Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Maoism is a political concept that wants elimination of socio-economic inequality and is considered aggressive voice against exploitation of the voiceless. There is a striking similarity between the Maoists and the State in dealing with the enemies. The State uses weapons sans any qualms to save the land from geographical aggression in the process of which arrest and death may hit any of the soldiers; Maoists use weapons without qualms, as and when necessary, to save the people from economic exploitation in the process of which they dare the jails and death. Therefore, people, who never subscribe to violence, regard the Maoists as political sentinels. So, arrest or elimination of any of them would not lead to arrest of Maoism, exactly as patriotism never declines or dies when a soldier of India gets captured or killed by the enemy on the border.
Therefore, Sabyasachi Panda’s arrest has ignited massive mass attention.
The so-called mainstream media as a whole is busy in projecting his arrest as a great victory for the State, when religious bigots that support societal inequality have started asking the judiciary to exterminate him through capital punishment. The Chief Minister has put his praise for the Police over his arrest on records in the Assembly, and ruling party backbenchers have taken the opportunity to show how active are they, by hurling abusive innuendos at the leader of opposition whose response to the CM’s statement was that, instead of celebrating Sabyasachi’s arrest, the State Government should concentrate on irradiation of poverty, the issue that had given the arrested Maoist leader his mission and strength, though the way of violence that he had allegedly adopted was inappropriate in the eyes of law.
We congratulate the leader of opposition Hon’ble Narasingha Mishra for his wise words that only a conscience keeper of the people could have told the Assembly.
We recall how eminent persons from various streams, known better for their allegiance to Gandhism, such as Smt. Annapurna Maharana (Cuttack), Smt. Sumitra Choudhury (Cuttack), Smt. Krushna Mohanty (Anugul),Sri Rabi Roy (Cuttack), Md. Baji (Nawarangpur), Sri Ratan Das (Gunupur), Sri Bhabani Charan Patnaik (Bhubaneswar), Dr. Bhagaban Prakask (New Delhi) and Prof. Radhamohan (Bhubaneswar), while appealing him in October 2012 to shun violence, had put on records their high appreciation for his exemplary fight to emancipate the wretchedly poor and Dalit people of the State.
By arresting him, the cause he stands for cannot be curbed. Maoism cannot be arrested.
As we have seen, it is the Maoists ,who, by their aggressive stance, make the capitalist governments provide funds for welfare of the poorest of the poor, as seen in allocation of special and dedicated funds for the Maoist dominated districts by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to whom the Maoists were “left viruses”.
Had there been no Sabyasachis, there would never have evolved welfare schemes like the NREGA. Let me quote a 2010 BBC report to show how these schemes are generated by Maoist activism. It had highlighted what an executive of the scheme had said in these words: “NREGA is the only way forward to take on the Maoists. This is nothing about winning hearts and minds. Its only about giving people work before the rebels come in and convince them that they are a better option than the state”.
Against this backdrop, Sabyasachian issue needs impassioned analysis and recognition as a political issue. His crimes, as alleged, deserve to be defined as political crimes.
True, the police have instituted many cases against him. But, Police cases do not make him a criminal.
Police in the eyes of the Supreme Court
According to the Supreme Court of India, vide Judgment delivered on July 2, 2014 in Criminal Appeal No.1277 of 2014, “the Police has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence; it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public”.
There was not a single freedom fighter including Gandhiji, whom the Police had not projected as criminals and not prosecuted for violence and sedition. That “colonial image” of police, according to Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose of the Supreme Court of India, as quoted above, “has not” changed “despite six decades of independence”.
The media must take note of this.
And, Media …….
Instead of boasting of mainstream tag, the media should adhere to professional ethics, and media persons, instead of acting mindless orchestrators, should refuse to dance to the tune of the media-owning class in denigrating Sabyasachi and the patriotic public should refuse to be swayed away by the versions of administration, which the compradors mostly control; and leave the issue to impartial wisdom of the Judiciary only. And, the Judiciary should ensure that Sabyasachi is not mistreated by the police when in custody, as many apprehend.
India has already experienced
Rare are the persons who suffer for the cause of the victims of socio-economic exploitation and inequality. And for every society, way to emancipation is not paved only by non-violence, as India has already experienced in her struggle for freedom. Maoism shall not be stymied by arrest of Sabyasachi and suchlike; it can end only when the State ends socio-economiv inequality. Two steps are urgent in this regard. One, elimination of caste-supremacism ; and, two, imposition of ceiling on private wealth with retrospective effect to tally with the land ceiling, Indian farmers have been subjected to.