[Marxism] Lalgarh A People’s Uprising Subverted by the Ultra-Leftists

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Tue Oct 20 15:38:33 MDT 2009


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Lalgarh A People’s Uprising Subverted by the Ultra-Leftists 
Santosh Rana

Lalgarh is in the Jhargram sub-division of West Midnapore district in West Bengal (WB). It is part of the Paschimanchal (western zone) of 
the State, being an extension of the Chhotanagpur plateau which lies mostly in Jharkhand. 
With its laterite soil of low water-retention capacity and Sal-Mahua forests, the area differs from the Bengal plains both geographically and culturally. It is actually part of the Jharkhand cultural region. Nearly 30 percent of the population are Scheduled Tribes (ST), 20 percent Scheduled Castes (SC) and the rest are communities like Kudmi-Mahatos, Telis, Kumbhars, Bagals, Rajus, Tambulis, Khandaits and others. The Kudmi-Mahatos are the biggest among the rest. They had been treated as tribals till 1935 when they were de-scheduled. The Mahatos, Bagals and some other communities are actually semi-tribals who have been partly Sanskritized but still retain their tribal characteristics. Now they are treated as Other Backward Classes (OBC). There are other OBC communities like Kumbhar, Tanti, Teli and others. But in West Bengal, benefits for OBCs started late. Even now, there is very little reservation for OBCs in West Bengal. It is only 7 percent, and, that
 too, in government jobs. There is no reservation for the OBCs in higher education in WB. The SC communities living in the region (Bagdi, Dom, Jele, Mal, Bauri, etc,) are so backward that they are unable to get government or semi-government jobs through reservations. The tribals are 30 percent of the population locally, but in local jobs, they get only the 6 percent reservation that is the State average for the STs. As a consequence of all these factors, the people of this region have very little participation in government and semi-government jobs or in the administration.
 
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