The death of jawans in Dantewada – Statement of intellectuals/activists urging the government to engage in dialogue

May 6, 2010

Source : Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

We, the undersigned, mourn the death of 74 jawans in Dantewada on April 6, 2010. Regrettably, it is a direct fall out of the government’s wrong-headed policy of declaring a war on the poorest sections of its own people. We have been urging the Indian government that the issues arising out of the opposition of adivasis to MOUs signed by the state governments with mining and other industrial conglomerates, resulting in grab of land and common resources like forest and river, and massive forceful displacement and dispossession, leave them in a desperate state, with no possible alternative, thus depriving them of dignified livelihood.

They are our fellow citizens, with as much right to life as any one of us, and the issue has to be resolved through dialogue rather than force of arms. The apparent intelligence failure on the part of the government machinery is a symptom of how little local popular support these aggressive policies of the government, embodied in Operation Green Hunt, enjoy.

We urge the government of India not to pursue further this disastrous option, or fall prey to the illusion that stepping up this war on our own people would solve any of the fundamental problems facing the people of this area. It would instead degenerate into an uncontrollable civil war, as more people dispossessed of land and livelihood will be driven to take up arms.

Dialogue and not arms is the only way forward: not an option but a compulsion of the situation. And dialogue can never start merely with abstract discourse on violence versus non-violence, but transparency on immediate issues affecting the lives of millions, such as dispossession and displacement through signing of MOUs, and violation of constitutional rights of adivasis under the Fifth Schedule. This initiative can only come from the government.


01. Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
02. Amit Sengupta, Senior Journalist, Delhi
03. Angana Chatterji, Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco
04. Anil Chamadia, Freelance Journalist, Delhi
05. Arvind Das, Freelance Journalist
06. Asha Menon, Senior Reporter, The New Indian Express, Cennai
07. Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune 411004, Email: ashishkothari@
08. Asit, Social activist, asitredsalute@
09. B D Sharma, Former Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Tribes
10. Babu D DESAI, Social activist, Surat
11. Bela Bhatia, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
12. Bharathi Deshpande bharathi_1964@ in
13. Bijaya Chanda, Advocate, Alipore Court, West Bengal
14. Bivash Chakraborty, Theatre Actor & Director, Kolkata
15. Chandrika, Research Scholar, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishvavidyalay, Wardha
16. Dr John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council, Government of India
17. Faraz Ahmad, faraz_asha@hotmail. com
18. G N Saibaba, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi
19. Gautam Navlakha, Consultant, Economic and Political Weekly
20. Geeta Charusivam, Women’s Activist, Chennai,geetacsivam@
21. Gopal Sundararajan, PUCL, Chennai, gosalem@yahoo. com
22. Harish Dobhal, works for Combat Law, the Human Rights Magazine
23. Henri Tiphagne, Executive Director, People’s Watch, Sudhanthra – Madurai
24. Josna, Critical Quest, New Delhi
25. K.G. KANNABIRAN, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Plot 300, Street 6, E. Marredpalli, Secunderabad 500 026, AP,040-27730632
26. Karen Gabriel, Associate Professor, St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi
27. Madhu Bhaduri, retired IFS officer
28. Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
29. Mahasweta Devi, Author, Kolkata
30. Mangalesh Dabral, well-known Hindi poet
31. Mohammed Azam Khan, azzamkhan@gmail. com
32. N D Pancholi, Advocate, Supreme Court
33. Nisha Biswas, Women’s activist, Kolkata, nishabiswas2@
34. P K Vijayan, Assistant Professor, Hindu College, University of Delhi
35. P.Govindan Kutty, Editor, People’s March
36. Pankaj Bisht, Editor, Samayantar, samayantar@yahoo. com
37. Pavan Patel, Indo-Nepal People’s Solidarity Forum & Research Scholar, JNU, New Delh
38. Prashant Bhushan, Advocate, Supreme Court
39. Probal Dasgupta, Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, 203 B.T. Road, Kolkata 700108, India
40. Prof Abhijit Guha, Vidyasagar University
41. Prof Amiya Dev, Kolkata
42. Prof Anjan Ghosh, Centre For Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
43. Prof Dipanjan Rai Chaudhuri, Kolkata
44. Prof Hiren Gohain, Guwahati
45. Prof Ipshita Chanda, Jadavpur University
46. Prof Kamal Chenoy, School of International Studies, JNU
47. Prof Meher Engineer, Kolkata
48. Prof P Koya, Thejas Daily, Media City, Nallalam, Calicut- 673027
49. Prof Tarun Sanyal, Kolkata
50. Prof. S. Seshaiah, Professor in Law, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, AP, & President, APCLC
51. R K Singh, Udodih Tamar, Ranchi, Kharkhand
52. Ravinder Goel, Associate Professor, Satyavathi College, Delhi University
53. Rona Wilson, Research Scholar, JNU, rona358@gmail. com
54. Samar Bagchi, sama.bagchi@
55. Sankha Ghosh, Poet, Kolkata
56. Saroj Giri, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Delhi University
57. Satnam, Writer, Patiala, Punjab
58. Shoma Sen, Associate Professor, Nagpur University
59. Sujato Bhadra, APD, Kolkata
60. Sumit Chakravartty, Editor, Mainstream
61. Susan Abraham, Advocate, Supreme Court, susangita50@
62. Thiagu krishnasamy, thozharthiagu@ in, Chennai
63. Tilak D Gupta, Writer and Columnist
64. Uma Chakravarty, Retd teacher, DU
65. Vanaja C, Journalist, Hyderabad, vanajac@yahoo. com
66. Vijay Singh, Member, Academic Council, University of Delhi.
67. Vijayan M, Social Activist, Delhi
68. Wilhelm Langthaler Anti-imperialist Camp, Vienna, Austria
69. Y. Kutumba Rao, Advocate, Khammam,kutumbaraoy49@
70. Manas Joardar, Calcutta University (Rtd)