India vs Indians: Orissa’s Freedom Struggle

Saswat Pattanayak

If laws are meant to protect the people, then the only thing illegal in India must be the Government.

Only a morally bankrupt, democratically inept and humanistically regressive group of parasites can sustain corruptible power through twisted legal clauses organically designed to crush collective aspirations.

It is only logical that a group of vandals in active collaborations with their masters stationed abroad get united to use the name of a country to misappropriate authorities, subjugate millions of informed as well as ignorant people, and repress dissent as though indifferent silence on part of the people were a virtue, enforced cowardice a boon and act of their withdrawal from organized solidarity movement a progress.

Only a perniciously evil group of power-wielders can fantasize about their achievements through stamping out the radical roots deeply embedded within the humanity. Using the shield of a country and the notions of sovereign indivisibility can the ruling class throttle the dissent of its subjects.

MacMohan Singh regime’s control over the Republic of India and Naveen Patnaik’s monopoly over Orissa’s fortunes are instances of despotic tendencies masquerading as democratic setups. When fraudulent acquisitions of natural resources are forbidden even by laws of nature, then governments such as the above are instituted to play debased brokers. And when proscribed negotiations over what is entitled to the indigenous are maneuvered for private profits, legal injunctions are recreated by the State powers to arrogate the land, and assault the people.

Recent interventions by the Government of India to clamp down on the democratic rights of the dispossessed by prescribing 10 years imprisonment for any person who supports whoever the ruling classes feel free to declare as terrorists, is an incursion into a historical territory that must serve as a warning to the rulers and as a weapon for the ruled.

Indian government’s frontal assaults on a freethinking people’s ability to challenge administrative and police atrocities in their own lands is not of recent origin. Throughout its history, Indian subcontinent has been subjected to arbitrary rules by opportunistic royalists, colonialists and democrats. And all throughout, the majority of people have suffered immensely, dispossessed for the most part as they had been rendered.

The biggest sufferers of organized State assaults have been the indigenous. From the days of the Aryan invaders, to the trickery of the British traders, to electoral victories of the domestic capitalist class in cohort with Western imperialistic powers – the idea of India has triumphed at the expense of the Indians.

The indigenous tillers and cultivators, the forest dwellers, the river worshippers, the upholders of matriarchy, the huge majority of Indian population have been constantly harassed by their feudal lords – of various colors and races. And yet, never have the poorest section of the society suffered silently. Through rebellions and revolutions, through armed struggles and insurgencies, they have fought back against the perpetrators.

The peasants and the factory workers of India, the landless and the dispossessed of the biggest so-called democracy in the world, those that are the refugees in their own lands, who cultivate and yet never benefit, who withstand the worst natural calamities and yet commit suicides to avoid corporate banking penalties, those that consider their children as their only treasures and yet have to put them up on sale so the children can survive the bureaucratic assaults, those that tend to the forests and the rivers only to witness them being snatched away by the agents of the government at the behest of multinational firms – these are the people who have always known that they shall lose the battles against the mammoth militia, sponsored by unaudited parliamentary budgets. And yet, these are the people, the working poor that constitute the unfortunate majority of Indians, who have never given up in their resolution to fight the power.

They fight the power braving the scorching sun, bringing along bows and arrows, organizing in hand-weaved red flags, lining up to raise their voices, dry and hungry, with babies in arms, soiled towels to wipe away the sweats off the forehead. They miss several meals, several more working days in protesting against the encroachment of their lands. The lands that are their own, are the only thing they call their own. Without their lands, they are landless in settlements and statistics in slums. Just as India’s sovereignty is supreme with the states and union territories intact and untouched by foreign powers, their sovereignty is equally a matter of pride and dignity. After all, they are the majority Indians.

They are the Indians that weakened the feudal structures, fought the exploitative kings, organized the movements against the British, and finally led India to a new awakening in 1947. And yet, the majority Indians are the unfree Indians. Little did they know that the concept of freedom is not universally applicable. That, equality and liberty do not distribute as democratically as the electoral promises of the free Indians.

The free Indians are different species altogether, forever exulting in their personal achievements, in career growths and televised glories. The free Indians are forever expanding their ambitions and territorial profit schemes. The free Indians are represented by political parties that actually work for them to set up engineering colleges and international airports. The free Indians read newspapers and watch television channels that reward the industrialists, update dinner minutes between Singh and Obama, immortalize Ratan Tata, interviews Anil Agarwal and manufactures opinion polls among urban youths that reestablishes the credibilities of Naveen Patnaik.

The free Indians are the ones for whom the country exists, the law and order system exists, the educational infrastructure exists, the collaborative business model exists. Even the official political parties – right, left and centrists – exist. The conversation about the country is an exclusive conversation among the free Indians.

During one such exclusive conversation among the free Indians, it has been decided that the long standing demands of indigenous peoples in Orissa and elsewhere should no more be ignored. Breaking all conventions in the past, it has now been decided that the demands of the poorest sections be heard. In fact, the demands be recorded well. Not only their demands, but also of those people who extend any amount of overt or covert support to them. For once, the free India has decided in favor of listening to the captive people, so that, for once and for all, they can all be forcibly silenced. 10 years or fine, or both – for all people who express solidarity with the majority Indians. At long last, the majority Indians are going to be recorded.

For most people, the corporate houses are faces of terror because it is they that expand their profiteering bases without consideration towards the inhabitants, especially the poor and destitute class. But the Indian government finds it otherwise. It paints the victims as the terrorists. And those that support the victims then are branded as sympathizers of terrorism.

History repeats itself. In India’s history, several times over. As in the past, the illusions of permanent freedom are once again fading away. For, one can use a transient administrative machinery to cowardly assassinate the revolutionaries, but no one can ever eliminate the historical inevitabilities of revolutions.

Arrest us all, if you must. Every person that cries in despair at the state of subjugation that is called India today, is guilty of supporting the victims in the class war waged against the expansionist politico-corporate nexus. Perhaps those of you that enjoy the power corridors and make way for the billionaires to spread their empires are enjoying the freedom of trickled down bribes. However, for the rest of us, our freedom is not conditional upon the success of the ruling class structures and your economic masters.

Our freedom is not about piecemeal compensations as agreed upon by corporate giants of South Korea, Japan and the United States. Our freedom is not open to half-hearted round table negotiations. We are yet to attain the freedom we have been dying for since generations. And we are yet to give up the hope that one day, we shall collectively inhabit the planet, without submitting any portion thereof to any greedy private capitalistic interests, irrespective of geographical territories.

You can call us unacceptable names, attribute us with political stigmas, categorize us into one way or the other for your divisive ruling habits. But the working people of the world demand immediate withdrawal of profiteering interests from common lands. From Orissa to Chiapas, we are united by our belief in formation of a world, devoid of imperialistic intents. And this collective conviction for human freedom is not up for demise within next 10 years, or anytime thereafter.

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  1. […] India vs Indians :: Orissa’s Freedom Struggle (Part I) Posted on May 23, 2010 by Subhas Chandra Pattanayak Saswat Pattanayak Courtesy: Radical Notes […]

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