violence and pick-up ploughs. He is asking the Maoists to spend a few days among the children of Maoist victims’ families. Modi, who was mainly responsible for the massacre of 3000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and also responsible for migrations of hundreds of thousands of minorities, is teaching lessons of non-violence. He is a symbol of violent face to the minorities, to the oppressed. In truth, those who took to guns in Bastar are the offsprings of tillers. They say that only due to criminal negligence by successive governments from Nehru to Narendra Modi, they chose the path of violent struggle. People are being compelled to believe that guns are showing way for fundamental changes in their lives. People feel that their lives are comparatively better now after the arrival of the maoists. From hand to mouth existence, now they are having meals twice a day because of the Maoist movement. From the days of landlessness, now all have their own lands. Now the atrocious exhibition of their naked bodies by the rulers have become extinct. Above all, they say, they are living with dignity. They are under their own rule—Janatana Sarkar.
In the last winter session of Parliament 18 bills were passed. But the LRR amendment bill even in two instalments could not be passed. The proposed Bill to amend the LRR Act of 2013 is being opposed by entire country’s peasantry including Dandakaranya Adivasis. From April 25 to 1 May, Dandakaranya Adivasis observed Protest Week opposing Modi’s notorious Land Bill. Bhamraghad people of Gadcheroli district stays on the roads, cooking their food for days, holding protest dharna. People are reiterating that they need croplands as well as forests. Adivasi peasants are demanding that PESA should be implemented without loopholes.
The district Dantewada that Modi visited has 1220 villages. 75% of inhabitants comprise adivasis only. Nature gave them abundant water resources. But the irony is that, only 2% of adivasi lands have any meaningful irrigation sources. So, they all depend on rains. The peasants are able to harvest only a single crop a year. The greedy rulers never provided any medical facilities to the hapeless tribals of the region.
France, that is facing maximums unemployment rate in Europe at the moment needs Modi’s ‘Make in India’ moment Germany needs it to tide over production crisis. And Obama who was the chief guest to Republic Day Parade celebrations this year needs it. It is not in the interest of the people of Bastar.
Dantewada people have realised the meaning of Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. So they are saying : ‘Payaka Modi Bastar looti Keeyala Vattore’ (Modi came to loot).
Vol. 48, No. 6, Aug 16 - 22, 2015