Left parties failed to protect tribals, say intellectuals

The Left parties have failed to protect the interests of tribals whose land and livelihood are being threatened by industrialists, and Maoists have seized the opportunity to grab their support, said intellectuals and activists here Friday.
The government machinery in collusion with the big corporates have systematically acquired, appropriated and grabbed tribal land and forests and the mainstream Left parties have failed to do anything, they said at a round table here.
'The branded Left has completely failed,' said D. Bandopadhyay, one of the main speakers at the conference organised by the Centre for Policy Analysis.
They also cited the example of West Bengal's ruling Left Front's failed attempt to forcibly acquire farm land for industrialists in Nandigram and Singur.
They said the concept of capital mode of development has created Maoism in the country.
The tribals are experiencing a profound disenchantment not only with the governments of the day but with the Indian state, they said, while criticising Green Hunt, a massive security operation launched by the government against Maoists in affected states.
The Maoists have seized upon the tribals' alienation and declared an open war against the state. The rebels are garnering growing support in the hills and forests, the traditional home to the tribals, the speakers observed.
Sudha Bharadwaj, a human rights activist, said the country was 'witnessing adivasi genocide' in the name of operation Green Hunt, particularly in Chhattisgarh.
She said many innocent tribal people were killed by the forces in the name of hunting Maoists.
Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy said the Maoists are resisting operation Green Hunt and are getting mass support.
'They (the Maoists) are resisting it. They are getting support from the masses,' Chenoy said.
He asked the Left parties to concentrate 'much more on mass struggle for land, livelihood and habitat'.
Chenoy criticised the Left parties for launching only urban centric resistence like the fight against price rise and advised them to concentrate more on the struggle in rural India.
Presenjith Bose, a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) ideologue, questioned the Maoists' motive and said 'they lack the understanding how to conduct a mass movement'.
'What for are the Maoists fighting,' he asked, and added that poor people who are workers of the CPI-M in West Bengal are being killed by Maoists in the name of revolution.
'Is this revolution? The Maoists way is not definitely a way ahead. The Left has to move in the democratic direction,' he said.
He, however, agreed that operation Green Hunt may have the backing of capital.