Archive for November, 2006

Quote on Struggle

November 30, 2006

Quote on Struggle


“Whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit.”
– Anonymous

Abadbhumi, a documentary film based on the forcefull aquisition of farmer’s land in Singur by West Bengal Government on behalf of TATA Motors.

November 30, 2006

Abadbhumi, a documentary film based on the forcefull aquisition of farmer’s land in Singur by West Bengal Government on behalf of TATA Motors.

*With Sub Titles in english.*


Watch it on the google video website

From the Economic and Political Weekly Archives , April 2005 – The Naxalite Movement in Central Bihar

November 30, 2006

Economic and Political Weekly April 2005

The Naxalite Movement in Central Bihar
– By Bela Bhatia

The main achievement of the Naxalite movement in central Bihar is that it has empowered the labouring and oppressed classes. The equations of power have changed drastically.

Yet, the quality of material life in the villages has not improved because the Naxalite leaders are not interested in ‘development’. There is now a tiredness among the people, which has resulted in a stalemate. The Naxalite movement will thrive only if it lets people’s concerns guide the vision of the parties. Another problem is factionalism; if the movement unites and focuses on people’s concerns it could make a real difference in Bihar.

Please note this article was published in April 2005 and
since then there have been many changes and the movement itself has
evolved and consolidated itself.
Download the full Article – 14 pages – PDF format

http://naxalrevolution.googlepages.com/NaxaliteMovementinBihar.pdf

Join Maoist Revolution Yahoo group for updates on the World Revolution

November 30, 2006

Join Maoist Revolution Yahoo group for updates on the World Revolution

Check the Home Page. Click the join button to subscribe: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MAOIST_REVOLUTION/
Click to Subscribe then follow the one step to confirm subscription:
MAOIST_REVOLUTION-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

MAOIST_REVOLUTION. (MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM)

The list is open to people who are at the very least anti-imperialist and want to learn more on issues at stake. MAOIST REVOLUTION will give regular updates from various sources on the People`s War`s being waged in NEPAL, PERU, INDIA, TURKEY, PHILLIPINES as well as other struggles including Armed Struggles being waged by Maoist forces and people’s Wars being prepared in IRAN, BANGLADESH, SRI LANKA, BHUTAN etc in the service of the WORLD REVOLUTION to liberate humanity from the dog-eat-dog system of Capitalism/imperialsm.

MAOIST REVOLUTION will also post statements from Maoist parties around the Globe when they arrive and members are encouraged to search for statements and articles in relation to these. MAOIST REVOLUTION understands that the World is divided into Oppressed and Oppressor Nations and that Africa, Asia and Latin America are the Storm centres of the WORLD REVOLUTION.

Andhra Pradesh police launch psycho-warfare on revolutionary maoists

November 30, 2006

The Police are now using emotional blackmail to lure maoists to surrender.
It is well know that once they surrender they are finished off
by police supported vigilante gangs who call themselves cobra’s and tigers.

Mums’ plead Maoist’s to come home

Nalgonda (AP): Police in Andhra Pradesh’s Nalgonda district has come up with a new way to curb the rising Maoist insurgency.

Mariamma, the mother of Rapolu Swamy, who is part of an active Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, fights back her tears as she appeals to her son to give up arms and return home.

“Please come back home my son. You have achieved nothing. We are begging everyone here needs you,” Mariamma says.

Maariamma is one of the many parents who have been approached by the Andhra Police to persuade the Maoists to surrender.

“Come back home, Jhan bee. Your mother cries for you. The children, elders are waiting for you,” another mother of a Maoist, Aminabi says.

Police have come up with the initiative called Amma Papulu or Call Of The Mother. Police say they came up with the idea, after realising that violent confrontations are not helping weed out the naxal problem. Emotional pleas help more in demoralising Maoist cadres.

“We go to every village that has lost their young sons/daughters to the Maoist movement. Getting the message across thru their mothers strikes the right chord about the futility of violence,” says Superintendent of Police, Nalgonda, Vijay Kumar.

Though the initiative is just a week old, it seems to be working as three Maoists have shown interest in surrendering.

Police now plan to launch the initiative in other naxal-hit districts like Warangal, Mehboobnagar and Adilabad.

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/mums-beg-maoist-kids-to-come-home/27366-3.html

Naxal couple’s remand extended

November 30, 2006

Naxal couple’s remand extended
Thursday November 30 2006 10:47 IST

BHADRACHALAM: Surrendered Maoist couple, Suryam and Santhakka, were produced before the judicial first class magistrate today on the expiry of their remand period in Warangal central jail. The judge extended their remand period. They were sent back to the Warangal central jail.

Both Suryam and Santhakka, against whom 48 cases were pending, applied for bail on Wednesday. Suryam is well-known all over the agency as Maoist squad commander in Charla area.

They were arrested recently in Bhadrachalam agency area.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEA20061130002532&Page=A&Title=Southern+News+-+Andhra+Pradesh&Topic=0

Napoleon Bonaparte Quote

November 29, 2006

Napoleon Bonaparte Quote
“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”– Napoleon Bonaparte

Tribals are animals, Dalits are sub-humans, Techies are god. – Biased Media reporting in India

November 29, 2006

Tribals are animals, Dalits are sub-humans, Techies are god. – Biased Media reporting in India

This is the general conclusion one can arrive at when one looks at
how the Mainstream media chooose’s to cover news issues.

By now most Indian’s would have been familiar with the
kidnapping drama of Adobe India’s CEO’s son and how
the news media masturbated to this event for 4 day’s.

Post climax when the kidnapping drama ended one would have
assumed that the frenzy that was whipped up would die down but
NO ! the media decided to try for multiple orgasms and
continued wanking clinging onto this limp piece of news.

One news channel even brought in an astrologer who claimed that
she had correctly predicted the time the kidnapped boy would
return home and that the kidnappers would have fed the boy ice-cream !

It is also important that one understands under what circumstances
this coverage happened for on the first day one could see
Naresh Gupta(CEO of Adobe India) begging the reporters not to
report this matter as it would jeopardize his son’s life.

But did the media listen No..
It not only ignored the father’s plea’s but
deliberately jeopardized the life of the boy,knowing well
that the publicity generated over this matter could cause
the kidnappers to panic and react in a negative manner.

They replayed,rehashed it again and again…
It took only a few hours for the kidnapping to become national news
but how long do you think it took the kherlanji massacare to
become national news ?

One and a half month(50 days)

That is the time theKherlanji Massacre took before it could make it to the front pages of
newspapers that too only after co-ordinated campaigning and
violent actions by protesting organisations.

While all this kidnapping drama was unfolding

60,000 people(mostly tribals) marched against
Essar Steel and Salwa – Judum(it is widely believed
Steel corporations like Tata and Essar are covertly
backing Salwa-Judum).

What did the media do ?

Nothing it didn’t even blink an eyelid,the national
media did not even report it.

Why ?

The media houses do not want to displease their corporate bosses
who have in the past threatened to cut off their advertising spends
on those channels,newspapers which portray them negatively.

With increasing foreign and private control of news channels
and newspapers the trend has only got accelerated in the last few years.

Not only did the media totally ignore the rally but it chose to publish Essar
Steel’s version that the tribals have agreed to give up their land !

And what did the government do ?
It tried to ban the rally initially but
relented only after the high court intervened.

This is the state of affairs in the country
where the rape and massacare of dalits takes 50 days
to make it to the newspapers.

Where protests by tribals are hushed up for fear
of displeasing their corporate bosses.

But hey
When a capitalist pig’s three year old runt get’s kidnapped
That’s News !
So much for being “Sabse Tez” and “Feeling the news”

From Anoop Saha’s blog

The 60000 strong rally that was denied permission

More than 60000 people (mostly tribals) attended a rally in Dantewada today. The rally was called by CPI (Communist Part of India) to protest against illegal land acquisition by essar steel in two villages of Dantewada district, namely Dhurli and Bhansi. The people also protested against Salwa Judum. The rally was entirely peaceful and people came as far as 200 km. Most of them walked to the venue. This despite the fact that their was no major leader addressing the rally and no party paid for their transportation.

Interestingly the Dantewada district administration had originally denied permission to hold the meet, citing security reasons. Not once, but thrice. Apparently, the administration was of the impression that protesting against essar is illegal in Dantewada. The organizers went to the CG high court in Bilaspur. The high court instructed the collector of Dantewada to ensure that the permission is granted for the rally, and ensure adequate police presence at the venue.

Ironically, the district administration on Dantewada allows the armed SPO and salwa judum cadres to roam around freely, kill at whim, extort from the common men and women, beat anyone, and doesn’t feel that they are a security concern. For them anyone opposing industrial houses, however large in numbers, however peacefully, they are a threat to peace.

Here it is important to note why are people angry with essar? As I wrote in my earlier post, the government of CG has acquired land in Dhurli and Bhansi on behalf of essar. Essar steel has signed an MoU with the CG govt to set up a steel plant in Dhurli near the Bailadila iron mines. Since Dhurli falls under fifth schedule, hence express permission of gram sabha is required before acquiring land. The people of Dhurli naturally protested against it.

On 30th august, a gram sabha was forcefully conducted in Dhurli. Before the gram sabha, some prominent panchayat members known for their opposition to the proposal were arrested on 26th August on a false charge. Their bail was denied. On 30th, villagers were called one by one to a room, where the MLA, Collector and essar officials were present and forced to sign on a document. Despite that the meeting was inconclusive, as quorum was not achieved. The next meeting was called on 9th september.

This time the administration took no changes. This time quorum was not necessary, as this is the second gram sabha on the same subject. Again the arrests were made and the entire road was sealed off. CRPF was deployed on the entire stretch. All villagers in Dhurli were ordered to stay in their homes. One by one each of them were escorted to the panchayat building by armed police and forced to sign on a document. The document said that the villagers agree to the rehabilitation package and are ready to vacate their land.

The details can be found in the memorandum (pdf) submitted by the people of Dhurli/Bhansi to NCST. Down to earth did a cover story on it last month. The dte story can be read here (link: word document). On 13th september 15000 adivasis took out a rally from Dhurli to Dantewada protesting against the illegality of the whole process. Daily Chattisgarh was the only newspaper that highlighted the rally .

Every other national and international newspaper carried on the essar story that tribal protesters have agreed to give up their land in favour of the steel plant.

Dhurli is a 100% adivasi village located on the road. The people here have never supported the naxalites. The state paid them back.

Outfoxed – Mind control techniques used by American Media – Now being replicated on Indian News channels at a television set near you

November 29, 2006

Outfoxed – Mind control techniques used by American Media – Now being replicated on Indian News channels at a television set
near you.

Excellent documentary on mind control techniques used by
media corporations in U.S.A.
All the more relevant for Indians here because
Rupert Murdoch has a large presence in India through
Star Network.

I recommend all readers view this.
Even user’s with low bandwidth and slow internet connections
will be able to watch this.


OUTFOXED

Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, have been running a “race to the bottom” in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.

The first minute of this video is in Dutch – The remainder is in English

Click on the link below to watch this video

Outfoxed Documentary

Comrade Azad the official spokesperson of the CPI(maoist) responds to the Economic and Political Weekly articles on Maoism

November 29, 2006

You may first want to read the articles that appeared in
Economic and Political Weekly July 22, 2006


Beyond Naxalbari


Learning from Experience and Analysis


Maoism in India

On Armed Resistance

The Spring and it’s Thunder


Maoist Movement in Andhra Pradesh

Given below is the response of Comrade AZAD the official
spokesperson of the CPI(maoist).Please note this response
was published in the middle of october 2006.

Maoists in India
A Rejoinder
Discussion
Economic and Political Weekly October 14, 2006 4379

AZAD

The special issue (July 22, 2006) devoted
to the Maoists in India reflects
recognition of the growing importance
that the Maoist-led movement plays in the
polity and the economy of the country.
However, what was disconcerting was
that an issue devoted to the Maoists did
not have a single article by the Maoists
themselves. The majority of the essays
appeared preoccupied with the question
of violence and not with the horrifying
conditions of the masses and finding a
way out for them.

Though the EPW has chosen a wide spectrum of views, it
would have been more constructive if the articles were
linked more to the question
of the alleviation of the horrifying
conditions of the masses, particularly in
this period of globalisation when the
situation has worsened.

The issue of violence should have been seen in this
context. In this reply, we will first very
briefly present our understanding of the
Indian social order, then discuss our own
goals as the framework from which to
view the points made by the writers, and
subsequently take up some of the main
issues on which we differ. We shall
assign importance to those arguments that
are really disturbing the well-wishers of
the movement.

Semi-Colonial, Semi-Feudal Order

Our beloved country, so rich in natural
wealth, human power and ingenuity, has
been reduced to a condition that is, in some
respects, worse than most of the countries
of sub-Saharan Africa. In these nearly 60
years of so-called independence the situation
has not significantly improved compared
to what prevailed in the last years
of the British Raj – at least for the general
masses. In the Nehruvian period, the model
of development relied on the “trickle down
effect”; now, in the present phase of
globalisation, there is no pretence of even
that.

The one lakh figure (official) of suicide
deaths in rural India in the past 10 years
is only the tip of the iceberg of misery that
none of the writers refer to. Poverty and
deprivation of the masses have continued
apace, more so in the present phase of
globalisation.

And, if the masses (not just Naxalites) dare to
even raise their voice for justice, they face the
lathis and guns of the state machinery with increasing
intolerance.

This was evident not only in the workers’
struggle in Gurgaon, the tribal people’s
struggle of Kalinga Nagar, the slum
dwellers’ resistance in Mumbai and Delhi,
the struggles of displaced people of the
Narmada, peasant struggles in Rajasthan,
the electricity employees’ struggles in UP
and Punjab, and the struggle of the state
government employees in Tamil Nadu,
but even in the protests against the recent
demolitions in the middle class localities
of Delhi. In all these struggles the people
were ruthlessly trampled upon, as they did
not have the strength to withstand the state
onslaught. As a result, their conditions
have gone from bad to worse. What answers
do the writers (in the EPW special
issue on the Maoist movement in India)
have to put an end to such endemic state
violence on different sections of struggling
people? How should these people
organise to improve their lives? How
should they fight back?

To negate the Maoist method, which has at least
achieved some degree of success, at least in those
areas where the Maoists have adopted the
path of armed struggle, without providing
an alternative, in effect, is to push people
into deeper and deeper despair (and poverty),
even as the moneybags strut around
flaunting their wealth.

The increasing state violence on the
masses and the growing impoverishment
are not just an accident or some isolated
instances, but endemic to the existing
system, which we Maoists broadly characterise
as semi-colonial and semi-feudal.

Semi-colonial because the Indian ruling
classes (big business, top bureaucrats, and
leading politicians running the centre
and the states) are tied to imperialist
interests.

Semi-feudal, as the old feudal relations have not
been smashed, only a certain amount of capitalist
growth has been superimposed on them. So also,
the Parliament is no democratic institution
(as in countries that have been through
a democratic revolution – a bourgeois
democracy) but has been instituted on
the existing highly autocratic state and
semi-feudal structures as a ruse to dupe
the masses.

The contemporary Indian economy is
unduly influenced by the activities of
carpetbaggers, a ruthless mafia, rapacious
mining interests and giant speculators, all
linked to the politics of criminality. The
degeneration is so deep, the rot so acute
that these same moneybags are floating
thousands of non-government organisations
(NGOs) in order to trivialise the
ills of the system so that people are
diverted from seeing that these are endemic
to the very system itself and not due to
just some bad individuals or policies.

The semi-colonial, semi-feudal order reproduces
social polarisation – a growing rich
and their vast number of hangers-on, and
an increasing mass of the impoverished.
A small section of the middle class is
moving into the first category, partaking
of some crumbs from the opulent dining
table; the bulk of the people are being
pushed into squalor, unemployment,
agrarian crisis, business bankruptcy and
financial ruin.

Even the local bourgeoisie(small) and small
traders are being squeezed out in increasing
numbers with the entry of giant companies in
all spheres of the economy.

With these extremes of wealth and
poverty, in order to protect the enclaves
of the rich and powerful, the state will be
driven to resort to more and more repression
of the people and their organisations.

It is only within this framework that one
can understand why the home ministry
designates the Maoists as the number one
threat to “internal security”. We Maoists
seek a just and equitable order. In this
endeavour, the key question is how does
one confront the repressive Indian state
that brutally tramples upon the people,
even as it defends and pampers the
wealthy. But before that let us get to what
we stand for.

Maoist Model of Development

We Maoists stand for a people-oriented,
self-reliant model of development. In this
model, people play the central role; their
initiative is released to the fullest extent
possible. We are of the opinion that all
wealth generated within the country should
stay here and not be allowed to be drained
off abroad. India is a very rich country with
tremendous human power and ingenuity,
together with a vast natural resource base.
The vast wealth, illegally and immorally
appropriated by the imperialists, feudal
elements and compradors, should be seized
and turned to use in developing the
economy, first and foremost in agriculture
and in rural areas, where the bulk of our
people live.

Our model of development is oriented
to vastly enhancing the purchasing power
of the masses. This will create a huge home
market in the country itself, which will act
as the main engine for growth. The starting
point for this is overhauling the rural
economy, where 70 per cent of our people
live. This will be initiated through land
reforms, by the redistribution of land on
the basis of “land-to-the-tiller”. In his
article, Tilak D Gupta says that this is not
viable any longer as there is not enough
surplus land. But has he fixed a viable
ceiling to determine how much land will
be available for redistribution? Has he
determined how much land is with the
government/panchayats; how much land
is with religious institutions and mutts;
how much land is with absentee landowners
(even most bureaucrats/army officials
maintain land, and many, in fact, purchase
more); and how much land is with the
private corporate sector and with luxury
resorts, golf clubs, etc?

The land reforms, coupled with large
investments in agriculture (to also regenerate
the soil destroyed by the green
revolution), forestry and allied activities
(poultry, goat farming, fishery, etc), will
enormously expand the rural populace’s
purchasing power. This in turn will create
a market for the basic necessities of life
and will help generate local industry,
resulting in employment generation.
With this employment generation the
purchasing power will increase further,
leading to more industry, and it is this
spiral that will result in continuous growth.

In this development model, growth (and
extension of the home market) will be
linked to people’s welfare and will in fact
be dependent on it.

In the urban areas too, industrial production
will be people-oriented. The opulent
expenditure of the super rich will cease (as
their surplus and ill-begotten wealth will
be confiscated) and the vast slums will be
rehabilitated.

Job security will be ensured with a living wage and
there will be no necessity to cling to ancestral land
as a source of security to fall back upon. This
will release a further amount of land for
the impoverished rural populace.

Cultural, sports and recreational activities
will involve the masses, while education
will be made available to all. All forms
of caste and patriarchal oppression/
discrimination will be fought against and
prohibited. Untouchability will be abolished
and severely punished. All degenerate and
feudal ideas will be fought against long
after the revolution through cultural
revolutions. Healthcare will be freely
available, and more focus will be on
preventive care and hygiene.

In a nutshell, this is the model of development
that we Maoists stand for. It is stated
in the party programme and political resolutions
issued from time to time. On this,
there is no ambiguity. In Bastar, before the
massive state onslaught in the present
Salwa Judum campaign, extensive development
projects along the above lines
were taken up and have been documented
in the booklet New People’s Power in
Dandakaranya (2000).

In Andhra Pradesh,Jharkhand and Bihar, it was the just
struggles of the peasantry under Maoist
leadership that led to the seizure of lands
from the big landlords and distribution
among the landless and poor peasants.
What we propose is a model of new
democracy built around the axis of land
reforms and a self-reliant economy. It is
also this new democratic model that we
seek to implement (on seizing power) in
its rudimentary form in the guerrilla bases
and later in the base areas.

That is why in Dandakaranya the Maoists not only
implemented people-oriented projects
(when the military operations were not as
intense) but also called for the stopping of
our rich iron ore being taken away by Japan
at the Bailadilla mines and supported the
400-odd indigenous small-scale rolling
mills facing closure due to government
policies.

Is this model violent? Is it undemocratic?
It is in fact the most humane and
peace-loving model of growth. But when
we try and implement it, the state comes
down heavily on us and on the masses that
support us. It is not we who seek violence.
In fact, for over a decade we were able to
build extensive developmental projects in
Dandakaranya and Jharkhand when the
government’s military actions were at a
lower scale.

We seek to implement the model of development
just outlined; if this can be done peacefully,
so much the better. But history has shown us that
the moneybags and their political representatives are
unable to accept even the thought of such
a transformation.

The Question of Violence

The question of violence is the single
most important thread passing through
all the articles. No real communist is for
violence per se. Communists are for a
peaceful social system built around
equality and justice. But when they seek
to work for such a system they are attacked
most brutally. This has been the case ever
since the birth of the communist movement.
They have been massacred and exterminated
right from the days of the Paris
Commune.

It would be naïve to think that
the Indian ruling classes, who have a lengthy
record of violence unleashed on the
oppressed masses, are any better. Besides,
it is not just state violence that people
face; in a class society, as in India, violence
is endemic to the very system and the
oppressed masses are exposed to it in the
course of their daily lives – by the feudal
authority and by factory managements,
and also as a result of untouchability,
patriarchy, etc.

Human society, ever since the origin of
private property and classes, has moved
forward only through a process of prolonged
and tortuous struggles, and by
countering the violence of the ruling classes.

To expect that the ruling classes will today
accommodate those demanding a new and
more advanced social system is to deny the
lessons learnt from history. For instance,
K Balagopal has speculated regarding an
alternative response that could have been
pursued by the Maoists even after the
encounter killings began in Andhra
Pradesh. Would the government, as speculated
by Balagopal, have allowed the
Maoists to concentrate on exposing the
anti-poor bias of the present development
model and extend their mass activity to a
point that would have given their aspiration
for state power a solid mass base?

If that possibility existed, why in the first
place did the ruling classes attack the legal
movement in Karimnagar and Adilabad?
There was then no armed activity when the
Disturbed Areas Act was put in place by
the Chenna Reddy government in 1978.

And, how does one confront the attacks
by the landlords and the police? Balagopal
also asserts that a positive response from
the state would have de-legitimised the
argument for revolutionary violence. Such
speculation only displays the illusions of
our intellectuals with regard to the nature
of the state. What is needed is a realistic
appraisal of the situation.

To put so much emphasis on the violence
of the Maoists appears to divert the issue,
where, in the present system the masses
have to face violence everyday of their
lives. Hundreds die each day of hunger,
starvation and easily curable illnesses.
Semi-feudal authority in the villages has
only force as its major instrument of control.

Workers in all but the big industries (some
time even there) have to regularly face the
hoodlums maintained by the management
and even the police. The women of our
country have to face daily patriarchal
violence and there are many so-called
dowry deaths each year. Dalits have to face
humiliation and abuse on a daily basis.

And, over and above all this is the violence
of the state, the Hindutva fascists, the mafia
linked to the mainstream political parties,
big business, and so on.

The violence of the Maoists, which is
preceded and provoked by the violence of
the oppressors, is not really the main issue;
justice is. If Naxalite violence is to be
discussed, it should be in the context of
violence pervading every aspect of our
system. If not seen in this framework, one
falls prey to the abstract bourgeois concept
that “violence breeds violence”, without
understanding the structural causes of
violence.

One important aspect of today’s counterinsurgency
operations is the massive use
of an informer/espionage network to decimate
the movements, not only externally,
but also from within. Today, this is one
of the major weapons in counter-insurgency
strategies in the world, including
India. Counter-insurgency operates right
from the village level, the mass organisation
level, to covert operations within the
party itself.

Massive funds are being secretly allocated
for this purpose. Most of these informers pose
as “civilians”, and many can be from the poorer
classes. But, their existence has lead to the death of
thousands of the best of revolutionaries
throughout the world. This has been accompanied
by brutal torture to extract
information. Earlier, accounts of brutal
torture became public; now, the ruling
classes make sure that this does not happen
by killing the tortured victim and by
legitimising torture as a necessary component
of the “war against terror”.

What the world sees is only the overt
violence of the state, not these covert
operations. The only long-term method of
countering these operations is through
deepening the mass base of the party (not
mere mass support) and raising its political
level.

It is also necessary to deal with the
problem in the immediate; otherwise the
best of our cadre get killed. If all persons
in every village are tightly organised (into
mass organisations, militia, and party units)
it is very difficult for an informer to
survive without getting noticed. But such
intensive organisation takes time and is
not so easy in the bigger villages and the
urban bastis. In between, the informers are
recruited. Most of the elements recruited
by the state may come from ordinary backgrounds,
but they are mostly lumpen or
degenerate elements. They are recruits in
the covert operations of the police and the
army. Any leniency towards them can mean
(and has meant) the death of the best of
our comrades.

Actions against these elements cannot be construed
as violence on civilians, but on recruits to the police/
paramilitary forces, and should be seen as
such. This is important to understand, in
the light of modern-day counter-insurgency
in the form of Low Intensity Conflict,
originally devised by the MI5 (of Britain)
and the CIA (of the US), and used throughout
the world.

Major Misconception

There is yet another major misconception
– that “innocent” people are being caught
in the crossfire between the Naxalites
and the police. First, this is not a fact.
Secondly, the “people” are not a homogeneous
mass; the ruling elite and their
hangers-on are with the state, while the
masses of the oppressed are with the
Naxalites. The former support state terror
(as in the Salwa Judum), while the latter
act together with the Maoists to resist such
terror. The misconception of a homogeneous
populace is linked to postmodernist
thinking of a so-called “civil
society”, which conceals class divisions
within society. All the same, in conflicts
involving state terror and the people’s
resistance to it, there will be some sections
not allied to either side, but the majority
are polarised into two camps – a minority
allied with the state, on the one hand,
and the masses backing the Naxalites,
on the other.

The above-mentioned fallacy of
conceptualising the people as a homogeneous
mass runs through all the articles,
including that of Sumanta Banerjee when
he writes: “… the Maoist guerrillas often
betray an immature mindset by intimidating
them, instead of patiently politicising
them”.

In our view, at the village level, the
masses are divided into three sections: the
diehard reactionaries, the intermediary
sections who may vacillate between the
two contending forces, and the masses
won over by the Maoists. Banerjee’s statement
would apply to the intermediary
sections. The reality however is that the
bulk of the actions taken by the Maoists
have been against the diehard reactionaries.

There may have been errors, as also
different conceptions of who belongs to
the first or second category. While these
can be discussed, the three sections have
to be clearly demarcated, for this is fundamental
to understanding the class struggle
at the ground level, which is a struggle for
power.

The diehard reactionaries have to
be suppressed, while the rest have to be
patiently politicised. There are, of course,
problems of class analysis and consequently,
incorrect handling of contradictions
among the people due to inexperience
of some cadres. Although this is an
exception rather than the rule, the state has
used these aberrations by magnifying them
and many intellectuals who refuse to see
the reality have become a prey to such
intrigue of the state, often joining the chorus
against revolutionary violence.

Further in the same vein Sumanta
Banerjee adds: “Of the two (i e, state and
communist revolutionaries), the communist
revolutionaries who claim to look after
the welfare of the poor and the oppressed,
are expected to be more humane in their
choice of tactics and genuinely democratic
in getting popular consent for them –
particularly when such tactics affect the
vast masses of uninvolved citizens.

If in their drive for retaliation they stoop to the
level of the police or security forces and
indulge in indiscriminate attacks on soft
targets…” Now, real humanity entails
unconditionally standing by the oppressed.
But there is no all-encompassing humanity.

In a class society, where the ruling
classes fiercely crush the oppressed at every
step, real humanity entails fierce hatred for
their oppressors. There can be no love
without hate; there is no all-encompassing
love. The Maoists may err in certain
actions, from which we will learn certain
lessons, but “to be more humane” cannot
be associated with the question of civil
behaviour vis-à-vis the enemy and their
agents in our tactics. Having said this,
quite rightly, there should not be any attack
on soft targets, but targets have to be
assessed within the framework of the
politico-military aims of the movement –
both immediate and long-term.

For Sumanta Banerjee, a school building
housing the paramilitary, or, communication
towers, may be soft targets, but for
the Maoists it would be part of their longterm
aims to counter the enemy forces.

Sumanta Banerjee’s clubbing of Maoist
violence with that of the Islamic fundamentalists
is unfair, as nowhere have the
Maoists consciously attacked civilians.
The so-called civilians of the Salwa Judum
are basically the SPOs and “lumpen”
elements mobilised by the state as a vigilante
force to kill, burn, loot and destroy
tribal life in countering the Maoists. Though
unnecessary losses should be avoided, like
the two children in the Errabore camp, no
people’s war can be so clinical, as to have
no civilian causality. The point is whether
the maximum care has been taken not to
affect civilians. The police/paramilitary
have been utilising this principled stand
of the Maoists in their tactics to counter
them.

For instance, they travel in public
transport buses along with civilians and
use the masses as human shields while
entering areas that are Maoist strongholds.

They know well the Maoists will not
attack if civilian lives are involved. They
also employ unarmed policemen and
home guards to collect information about
the Maoists from villages in Naxalite
strongholds, and even use women as informers
as the Maoists do not easily target
such people.

Three thousand home guards were recruited recently
in AP along with 1,500 SPOs, as admitted by the chief
minister at the chief ministers’ meeting
on terrorism and left extremism on
September 5 this year. The home minister
and DGP of AP admitted that they had
deliberately not given rifles in about 500
or so police stations in the state as they
were sure Maoists would not attack
unarmed policemen.

So, to sum up, violence is endemic in
this brutal system. One cannot appreciate
the need for revolutionary violence unless
one understands the fascist nature of the
state, the cruelty of the state’s forces,
tortures and fake encounters, bans on
peaceful meetings, and state violations of
the democratic rights of the people. The
fascist nature of the state is exposed when
confronted by powerful people’s movements,
as we witness in all those areas of
activity of the Maoist movement.

In fact, Maoist violence is only to put an end to
all the violence in this rotten system and
to bring peace to our country and people.
There is no other recourse in such a brutal
and ruthless system. We sincerely ask the
writers to please suggest how to end the
violence of oppressors and the state that
acts on their behalf?

How can the oppressed masses gain justice?
Finally, we wish to state that in the course
of the revolutionary movement we do make
mistakes on this account; but wherever we
have done so, we have never sought to hide
it, but have issued a public apology. While
we will always try and learn from our
shortcomings, it must also be realised that
no class war can be conducted with clinical
precision. It is very tortuous and painful;
just as the daily life of the bulk of our
population is no less agonising.

We will now take up some other major
arguments and leave the rest for a future
discussion.

Comparisons with Nepal Maoists

There is a tendency to compare the
Maoists movements of Nepal and India,
pitting the Nepal Maoists’ present tactics
as a supposed peaceful alternative to the
Indian Maoists’ violent methods. One
should not forget that the present victories
of the anti-monarchy movement are primarily
a result of the success of the politico-
military battles by the People’s
Liberation Army and their ability to beat
back the attacks of the king’s army.

Their victories are built on the backbone of a
30,000 strong PLA and one lakh militia,
and the loss of 12,000 lives. This fact is
brought out in a recent interview with the
Hindi magazine Philal where comrade
Prachanda, the chairman of the CPN
(Maoist), said: “When we talk with the
leaders of these political parties we say that
had we not been armed, there would have
been no 12-point understanding. Had we
not been armed, Deuba would never have
been able to come out of prison. Had we
not been armed, many of you would have
been killed because of the feudal
monarchy, which murdered its blood
relations inside the Palace…

We also told them that our weapons only made the
revival of your parliament possible, you
are not credited with it; the credit goes to
the PLA…”. Besides, change of tactics
depends on the situation in the respective
countries and the strength of the contending
forces.

Sitaram Yechury has particularly
sought to pit the Nepal Maoists against
the Indian Maoists. While the CPI (M)
brutally suppresses the Maoists in West
Bengal, it is hypocritically speaking in
praise of the Nepal Maoists. Instead of
pitting one revolution against the other, it
would be far more constructive to take the
positive experiences of other revolutions
and see how best these could concretely
be applied to the Indian revolution to take
it forward. This brings us to debates about
the revolutionary path.

On the Revolutionary Path

Among the writers, the most forthright
in questioning the very path of the revolution
was Tilak D Gupta who said: “…the
case for revising the ideological-political
line and the strategy and tactics of the
CPI (Maoist) is quite potent by itself
because of the changed international
situation and above all due to the major
worldwide setback to socialism”.

Earlier in the article, he also raised doubts on the
change to Maoism. He questions some of
the very basics of the CPI (Maoist). Sagar
too, after raising questions on a large
number of tactical issues – idealising
elections, pitting mass action against
armed struggle, opposing democratisation
of tribal culture, negating its successes and
only focusing on its supposed lack of
presence everywhere (as though all over
the world Marxists are making sweeping
gains) – he goes to the extent of clubbing
the entire “left”, including the parliamentary
CPI and CPI(M) with the CPI (Maoist)
in a single category by calling for a “genuine
confederation of the various Left
organisations”.

Sagar goes so far as to equate the parliamentarians
with those leading the armed struggle by saying:
“In the broad context of Indian politics
it would appear to him/her that the Left
in all its diversity is actually part of one
‘parivar’ with one component doing nothing
but parliamentary work and the other
focusing on armed struggles and the middle
consisting of many combinations of these
two extremes”.

Mohanty, while even erring on facts (claiming that all
the ML groups have equal strength, which not
even the enemies of the movement say),
equates the CPI (Maoist) with the revisionist
Liberation and Kanu Sanyal groups.

Some of the writers have highlighted certain
lacunae within the movement to negate
the entire path, others negate it in the
name of the “changed situation”, and yet
others negate it by obfuscating the lines
of demarcation between Marxism and
revisionism.

Let us take some of these arguments. As
Tilak says, it is true that there have been
some changes in the international situation,
though the basic essence of imperialism
has not changed. But the changes,
linked with the economic crisis, and the
increasing ferocity of imperialism, particularly
US imperialism, would warrant
more extensive and deeper armed resistance
than what we have today.

Witness what happened in Iraq, or the arrogance
displayed by Israel in Lebanon and Palestine;
or the massacres of communists and
even liberal opposition in Latin America;
the butchery of hundreds of mass leaders
in the Philippines, etc. The much talked
of “space” for the revolutionaries and
democrats is shrinking, not because of
the armed activities of the Maoists, but
because of the increasing fascist character
that imperialism and its agents throughout
the globe are acquiring.

This is evident in India where the governments at
the centre and the states are enhancing their armed
might on a scale never seen before. They
realise that with the aggressive implementation
of the policies of LPG, mass revolts
will have to be dealt with. So, it is not clear
in which direction does Tilak pose the
case for revising the ideological-political
line and the strategy and tactics of the
CPI (Maoist). There is need for much
greater depth of analysis before making
such far-reaching statements.

Today if the movement is weak in many
parts of the country, the need is to strengthen
it there, not change the path to some vague
“genuine confederation of the various Left
organisations”. What is needed is not such
an amorphous conglomeration, but a genuine
United Front (UF) of the four classes
of the workers, peasants, middle classes
and the national bourgeoisie. An effective
UF is the only way to rally all the antiimperialist,
anti-feudal forces and not a
confederation of the various Left
organisations, which blurs the basic distinction
between the different class forces.

The history of all revolutions, particularly
that of Russia and China, has clearly shown
that victory was only possible by fighting
an uncompromising ideological-political
battle with all forms of revisionism. Where
the path of compromise was adopted,
the socialist goal was lost, though there
may have been military victories, as in
Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, etc.

Tribal and Caste Questions

There is a tendency to focus on identity
politics, as in K Balagopal’s article, and
idealise backward tribal societies, as in
Sagar’s and Nandini Sunder’s articles, both
of whose approach is linked to a postmodernist
perspective actively promoted
by the NGOs.

K Balagopal not only talks of identity
politics but also believes that as a result
of the revolutionary struggle the biggest
sufferers are the oppressed themselves –
what he calls the “decimation of the organic
leaders”. It is true that our movement has
generated hundreds of intellectuals from
the most oppressed; yet Balagopal negates
the revolutionary process when he ends his
piece by saying that “the daily losses of
such persons is a sacrifice the oppressed
cannot be called upon to put up with
indefinitely”.

This is an ambiguous end and could have many
implications – it seems to imply that the oppressed
should give up,
what to him seems a futile path. If there
are excessive losses, the causes have to be
found and corrections made, but to expect
revolution without sacrifice is illusory.
As far as “identity politics” is concerned,
it divides the masses; what is required is
a class approach that unites the masses,
including the oppressed.

A class approach to the caste question demands an end to
upper-caste oppression, brahaminical
ideology and abolition of the pernicious
caste system, including ‘untouchability’.
But, “identity politics” only emphasises
caste and acts to ossify caste divisions
further.

As far as preserving tribal culture NGOstyle
is concerned, it would be good if
Sagar and Nandini Sunder talk to the women
of Bastar who would recount what that
culture also gave them – forced marriages,
witchcraft, superstition, forced drudgery,
etc.

Though not as bad as the Hindu patriarchal system,
tribal culture is far from idyllic. The Maoists have indeed
sought to learn from the adivasi masses
and have taken all that is positive in tribal
culture, while doing away with the dross.
So, we have not only sought to preserve
the Gondi, Santhali and other languages,
but have also developed them; we have
preserved and adopted the folklore of
the tribal peoples and their dance forms,
infusing them with social content. We have
encouraged and further enhanced the elements
of community and collective living,
which were a natural part of their
culture.

We are preserving the forests and
taking up reforestation campaigns. In
addition, we have taken education to the
tribal peoples and modern knowledge,
which cannot be expected to continue to
be the sole preserve of the established
intellectual elite.

Conclusion

India is a vast and highly complex society
with uneven and varied development. It
has the universal features of any semicolonial,
semi-feudal society under the grip
of finance capital; it also has many a
specificity, which requires deep study and
analysis.

Revolution here is no simple task.
While focusing on the axis of the armed
agrarian revolution it would additionally
entail dealing with and solving the varied
and numerous diseases afflicting our sociopolitical
system. The new democratic
revolution entails the total democratisation
of the entire system and all aspects of life
– political, economic, social, cultural,
educational, recreational, etc.

The standard of life has to be enhanced, not only
materially but also in the sphere of outlook
and values. A new social being has to
emerge in the course of the revolutionary
process. As communists we are always
ready to rectify our mistakes and listen to
others, as we have the interests of the
people at heart.

But the criticisms would help if they were concrete;
those that we agree with we will willingly accept and
try and improve our practice; where we
disagree we can freely and openly debate
the issue.

[The author is the official spokesperson of the
CPI (Maoist). This is an edited and abridged version
of the original manuscript.]

Indian Maoists sulk as Nepali comrades make peace

November 29, 2006

Indian Maoists sulk as Nepali comrades make peace

GARHWA, India (Reuters) – Maoist rebels may be laying down their weapons in Nepal, but over their border in India their ideological brethren are still talking the language of armed revolution and the destruction of capitalism.

Maoists from both countries formed an alliance in 2001 against “feudal exploitation” and “American imperialism”, but these days the relationship is showing serious signs of strain.

Nepal’s rebel chief Prachanda signed a peace deal with the government last week that paves the way for his forces to disarm and join an interim government.

Elections will be held for an assembly meant to draft a new constitution and, the rebels hope, abolish the monarchy.

Nepal’s people are rejoicing, but in the forests and villages of eastern India, Maoist rebels, known as Naxalites, sound distinctly disappointed.

“Prachanda made a big mistake by deciding to share power,” said a underground Maoist leader, who spoke to Reuters in a remote village in the Garhwa district of Jharkhand.

“The Maoists of Nepal should have killed King Gyanendra and taken power.”

“They were going well, but at the last minute they compromised with the imperialist powers,” he added, accusing Prachanda of “selling out”.

Officially the two movements say they share only “ideological links”, but another underground Naxal leader admitted that Nepali Maoists “may have” come to India to help train rebels.

India’s Naxalites were hoping that “victory” in Nepal, and a Maoist revolutionary government, would have given a huge boost to their own four-decade-long struggle.

“They have bowed down before the government,” said Jiten Marandi of the Maoist-backed Revolutionary Democratic Front in the state capital Ranchi, who has been jailed three times.

“Their armed squads were their main source of power. Now they have surrendered their weapons, they will have a lot of problems.”

CHAMPIONS OF THE POOR

India’s Maoists trace their armed struggle back to an uprising in the eastern town of Naxalbari in 1967.

Today, their guerrilla squads operate in 13 of India’s 29 states and around 165 of the country’s 602 administrative districts, from the south through the central and eastern forests and up to Nepal.

In April, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the uprising “the single biggest internal security challenge” faced by India.

In rural, impoverished and tribal-dominated Jharkhand, Maoists drew support in the 1980s by chasing away landlords, redistributing land and ending a system of bonded labour.

Today, they try to tap into discontent over the displacement of tribespeople to make way for mines throughout mineral-rich eastern India, and also lead campaigns for rural labourers to be paid the legal minimum wage.

But quite how many people truly support the Maoists’ revolutionary agenda is hard to tell.

Fear certainly plays a large part, analysts say, and the Maoists themselves occasionally sound frustrated at the locals’ lack of revolutionary fervour.

Over in Nepal, Prachanda is remodelling himself as a political leader rather than a fearsome guerrilla. He insists he is a “21st Century communist” not a dogmatic one, and says India’s Maoists have not “evolved” with the times.

It is not hard to see why he would want to dissociate himself from his Indian comrades, who want to chase away foreign investment and set up a socialist economic system.

“Parliamentary democracy has failed to bring change,” said Marandi. “It is only possible through armed revolution.”

http://in.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-11-29T083226Z_01_NOOTR_RTRJONC_0_India-278194-1.xml

Naxal group behind Kherlanji protests

November 29, 2006

Naxal group behind Kherlanji protests
Jaideep Hardikar
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 23:50 IST

NAGPUR: An outlawed naxal organisation has admitted to its involvement in the current struggle against the September 29 Kherlanji Dalit massacre for the first time.

“We have nothing to hide about this association. We pledge to stand by the Dalit masses and help them punish the real culprits,” Maharashtra State Committee General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoists), Chandrakanth, has said in a letter drafted in English but signed in Hindi. The letter, dated November 18, has been circulated to a few local dailies and correspondents of national dailies based in Nagpur.

The letter has hailed “the heroic militant struggle” of Dalit masses against the Kherlanji killings and dared the Dalit leaders “to resign from their parliament and assembly seats if they were sincere to the Dalit cause.”

“Traditional Dailt leadership has sold itself in service of Brahminical upper castes and the reactionary classes. These leaders are ‘subhedars’ of the ruling elite,” the letter said. It has warned of intensifying the struggle to punish the political leaders behind the Kherlanji incident.

The chief of Anti-Naxal Operation Pankaj Gupta, told DNA on Tuesday that his office is examining the veracity of letter but “from the style and content the letter looks authentic.”

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1066732

One more Naxal killed in Charla division

November 29, 2006

One more Naxal killed in Charla division
Tuesday November 28 2006 10:21 IST

BHADRACHALAM: A Maoist was killed in an exchange of fire between activists of CPI (Maoist) and police in Battenapalli forest area, bordering Chattisgarh in Charla mandal on Monday.

The police also seized a 303-rifle, one SBBL gun and 20 rounds of ammunition, besides one camera flash from the place of incident.

According to Venkatapuram circle inspector S Sravankumar, when a special police party was combing for Maoists who escaped yesterday in a similar incident, they came across a group of Naxalites. As the extremists suddenly opened fire on the police, the latter countered the firing, which continued for 15 minutes.

In the melee that ensued, the Naxalites escaped into the deep forests. Later, the body of an unidentified Naxalite was found at the incident spot.

With the death of a second Maoist within two days, police announced a red alert in the agency area. It may be noted that the body of a Naxalite was found after the firing between police and the Naxals in the same region on Sunday. The police have intensified search in the region.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEA20061127235942&Page=A&Title=Southern+News+-+Andhra+Pradesh&Topic=0

Noam Chomsky

November 28, 2006

Noam Chomsky Quotes

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we
despise, we don’t believe in it at all.–Noam Chomsky

Petition : Inquiry into Custodial Death of Varkala Vijayan During the State of Emergency in India, 1975-77

November 28, 2006

Inquiry into Custodial Death of Varkala Vijayan During the State of Emergency in India, 1975-77

Please sign the petition here

BTW for the curious
Noam Chomsky has indeed signed this petition as confirmed
by the mainstream media reports.
His signature is No 17

Extract from the petition

To: Government of Kerala, India

An Appeal to the Government of Kerala, India

The period end-June 1975 to mid-March 1977 marks a critical period in India’s democratic polity. The ‘state of internal emergency’ declared by the Government of India did away with individual and collective rights of freedom of expression as guaranteed under the Constitution. Those twenty months saw the gagging of free press, forced family planning among minority communities, ban on several political organisations, raid on party offices, setting up of torture camps, unrecorded arrests, increased number of custodial deaths, fake encounters, and ‘missing’.

One among the many who were brutally tortured and killed in custody was 24-year-old Varkala Vijayan, political activist and theatre person of Kerala. Very little, however, was known about his death then. His body was never recovered. Given the adverse conditions, the press failed to report the incident. Unlike in certain others, in the case of Vijayan, no substantive inquiry has been conducted even to this date.

In 1998, Dayanandan, the driver of the police jeep that carried Vijayan’s body to the Ponmudi hills, near Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, to be burnt and evidence destroyed, narrated the events and sites relating to his killing and disposing of the corpse. More recently, Sathi, who was taken into custody along with Vijayan, has detailed the happenings in the police torture camp. There are other witnesses as well.

What emerges from their accounts is that Vijayan was taken into custody on 5th March 1976 and killed within two days. The police charge against Vijayan was that as an activist of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), he had put up posters and scripted a play in protest against the internal emergency.

A large section of Kerala’s workers, artists, activists, journalists, academics, intellectuals, and others have demanded a fresh inquiry, in the light of new evidence, into Vijayan’s death. The demand is based on the premise that such an inquiry has crucial implications, not only for recovering the even now little known history of those days and reaffirming the ideals of democracy, but for preventing deaths in custody that continue to occur in Kerala and India. The issue has now received widespread media attention.

I actively support the cause and appeal to the Government of Kerala to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the circumstances that led to the death of Varkala Vijayan and initiate action to bring the guilty to book.

Varkala Vijayan’s disappearance Noam Chomsky for probe

November 28, 2006

Varkala Vijayan’s disappearance Noam Chomsky for probe
Friday November 24 2006 10:49 IST

T’PURAM: Noted thinker, linguist and anti-war activist Noam Chomsky has signed the petition seeking a fresh inquiry into the disappearance of Varkala Vijayan, a CPI (ML) activist during the emergency.

The action council formed to press for a fresh probe had petitioned Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan on the issue.

Achuthanandan, while he was the Opposition leader, had given assurances on reinvestigating the disappearance.

The samiti also posted an appeal in the website http://www.petitiononline.com, governed by Amnesty International and provided an option ‘click here to sign petition.’

Chomsky, who signed the petition, also sent an e-mail to the office-bearers of the Action Council.

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEO20061124002822&Topic=0&Title=Thiruvananthapuram&Page=O

State-Sponsored Terrorism in India : Musical group reveals atrocities against tribal Indians

November 28, 2006

State-Sponsored Terrorism in India
Musical group reveals atrocities against tribal Indians

Munish Nagar

Aldous Huxley rightly said that “after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” The saying is apt for a musical group in India from the tribal community of Bastar in Chhattisgarh state.

The Bastar area is a district where more than 70 percent of the population is tribal. It constitutes 27 percent of the total tribal population of Chhattisgarh state. There are different tribal groups there and each tribal group has its own culture and their own traditional systems and festivals.

Most of the tribal groups still live in the interior forests. The area is also full of Maoists, who have had a presence in Chhattisgarh state for the last 25 years.

Maoists and other leftist extremists are widely known as Naxalites. The term originated from a movement started in a village, Naxalbari, in west Bengal in the late 1960s. The Naxalites are based in several states, like Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

As the presence of the Maoists (Naxalites) in Chhattisgarh state grew, in 2005, a counter-Naxalite operation came into being, called Salwa Judum. It was clearly the brainchild of Mahendra Karma, who is himself a tribal Indian and leader of the opposition in the state assembly.

In local terms, “Salwa Judum” means “purification hunt.” The supporters of this campaign describe it as a “peace campaign.” Naxalites, on the other hand, call it “group hunting,” and they say it is a state-sponsored hunt of innocent tribal Indians who lend support to Maoists.

For the campaign, people who had been punished by Naxalites in people’s courts — tribal Indians, chieftains, moneylenders — were appointed as SPOs (special police officers) with a salary of US$35 per month. Team-trained and provided with weapons, they are sent to hunt for the Maoists and their supporters.

Tribal Indians I have spoken with allege that the government is executing a plan to throw them out from their land in order to obtain investments from multinationals. In the year or so since Salwa Judum was launched, it is estimated that 250 tribal Indians have been killed, 100 women have been gang raped, 3,000 houses have been burnt down in 600 villages and over 50,000 tribal Indians have been forcibly displaced and resettled in rehabilitation camps.

The tribal Indians of Bastar, fed up with the atrocities of the state, have collectively launched a national campaign to protest against Salwa Judum and formed a committee to assist victims of Salwa Judum.


Musical group holding press conference in Chandigarh, India

The committee, with the help of other tribal Indians in Chhattisgarh state, has formed a revolutionary seven-member musical group that sings tribal songs. Through the songs, they tell of the plight of tribal Indians in Bastar and Chhattisgarh.

The chief minister of Chhattisgarh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with one of the country’s biggest companies, TATA, for iron ore mining in Dantewada. An agreement with the U.S. power company, Texas Power Cooperation, has also been signed. In all, the Chhattisgarh government has signed MOUs worth over $13 billion with mining companies.

It is very difficult for the government to make way for the companies because the Bastar area of Chhattisgarh state is affected by Maoists and heavily populated by tribal Indians. Hence, the government has drawn up a plan to unleash a brutal reign of terror and force their evacuation from the area.

The revolutionary musical group has toured 12 states in the past two and a half months to create awareness about their miserable condition and to get support from the public. They hope the public will denounce the Salwa Judum and provide moral support, medicines, clothes, etc.


Member of tribal group

The troupe has visited Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, west Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttranchal, Punjab, Haryana and New Delhi (the national capital). They are also planning to submit a memorandum regarding their demands to the president of India.

What is at stake is clearly displayed on the lips of Rajesh Kumar (a tribal Indian and the head of the musical group) when he sings the tribal song with his group. “The level of state brutality, whether by Naga forces, the CRPF or the Salwa Judum hoodlums is unbelievable. Heads are chopped off and planted on posts in the villages to terrorize the populace,” claims Rajesh boldly.

In an interview I conducted, Sandhya, a tribal girl who was accompanying the group, expressed her feelings and said, “Women are gang raped and their stomachs ripped open and the fetus thrown out and crushed.”

In their songs, the group allege that entire villages are being burned down, all the villagers’ belongings looted and even their crops destroyed. The tribal Indians are being forced into roadside camps under the direct control of the Salwa Judum’s SPOs. Over 50,000 tribal Indians have been forcibly placed into these camps.

According to the information gathered by tribal Indians, the camps are located next to SPO encampments, which have been set up every 5 kilometers as part of a carpet security system. They are guarded by SPOs who regularly beat, torture and kill people, and rape the women. The camps have no hygienic or medical facilities. If any tribal Indian is suspected of sympathizing with the Maoists, they are cruelly tortured and even killed.

There seem two reasons of the camps: firstly, to separate the tribal population from the Maoists and thereby make their attacks on them easier and, secondly, to forcibly clear the forests and hand it over to the multinationals.


Two tribal girls of the group

A team of intellectual and activist citizens went to Chhattisgarh in May to investigate the situation, and included Ramachandra Guha (a historian and columnist from Bangalore), Harivansh (editor of Prabhat Khabar in Ranchi), Farah Naqvi (a writer and social activist from New Delhi), E. A. S. Sarma (a retired secretary to the government of India, from Visakhapatnam), Nandini Sundar (a professor of sociology at Delhi University) and B. G. Verghese (A former editor of Hindustan Times and Indian Express).

According to the findings of the team, the situation is extremely poor. The facts they provided were astonishing because they implicated the state in the atrocities being committed against the tribal community in the name of so-called “peace hunt.”

Their report revealed the truth about the Salwa Judum, which the state claims is a campaign by tribal Indians against the Maoists. In reality, it is state-sponsored terrorism against tribal Indians.

Under the Salwa Judum, tribal Indians are forcibly displaced. The report estimated at the time that more than 15,000 people from 420 villages had been displaced and rendered homeless, and were residing in the refugee camps under the watch of the SPO.

The report observed that when villagers are told to meet with the Salwa Judum, those who refuse to participate bear the brunt of the atrocities committed by its forces.

The committee for the assistance of tribal Indians, with the help of the revolutionary musical group, has urged all Indians to support their cause:

1. To stop the Salwa Judum with immediate effect.
2. To cancel the recruitment of SPOs and disarm them.
3. To take back the paramilitary forces and Naga battalion from Bastar.
4. To send back the people to their villages from rehabilitation camps.
5. To make a judicial enquiry and investigation on the brutality of the state.
6. To give work to tribal Indians and to give water to every field.

In conclusion, it can be said that the state government’s “peace hunt” is in reality state-sponsored terrorism.

Whenever someone stands against the state, they are always declared terrorists or anti-state militants. Many committees have been formed to eliminate crime in India but no committee has been formed to discern the real reasons that people take up arms or agitate against the state.

In the name of development, many tribal Indians are being forcibly displaced and rendered homeless. They are an obstacle to the state’s plans for bringing in the multinationals. The Maoists, who have had a presence in the state for 25 years, are also an obstacle. It is not easy to separate the Maoists from the tribal Indians. Salwa Judum seeks to root out both.

http://english.ohmynews.com/articleview/article_view.asp?article_class=&no=328636&rel_no=2

WalMart enters India in tie-up with Bharti

November 28, 2006

WalMart enters India in tie-up with Bharti

NEW DELHI: WalMart Stores Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, is entering India’s sprawling retail market through a tie-up with Bharti Enterprises Ltd, beating off a challenge from Britain’s Tesco Plc.

The joint venture will start opening stores in Asia’s fourth largest economy from 2007, and Bharti Enterprise chairman Sunil Mittal said he expected it will have several hundred stores across the country in the next four to five years.

Bharti did not immediately disclose financial terms of the deal, but the Financial Express daily said earlier this month that the two firms would initially invest US$100mil, going up to US$1.46bil, citing industry sources.

The Indian retail industry is estimated at about US$300bil, and is forecast to grow to US$427bil in 2010 and US$637bil in 2015, according to consultancy Technopak Advisors. But small local stores account for 97% of the market.

“This joint venture is a winning combination. WalMart’s logistics skill and Bharti’s execution capability will create a potent force in the Indian market,” Gajendra Nagpal, director at Unicorn Investments.

“Bharti already has a retail network and is a household name in telecoms, and this deal will prove its capabilities as a company with strong execution capability.”

Shares in Bharti’s telecoms unit, Bharti Airtel Ltd, rose as much as 2.6% yesterday after the deal was announced.

“The joint venture with equal stakes will operate in areas where the government allows foreign investment in retail like cash-and-carry and logistics,” Sunil Mittal said.

“The retail shops will be owned by Bharti Enterprises under the WalMart franchise. The idea is to give Indians the lowest price everyday.”

Tesco said on Friday it had ended negotiations with Bharti after failing to clinch a deal, but said it still planned to enter India’s retail sector.

Bharti has a joint venture with the El Rothschild group for FieldFresh, which supplies fresh produce to overseas retailers. WalMart has a liaison office in India and expects to step up its sourcing of items such as apparel, textiles and shoes from India, which totalled more than US$1.6bil this year. – Reuters

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/11/28/business/16152222&sec=business

Help Sharmila live: Shirin Ebadi

November 28, 2006

Help Sharmila live: Shirin Ebadi

For the latest information on Irom Sharmila–please visit
http://manipurfreedom.org/
Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Iranian Nobel Laureate and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi on Monday said that if anything untoward happened to Irom Chanu Sharmila, Parliament, the executive, the courts, the armed forces and the media would be responsible for it. Ms. Ebadi had met Ms. Sharmila, who is on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Manipur, on Sunday at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

Talking to journalists at the Indian Women Press Corps here, Ms. Ebadi said: “If Sharmila dies Parliament would be responsible for that. Sharmila only has a little demand of having a just tribunal. Help her live.”

Ms. Ebadi charged journalists with not reporting human rights violations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.

“Go there and see for yourself what is happening there.” Replying to a query, Ms. Ebadi said everyone had the right to criticise human rights violations in her country and she reserved the same right for herself when she talked about Kashmir or Manipur. “The reports of the Amnesty International and other human rights watchdogs are not an interference. But human rights is also an international issue,” she said, admitting that rights violation and gender discrimination was a reality in Iran.

About her Indian experience she said there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor. “It cannot be justice if a few people are rich and so many others go hungry.”

http://www.hindu.com/2006/11/28/stories/2006112814911500.htm

Maoists drop capital punishment in BiharAdd to Clippings

November 28, 2006

Maoists drop capital punishment in Bihar

PATNA: The popular Maoist guerrillas in Bihar have now promised not to award capital sentence or chop off an ear, nose and hands of anyone found guilty in their kangaroo courts.

In a major shift from its decades-old tradition of inflicting harsh punishments to those it found to be criminals or betrayers, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) will now let villagers decide on the quantum of punishment.

“The central committee of the CPI(M) has decided not to award death sentences or chop off noses, ears and hands as punishment,” a CPI(M) leader who identified himself as Manish said over telephone from Gaya, about 100 km from Patna.

The rebels used to hold their jan adalat or people’s courts in villages and forest areas to punish rich landowners, police informers, corrupt government officials, contractors and party betrayers.

Security forces see the Maoists’ decision as a calculated move to win some popular support.

“The CPI(M) is trying to soften its image – that of a barbaric outfit,” a police official said.

In rural Bihar, fear of punishment from Maoists remains deep rooted after decades.

Maoist guerrillas, claiming to fight for the landless and poor, have a strong presence in over a dozen districts in the state and are spreading their network in districts bordering Nepal.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Maoists_drop_capital_punishment_in_Bihar/articleshow/591932.cms