Palamu (Jharkhand), Sep.10 : Daily wage labourers and artisans, who barely survive to make their ends meet with their meager earnings in the naxal-affected areas, are today an agitated lot. They complain of being exploited by Naxals here.
There are annoyed since the Maoists who don't even hesitate to extract money from them as private 'tax'. These local people are now irritated over the attitude of these hoodlums and are up in arms.
"If they will keep on deducting our money, how we are going to sustain. It's a high time they realised our worth. All these years we were supporting Naxals but we got nothing in return. These people don't want us to be united because in that condition they won't be able to suppress us. We need to get together to fight against all these odds," said Praddep Ganjhua, head of the Labour union.
Almost three decades ago when Naxalism started in India, it stated that its objective was to establish an egalitarian society. The driving force behind naxalism was ideas of Mao Zedong and Karl Marx theories.
For long, these Naxalites continued to wage a struggle against the system--citing reasons like for the rights of Dalits and underprivileged people.
But now things have changed, as Naxals are not bothered about the poor and needy. In fact they are extracting money from the poor to fill their own pockets.
Besides the local villagers want their daily-wage be increased.
"We are not getting proper wages we want minimum wage to be fixed to Rs. 90, but we are only getting Rs. 60. Our women and children are getting even lesser than us. We need help, otherwise, only alternative that's going to be left over was to take up arms. So many of our kins have joined hands with Naxals but now even Naxals have turned selfish," said Rama Prajapati, one labourer. Daily wage labourers and artisans are today so fed up with the Naxalites that they have joined hands to take on the hoodlums.
Recently, a meeting was organised in which they discussed their problems and how Naxal forces were taking undue advantage.
Among other issues was how to benefit from government schemes and policies.
"We are getting almost nothing in the name of wages. We cannot even have a square meal with this kind of wages. We want our minimum wage to be fixed at rupees 90 so that we can at least meet our basic requirements," said Mala, one of the labourers.
Palamu is the den of Naxalites in India; actually this was the place from where roots of Naxalism germinated almost three decades back. This place till date is known for its feudal structure and atrocities on bonded labour. By Girija Shankar Ojha