CHENNAI: The abduction of Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district collector Alex Paul Menon by Maoists should not to be ignored as a sporadic incident; it is the manifestation of a deeply engrained discontentment among the public who remain without stable employment and access to basic livelihood, according to chairman of Sakthi group of companies N Mahalingam.
Delivering Genesis Day Address on ‘Indian Economy on Fast Track Growth: Challenges and Opportunities’ at a function organised by the Alumni Association College of Engineering, Guindy, here on Thursday, he said Maoism and naxalism are symptoms of social and economic backwardness and the exploitation of the backward and tribal people by rich industrialists.
“The government is indifferent and does not stop this exploitation. It also does not have a long-term plan for their development. This increases their ire towards the government and government officers. Unless governments takes more interest in the welfare and economic development of the poor and tribals, it is difficult to wean people away from Maoism and naxalism,” said Mahalingam, an alumni of the association.
He said the country has 180 million hectares of cultivable land but only 57.24 million hectares of land have been brought under irrigated agriculture, while 122.73 million hectares of cultivable land remain starved of irrigation water.
“It has been estimated that with an investment of `12.5 lakh crore on micro irrigation and another `7.5 lakh crore on interlinking of rivers, another 175 million hectares of land being brought under irrigated agriculture, resulting in produce valued at `99.63 lakh crore being generated. This could help solve the poverty issue,” he added. Mahalingam released a book ‘Memoirs of Octogenarian Alumni’ Volume II which has personal reminiscence of 105 senior distinguished alumni who passed out in the year 1943-53.
V-C of Anna University P Mannar Jawahar and dean of the college M Sekar were present on the occasion.