Janjatis in Tripura, more so youth, realised that Communists hate them. Once they supported the BJP they stood by it
JP’s ally, the Indigenous People Front of Tripura (IPFT) won eight of the nine seats it contested. The tie-up was one of the major reasons of the BJP’s victory. The CPM, which had won 18 of the 20 Janjati seats last time, has now ended up with just two.
Janjati leader Aghore Debbarman of the CPM lost from the left bastion of Asharambari by a margin of 7,000 votes. This is important, being Jajnati was not sufficient to win election in Janjati area, but right association was. Janjatis in Tripura more so the youth, had realised that Communists hate them, and once they met a nationalist party in BJP they stood by it. Janjatis in Tripura had realised the folly of communism sometime back and they replied in a democratic way by voting for BJP.
The communists began targeting Janjatis in an organised way since 2002. A report in Frontline (January 18-31, 2003) says: “The Communist Party of India (Marxist) organised the first All India Tribal Convention on November 18 and 19, 2002 in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The convention highlighted the achievements of Tripura government, which had been instrumental in operationalising the autonomous tribal district councils in an effective manner. It was noted that the powers given to the councils in Tripura were far more than what such areas in other States had. In fact, such councils could be more effective instruments in ameliorating the lot of the tribal people than separate States. In order to drive home this point, the convention highlighted how governments led by Left parties had been significantly more sensitive and different from others in their treatment of tribal people.
All the development of Jajnatis under communist government in Tripura stands exposed today. Let’s look at the sensitivity of Communist Party for Janjatis in another state ruled by them i.e. Kerala. On February 22, 2018 Madhu a mentally ill Janjati girl was lynched to death for stealing rice in the Attappadi of Palakkad District. An Indian Express report says, “Tribals, left mostly with non-agriculture land, now depend on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or work as daily wagers on the land they once owned. VK Mohan Kumar, former director of Kerala Institute for Research, Training and Development Studies of SC/STs (KIRTADS), says, “Tribals were given no role in deciding their own development agenda. As a result, a society that once survived on agriculture and cattle-rearing now stands in line for free supply of cooked food.’’
It is clear that the Communists don’t walk their talk when it comes to Janjatis. Communists always play with the food habits. An Oriya Maoist commander admitted “leadership.. has called pakhal (an Odia dish) food fit only for the buffaloes.” (source: An Unfinished Revolution by Kishalay Bhattacharjee). The Commander also says, “We have worked with the tribals for 30 years, but the CPI (Maoist) has not developed a concrete model for development of tribal zones.” The entire leadership, like the commander himself, is non-tribal but the fighting force is tribal.
The communists deprive Janjatis of their lands, alienate them from their culture, reduce them to a
landless person who is dependent for food on others and then he or she becomes an ideal candidate to be sacrificed as foot soldier. Communist have been using Janjatis as fodder across India. There is no doubt that Communists hate Janjatis. The
question is why?