Sunday, November 08, 2020

Maoists into 'poll khol' mode to expose leaders, Bastar police launch counter propaganda


By Ejaz Kaiser| Express News Service | Published: 08th November 2020 06:41 PM
Drama, songs with performing arts prepared by the cultural outfit of Maoists.

RAIPUR: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) in south Chhattisgarh are using the mobile-centric network as a medium to infuse distrust among tribal villagers against the elected leaders over “non-fulfilment of the promises” they had committed ahead of the polls.

Across the major parts of strife-torn Bastar, the villagers are now increasingly accessing uninterrupted cellular services. The rebels are making use of available hi-tech means through the mobile phone network—disseminating videos prepared by the cultural outfit ‘Chetna Natya Mandli' (CNM) and circulating their messages in areas of south Bastar.

The mode of communication is in local dialect ‘Gondi’, as the rebels attempt to use the strength of tribal culture to step up their agenda among the local population. Experts believe the dissemination of messages through short drama films and songs in local dialect creates an impact on the understanding of issues.

The video clippings in tribal dialect besides entertaining the villagers also set out to remind them the pledges made by the elected leaders.

The rebels are passing on their information using mobile phone network in the villages of south Bastar. With the drama and songs studiously prepared by the CNM, the rebels are projecting themselves into a sort of ‘Pol Khol’ (expose the violation) campaign against the minister and elected leaders highlighting the pledge they made to the masses.

However the Bastar police cited the game plan of Maoists as mere propaganda. “This itself exposes their double standard. They are not allowing development works to be implemented and attempt to misguide the local villagers to create mistrust against the elected leaders”, said Sunderraj P, inspector general of police (Bastar Range).

The IG said that the police have simultaneously carried out a massive counter campaign Bastar Tha Matta (Voice of Bastar) to expose the real face of Maoists as  “anti-development and violent” . 

“For the tribals, their language remains an emotive issue and they readily accept the contents communicated in their dialect”, said Shubhranshu Chowdhary, peace activist who is using language as key component towards peace process among the tribals in the disturbed areas for the past one decade. 

According to the local scribes, the issues raised by the rebels also lead to exchange of views among the local masses who discuss the “non-fulfilment of commitments” by the political leaders or administration. 

In one of the videos, the speaker was seen speaking in Gondi questioning a local minister Kawasi Lakhma on ‘how could he fail to acknowledge the assurances that so resoundingly drew the attention of the masses during the elections and now he didn’t act on all these’. Lakhma despite repeated attempts couldn’t be reached for his remark.

For the banned Maoist organisation the finance and technology apparently seems to go hand-in-hand to accomplish their agenda

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