|What is to be done?|
In other countries like Gautemala etc, there have been truth and reconciliation committees, and processes.. But if the government continues saying that Salva Judum is a peaceful peoples movement, or a Gandhian movement etc. If the union government supports it, and sends in 70000 paramilitary, what does one do in these circumstances?
We have started the Citizens Initiative for Peace, which is calling for peace talks between government and Maoist. We want both sides to be engaged in unconditional talks. In order for these talks to be held the government must cease fire. The maoist must stop operations. The government must implement the court order on the Salwa Judum.
We only hope that all of you will join us in effort to put more pressure on both sides to engage in peace talks. We must also have a discussion on the issues of mining, land acquisition and the complete violation of rights that is going on. For example last week, the NBA had a peaceful agitation on the lack of rehabilitation which had been granted by the court. They were lathi-charged. Activist are put in jail routinely. Erome Sharmila has been on hunger strike for the last ten years, protesting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. What more Gandhian method could she have adopted? Yet the Government continues to keep her in hospital prison.
What do you do when government does not respond to peaceful methods.? That is the first thing government should do. Listen to the peaceful people. If the victims of Gujarat 2002 or of Delhi 1984 people haven't got justice, what do you expect to happen? We have to have justice as a pre-condition to peace talks.
Himashu.: I say leave aside the Naxalite, I say the government should speak to the local people. It is not willing to do that.
We took people to Delhi. We have taken people who were victims of violence in the operation green hunt. Dramatic stories but no one listened. Even the media did not recognize it. Nobody wants to know anything about the Adivasis, as they don’t have any need for the adivasis. If the auto-rickshaws go on strike, you well press the government, as you are being inconvenienced. If Safai Karmacharis go on strike you will press the government to do something as you are being affected. But if an Adivasi dies, what difference does it make to you. Why would you raise their issues? They are not even a consumer. Why would Industry cry for them. They don’t even buy things produced by the industry. So what is this talk of Jjustice. In five years, no leader has even gone to glance at them despite cases of rape, burnings etc. We have been showing pictures of them, talking about it. If somebody speaks, you burn his house? Like Binayak Sen raised this, and he was put in Jail. If you say anything you dub him as a Naxalite supporter. And jail him.
You asked what are we doing? I am going back to Dantewada. We are getting news that people are fleeing from their lands and villages, because the security forces have entered the villages and regularly beating up people.