Democracy a sham in empty larder
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Democracy a sham in empty larder

The tribals are just tired of state politics, which they say, does nothing to improve their lot, reports Anirban Roy.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 17:56 IST

Standing before his crumbling mud hut, Chotaram Kisku is not excited about the coming assembly elections.

The 83-year-old village elder of the tribal area shakes his head, "What do we gain from elections?"

His disillusion has nothing to do with the fact that his son Gurcharan alias Marshal is a most wanted guerrilla leader of the Maoists.

Kisku is not even aware of the Maoists' call to boycott elections. While it could have an impact in some parts of Purulia, Midnapore and Bankura districts, in this remote forest village, there are no posters asking villagers to stay away from polling booths.

Kisku is just tired of state politics, which he says, does nothing to improve the lot of tribals, including his 11-member family on the brink of starvation.

With no irrigation facility in the village, the small plot of paddy field that Kisku owns does not yield much. "We can harvest only once a year," he says. "We cannot arrange two square meals for the family every day."

The situation is same across the village.

Far from the mad rush of red politics, Kisku does not know that his son is a most wanted man and senior member of the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army, the armed wing of the Maoists.

"He has not come home for the past eight years," says Kisku, now more concerned about his house about to collapse.

The highly publicised schemes for rural housing, including the Indira Awas Yojana, have not reached this village.

With no power or water supply, it is a world far removed from reality.

First Published: Apr 12, 2006 17:56 IST