Wednesday, April 8, 2015

468 What work do Coolies have in forests in the Seshachalam forests of Chittoor District?- Urban Development Minister.


468 కూలీలకు అడవిలో ఏం పని , అని మన నగరాభివృధ్ధి కేంద్ర మంత్రి గారు అన్నారుట
468 What work do Coolies have in forests in the Seshachalam forests of Chittoor District?- Urban Development Minister.
468 चित्तूर जिले शेषाचलं अरण्य में मजदूरों को क्या काम है? -केंद्र नगराभिवृध्धि मंत्रीजी.

The following comment is being attributed to Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Union Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister.


Don't the coolies know that cutting down red sanders trees is a crime?  Do they go for work without knowing what kind of job it is?  क्या कूलियों को पता नहीं कि, रक्त चंदन पेडों को काटना एक अपराध है ?  क्या वे अपने काम के बारे में समाचार के बिना काम को जाते? రక్త చందనం చెట్లను కొట్టటం నేరమని కూలీలకు తెలీదా?  తాము చేయాల్సిన పని ఎలాటిదో తెలీకుండానే వారు పనికి వెళ్తారా?

If what is attributed above in Media is true, then we must consider Mr. Venkaiah Naidu as ignorant of workers behavior.  अगर मीडिया वार्ता कथन सच हो, तो हम श्री वॆंकय्या नायुडू को श्रामिक बर्ताव के बारे में अज्ञानी मानना होगा ।  మీడియా లో వచ్చిన పై వార్త నిజమే అయితే మనం శ్రీ వెంకయ్యనాయుడు గారిని శ్రామికుల ప్రవర్తన విషయంలో అజ్ఞానిగా భావించాల్సి వస్తుంది.

Why?  Mr. Venkaiah Naidu hails from a rural area in Andhra Pradesh.  The area lies on the borders of forests.  Villagers on the borders of forests eke out their living by collecting firewood, forest products etc.  For many of them, particularly illiterate laborers, it is almost a daily chore.  Some of them may already know that it is a crime to cut red sanders trees.  Some of them may also know that it was highly risky to venture into forests for livelihood.  At the same time, every villager in backward Districts is not a B.A., B.L., like Mr. Naidu.  Even Mr. Venkaiah Naidu as a lawyer, may not know all the laws, every Section in every Act, with added amendments, notifications etc. 


Even if the labourers know, they cannot avoid going to forests because woodcutting was a thousands of years old, very ancient occupation, since the days of man being a hunter.  Consequently, going to forests for collecting wood and forest produce became a human right.  Governments considering that forest trees as their State property, auctioning the trees to benefit forest contractors etc. were developments of later Centuries.  Of course, cutting red sanders or smuggling it may not be a human right.  But then, the State will have to make a distinction between the smugglers and woodcutters.


The object of this particular blog post is not-- to defend the red sanders smugglers, or their heinous act of killing forest Officials.  The criminals who killed the Forest and Police Officials earlier are definitely to be caught and punished appropriately.  If necessary, in self defence, police may have to use fire weapons against them.


The 20 wood-cutter labourers who died (may be smugglers or their assistants) are not likely to be the above criminals.  Now , the murderer criminals are still to be searched and 302 cases are to be booked against the smuggler mafia gang leaders.  This encounter is not a substitute for that.  Both are separate things.  Both the batches of smugglers/laborers are separate groups.


Living in dire poverty, some wood-cutters of Tamil Nadu might have been tempted to accept the work in Seshachalam, when they were offered double or higher wages than the wages paid to ordinary wood-cutters.


These are the days, when film stars who have already earned millions of bucks, who have received Padma Bhushans and Padma VibhUshans, Rajya Sabha Memberships,  may again and again expose every private part of theirs and dance obscenely, if they get more bucks. 

Is there any wonder, in laborers (they may not be innocent) accepting the work, without knowing the dire risk of getting  fired fatally?  They might have thought that they would go to jail if caught.  Or the mafia leaders might have assured them that they will arrange bail, appoint a lawyer, maintain their families while in jail, etc.  Of course, the laborers believing the words of the smuggler mafia lost their lives, for taking an undue risk for a few more bucks.

It is also a different thing that A.P. Govt. or Tamil Nadu Government pays them some compensation.  After all, the politicians or the Officials do not pay the compensation from their pockets.  The amounts will be paid from exchequer. 


Besides , compensation is not a substitute for loss of lives.   When a physical laborer dies, a Nation loses his productivity for 30 years ie. for 9000 days, nearly Rs. 4.5 million.  A Nation which takes pride in its young population, its productivity, should not throw away their lives, unless there are unavoidable circumstances.   These unavoidable circumstances are to be checked now.


Some pertinent questions which arise:

1. The Police and Forest authorities claim that "Shoot at sight" orders have been passed and publicised. 

a) Have sign boards of large size placed on FOREST PATHS in Tamil and Telugu languages, warning about the RISK OF BEING SHOOT ON SIGHT?

b) Have the "shoot at sight" orders been repeatedly beamed ON TV CHANNELS in Tamil and Telugu languages in Andhra Pradesh, and the neighboring Districts of Tamil Nadu?

c) Have sufficient number printed pamphlets been printed in Tamil and Telugu languages and distributed in the A.P. and T.N. border districts?

d) Have Panchayats and Municipalities of the area been informed of the SHOOT AT SIGHT ORDERS?

e) Now-a-days both the Central and State Governments send a number of mobile SMSes even for flimsy things.  Did they send any such "SMS" messages about SHOOT AT SIGHT ORDERS to any mobiles in Chittoor, Cuddapah and the adjacent Districts in Tamil Nadu?

f) Did they show any slides or short-films in the local cinema halls, about the Shoot at Sight Orders?

g) Did they make sufficient number of announcements on loud speakers, before resorting to fire?

h) Why didn't they try firing into sky, firing at legs, before resorting to direct fire?  Are there are any special circumstances for skipping the first two prerequisites?

i) Did they exhibit some RED WARNING BOARDS at Lorry & Mini Lorry stands, auto stands to warn the laborers?

j) Did they announce it All India Radio Stations of Cuddapah, Chennai?  In All India Radio, every hour we hear an advertisement "I am Narendra Modi.  etc. etc. "  The SHOOT AT SIGHT ORDERS could have been repeatedly announced on All India Radio.

Police and Forest Officials have every right to fire against attackers in self-defence.  But the question is: Is this right being exercised honestly and sincerely?  Are there any circumstances to believe that this right has been exercised honestly and sincerely?  This should now be checked through a judicial process.  If the Police and Forest Officials can show that they have followed the above precautions, they can expect full public support for their actions from public.

Normally, Police, Forest, Excise Officials do not move, when people approach them with complaints.  Bribes are necessary both to initiate an action which they are bound to take as per law, and to stop an action which they have started. 

There may be a strong desire on the part of the Police, Forest officials to take revenge against smugglers who have killed two innocent Officers discharging their duties.  But is this desire, a sufficient motivation to fire on a very large scale?

There are news reports that political leaders of the area have links with the smugglers, and that some of the political leaders themselves are the smugglers.  The Police and Forest Officials should have started their combing with the politicians and their cronies, by repeated inspections of their residences, factories, godowns, cattle sheds, plantations etc.  Let the Police and Forest Officials publish a list of politicians, industrialists, business persons, whose houses, factories, godowns, cattle sheds, plantations etc. they have searched, and the number of cases they have registered.  How many cases of disproportionate wealth in relation to sources of income they noticed during the searches, and what action they have initiated against the top king pins of the racket?

Justice should not only be done, but should also appear to have been done. 

Conclusion

Till India attains full employment in its true sense, coolies may have work with forests.  They will not have any work with angels (deva dUtAs).

(To continue.  सशेष.  ఇంకా ఉంది.)

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