Ram Guha: ‘If Ajay T.G. is a Naxal, I am Al Qaeda’

The case of Ajay T.G. is a chilling one. Nephew of a man who came to set up a tea shop in Bhilai, Kerala-born Ajay ended up becoming an independent documentary film maker, making social films about the lives of the Chhatisgarhi people.

In 2004, Ajay and his wife were detained by a group of armed Maoists who forcibly took away their camera. In June 2008 , Chattisgarh police arrested Ajay. Reason: they had found a copy of a letter written by Ajay to the spokesman of the Maoists asking for the return of his camera.

Ajay was guilty by association with an “unlawful” organisation and charged with sedition.

Ajay was released earlier this month, but there are many who believe that the Salwa Judum movement, the so-called civilian uprising of tribals against naxalites in Dantewada district, could get wreak more havoc  than the Kashmir of 20 years ago.

The historian Ramachandra Guha is one of them:

“I know Ajay T.G. as a very soft spoken and humble person. If Ajay is a Naxalite then I am Al Qaeda. In Chhattisgarh arbitrary arrests are taking place. Ajay’s arrest comes after the arrest of Dr Binayak Sen. Naxalism has grown manifold over time in several parts of India. The major reason behind its spread is deprivation of tribals, who constitute a good percentage of the total population of the country.”

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