Former West Bengal finance minister Ashok Mitra in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“The Dalits were fortunate to be gifted a cult figure in Bhimrao Ambedkar. He worked within the system from the Gandhi-Irwin Pact days to ensure a substantial say for his people in the nation’s affairs. He was the main architect of free India’s Constitution too, and availed himself of that opportunity to guard Dalit interests jealously….
“Descendants of India’s original inhabitants have failed to produce an Ambedkar from within their midst. They have been squeezed and squeezed for aeons on end by the superior classes, uprooted from their land, thrown out of their homestead, denied sources of food and water, whiplashed as bonded labour, their women were free goods to satisfy the sensual urges of the gentry, their poultry and pigs were confiscated to cater to the culinary requirements of the same set. Environmentalists and wildlife buffs have worried over matters concerning the preservation of the flora and the fauna; they had little time for the sufferings of the tribal people….
“Maoists seem to have done their homework. They have built an organizational network, silently and surreptitiously, across eight or nine states with a significant concentration of tribal stock. They think the revolution they have been itching for is well-nigh near. The foot soldiers of that revolution will be the suppressed and oppressed adivasis now ready for a glorious uprising against the tyrannies of State power.”
Read the full article: The phantom enemy