Archive for June, 2006

Bhagat Singh

June 30, 2006



By ‘Revolution’ we mean the ultimate establishment of an order of society which may not be threatened by such breakdowns, and in which the sovereignty of the proletariat should be recognised and a world federation should redeem humanity from the bondage of capitalism and misery of imperial wars.
– Bhagat Singh

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Karnataka’s Hi-Tech Police

June 30, 2006

Karnataka’s Hi-Tech Police

The revolutionary situation in Karnataka did suffer a mighty blow with the death of Comrade Saketh Rajan.The Karnataka police think they finished off the movement in the state.Little do know about the revolutionary storm that is brewing in the villages and towns.

One reason why I think it will be tough for the Maoists to get a strong foothold in Karnataka is because the Karnataka Police is not like the Bihar or Jharkhand police—both of whom are utterly demoralised and totally useless.
The Karnataka Police is better equipped and better motivated than cops in other parts of the country.

When I say they are better, I say so only in relation to their capabilities, intelligence gathering and motivation ,in terms of corruption,brutality and savagery they are probably equal to the rest of the police in India.

A clear sign of this efficiency and superior capablities
can be found on the internet.

Mr B.Dayananda IPS who is the
Superintendent of Police Dakshina Kannada District
maintains a blog
http://spdk.blogspot.com/
It is in Kannada and English
He started this blog in December last year and has won a lot
of praise,recognition and applauds for his efforts.

This blog eventually inspired the Los Angles Police Departement( L.A.P.D )
to follow his example and start their own blog
at http://www.lapdblog.org on May 11,2006.

News Article
This blog inspired LA police

MANGALORE: One of the largest police forces in the United States – the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – has taken a leaf out of Dakshina Kannada district police. It started its own official blog – http://www.lapdblog.org on May 11.

Dakshina Kannada district police launched their blog on December 8, 2005.

While the purpose of launching the blog is well documented, what perhaps has gone unnoticed is that this local initiative has attracted attention from news agencies abroad. Andrew Glazer of Associated Press, Los Angeles, sent an e-mail questionnaire about the blog to B. Dayananda, Superintendent of Police, Dakshina Kannada, recently.

“His intent,” Mr. Dayananda said, “was to make a study about police blogs elsewhere in the world. The e-mail questionnaire sent to me was part of the study for a news report. While the focus of news report available on http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20060519-1052-ca-lapdblog.html is about the official blog of LAPD, there is a reference to our effort in that report along with other such efforts.”

Full Article

The Superintendent of Police Mr Dayandana surely has
my respect and it has been rightly earned.
That however does not mean we must allow a few honest cops to delude
us into believing the system is not rotting.For every honest efficient
IPS officer like Mr Dayananda we have IAS officers like Iqbal Khanday.

Comrade Saketh Rajan’s Diary Still Eludes the police

June 30, 2006

How much every high-tech the Karnataka Police might be they failed to crack Comrade Saketh Rajan’s Diary.Technology does have its limitations.

After Comrade Saketh Rajan was killed in Treacherythe police recovered a digital diary from him.
Today even one year after his death they have still not been able to crack it.

Naxal diary beats hi-tech State

The police department has failed to unlock the secrets hidden in the digital diary which was found at the site where Naxal leader Saketh Rajan was killed. The crucial inside information of Naxal activities in the Western Ghats, which the police was hoping would be theirs with the cracking of the digital diary password, will remain out of their reach.

The police claim to have left no stone unturned in trying to get the information in the diary, which was found in a handbag at the encounter site. The diary belonged to Casio company and the police took the diary to various branches of the company and technology centres in India, including IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Bangalore; Cyber Centre, Hyderabad and even Delhi. But the obsolete technology used in the diary worked against the police and even the company concerned failed to unlock the diary.

Link

Related Posts
We remember comrade Saketh Rajan and thus we make him Immortal

Marx on India under the British

June 30, 2006

Marx on India under the British

His essays in The New York Daily Tribune thoroughly expose the hypocrisy of “Free Traders”

KARL MARX ON INDIA – From the New York Daily Tribune
(Including Articles by Frederick Engels)
Editor – Iqbal Husain
Publishes by Tulika Books,
35 A/1 (3rd Floor), Shah Pur Jat, New Delhi-110049.
Rs. 495

This book, edited meticulously and with commendable scholarship by Iqbal Husain and brought out by Tulika Books and the Aligarh Historians Society, is a very important addition to the scholarly literature on both Karl Marx’s analysis of India and the nature of British imperialism in the 19th Century. At the same time, the book is also accessible to the lay reader who wishes to understand the views of the most significant thinker of the modern era on the specific issue of India under the British rule.

The main body of the book contains articles written by Marx in The New York Daily Tribune (NYDT) and a few by Marx’s comrade-in-arms Frederick Engels between 1853 and 1862. It also contains excerpts from the letters of Marx and Engels relating to India as well as a very thorough compilation, by Irfan Habib, of references to India in other writings of Marx and Engels.

Husain has included in the appendices unsigned articles on India — not conclusively established to be by Marx — published in NYDT between 1853 and 1858. Most importantly, the book includes, besides Husain’s useful prefatory note, two outstanding articles, one by the foremost Marxist historian of India, Irfan Habib, and the other by the foremost Marxist economist of India, Prabhat Patnaik.

Insightful essays

Marx’s articles are a treat to read and enormously insightful. Of the numerous NYDT articles by Marx, two namely `The British Rule in India’ (NYDT, June 25, 1853) and `The Future Results of British Rule in India’ (NYDT, August 8, 1853) have been widely cited, and understandably so. In these essays, Marx provides a brilliant critique of the horrors of British colonial rule in India as well as an incisive analysis, breathtaking for its prescience, of the consequences of British rule, which were to be very different, as Marx correctly pointed out, from the intentions of the colonial masters.

These and other essays thoroughly expose the hypocrisy of the `Free Traders’ and bring out the `happy coexistence’ of imperialism and free trade. One finds the letters strikingly relevant for contemporary times, as a critique of present-day neoliberalism as much as of classical liberalism whose attitude on the question of colonial exploitation was typically Janus-faced!

Dialectial

Also to be noted is the dialectical understanding that Marx provides. Thus even while he notes that “England has broken down the entire framework of… Indian society, without any symptoms of reconstitution yet appearing. This loss of his world, with no gain of a new one, imparts a particular kind of melancholy to the present misery of the Indian, and separates India, ruled by Britain, from all its ancient traditions, and from the whole of its past history” (NYDT, June 25, 1853), Marx also remarks that British actions in India undertaken with the aim of benefiting British capitalists, would nevertheless lay the basis for far reaching changes.

Thus he says: “All that the English bourgeoisie may be forced to do will neither emancipate nor materially mend the social condition of the mass of the people, depending not only on the development of the productive powers, but of their appropriation by the people. But what they will not fail to do is lay down the material premises for both. Has the bourgeoisie ever done more? Has it ever effected a progress without dragging individuals and people through blood and dirt, through misery and degradation?” (NYDT, August 8, 1853).

Completing his argument, Marx adds, “The Indians will not reap the fruits of the new elements of society scattered among them by the British bourgeoisie, till in Great Britain itself the now ruling classes shall have been supplanted by the industrial proletariat, or till the Indians themselves shall have grown strong enough to throw off the English yoke altogether.”

Contrast this incisive analysis of 1853, more than three dacades before even a very timid Indian National Congress was born, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s views expressed at Oxford University last year on the benefits of British rule(!).

Marx’s perception

Habib in his essay `Marx’s Perception of India’ demonstrates both the perspicacity of Marx’s analysis of British India and its contemporary relevance, and the fact that Marx was constantly, till the very end of his life, reading up on India, and enriching his views in the light of new knowledge. He also provides a stimulating critique of the notion of the Asiatic mode of production.

In his essay `The Other Marx’, Prabhat Patnaik brings out the very important theoretical implications of Marx’s articles on India in NYDT, especially for understanding the relationship between capitalism and pre-capitalist modes of production and resolving the debate over the necessity or otherwise of imperialism (in various forms) for sustaining capitalism as an economic system.

All in all, this is an exceptionally important book, well worth the time of the interested lay reader as well as the specialist.

Link

Bhagat Singh

June 30, 2006



By ‘Revolution’ we mean the ultimate establishment of an order of society which may not be threatened by such breakdowns, and in which the sovereignty of the proletariat should be recognised and a world federation should redeem humanity from the bondage of capitalism and misery of imperial wars.
– Bhagat Singh

Karnataka’s Hi-Tech Police

June 30, 2006

Karnataka’s Hi-Tech Police

The revolutionary situation in Karnataka did suffer a mighty blow with the death of Comrade Saketh Rajan.The Karnataka police think they finished off the movement in the state.Little do know about the revolutionary storm that is brewing in the villages and towns.

One reason why I think it will be tough for the Maoists to get a strong foothold in Karnataka is because the Karnataka Police is not like the Bihar or Jharkhand police—both of whom are utterly demoralised and totally useless.
The Karnataka Police is better equipped and better motivated than cops in other parts of the country.

When I say they are better, I say so only in relation to their capabilities, intelligence gathering and motivation ,in terms of corruption,brutality and savagery they are probably equal to the rest of the police in India.

A clear sign of this efficiency and superior capablities
can be found on the internet.

Mr B.Dayananda IPS who is the
Superintendent of Police Dakshina Kannada District
maintains a blog
http://spdk.blogspot.com/
It is in Kannada and English
He started this blog in December last year and has won a lot
of praise,recognition and applauds for his efforts.

This blog eventually inspired the Los Angles Police Departement( L.A.P.D )
to follow his example and start their own blog
at http://www.lapdblog.org on May 11,2006.

News Article
This blog inspired LA police

MANGALORE: One of the largest police forces in the United States – the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) – has taken a leaf out of Dakshina Kannada district police. It started its own official blog – http://www.lapdblog.org on May 11.

Dakshina Kannada district police launched their blog on December 8, 2005.

While the purpose of launching the blog is well documented, what perhaps has gone unnoticed is that this local initiative has attracted attention from news agencies abroad. Andrew Glazer of Associated Press, Los Angeles, sent an e-mail questionnaire about the blog to B. Dayananda, Superintendent of Police, Dakshina Kannada, recently.

“His intent,” Mr. Dayananda said, “was to make a study about police blogs elsewhere in the world. The e-mail questionnaire sent to me was part of the study for a news report. While the focus of news report available on http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20060519-1052-ca-lapdblog.html is about the official blog of LAPD, there is a reference to our effort in that report along with other such efforts.”

Full Article

The Superintendent of Police Mr Dayandana surely has
my respect and it has been rightly earned.
That however does not mean we must allow a few honest cops to delude
us into believing the system is not rotting.For every honest efficient
IPS officer like Mr Dayananda we have IAS officers like Iqbal Khanday.

Comrade Saketh Rajan’s Diary Still Eludes the police

June 30, 2006

How much every high-tech the Karnataka Police might be they failed to crack Comrade Saketh Rajan’s Diary.Technology does have its limitations.

After Comrade Saketh Rajan was killed in Treacherythe police recovered a digital diary from him.
Today even one year after his death they have still not been able to crack it.

Naxal diary beats hi-tech State

The police department has failed to unlock the secrets hidden in the digital diary which was found at the site where Naxal leader Saketh Rajan was killed. The crucial inside information of Naxal activities in the Western Ghats, which the police was hoping would be theirs with the cracking of the digital diary password, will remain out of their reach.

The police claim to have left no stone unturned in trying to get the information in the diary, which was found in a handbag at the encounter site. The diary belonged to Casio company and the police took the diary to various branches of the company and technology centres in India, including IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Bangalore; Cyber Centre, Hyderabad and even Delhi. But the obsolete technology used in the diary worked against the police and even the company concerned failed to unlock the diary.

Link

Related Posts
We remember comrade Saketh Rajan and thus we make him Immortal

Marx on India under the British

June 30, 2006

Marx on India under the British

His essays in The New York Daily Tribune thoroughly expose the hypocrisy of “Free Traders”

KARL MARX ON INDIA – From the New York Daily Tribune
(Including Articles by Frederick Engels)
Editor – Iqbal Husain
Publishes by Tulika Books,
35 A/1 (3rd Floor), Shah Pur Jat, New Delhi-110049.
Rs. 495

This book, edited meticulously and with commendable scholarship by Iqbal Husain and brought out by Tulika Books and the Aligarh Historians Society, is a very important addition to the scholarly literature on both Karl Marx’s analysis of India and the nature of British imperialism in the 19th Century. At the same time, the book is also accessible to the lay reader who wishes to understand the views of the most significant thinker of the modern era on the specific issue of India under the British rule.

The main body of the book contains articles written by Marx in The New York Daily Tribune (NYDT) and a few by Marx’s comrade-in-arms Frederick Engels between 1853 and 1862. It also contains excerpts from the letters of Marx and Engels relating to India as well as a very thorough compilation, by Irfan Habib, of references to India in other writings of Marx and Engels.

Husain has included in the appendices unsigned articles on India — not conclusively established to be by Marx — published in NYDT between 1853 and 1858. Most importantly, the book includes, besides Husain’s useful prefatory note, two outstanding articles, one by the foremost Marxist historian of India, Irfan Habib, and the other by the foremost Marxist economist of India, Prabhat Patnaik.

Insightful essays

Marx’s articles are a treat to read and enormously insightful. Of the numerous NYDT articles by Marx, two namely `The British Rule in India’ (NYDT, June 25, 1853) and `The Future Results of British Rule in India’ (NYDT, August 8, 1853) have been widely cited, and understandably so. In these essays, Marx provides a brilliant critique of the horrors of British colonial rule in India as well as an incisive analysis, breathtaking for its prescience, of the consequences of British rule, which were to be very different, as Marx correctly pointed out, from the intentions of the colonial masters.

These and other essays thoroughly expose the hypocrisy of the `Free Traders’ and bring out the `happy coexistence’ of imperialism and free trade. One finds the letters strikingly relevant for contemporary times, as a critique of present-day neoliberalism as much as of classical liberalism whose attitude on the question of colonial exploitation was typically Janus-faced!

Dialectial

Also to be noted is the dialectical understanding that Marx provides. Thus even while he notes that “England has broken down the entire framework of… Indian society, without any symptoms of reconstitution yet appearing. This loss of his world, with no gain of a new one, imparts a particular kind of melancholy to the present misery of the Indian, and separates India, ruled by Britain, from all its ancient traditions, and from the whole of its past history” (NYDT, June 25, 1853), Marx also remarks that British actions in India undertaken with the aim of benefiting British capitalists, would nevertheless lay the basis for far reaching changes.

Thus he says: “All that the English bourgeoisie may be forced to do will neither emancipate nor materially mend the social condition of the mass of the people, depending not only on the development of the productive powers, but of their appropriation by the people. But what they will not fail to do is lay down the material premises for both. Has the bourgeoisie ever done more? Has it ever effected a progress without dragging individuals and people through blood and dirt, through misery and degradation?” (NYDT, August 8, 1853).

Completing his argument, Marx adds, “The Indians will not reap the fruits of the new elements of society scattered among them by the British bourgeoisie, till in Great Britain itself the now ruling classes shall have been supplanted by the industrial proletariat, or till the Indians themselves shall have grown strong enough to throw off the English yoke altogether.”

Contrast this incisive analysis of 1853, more than three dacades before even a very timid Indian National Congress was born, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s views expressed at Oxford University last year on the benefits of British rule(!).

Marx’s perception

Habib in his essay `Marx’s Perception of India’ demonstrates both the perspicacity of Marx’s analysis of British India and its contemporary relevance, and the fact that Marx was constantly, till the very end of his life, reading up on India, and enriching his views in the light of new knowledge. He also provides a stimulating critique of the notion of the Asiatic mode of production.

In his essay `The Other Marx’, Prabhat Patnaik brings out the very important theoretical implications of Marx’s articles on India in NYDT, especially for understanding the relationship between capitalism and pre-capitalist modes of production and resolving the debate over the necessity or otherwise of imperialism (in various forms) for sustaining capitalism as an economic system.

All in all, this is an exceptionally important book, well worth the time of the interested lay reader as well as the specialist.

Link

Albert Einstein

June 28, 2006

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. – Albert Einstein

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation kept a 1,427 page file on his activities and recommended that he be barred from immigrating to the United States under the Alien Exclusion Act.
Einstein was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between 1937 and 1954 and also served as honorary chairman for three communist organizations.

Becoming a Naxalite in Bihar

June 28, 2006

Peasants Speak
Becoming a Naxalite in rural Bihar: Class struggle and its contradictions

George J. Kunnath*


[From: The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1, January 2006]

Ever since its inception during the 1960s, the Naxalite movement in
India has been the focus of scholarly interest and political analysis.
In spite of internal splits and external repression by the state, this
agrarian mobilization continues to gain ground in Bihar and elsewhere.
Both achievements and contradictions of such Maoist-inspired agency
and ideology are examined via the life story of a Naxalite – an
organic intellectual – from the Dalit community.

Of particular interest are the difficulties of having to protect
family members, as well as positive developments, such as shifts in
the language of struggle (from caste to class), and negative ones at
the level of political consciousness (the persistence of traditional beliefs,
receipt of pro-poor funding from the state).

I met Raju during my first visit to his village I call Dumari in
September 2002. My contact introduced him as netaji (leader). 1 He was
sitting with more than a hundred people who had gathered in Dumari for
a village meeting. In a torn vest and faded yellow dhoti, he was
wholly unlike the Indian netajis who paraded themselves in their
trademark kurta pajama.

I sat with him on a bundle of straw in the
village square, and began a conversation with him. The interview
situation was not one that is described in any anthropological
fieldwork manual, and I felt rather awkward asking him questions in
the presence of so many people.

In the course of this discussion, the first of many, Raju told me he
was around 48 years old and belonged to a Dalit community. Like
numerous other Dalits in the region, he was a landless agricultural
labourer who joined the Naxalites in the late 1970s. Unlike many,
however, he rose to prominence in the movement; for various reasons,
he later withdrew from active involvement.

I would learn more about him and the Naxalite movement, as I stayed in his dwelling for a year(2002-03) conducting fieldwork in Dumari and other villages of
Jahanabad district, Bihar. 2 We developed a close friendship, and I
began to address him as Rajubhai (bhai = brother), with affection and
respect. This presentation outlines his story, one that has been
shaped by exploitation, class struggle and violence.

A week after my first interview with Rajubhai, I returned to Dumari,
this time for a much longer stay. The assumption of the villagers was
that I had come back for yet another interview with Rajubhai. He
greeted me with the Naxalite lal salaam (red salute), a raised
clenched fist. That evening I ate at Rajubhai’s house, after which his
eldest son took me to the dalaan (common room) in the Dalit quarter of
the village. 3 There were already more than ten young men sleeping on
straw bedding, thickly spread across the floor.

I settled into one corner, but was unable to sleep in that windowless crowded room. Next morning, I told Rajubhai about my difficulty in sleeping in the
dalaan, and without a moment’s hesitation he said that I could stay in
his dwelling. This episode is mentioned here because it provides a
significant insight into the personality of Rajubhai.

Full Article Requires Subscription

KARNATAKA : Prakash to be firm with naxalites

June 28, 2006

KARNATAKA
Prakash to be firm with naxalites
Staff Correspondent

Says talks posible only if they shun violence

HUVINAHADAGALI (BELLARY DISTRICT): Home Minister M.P. Prakash has said
that the Government would adopt a multi-pronged programme to end the
naxal menace in the State. “Priority would be accorded to end the
naxal menace in the State. The Government proposes to tackle problems
by taking up development work, dialogue and persuasion,” he said.

Mr. Prakash told presspersons during his visit to his hometown on
Saturday that the Government would be firm against those indulging in
violence. “The Government would take steps to improve the
underdeveloped areas and ensure economic empowerment of the poor. The
Government is ready to have dialogue with the naxals if they come out
with important issues in a democratic way and within the legal
framework by shedding violence. At the same time, the Government would
not bow to killings and violence but would deal with such situations
with an iron hand,” he said.

To a question, Mr. Prakash said the authorities had been taking action
against those who had been posing as naxalites and indulging in
anti-social activities.

Modern equipment and special training for police personnel would be
provided to tackle the cyber crime and atrocities on women and
children. The Government had proposed to provide infrastructure and
facilities, including housing, a proper transfer policy, education and
health of their children to enable the police personnel to discharge
their duties properly.

The Minister said he had proposed to set up a police training centre
either in Bellary or in Hospet besides taking steps to rejuvenate the
buildings housing the police stations and build new ones wherever
necessary.

Link

What the rebels think today- Part I

June 28, 2006

What the rebels think today

Ramachandra Guha

The Battle for Bastar

Part I: Revolutionaries

In the early years of the 20th century, Gopal Krishna Gokhale remarked that “what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. The claim soon turned hollow as, in quick succession, the capital of British India shifted to New Delhi; Mahatma Gandhi assumed control of the national movement; and Bombay supplanted Calcutta as the financial hub of modern India. In later decades, Bengal and Bengalis collected a long series of laments as, in political and economic terms, they fell further behind other parts of the country.

In the first years of the 21st century, however, Gokhale’s prophecy seems to be coming true, not in whole, but in good measure. I have in mind the growing influence of armed Maoist revolutionaries. According to the latest report of the ministry of home affairs, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is active in more than one hundred districts. At least fifty-five are reckoned to be ‘seriously affected’ by revolutionary violence. In the considered view of the prime minister, this constitutes the gravest internal security threat to the nation, surpassing in its gravity the insurgencies in the North-east and in Kashmir.

The Maoist movement gathered force after the merger, in 2004, of the Andhra-based Peoples War Group and the Bihar-based Maoist Coordination Committee. The name that this united force bestowed upon itself – the Communist Party of India (Maoist) – was at once grand and clever. Clever, because the abbreviated form mimicked that of the most important left party in India. We are the real inheritors of the legacy of revolutionary Marxism, the new party was saying, whereas the fellows in Kerala and West Bengal are merely a bunch of bourgeois reformists. Grand, because by calling itself a party rather than a mere ‘group’ or ‘committee’, it could escape the stigma associated with that dreaded word: ‘Naxalites’.

Which is where Bengal comes in. For it was in the village of Naxalbari, in deepest north Bengal, not far from India’s borders with Nepal, China and (what was then) East Pakistan, that the movement first began in the form of a popular peasant uprising against the state government. Its leadership was assumed by the renegade cadre of the original CPI(M), who disapproved of their party’s first attempt – this was 1967 – to try and change the system by working within and according to the Constitution of India. A three-cornered battle ensued, between the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Naxalites, and the state. There was much loss of life, and it took the better part of a decade before peace returned to West Bengal.

That story is well known to readers of this newspaper. What is less well understood, perhaps, is the subsequent spread of the Naxalite movement to other parts of India. An early emulator was Andhra Pradesh, where leading figures likewise left the CPI(M) to work among poor peasants and tribal communities. In time, they were to form the PWG, which has maintained a persistent presence in the upland districts of the state. Meanwhile, armed conflict broke out between upper and lower castes in Bihar, the former represented by private armies, the latter by the cadre of the MCC.

Moving northwards from Andhra, and westwards from Bihar, the PWG and the MCC steadily expanded their influence across the heartland of India. They found most support among the tribals, a group alternately condescended to and treated with contempt by politicians and administrators. Worse off than even the Dalits, and without effective leadership of their own, many adivasis saw in the Naxalites an agency somewhat more welcoming (or at any rate less oppressive) than the state.

In the last week of May, this writer travelled with a group of colleagues through the district of Dantewada, of whose 11 taluks the Maoists control as many as five. Dantewada used to be part of the princely state of Bastar, the name by which the region is still generally known. Its hilly and wooded terrain is now home to a brutal civil war played out away from the national gaze and mostly unreported by the national press. It is, however, a conflict of the gravest importance to the future of India. For it is in this region that the Maoists have dug their deepest roots. Parts of Bastar are under their complete sway, safe havens from where they can make deadly forays into areas controlled by the Chhattisgarh administration.

Bastar forms part of a contiguous forest belt that spills over from Chhattisgarh into Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This was the mythical region of ‘Dandakaranya’, a name the Maoists have integrated into their lexicon. They have a special zonal committee for Dandakaranya, under which operate several divisional committees. These, in turn, have range committees reporting to them. The lowest level of organization is at the village, where committees are formed known as sangams.

We got a sharp insight into the Maoist mind in an extended interview with one of their senior leaders. He met our team, by arrangement, in a small wayside dhaba along the road that runs from the state capital, Raipur, to Jagdalpur, once the seat of the Maharaja of Bastar. There he told us of his party’s strategies for Dantewada, and for the country as a whole.

Working under the pseudonym of ‘Sanjeev’, this revolutionary was slim and clean-shaven, and soberly dressed, in dark trousers and a bush-shirt of neutral colours. Now thirty-five, he has been in the movement for two decades, dropping out of college in Hyderabad to join it. (The profile was typical – the leading Maoists in Chhattisgarh are all Telugu speakers from Andhra.) He now works in Abujmarh, an area so isolated that it remains unsurveyed (apparently the only part of India which holds this distinction), and where no official dare venture for fear of being killed.

Speaking in quiet, controlled tones, Sanjeev soon showed himself to be both deeply committed as well as highly sophisticated. Their sangams, he said, worked to protect people’s rights in jal, jangal zameen – water, forest and land. At the same time, they made targeted attacks on state officials, especially the police. Raids on police stations were intended to stop them from harassing ordinary folk. They were also necessary to augment the weaponry of the guerrilla army. Through popular mobilization and the intimidation of state officials, the Maoists hoped to expand their authority over Dandakaranya. Once the region was made a ‘liberated zone’, it would be used as a launching pad for the capture of state power in India as a whole.

Sanjeev’s belief in the efficacy of armed struggle was complete. When asked about two land mine blasts which had killed many innocent people – in one case members of a marriage party – he said that these had been mistakes, with the guerrillas believing that the police had hired private vehicles to escape detention. The Maoists, he said, would issue an apology and compensate the victims’ families. However, on other (and scarcely less brutal) killings, he said these were ‘deliberate incidents’; that is, intended as such.

We spoke to Sanjeev for close to two hours. All the while his eyes continually scanned the entrance to the tea-shop, taking in those who came in and went out. It was dark by the time we recommenced our journey to Jagdalpur, to proceed from there to Dantewada, and study by what means this threat to the Republic of India was being met. The agenda and actions of the Maoists have been presented in this article; the next article will analyse the major challenges to them.
This is the first part of a four-part article.

Link

Albert Einstein

June 28, 2006

A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. – Albert Einstein

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation kept a 1,427 page file on his activities and recommended that he be barred from immigrating to the United States under the Alien Exclusion Act.
Einstein was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between 1937 and 1954 and also served as honorary chairman for three communist organizations.

Becoming a Naxalite in Bihar

June 28, 2006

Peasants Speak
Becoming a Naxalite in rural Bihar: Class struggle and its contradictions

George J. Kunnath*


[From: The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 33, No. 1, January 2006]

Ever since its inception during the 1960s, the Naxalite movement in
India has been the focus of scholarly interest and political analysis.
In spite of internal splits and external repression by the state, this
agrarian mobilization continues to gain ground in Bihar and elsewhere.
Both achievements and contradictions of such Maoist-inspired agency
and ideology are examined via the life story of a Naxalite – an
organic intellectual – from the Dalit community.

Of particular interest are the difficulties of having to protect
family members, as well as positive developments, such as shifts in
the language of struggle (from caste to class), and negative ones at
the level of political consciousness (the persistence of traditional beliefs,
receipt of pro-poor funding from the state).

I met Raju during my first visit to his village I call Dumari in
September 2002. My contact introduced him as netaji (leader). 1 He was
sitting with more than a hundred people who had gathered in Dumari for
a village meeting. In a torn vest and faded yellow dhoti, he was
wholly unlike the Indian netajis who paraded themselves in their
trademark kurta pajama.

I sat with him on a bundle of straw in the
village square, and began a conversation with him. The interview
situation was not one that is described in any anthropological
fieldwork manual, and I felt rather awkward asking him questions in
the presence of so many people.

In the course of this discussion, the first of many, Raju told me he
was around 48 years old and belonged to a Dalit community. Like
numerous other Dalits in the region, he was a landless agricultural
labourer who joined the Naxalites in the late 1970s. Unlike many,
however, he rose to prominence in the movement; for various reasons,
he later withdrew from active involvement.

I would learn more about him and the Naxalite movement, as I stayed in his dwelling for a year(2002-03) conducting fieldwork in Dumari and other villages of
Jahanabad district, Bihar. 2 We developed a close friendship, and I
began to address him as Rajubhai (bhai = brother), with affection and
respect. This presentation outlines his story, one that has been
shaped by exploitation, class struggle and violence.

A week after my first interview with Rajubhai, I returned to Dumari,
this time for a much longer stay. The assumption of the villagers was
that I had come back for yet another interview with Rajubhai. He
greeted me with the Naxalite lal salaam (red salute), a raised
clenched fist. That evening I ate at Rajubhai’s house, after which his
eldest son took me to the dalaan (common room) in the Dalit quarter of
the village. 3 There were already more than ten young men sleeping on
straw bedding, thickly spread across the floor.

I settled into one corner, but was unable to sleep in that windowless crowded room. Next morning, I told Rajubhai about my difficulty in sleeping in the
dalaan, and without a moment’s hesitation he said that I could stay in
his dwelling. This episode is mentioned here because it provides a
significant insight into the personality of Rajubhai.

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Prakash to be firm with naxalites in Karnataka

June 28, 2006

KARNATAKA
Prakash to be firm with naxalites
Staff Correspondent

Says talks posible only if they shun violence

HUVINAHADAGALI (BELLARY DISTRICT): Home Minister M.P. Prakash has said
that the Government would adopt a multi-pronged programme to end the
naxal menace in the State. “Priority would be accorded to end the
naxal menace in the State. The Government proposes to tackle problems
by taking up development work, dialogue and persuasion,” he said.

Mr. Prakash told presspersons during his visit to his hometown on
Saturday that the Government would be firm against those indulging in
violence. “The Government would take steps to improve the
underdeveloped areas and ensure economic empowerment of the poor. The
Government is ready to have dialogue with the naxals if they come out
with important issues in a democratic way and within the legal
framework by shedding violence. At the same time, the Government would
not bow to killings and violence but would deal with such situations
with an iron hand,” he said.

To a question, Mr. Prakash said the authorities had been taking action
against those who had been posing as naxalites and indulging in
anti-social activities.

Modern equipment and special training for police personnel would be
provided to tackle the cyber crime and atrocities on women and
children. The Government had proposed to provide infrastructure and
facilities, including housing, a proper transfer policy, education and
health of their children to enable the police personnel to discharge
their duties properly.

The Minister said he had proposed to set up a police training centre
either in Bellary or in Hospet besides taking steps to rejuvenate the
buildings housing the police stations and build new ones wherever
necessary.

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What the rebels think today- Part I

June 28, 2006

What the rebels think today

Ramachandra Guha

The Battle for Bastar

Part I: Revolutionaries

In the early years of the 20th century, Gopal Krishna Gokhale remarked that “what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. The claim soon turned hollow as, in quick succession, the capital of British India shifted to New Delhi; Mahatma Gandhi assumed control of the national movement; and Bombay supplanted Calcutta as the financial hub of modern India. In later decades, Bengal and Bengalis collected a long series of laments as, in political and economic terms, they fell further behind other parts of the country.

In the first years of the 21st century, however, Gokhale’s prophecy seems to be coming true, not in whole, but in good measure. I have in mind the growing influence of armed Maoist revolutionaries. According to the latest report of the ministry of home affairs, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is active in more than one hundred districts. At least fifty-five are reckoned to be ‘seriously affected’ by revolutionary violence. In the considered view of the prime minister, this constitutes the gravest internal security threat to the nation, surpassing in its gravity the insurgencies in the North-east and in Kashmir.

The Maoist movement gathered force after the merger, in 2004, of the Andhra-based Peoples War Group and the Bihar-based Maoist Coordination Committee. The name that this united force bestowed upon itself – the Communist Party of India (Maoist) – was at once grand and clever. Clever, because the abbreviated form mimicked that of the most important left party in India. We are the real inheritors of the legacy of revolutionary Marxism, the new party was saying, whereas the fellows in Kerala and West Bengal are merely a bunch of bourgeois reformists. Grand, because by calling itself a party rather than a mere ‘group’ or ‘committee’, it could escape the stigma associated with that dreaded word: ‘Naxalites’.

Which is where Bengal comes in. For it was in the village of Naxalbari, in deepest north Bengal, not far from India’s borders with Nepal, China and (what was then) East Pakistan, that the movement first began in the form of a popular peasant uprising against the state government. Its leadership was assumed by the renegade cadre of the original CPI(M), who disapproved of their party’s first attempt – this was 1967 – to try and change the system by working within and according to the Constitution of India. A three-cornered battle ensued, between the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Naxalites, and the state. There was much loss of life, and it took the better part of a decade before peace returned to West Bengal.

That story is well known to readers of this newspaper. What is less well understood, perhaps, is the subsequent spread of the Naxalite movement to other parts of India. An early emulator was Andhra Pradesh, where leading figures likewise left the CPI(M) to work among poor peasants and tribal communities. In time, they were to form the PWG, which has maintained a persistent presence in the upland districts of the state. Meanwhile, armed conflict broke out between upper and lower castes in Bihar, the former represented by private armies, the latter by the cadre of the MCC.

Moving northwards from Andhra, and westwards from Bihar, the PWG and the MCC steadily expanded their influence across the heartland of India. They found most support among the tribals, a group alternately condescended to and treated with contempt by politicians and administrators. Worse off than even the Dalits, and without effective leadership of their own, many adivasis saw in the Naxalites an agency somewhat more welcoming (or at any rate less oppressive) than the state.

In the last week of May, this writer travelled with a group of colleagues through the district of Dantewada, of whose 11 taluks the Maoists control as many as five. Dantewada used to be part of the princely state of Bastar, the name by which the region is still generally known. Its hilly and wooded terrain is now home to a brutal civil war played out away from the national gaze and mostly unreported by the national press. It is, however, a conflict of the gravest importance to the future of India. For it is in this region that the Maoists have dug their deepest roots. Parts of Bastar are under their complete sway, safe havens from where they can make deadly forays into areas controlled by the Chhattisgarh administration.

Bastar forms part of a contiguous forest belt that spills over from Chhattisgarh into Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. This was the mythical region of ‘Dandakaranya’, a name the Maoists have integrated into their lexicon. They have a special zonal committee for Dandakaranya, under which operate several divisional committees. These, in turn, have range committees reporting to them. The lowest level of organization is at the village, where committees are formed known as sangams.

We got a sharp insight into the Maoist mind in an extended interview with one of their senior leaders. He met our team, by arrangement, in a small wayside dhaba along the road that runs from the state capital, Raipur, to Jagdalpur, once the seat of the Maharaja of Bastar. There he told us of his party’s strategies for Dantewada, and for the country as a whole.

Working under the pseudonym of ‘Sanjeev’, this revolutionary was slim and clean-shaven, and soberly dressed, in dark trousers and a bush-shirt of neutral colours. Now thirty-five, he has been in the movement for two decades, dropping out of college in Hyderabad to join it. (The profile was typical – the leading Maoists in Chhattisgarh are all Telugu speakers from Andhra.) He now works in Abujmarh, an area so isolated that it remains unsurveyed (apparently the only part of India which holds this distinction), and where no official dare venture for fear of being killed.

Speaking in quiet, controlled tones, Sanjeev soon showed himself to be both deeply committed as well as highly sophisticated. Their sangams, he said, worked to protect people’s rights in jal, jangal zameen – water, forest and land. At the same time, they made targeted attacks on state officials, especially the police. Raids on police stations were intended to stop them from harassing ordinary folk. They were also necessary to augment the weaponry of the guerrilla army. Through popular mobilization and the intimidation of state officials, the Maoists hoped to expand their authority over Dandakaranya. Once the region was made a ‘liberated zone’, it would be used as a launching pad for the capture of state power in India as a whole.

Sanjeev’s belief in the efficacy of armed struggle was complete. When asked about two land mine blasts which had killed many innocent people – in one case members of a marriage party – he said that these had been mistakes, with the guerrillas believing that the police had hired private vehicles to escape detention. The Maoists, he said, would issue an apology and compensate the victims’ families. However, on other (and scarcely less brutal) killings, he said these were ‘deliberate incidents’; that is, intended as such.

We spoke to Sanjeev for close to two hours. All the while his eyes continually scanned the entrance to the tea-shop, taking in those who came in and went out. It was dark by the time we recommenced our journey to Jagdalpur, to proceed from there to Dantewada, and study by what means this threat to the Republic of India was being met. The agenda and actions of the Maoists have been presented in this article; the next article will analyse the major challenges to them.
This is the first part of a four-part article.

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Winston Churchill

June 26, 2006

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter – Winston Churchill

Recently the democracy circus was held in Tamil Nadu.
Joker Jayalalitha and Joker Karunanidhi delighted the electorate
with their antics and prepostorous promises.

To know more about how the democracy circus functions read this article
The war of the freebies
A sneak peak into the functioning of Indian democracy

Salwa Judum Atrocities part III and part IV

June 26, 2006

Salwa Judum Atrocities part III

Salwa Judum Atrocities part IV

Previous Parts

Salwa Judum Atrocites Video Part I

Salwa Judum Atrocites Video Part II

The Octopus is Afraid

June 26, 2006

U.S. offers India help to fight Maoists

The US made this offer a couple of weeks ago

RAIPUR, India, May 26 (Reuters) – The United States has offered to help an Indian state remove thousands of mines planted by Maoist rebels and train its police force to battle the insurgents, a senior Indian official said on Friday.

Two American diplomats made the offer to the government of the central state of Chhattisgarh during a visit on Thursday, said B.K.S. Ray, senior state official for home affairs.

“They offered assistance in demining and counter-insurgency training of p.
olice personnel
and they also offered humanitarian relief to the camps for tribals,” Ray told Reuters.

A U.S. embassy spokesman denied an offer of help had been made but said American officials had discussed law enforcement among other issues during the trip.

David Kennedy said Washington was already coordinating with India, an increasingly close friend, in law enforcement and counter-terrorism.”All cooperation is coordinated at the federal level in New Delhi,” he told Reuters.

Chhattisgarh is the worst affected of at least 13 Indian states battling armed Maoist rebels who say they are fighting for the rights of millions of impoverished peasants and landless labourers.

Human rights groups say many people are being coerced into joining the Salwa Judum (Campaign for Peace) and have condemned the state government for putting civilians in the firing line.

The U.S. diplomats also visited a police jungle warfare school in Kanker town in southern Chhattisgarh.

More than 150 people, including policemen and dozens of Salwa Judum members, have been killed in Chhattisgarh since the start of this year. Most were killed in land mine blasts.

Any U.S. offer to help Chhattisgarh would be the first known foreign proposal of aid in India’s fight against Maoist rebels.

“We welcome anyone who supports us in the fight against terrorism,” Ray said.

Indian police say there are about 20,000 armed Maoist fighters across the country, with hundreds of thousands of supporters.

Last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Maoists were the biggest threat to the country’s internal security.

This meddling by the US in the internal affairs of India is the first signs that
India has lost its sovereignty.

Sonia-CPM regime suits the US

June 26, 2006

Sonia-CPM regime suits the US
By M.D. Nalapat

Words are cheap, it is deeds that count. Even while the CPI and the CPM weakly “protest” at the foreign policy of the UPA, the fact remains that both have joined with Sonia Gandhi.

Is it any wonder that official America is in love with Sonia Gandhi and her chosen instrument, Manmohan Singh? Both have ensured—with the full backing of the CPM and the CPI—that the Government of India is today effectively directed by junior officials in this city, the same way as Iraq and Afghanistan are.
Wherever one goes in Washington, whomever one meets who is in the policy establishment, the joy at getting a team in India that 100 per cent listens to US advice is visible.

Words are cheap, it is deeds that count. Even while the CPI and the CPM weakly “protest” at the foreign policy of the UPA, the fact remains that both have joined with Sonia Gandhi. Just whom is the CPI and the CPM fooling when they claim to be “against US hegemony” but are responsible for keeping in office the very UPA that has demonstrated unprecedented loyalty to Washington. These days, Manmohan Singh avoids the all-important Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit because his boss is nervous that attendance by an Indian Prime Minister at a summit where Iranian President Ahmedinejad is present would prompt US envoy David Mulford to remember yet more Swiss bank account numbers. Of course, times have changed, and the new haven for the proceeds of the enormous deals now being done by the Energy, Defense and other ministries is in Hong Kong, not that our Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, would dare be interested, even though it is common knowledge in international financial circles

Army sources say that there is daily pressure from Manmohan Singh to arrange a speedy withdrawal from Siachen, while naval officers speak of the same prime ministerial desire to get India to concede the very territory in Sir Creek that Ayub Khan went to war over in 1965.

As for scientists in the Department of Atomic Energy, they are a demoralized lot these days, aware that it will not be long before the Sonia-Manmohan duo install “IAEA” inspectors in almost all the installations needed to ensure success in the crucial thorium conversion programme, as well as in the production of missiles that can protect the billion-plus people of India.

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