Since as long as a decade the entire Maoist scandal of illicit Ganja cultivation and its organized smuggling is in the emphasis of Indian administration which roots down to the Cannabis farms along the Andhra – Odisha border. The ongoing Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case has dramatically brought the whole scandal in the picture. However, the Ganja business and its Maoist roots have been under official surveillance since a considerable period now. Several raids have been evident of the sophisticated Maoist business that runs under the veil of Ganja cultivation along the Andhra – Odisha border, smuggling it to all metro cities in handsome prices and most of it being controlled from Kerala. Besides, every person involved in the entire process, from cultivation to the last person in the chain of smuggling earns huge profit in a systematic manner along with protection against raids. But the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) has been successful lately, to break down this chain by giving a strong punch at the vulnerable spots. The lockdown had anyway slowed down smuggling activities to a great extent, resulting in a delay of funds provided to the Naxalites. Ultimately, this has resulted into desperate attempts for inter-state drug trafficking of ganja, making the chain vulnerable and at the same time making it easy for the NCB to investigate it further.
In Odisha alone, the ganja peddlers had started marking their presence once again in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Boudh, Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Angul, Sambalpur and Deogarh since 2010. Odisha has been ranking second consistently in India for destroying Ganja cultivation, so it is undeniable that the state has been on the red list of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) as well as of NCB. In case of Andhra as well, a great deal of trucks have been seized with supported evidence for smuggling huge quantities of ganja across states, especially to the metropolitan cities where it is sold at extensively profitable prices. These seizures are happening frequently since a decade along the Andhra – Odisha border while the recent one being from September itself. The crimes being exercised in this region are not limited to smuggling but also count illegal cultivation of ganja and most importantly forced labor of tribal farmers secured by Naxals. These farmers are unaware of the fact that farming of Marijuana is illegal in the country.
However, their socio – economic vulnerability plays a vital role here, which indirectly pushes them towards working in such fields. Besides, their vulnerability also helps Maoists to satisfy their own goals. That is precisely the reason why these regions are purposefully kept disconnected from remaining world in every possible way by the means of Naxals. More importantly, these regions are forced to be kept at a bay from infrastructure development which acts as a huge barrier in the investigation, making it difficult for the officials to reach there for inspection. For a long time, the areas under marijuana cultivation, although being a part of Indian land, were hidden and completely inaccessible which made it almost impossible to track them down from where the ganja was being provided throughout the country. Later it was also suggested and further executed that since tracking down these places by actually visiting them is not possible, satellite imagery should be used to find them. A scandal later also revealed that the tribal laborers forced to work in these fields are not only locals of Andhra and Odisha but some of them were also being migrated to work there from Kerala.
The Sushant Singh Rajput case which eventually revealed a drug scandal that runs fearlessly in the country has now raised many questions among the common masses about the legality of sale of Ganja at government authorized shops of Jaisalmer, Varanasi, Pushkar, Mathura, Hampi and Noida, which also has an explanation. According to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 unlicensed production, sale or distribution of Marijuana in any way is lawfully a crime. Government provides license to agencies for legally selling marijuana based on certain parameters, considering the medicinal significance of the herb as prescribed even in Ayurveda. The difference between marijuana sold at these shops and that sold by local distributors illegally is that when the business runs with a legitimate license then it becomes a part of the administrative scrutiny. Hence, even the money spent at these places is monitored. But the number of producers, sellers and distributors who are part of the illicit business of ganja are not in track of the government and thus all the money that is involved in this chain can never be monitored by executive authorities. Besides the agenda that is run by this money, is against the state and its people. Thus, an organized social unrest is arranged to destroy public property and lives by using their money about which the common people buying Ganja have no clue.
The illegal business of Ganja cultivation and smuggling is a well-managed Maoist set up functioning only to fulfill their personal communist agendas. This business is the backbone of the Maoist insurgencies and Naxalite movements happening in various parts of the country as it provides economic aid to Maoists for the affordability of arms and weapons to instigate social unrest as well as for certain other expenditures. Once the money earned by legitimate means enters this network of drug trafficking, it eventually goes in the communist pockets funding their movement where it cannot be tracked down. The Indian youth is the target purchaser in this business, since after paying the local distributor, they are clueless about the track of money that ultimately reaches the Maoist funds. It is significant for the youth to realize that this is not merely about a joint but about the whole illicit business that flushes down to growing insurgency in the country. The kick they experience and enjoy after smoking a joint aims at paralyzing the Indian economy to its core as well as blind folding the socio – political consciousness of young minds.