Land reforms,Maoist style

Land reforms, Maoist style
It was land distribution under Operation Barga that brought CPM to power in 1977. Thirty-three years later, the Maoists in Jangalmahal are treading a similar route to consolidate their support base in 200 villages from Goaltore to Midnapore town. The 60-kilometre stretch forms the ” Maoist core zone”, where men most wanted by the police like Manoj Mahato, Asit Mahato and Gopal Pratihar have a free run.But this new avatar of Operation Barga is different from the one implemented by the CPM. Maoists have set their own parameters for land reform here. Family income and connections with the ruling party get maximum weightage in this reform process.
The jotedars close to mainstream political parties CPM and Jharkhand Party are the targets, and the beneficiaries are the landless farmers. The Maoists have begun this process in two villages Chandabila and Malkuri under the Midnapore Sadar block, six kilometres from Midnapore town.
First, they drove out Toton Singh and Naru Singh jotedars of Malkuri village, who have 150 bighas of land and own a huge ancestral house. Like CPM zonal secretary Anuj Pandey’s house, this building too was pulled down by Maoist-led labourers of around a month and a half ago. Then the guerrillas took possession of the entire land and distributed it among 53 local landless labourers. Naru Singh’s son Ajit, who is known for his proximity to CPM minister Sushanta Ghosh, could do little to prevent it.

One such beneficiary is Satrughna Mahato who has been tilling the land as a wage labourer since long. “We are five brothers with a total land holding of one bigha, including our homestead land. That was not enough to run the family. But now, we can make ends meet,” said Mahato.
However, there are not too many such jotedars in West Bengal where the government has carried out the primary land reforms. In the last 33 years of Left Front rule, villages in the Jangalmahal saw the emergence of a new breed of CPM leaders who have been enjoying vested government lands and even forest land distributed to some non-existent land labourers. Villagers call it kalo patta a false tiller’s deed. Such a practice has been rampant in the villages under Salboni block Rameswarpur, Kolshibhanga, Malbandi, and Madhupur. The Maoist-led People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has occupied such lands and has started distributing those among the landless.
This is not all. Maoists are also distributing seeds and fertilizers to the landless to begin cultivation. Kamal Middya of Chandabila has already received it. “I used to till Singh’s land in Chandabila. Now I have three bighas in my possession,” Middya said.
Similar is the scene at Belasol village under Salboni block. Here Maoist-led committees have installed deep tubewells and have set up a water reservoir to provide irrigation water to villagers. Other development activities include running of medical camps and also a rural hospital to treat locals.


CPM党1977年在barga行动下开展的土地改革使其掌握政权。33年后,Jangalmahal 的毛主义者正试图以同样政策巩固其在从Goaltore到Midnapore镇的200个村庄中的群众基础。这60公里纵深构成“毛主义核心区域”,在此遭警方通缉的革命者如Manoj Mahato, Asit Mahato 及 Gopal Pratihar能自由行动。但这一barga行动的新分支与此前CPM实行的政策不同。毛主义者已自主确立此地土改的关键要素, 家庭收入及对党的态度将在此次土改中占较大权重。
亲主流执政党CPM及Jharkhand党的乔特达们(西孟加拉的地主阶级的一种)是土改目标,无地农民将从中获益。毛主义者已在距Midnapore 镇6公里的Midnapore Sadar 关口治下的Chandabila 和 Malkuri两村开展土改 。
首先,毛主义者们拖出村里的乔特达Toton Singh和 Naru Singh,他们拥有150比格哈的土地及一间豪宅。一个半月前毛主义者领导的劳动群众将此屋推倒,正如同CPM地委书记Anuj Pandey的住宅。然后游击队员们接管全部土地并将其分给53户无地农民。尽管众所周知Naru Singh的儿子与CPM执委Sushanta Ghosh关系很铁,但对毛主义者们的行动无能为力。
Satrughna Mahato 是土改的受益者之一,他是长期被束缚在土地上的佃户。mahato说:“我们五个兄弟的所有土地都被同一个乔特达所占有,包括我们的自留地,生活难以为继。但现在我们能解决温饱了。”
然而在政府推行私有土地改革的地区有太多乔特达。在左翼阵线统治下的过去33年里,Jangalmahal 的村庄经历了一次灾难,CPM领导人大肆侵吞国有土地及无主农地。村民称其为kalo patta a false tiller之作为。这一现象在Salboni关口下辖的 Rameswarpur, Kolshibhanga, Malbandi及 Madhupur等地极为猖獗。PCPA已控制这些土地并开始将其分给无地农民。
行动还不止于此,毛主义者还在分发种子肥料准备春耕。Chandabila 的Kamal Middya 已领到这些生产资料,他说:“我曾被束缚在 Chandabila的Singh的土地上,现在我自己有3个比格哈土地了。”
Salboni关口的Belasol 村也是这一情形,此地的毛主义委员会已开挖多眼深机井,并建立一处蓄水池以向村民供应灌溉用水。其他行动还包括运营卫生营及农村医院以为当地提供医疗援助。