Saturday, April 15, 2006

Opium is Religion of the Communists

One of the great things about the web is taking an interesting wrong turn. If one desires to learn about RSS, what better place than RSS dot Org?

If you think violence was the only thing Naxalites are known for, visit Jharkhand to see "farmers" in comrades. Not wheat or rice, they cultivate opium.

Naxalites are Indian communists. Jharkhand is a state in eastern India, recently formed in 2000.

The Naxalite-infested areas of Jharkhand are underdeveloped. Whatever the government's claim might be, the fact remains that there are no roads, no bridges and no schools in the interior parts of the state.

Usually, the Naxalites demand from a contractor 30 per cent of the total amount sanctioned to him by the government for construction of roads, dams, buildings and bridges.

These Naxalites learn fast. All you have to do is obtain some firearms and proclaim yourselves as 'liberators'.

This had been the major source of income for the rebels ever since Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000 and there was a boom in the construction industry. Besides, the contractors also have to "please" government officials for granting them the contract.

With the construction business fast turning out to be non- profitable, the contractors recently started looking for other options, forcing the Naxalites to think of something more than just charging levy. In fact, there were instances when the contractors refused to take up work in Naxalite-infested areas as they had to cough up a major part of their income for nothing.

Imagine that, they over-taxed the contractors, who packed up and went away. In these here parts there is an old story about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

But the involvement of Naxalites in opium farming was proved when a Chatra-based journalist with a vernacular daily, who had come out with a story on opium farming in his newspaper, had to appear in a kangaroo court (jan adalat) of the Maoists to ask for forgiveness. This journalist had to assure the Maoists that he would never (and never) come out with a report on opium farming.

These Naxalites sound an awful lot like Massachusetts Democrats. Do they need reinforcements? We could find some 'volunteers' on Beacon Hill. Exotic vacation anyone?


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