Tuesday, September 28, 2010

58% in AP say Naxalism is good, finds TOI poll

Naxal land
A clear 58% majority of those polled in Maoist-dominant areas of AP, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa said Naxalism had actually been good for their area.
India's biggest internal security threat, as the Prime Minister famously described it, may be worse than you thought. That's because even in Andhra Pradesh, where the battle against the Maoists has apparently been won, it turns out that the government is losing the battle for the minds and hearts of the people.

It's a debate that's been raging within the Congress, and outside it. Should the government adopt a largely law-and-order attitude towards the Maoists and deal with them like criminals or should the focus be more on cutting the ground from under their feet through a development agenda that wins over the population of the affected areas?

An exclusive survey of the once Maoist-dominated districts of the Telengana region by IMRB, well-known market research organisation, for The Times of India has found that while attitudes towards the rebels are ambivalent, the condemnation of the government and its means of tackling the problem is quite clear.

The findings raise disturbing questions about whether focusing largely on the policing aspects of the problem may be a flawed strategy in the long run. They also throw up another poser: Has the battle in AP truly been won or can the Maoists stage a comeback in a few years?

Tied to this is the question of how the Maoists are viewed by the populace of these parts. Are they perceived essentially as a bloodthirsty, extortionist bunch or as rebels standing up for people's rights?

TOI decided to do an opinion poll of the affected areas to find out. The problem, however, was that this was a region where pollsters found very difficult to enter. We finally decided to conduct the survey in those areas ofAndhra Pradesh which were till not too long ago strongholds of the Naxalites but where their activities have been checked. The survey was conducted, therefore, in five districts of the Telengana region Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam. These districts were chosen not only because they were till recently severely Naxal-affected, but also because of their proximity to current hotbeds in Chattisgarh and Maharashtra.

To tap into the mood of the aam admi in these areas, the survey was restricted to the not so well off socio-economic categories, SEC B and SEC C and to men and women between the ages of 25 and 50. What we found has come as an eye-opener for us and should be worrying for everybody. The state may have won the battle of the guns, but the Maoists are clearly ahead in the perception game. This is particularly true in the districts of Warangal and Nizamabad as the accompanying charts show only too clearly.

The root cause of the disaffection is the overwhelming feeling of neglect of the areas by the government. About two-thirds expressed this view and in Warangal the figure was as high as 81%. That, you might say, is hardly alarming. Similar figures would probably be thrown up anywhere in India. True. But when two-thirds also say that the Maoists are right in choosing the methods they have to highlight the neglect, it is difficult to dismiss it as normal.

Perhaps the most revealing answers are in response to questions on whether the Maoists — still better known as Naxalites in this belt — were good or bad for the region and whether their defeat by the AP police has made matters better or worse.

Almost 60% said the Naxalites were good for the area and only 34% felt life had improved since they were beaten back. As for whether exploitation has increased after the Naxalite influence waned, 48% said it had against 38% who said it hadn't, the rest offering no opinion.

Those answers are buttressed by the responses to three other questions. The first of these was on whether the characterization of the Naxals as extortionists and mafia was accurate. Two-thirds disagreed. An elaboration of this came in response to a slightly more open-ended question. Over half said the Naxalites worked for the good of the area, another one-third said they had the right intentions but the wrong means. Only 15% were willing to describe them as just goondas.

Equally importantly, 50% of the respondents felt the Naxalites had forced the government to focus on development work in the affected areas. What these responses show is just how negative the perception of the government is in these parts.

That the people here are not entirely comfortable with Naxalite methods is also quite clear. Even a question on what explained their strength in these parts showed that very few attributed it to popularity alone, a majority saying either that it was due to fear or that it was a combination of approval and fear. That despite this ambivalence there is a sympathetic view of the Naxals only betrays the people's desperate search for any means to shake shaking up the state.

Given these findings it is hardly surprising that killings by Maoists are looked upon more leniently than those by the government and that the state's claims about encounters are viewed with extreme suspicion.

The government may say, and with some justification, that the Maoists represent the biggest threat to India's internal security, but what this poll shows is that the aam admi in these parts views government apathy as the biggest threat to his wellbeing.

The towns in which the poll was conducted were Kamareddy in Nizamabad district, Gudi Hathnoor in Adilabad, Sirsilla in Karimnagar, Mahbubabad in Warangal and Palwancha in Khammam. A total of 521 people were polled in these five towns, a statistically robust sample size.

CPI(Maoist): Awaiting court decision concerning the demolition of the Babri Masjid

(This statement was issued by the CPI(MOIST) on September 21. The verdict on Ayodhya was expected on 24th. However following the intervention of the supreme court it was put off. And now it is clear that the verdict will be pronounced on 30th this month.)

Right wing Hindus at Babri Masjid in 1992


September 21, 2010

Stay alert to the heinous attempts of the ruling classes to divide us in the name of religion and stop killing each other in their interests !

Court judgment on the demolition of Babri Masjid is awaited on September 24, 2010. Even before the judgment is delivered the air is reeking with apprehension and trepidation. The uneasy memories of that fateful day (December 6, 1992) are giving fear to all democratic sections in the country and needless to say, especially to the Muslims all over the sub-continent. Any sane person who wants to learn history in order not to repeat it is waking up with a start from the nightmare of our history of communal flare ups.

The unprecedented deployment of police and paramilitary forces in all the states and Union Territories on the eve of the judgment is creating doubts as to what is to be awaited from the court which is but an organ of the Hindu religion and upper caste-biased state that is the Indian government. The callous, cold-hearted, pro-imperialist, anti-Indian people, traitorous judgment in the Bhopal gas leak case is sending alarm chills down the spines of concerned citizens and is issuing warning calls. There is not much in our whole history of court judgments which could reassure the people.

We, the CPI (Maoist) appeal to all the people of India to stay alert to the possibilities of a flare up of communal tensions with the instigation of the ruling classes, especially by the saffron fascist brigades in the wake of this judgment. Whatever may be the judgment, what they would like to do is to divert the people from their problems, struggles and political and economic crises.

Since the days of the Partition, many a time lakhs of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and people of other religions and minorities in the sub-continent had fallen victim to the vicious propaganda of the ruling classes and massacred each other. In the context of India, the main perpetrators had been the Hindu chauvinist fascist gangs and the main victims had been Muslims and other religious minorities. The state is not an accomplice; in fact it is the main actor in all these massacres. The main culprits among the political parties are the Congress and the BJP.

We appeal to the people that it is high time we realize the conspiracies of the ruling classes in dividing us. Let us say a big NO to their scheming. Let us stand united against their devious plans to massacre us, especially the Muslims. However hard they may try to make us raise swords against each other, let us stand united and turn those swords against those who are trying to drive this wedge of communalism between us.

CPI (Maoist) has been the most consistent among all the political parties of this country in unequivocally condemning the demolition of the Babri Masjid and demanding its reconstruction at the same place. It has stood firmly in support of the minorities, especially of Muslims and Christians and had put up a bitter struggle against the Hindu chauvinist Sangh Parivar and the pseudo secularism of the Congress. We once again firmly reiterate that reconstruction of the ancient, historical monument at the same place is the only solution to this issue.

We appeal to all the Hindus of the country not to believe the divide and rule policy of Congress and Hindu chauvinist fascist propaganda of BJP and Sangh Parivar. We appeal that as the majority community in the country more responsibility lies in their hands as massacres are perpetrated only through their known and unknown collaboration. It is the duty of every concerned citizen of our country to stand in support of the victims of communal pogroms and do everything possible to stop genocide of innocent people, whatever may be their religion. We appeal to the people of Muslim community to stay alert to the opportunistic attempts by some fundamentalists to stoke the fires instead of taking up a united resistance of all peoples against the common enemy. Our party stands with people and would do everything possible to stop massacres of innocent people.

« Stand united against the malicious attempts of the ruling classes to divide us in the name of religion and community !

« Fight back the communal pogroms on minorities, especially Muslims which may be perpetrated in the wake of the judgment on demolition of Babri Masjid !

« No more killing of our own brothers and sisters, no more innocence in being at the receiving end of the false propaganda of all hues of communalism, particularly Hindu communalism, Indian state and the US imperialists !

(Abhay) Spokesperson

Central Committee,, CPI (Maoist)

CPI (Maoist) calls bandh in six States

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has called a 24-hour lockdown on September 30 in Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand to protest the death of more than 100 civilians in Jammu and Kashmir since June.

The lockdown shall also be enforced in the districts of Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh's Balaghat district.

Even as Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram unveiled an eight-point initiative to defuse the unrest in the Kashmir valley, a statement issued by Anand, secretary, central regional bureau of the CPI (Maoist) and Abhay, spokesperson for the CPI (Maoist) central committee expressed support for, what he called, “the just struggle in Kashmir.”

The last three months have witnessed increasing violence in Kashmir as stone-pelting youth clashed with security forces and local police who retaliated with live ammunition.

In a telephonic conversation with this correspondent, Dandakaranya special zonal committee spokesperson Gudsa Usendi said, “The Centre should stop the massacre of innocent civilians in Kashmir.”

“The CPI (Maoist) also calls for withdrawal of the paramilitary forces from Kashmir and a repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.”

The Maoists demanded that a plebiscite be held in Kashmir and all political prisoners released. “The Kashmiris should be allowed to decide their own future,” said Usendi.

Mr. Chidambaram on Saturday said the Centre had advised Jammu and Kashmir to release all students detained for pelting stones at security forces and to review the deployment of security forces in Kashmir, but said the repeal of the AFSPA had not been discussed.

India: 78 Chhattisgarh cops evade duty in Maoist areas

Chhattisgarh Police Camp, 2006

RAIPUR: As many as 78 policemen in Chhattisgarh have been sent show cause notices for refusing to join postings in Maoist-hit areas of the state, a senior police official said Saturday.

The police headquarters here served notices to 33 inspector-rank officers and other police officers who refused to take postings citing health reasons, mostly diabetes and high blood pressure.

“The police department can’t afford such kind of gross indiscipline among jawans. The 78 policemen, who have been evading new postings, have been asked to explain within three days, otherwise we will take stern action,” Inspector General of Police (administration) Pawan Deo said.

The problem of state policemen refusing to take postings in the seven Maoist-infested districts has been rising every month, an official said, adding that new recruits were not joining their duties in such areas.

The worst-hit districts are Rajnandgaon and Surguja, besides five districts in the sprawling 40,000 sq km mineral-rich Bastar region – made up of Bijapur, Bastar, Narayanpur, Kanker and Dantewaa. The region is known as the nerve centre of Maoist militancy.

Nearly 40,000 forces, including roughly half of them from paramilitary troopers, have been put in Bastar region to take on Maoists armed with rocket launchers, mortars and AK-47s.

West Bengal: Stories of Unjust Arrests under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Chharadhar Mahato, leader of People's Committee against Police Atrocities in Lalgarh, arrested under UAPA

Satyarupa Jana: Prize Catch under UAPA

by Nisha Biswas


On July 9, 2009 Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Chief Minister of West Bengal assured his colleagues in State Assembly that the government would see that Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA) is not misused.

He also informed the assembly that from the day of banning of Communist Party of India (Maoist) by the Centre and the imposition of UAPA in West Bengal (June 22, 2009) till that date, only 39 persons have been arrested by invoking this Act, out of which thirty were from West Midnapore, five from Bankura and four from Purulia. However, as his habit is, he did forget (intentionally?) to mention the first arrest of Gour Chakroborty, spokesperson of CPI(Maoist) on the day the Maoist party was banned by the Government of India, without giving him a chance to clarify his stand.

The exact number of persons arrested so far under this Act is not known but the estimate is that it is not less than a couple of hundreds. However, an RTI inquiry by APDR reveals that, till March 2010, only 30 persons have been arrested from West Midnapore under UAPA. The list begins with unbanned CPI(Maoist) party Spokesperson Gaur Chakroborty, activists Raja Sorkhel, Prasun Chatterjee, Bangla People’s March editor Swapan Dasgupta (who died in custody), PCPA spokesperson Chhtaradhar Mahato, treasurer Sukhashanti Baskey, and other high profile persons, including activists of democratic movement to people like Satyarupa Jana of Pankhai, Khejuri of East Medinipur.

Satyarupa belongs to the region, which happened to be the ruling party stronghold during Nandigram protest. She is such a politically naïve person that she never bothered to find out what is happening on the other side of Taikhali Bridge. Even today, she is at loss in explaining why so many from Nandigram were murdered. Her life of 48 years has been a struggle to make both ends meet – she has tried to educate her three sons and is proud of the fact that they are doing well and that one of her daughter-in-law is a para-teacher and the other one is doing her graduation. Hers is a normal conventional life of a little ambitious and industrious person who has taken risks and has almost never missed any opportunity of an extra earning. Satyarupa says that she did hear gun shots and the noise of bomb hurling, but has always tried to keep her family and self away from all these political chaos.

Today the same Satyarupa Jana is languishing in Midnapore Central jail since 24th May of this year and is accused of various offenses including waging and conspiring war against the state, collecting and keeping arms, sedition. Her “seizure list” includes a bag of arms used for killing the Trinamool Congrss Panchayat leader Nishikanta Mondal at Nandigram on September 22, 2009. She is booked under Sections 121/121A/122/123/124A/120B of Indian Penal Code, Sec 25/27 of Arms Act and also under section 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In Khejuri PS Case no. 65/10 dtd 14.05.2010 she is termed as a hard core Maoist; such a hard core Maoist who before her arrests had not heard the name of Mao or his ism.

Satyarupa is a perfect example of the misuse of a draconian Act to meet the agendas of political parties and their associates. So who is Satyarupa? Satyarupa is one who has never missed any chance of earning money for a better life. She has vended vegetables, fish, sold sarees in the weekly bazars. But she has always treaded the lawful and truthful ways and was never ever lured by illegal means. It was four or five years back when she first heard the name of Self – Help Groups and how it can improve one’s economic status. Being industrious, she was among the first few who took the training and made her own group naming it Ma Durga Self Help Group. Among the few groups that she formed one was named after revolutionary freedom fighter Matangini Hazra, who had been assassinated in front of Tamluk Police Station. Her group includes ex-panchayat President of CPI(M) and wife of ex-panchayat member belonging of Trinmool Congress. Including all colours, she had skillfully tried to avoid any political confrontation.

Problem started with the government instruction that the Supervisor of NREGA work will be amongst the presidents of the Self-Help Groups functioning in the locality. And there too we find that Satyarupa has already taken seven-day training in BDO office around March end. Therefore the work of renovation of B M School pond at Pankhai, Khejuri costing more than two Lakhs goes to her. Satyarupa, even today in Midnapore jail believes that truth prevails and that as long as her accounts are clear and that she is honest and sincere, she has nothing to be afraid off. She never felt the need to give any commission to any political group or person. This raised a huge discontent amongst the local leaders and their accomplices. They, therefore, tried to stop her work under NREGA and instructed local village people not to work in her projects. But, who can stop Satyarupa? She was growing big to bigger without any political patron. She recruited people from Bartala, a neighbouring village. Work started at 11am of May13, 2010 and the commotion started within three hours, i.e. around 2pm while she was going home for lunch. She was beaten up by the vested interests and was brought to Khejuri PS. She was interrogated there and when in the night, Lutfar Rehman and Somen Mondal of the same village, on the instruction of OC Atanu Santra went to the PS for her release, they too were arrested.

She and the other two were produced in Court on 15th May and police took them in custody for further investigation for ten days. In these ten days Satyarupa witnessed severe beating of Lutfar and Somen and was taken to Nandigram once. According to police in these ten days she helped them in locating a bag of arms used for killing Nishikant Mondal. She denies knowledge of any such bag and remembers the threat of OC Atanu Santra of Khejuri PS that they are going to put her in jail to rot for the rest of her life.

I met her in the only Female Ward of Midnapore Central Jail, where I too had to spend 43 days for waging and conspiring war against the State and sedition. Bengali writer Manik Mondal, school teacher Sri Kanishka Chowdhury and myself were arrested from Rameswarpur of Lalgarh on June15, 2010. All through the 43 days of my stay with her, I did not find her interested in politics, she never read newspaper and always asked me who are Maoists and who am I. She does not understand an iota of politics and her only worry is when will she be back with her family and the losses that she is incurring because of her detention. In Jail we were termed Maoists, I used to enjoy the special status and privileges associated with this word, whereas Satyarupa used to get very angry and had repeatedly complained to jail authorities and warned other inmates that if they do not stop calling her Maoist, she too will start calling them by their crimes for which they are arrested or convicted.

Background to the National Liberation Struggle in Manipur: Kangleipak Communist Party

Protest against fake encounters/assassinations by Indian Army

September 22, 2010

An Open letter to Revolutionary Parties of South East Asia

Manipur in Brief

Manipur, one of the occupied seven States in India’s North Eastern Region, is in deep social and political turmoil. The national liberation struggle to restore Manipuri sovereign independence and the massive counter-insurgency measures by the Indian State forces have resulted in a disturbing situation of armed conflict. Thousands of innocent peoples have been killed, hundreds have disappeared from custody, and many women have been raped by the Indian State forces in the process of ruthless counter-insurgency operations. The entire state is filled with personal tragedies of families who lost their sons & daughters, and with young men de-capacitated, maimed and psychologically shattered without renewable capacity for rehabilitation. The impact of the armed conflict is severely felt by women and children.

The state’s productive forces, particularly women, had been undermined resulting in deep urban and rural poverty, thereby adding to the cycle of violence. Under the so-called democratic system of India, corruption in public life had reached unprecedented depths and the body polity is rent apart, the division between the haves and have-nots had widened, and family unity and family values had been shattered through severe economic strain.

The state which was self-sufficient in history is now reduced to a position of critical dependence on India’s doles, and the State government of Manipur is unable to pay even the salaries for its employees regularly. Complete loss of initiative for economic growth keeping the State as a captive market for India had perpetuated a system of colonialism which is undermining the basic parameters for dignified living of its citizens. The people of Manipur want freedom and independence, and India wants to continue their colonial occupation. What is the cause for this conflict situation?

Manipur, the small but beautiful home to more than thirty fraternal ethnic groups, is a historical State having a recorded history of more than 2000 years. In her long history, Manipur never became a part of India. Manipur was a recognized Asiatic State when the British imperialists invaded and occupied it in 1891. The British Crown in its own wisdom, however, did not annex Manipur to their British Indian empire.

After 56 years, when the British government de-colonized the Indian sub-continent in 1947, Manipur also regained her sovereign independence on 14 August 1947 despite the treaty relationship with the Dominion of India under the Instrument of Accession signed between the King and the Governor General of the British Indian government on 11 August 1947.

Under the terms of this treaty India was to look after the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Communications for Manipur while the King retained the full sovereign right to reject or accept any future constitution of India. Meanwhile, the King had already promulgated the first democratic constitution of Manipur in July 1947 known as the Manipur Constitution Act 1947. Under provisions of this constitution, the first ever democratic elections under universal franchise were held in Manipur in August 1948 to elect the first Manipur State Assembly having 54 members.

The State Assembly was inaugurated by the King on 18 October 1948 thereby making the historic transition from absolute monarchy to democracy retaining the King as the customary and constitutional head of State. Thus Manipur became the first country in South Asia to establish democracy when India was yet to adopt her own constitution.

When Manipur was introducing democracy independently India was getting restless to discontinue the treaty relationship and annex Manipur within the Indian Union from strategic security considerations. So Manipur acquiring international personality as a sovereign democratic country was not palatable to India, particularly when the ruling alliance government of Manipur was openly opposed to the idea of Manipuri’s merger with India.

To offset this development India hatched a conspiracy to make the King sign a treaty to merge Manipur with India. To this end they invited the King for consultation on some matter in September 1948. On arrival at the venue of the meeting the Indian representative asked the King to put his signature on the already drafted document for merger. The King, completely taken by surprise, felt betrayed and refused to sign the document on the ground that he no longer had the constitutional authority to do so as a Council of Ministers is already functioning in Manipur. He asked for some time to consult his Council of Minister and left the meeting. But when he returned he found his residence surrounded by Indian military personnel. He was told that he was under house-arrest and was not allowed to contact even his Council of Ministers.

After resisting for two days, the King signed the Manipur Merger Agreement on 21 September 1949. Under terms of this agreement the Government of India announced the formal annexation of Manipur on 15 October 1949. The Manipur State Assembly and the Council of Ministers were also abolished on the same day by an executive order of the Indian government.

The people of Manipur have never accepted the Indian annexation. Several public resolutions and a National Convention have declared the Manipur Merger Agreement null and void having no legal and constitutional legitimacy as it was done under duress and not ratified by the State Assembly. This is the crux of the problem and the very root cause of the present Manipur-India Politico-Military Conflict.
Ever since day one, India has been using brute military force to suppress the legitimate aspirations of our people. Today Manipur is highly militarized with 50,000 plus Indian military and Para-military forces deployed against the indigenous population of just about 1.6 million. This amounts to one Indian soldier for every fifty locals.

The draconian law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 has been in force in Manipur for over fifty years now. This Act empowers and gives immunity even to a Non-Commissioned Officer of the Indian military forces to arrest or shoot to kill anybody on mere suspicion and such acts cannot be challenged in a court of law. This Act has emboldened the Indian State forces to commit summary executions, enforced disappearances, rapes and killings in fake encounters with impunity. In short, this Act has legalized Indian State Terrorism. Even so, taking advantage of being the largest democracy in the world, India has manipulated to present the state of affairs in Manipur as simple law and order problem. But in reality, Manipur is now under Indian martial law.

So Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) established in 1980 and its army wing Peoples Red Army to restore the sovereignty of Manipur and to establish a socialist Republic. We do not believe in empty theory.


We are Marxists. We believe that the heritage of classical Marxism, in all its fundamental features, adequately reflects the social processes taking place in today’s world. A correct approach to social phenomena is impossible without applying the method of historical materialism, the dialectic of the basis and the superstructure, the theory of proletarian revolution, proletarian internationalism.

The legitimate transformation and generalization of the Marxism of Marx and Engels was Marxism-Leninism which explained the transition of the capitalist nations to the stage of socialist nation.

As Maoists, we believe that the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues to be waged under socialism and the principal arena of this struggle becomes the Communist Party leading the construction of socialism.

Problems of History:

We believe that socialism which politically can be only the dictatorship of the working people under the leadership of proletariat is a necessary step towards a communist world — a world without inequality or dictatorship. We consider the Soviet Russia and the USSR under V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin (1917 — 1953) and China under Mao Zedong (1949 — 1976) models of carrying of such political system in south east Asia.

Contemporary World

The world today appears to us divided into three groups of countries: (1) countries of the Metropolis (the U$A, the Western European states, Japan, etc.); (2) comparatively rich and/or having a big military/industrial potential countries which hold an intermediate position ; (3) countries of the Third World, exploited by the former two groups of nations.

The revolutionary role of the proletariat in each of the above groups of countries is different.

In the countries of the Metropolis the working class is bought off with the super profits gained from the exploitation of the Third Worlds and cannot, at the present stage, be considered a revolutionary force. The national contradiction is to be considered the principal one in the given group of countries, while the principal revolutionary forces there are the oppressed minority of the working class usually not belonging to the historically dominant national groups and the revolutionary intelligentsia.

In the semi-imperialist countries the proletariat as a whole potentially is the main motive force of socialist revolution, while the principal contradiction at this stage is the class one. However, due to the ambivalent socio-economic position of these countries the proletariat here is infected with nationalist and chauvinist ideology, harbors reformist illusions. The main ally of the proletariat in its struggle against the bourgeoisie here is the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie.

In the Third World countries the struggle of the proletariat for its own rights is inseparable from the struggle of these nations for the true national independence. Here the natural allies of the proletariat are the petty bourgeoisie and the considerable part of the national bourgeoisie. The immediate task of the proletariat’s struggle here in many cases is not a socialist, but a bourgeois-democratic revolution, and the main method of this struggle, the strategy of the People’s War.

Strategy and Tactics

We believe that correct tactics flow from correct strategies, which flow from a correct ideological and political line. We believe that the fight against imperialism, capitalism and colonial ruler hand in hand with the fight against revisionism, chauvinism, and opportunism.

Our goal is carrying out a socialist revolution and going on to build communism — a society excluding any form of oppression of one social group by another: class oppression, national oppression, gender oppression.

The motive force of this revolution is the working class, while its conductor is an avant-garde disciplined revolutionary Communist Party, a Party with a system of democratic centralism. The latter system includes organization, leadership, discipline and hierarchy.

We believe that the ruling colonial, semi-colonial, imperialist and bourgeoisie will never give up its power without a fight. Putting an end to the bourgeois dictatorship is only possible by building public opinion to seize power through armed struggle. We believe, however, that any armed insurrection on the territory which we belongs will be inevitably crushed until an arising of objective conditions for its mass support of the potentially revolutionary strata of the population.

The building on the territory of South East Asia of an avant-garde disciplined revolutionary Communist party guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is hindered by objective historical conditions resulting from the long years of rule of colonial Indian social-imperialist.

We believe our principal tactical task to be revolutionary agitation and propaganda of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism among the proletariat and the intelligentsia.

So we called all the revolutionary groups of the South East Asia.

We are eager to have your comment.

With Revolutionary Salute,

Comrade Malemnganba Meitei

Publicity and Propaganda

Kangleipak Communist Party

Manipur, Eastern Himalayan Region.

Plot to grab tribal land: Arundhati Roy

Social activist Arundhati Roy at a seminar organised by the Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum and the Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Manch in Ranchi on Sunday.

The Hindu, September 26, 2010

“The war on Naxals is a conspiracy to acquire their ancestral land for industrial use. The deployment of security forces in the Naxal-affected States is a violation of the Human Rights Act,” said writer-activist Arundhati Roy.

She was addressing a two-day seminar organised by the Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum and the Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Manch here on Sunday.

She also heard the complaints of deprived tribal communities against the State and the Central Reserve Police Force. “The Operation Green Hunt is on only at sites earmarked for mining projects, which clearly indicates the role of the government in driving out the tribals alleged to be Maoists,” she alleged.

Later speaking to journalists, she said: “Maoists who wanted to be peace envoys were killed by the police without even being heard. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [UAPA] is a weapon to displace tribals [and the] government is dubbing them as militants.”

Backing sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir, the Booker Prize winner said the government should accept the verdict of the people; it cannot force democracy on them by using the Army.

Father Stan Swami, a human rights activist, said: “The State government arrested 168 people under the UAPA, displaced 18 lakh tribals and 15 lakh acres of land has been taken away, without the consent of the tribals.”

On encounter killings, he said: “The police are killing people and harassing them. Almost all the encounters are fake. There are about 100 schools where the the CRPF are camping to combat Naxalism. This, in turn, has deprived the children of education in those areas.”

Independent People’s Tribunal delivers verdict on Operation Green Hunt

by Gladson Dungdung

September 28, 2010

We are extremely pleased to inform you that we had organized a very successful Independence People’s Tribunal on Operation Green Hunt in Ranchi on 25th and 26th of September, 2010 under the banner of the Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum with the support of Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Nagrik Manch, Jharkhand Indigenous People’s Forum, Jharkhand Initiatives Desk, Jharkhand Jungle Bachao Andolan, Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee and many other groups.

We had the renowned author and activist Ms. Arundhati Roy as a special observer in the IPT. The esteemed members of the Jury were Retd Judge of Jharkhand High Court, Justice Vikramaditya Prasad, Sri Prashant Bhushan Senior Supreme Court advocate, Sri K.S. Subramanian, I.P.S. and former Director General of Police, Sri C.S. Jha, former CMD of BCCL and ECL and others. We are sharing the observations and recommendations of the Jury. We hope it will have a huge impact in the human rights movement.


Organised by : Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum

Observations of the Jury

The jury heard the testimonies of a number of social Activists working the Tribals in Jharkhand as well as a number of Tribals themselves who have been directly affected by Operation Greenhunt over the two days. The picture which emerges from these testimonies presents a dismal and indeed alarming picture of Human Rights violations of the adivasis population of the State which has driven them to unprecedented levels of desperation where their very survival is being threatened.

Over the last 60 years, more than 20 lakh acres of land has been acquired directly by the State in the name of various “development” projects displacing more than 15 lakh Adivasis from their homelands. This drive for acquisition of their land has become particularly acute during the last decade when 102 MOUs have been signed with a number of large private corporations, some of which are for thousands of acres of land involving the displacement of thousands of tribals in each case. Most of these MOUs are for mining or for setting up other polluting industries. These have however met with enormous resistance from the adivasis who have organized themselves and have so far successfully resisted the accusations of their land as a result of which virtually none of these MOUs have so far been operationalised.

All this land acquisition of Adivasi land has however been done without the consent or even consultation with the Adivasis. The MOUs were in fact signed in great haste and secrecy with no information at all to the people who were to be affected. All this is in complete violation of the PESA Act which provides that all development in the Scheduled areas would be in consultation (which should mean consent) of the Gram Sabhas. This has led to a widespread feeling among the Adivasis that not only is their right of self-rule being flagrantly violated, but their very identity and existence is being threatened. Many of them consequently taken up the Gun and joined the Maoists who have organized them to fight the state.

The government’s response to this has been Operation Greenhunt which uses large sections of Paramilitary forces what they perceive as the single security threat to the State. Interestingly, Operation Greenhunt is largely concentrated in the areas where the MOUs have been signed. The testimonies before us revealed that this Operation has led to and is causing enormous violations of Human Rights of the Adivasis in terms of all kinds of excesses by the security forces. A large number of testimonies before the Tribunal provided a sampling of the kinds of Human Rights abuses taking place: Arbitrary picking up of Adivasis and their torture; Arbitrary arrests of Adivasis as well as of those who to highlight the abuses by the security forces on false and trumped up charges; people even being killed in fake encounters or in custody. These abuses are only serving drive more Adivasis to pick up Guns and join the Maoists.

The Jury noted that the security forces involved in the abuses are hardly ever brought to justice and enjoy almost complete impunity. Unfortunately Jharkhand has not set up a State Human Rights Commissions or even Police Complaints Authority as directed by the Supreme Court in their judgment on Police Reforms. The Courts too which are supposed to examine allegations of torture, fake encounters and malafide arrests on false charges, have abdicated their responsibility with the result that innocents continue to rot in jails for years altogether and the guilty police officers are not punished, even when it is found that they have tortured people, killed them in fake encounters or arrested them on fabricated evidence. The Supreme Court’s judgement on Arrests, torture and the NHRC’s guidelines on encounter killings are being wantonly flouted and no one is being held accountable.

The Jury therefore recommends that:

The Government must address the underlying causes of Tribal alienation by ensuring that PESA Act is strictly complied with and that there is no involuntary acquisition of Tribal land without the consent of the Gram sabhas. The Adivasis must be given the effective right to decide the kind of development which should take place in their areas.

All MOUs entered into by the government which involve the acquisition of Tribal land must immediately be made public and put on hold.

Operation Greenhunt be withdrawn in a phase but rapid withdrawl of Para Military forces from Jharkhand.

The government must make a full and complete disclosure of those killed by the security forces in Operation Greenhunt and those who have killed detained and arrested under the UAPA.

The police and the Security forces must be made effectively accountable for their human rights abuses by: (i) Setting up a State Human Rights Commission in a transparent and credible manner which should be armed with adequate powers; (ii) Setting up Police Complaints authorities as directed bye the Supreme Court; (iii) The NHRCs guidelines regarding encounters, especially an investigation by an independent police agency and a Magisterial Enquiry must be strictly followed and the District SSP and DGP of the State be made jointly liable for non compliance; (iv) The courts get each complaint of torture and arrest on false and fabricated charges seriously examined.

1. The SC & ST (Prevention of atrocities) Act 1989 be diligently applied against security officers committing such abuses on Tribals. The State Human Rights Commission be charged with monitoring it.

2. A High Level Commission be set up to investigate some of the most egregious cases of Encounter killings, torture and killing in police custody and also of arrests on false and fabricated charges.

3. Government of India should ratify UN convention on Torture and enact a law in tune with the spirit of convention

4. UN code of conduct for law Enforcement Officials, including prosecutors, Lawyers and Judges should be compulsorily observed.

5. UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms should be adopted and enforced

6. UN Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice should be adopted and enforced.

7. The international convention on Civil and Political Rights ratified by Government of India includes prohibition of torture, and obligates the state to hold detainees in officially recognized places of detention with names in registers accessible to all concerned.

8. Government of India should issue a standing invitation to Precial Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council, including: (i) Working group on Arbitrary Detention (ii) Working group on Enforced & Involuntary Disappearances (iii) Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executers (iv) Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (v)Most importantly special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples.

9. Compensation and other things for killing or torture or illegal arrest must be paid as committed by the Govt.

10. The Government should come with a white paper as to the expenditure made in police vis-à-vis result thereof.

Signed by:

Justice Vikramaditya Prasad (Retd. Judge, Jharkhand High Court) Mr. K.S. Subramanian (IPS and former DGP, Tripura) Mr. C.S. Jha (former CMD, ECIL) Mr. Prashant Bhushan (Lawyer and Covenor, Campaign for Judicial Accountability)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

സ്വത്വവാദികളുടെ നിഴല്‍യുദ്ധം

മുന്നണിപോരാളിയില്‍ പ്രസിദ്ധീകരിച്ചത്

മൂവാറ്റുപുഴയിലെ ന്യൂ മാന്‍ കോളേജിലെ അദ്ധ്യാപകനുനേരെയുണ്ടായ ആക്രമണത്തിന് മുമ്പുള്ള ദിവസങ്ങളില്‍ കേരളത്തിലെ മുഖ്യധാരമാധ്യമങ്ങളില്‍ നിറഞ്ഞുനിന്ന വിഷയമായിരുന്നു സ്വത്വരാഷ്ട്രീയം. പ്രത്യേകിച്ച് പ്രകോപനമോന്നുമില്ലാതെയാണ് സ്വത്വം മുഖ്യധാരയിലേക്ക് കടന്നുവന്നത്. മാര്‍ക്സിസ്റ്റ്‌ പാര്‍ട്ടിയുടെ ദാര്‍ശനികവിശാരദന്‍മാരായ കെ. ഇ. എന്നും പി. കെ. പോക്കറും ഒരു ഭാഗത്തും, പി. രാജീവും, ഗോവിന്ദന്‍ മാസ്റ്റെറും മറുഭാഗത്തും നിലയുറപ്പിച്ച സൈദ്ധാന്തികസംവാദം അതിന്റെ ''ഔന്നത്യം'' കൊണ്ടുതന്നെ സാധാരണഗതിയില്‍ മാധ്യമങ്ങളുടെ പരിഗണയില്‍ വരേണ്ടതല്ല. ഒരിക്കലും അവസാനിക്കാതെ പുകഞ്ഞുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന ഗ്രൂപുവൈരം സി.പി.എം -ലെ പട്ടേലര്‍-തൊമ്മി സമവാക്യങ്ങളില്‍ വരുത്തുന്ന മാറ്റത്തിന്റെ പ്രതിഫലനമായാണ് മാധ്യമങ്ങള്‍ തുടക്കത്തില്‍ ഇക്കാര്യംആഘോഷിച്ചത്. അച്യുതാനന്ദനെതിരെയുള്ള പിണറായി വിജയന്‍റെ കുടിലതന്ത്രങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ധൈഷണിക പരിവേഷം നല്‍കിയിരുന്ന കുഞ്ഞഹമ്മദിനു കിട്ടേണ്ടത്കിട്ടിയെന്ന സന്തോഷവും പലരും പങ്കുവച്ചിരുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍, സി. പി. എമ്മില്‍നിന്നും കുറച്ചുകാലമായി ഊരുവിലക്കുനേരിടുന്ന ഹമീദ് ചേന്ദമംഗലുര്‍ പാര്‍ട്ടിക്ക് അഭിമതനായതോടെ സംഭവം അത്ര ലളിതമല്ലെന്നു വ്യക്തമായി.വര്‍ഗത്തോടൊപ്പം സ്വത്വതിനും പരിഗണനല്‍കണമെന്ന കെ. ഇ. എന്‍. -പോക്കര്‍ വാദം,ജമാഅത്തെ ഇസ്ലാമിയുടെ അജണ്ട ഒളിച്ചുകടത്തലാണെന്ന പ്രതിവാദവുമായി ഹമീദ് രംഗത്ത് വന്നതോടെ സംഭവം കൊഴുത്തു
വര്‍ഗരാഷ്ട്രീയത്തില്‍ വെള്ളം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്ന സ്വത്വതിനെതിരെ ഗോവിന്ദന്‍ മാസ്റ്റെറും, രാജീവും മുന്നറിയിപ്പ് നല്‍കിയെങ്കിലും ഹമീദായിരുന്നു താരം. 1980-കളുടെ രണ്ടാം പകുതിയില്‍ സി- പി. എം സ്വീകരിച്ച വര്‍ഗീയവിരുദ്ധതയുടെ തനിയാവര്‍ത്തനമായി സ്വത്വവിവാദത്തെ കാണുന്നതില്‍ അപാകതയുണ്ടാവില്ല. ഏതായാലും വിവാദം "വഴിതെറ്റാതിരിക്കാന്‍" (അതായത് സ്വന്തം പിഴവുകള്‍ ജനങ്ങള്‍ തിരിച്ചറിയാതിരിക്കാന്‍) പിണറായി വിജയന്‍ ഇടപെട്ടുവെന്ന വാര്‍ത്തകള്‍ വന്നതോടെ സി.പി.എം- നെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം ഈ കോലാഹലങ്ങള്‍ ഏതാണ്ട് കെട്ടടങ്ങി. മാതൃഭൂമി, മലയാളം, മാധ്യമം എന്നിവയാണ് പിന്നീട് ചര്‍ച്ചകള്‍ മുന്നോട്ടു കൊണ്ടുപോയത്. സി.പി.എം-ലെ ചര്‍ച്ചകള്‍ ഒഴിച്ചുനിര്‍ത്തിയാല്‍, സ്വത്വവാദത്തെ സംബന്ധിച്ച രണ്ടു രീതിയിലുള്ള പ്രതികരണങ്ങളാണ് പ്രധാനമായും പുറത്തുവന്നത്. ദളിത്‌ പക്ഷത്തുനിന്നുള്ളതാണ് ഇതില്‍ ഒന്നാമത്തേത്. ഉത്തരാധുനികമായ ജ്ഞാനസിദ്ധാന്തങ്ങളുടെ സ്വാധീനത്തിലുള്ള നിഗമനങ്ങളാണ് അടുത്തത്‌.വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണത്തിനും മാര്‍ക്സിസത്തിനും എതിരായ രൂക്ഷ വിമര്‍ശനങ്ങളാണ്
ഇരുകൂട്ടരും മുന്നോട്ടുവച്ചത്. വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണം കാലഹരണപ്പെട്ടുവെന്ന ആവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങള്‍ക്കപ്പുറം ശ്രദ്ധേയമായ നിലപാടുകളൊന്നും ഇരുകൂട്ടരും മുന്നോട്ടുവച്ചില്ല. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ സമൂഹത്തിന്റെ സവിശേഷതയായ ജാതിയെ ഉള്‍ക്കൊള്ളുന്നതിനും,മനസ്സിലാക്കുന്നതിനും വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണം അപര്യാപ്തമാണെന്ന ദളിത്‌ സ്വത്വവാദികളുടെ നിലപാടില്‍ പുതുമയൊന്നുമില്ല. വളരെക്കാലമായി അവര്‍ ഉന്നയിക്കുന്ന ഈ വാദങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് മാര്‍ക്സിസ്റ്റുകള്‍ മറുപടി നല്‍കിയിട്ടുള്ളതാണ്. അതുകൊണ്ട്തന്നെ അവ ഇവിടെ ആവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നതില്‍ അര്‍ത്ഥമില്ല.

ഏകപക്ഷീയവും, യാന്ത്രികവുമായ രീതിയില്‍ വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണത്തെ സമീപിക്കുന്നതിനെതിരെയുള്ള സാര്‍ത്ഥകമായ വിമര്‍ശനങ്ങള്‍ മാര്‍ക്സിസ്റ്റുകളുടെ ഭാഗത്തുനിന്നുതന്നെയാണ് ഉയര്‍ന്നുവന്നിട്ടുള്ളത്‌. രാഷ്ട്രീയപ്രയോഗത്തിന്റെ കാര്യത്തില്‍ മാത്രമല്ല വൈഞാനികമേഖലയിലും ഇതിനുള്ള നിരവധി ഉദാഹരണങ്ങള്‍ ലഭ്യമാണ്.

പക്ഷെ ഇവിടെ ശ്രദ്ധിക്കേണ്ട വിഷയം മറ്റൊന്നാണ്. കഴിഞ്ഞ 50- വര്‍ഷത്തിലധികമായി ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഭരണകുടസംവിധാനത്തിന്റെ അവിഭാജ്യഘടകമായി മാറിയ സി.പി.എം-ന്റെ നിലപാടുകളെ മാര്‍ക്സിസമെന്നു മുദ്രകുത്തി വിമര്‍ശിക്കുന്ന രീതിയാണതു. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഭരണകുടസംവിധാനത്തില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന സകല കക്ഷികളും ചെയ്യുന്ന അവസരവാദവും, വഞ്ചനാപരവുമായ നിലപാടുകള്‍ മാത്രമാണ് എല്ലാ സാമൂഹികവിഷയങ്ങളിലും സി.പി.എമ്മും പിന്തുടരുന്നത്. അതിനെ മാര്‍ക്സിസം എന്ന് മുദ്രകുത്തി വിമര്‍ശിക്കുന്നത് ഒരുതരം നിഴല്‍യുദ്ധം മാത്രമാണ്. വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണത്തെ മുഖ്യശത്രുവായി കണക്കാക്കുന്ന സ്വത്വരാഷ്ട്രീയം അഭിമുഖീകരിക്കുന്ന ദാര്‍ശനികവും, പ്രായോഗികവുമായ അന്തസാരശൂന്യതയുടെ ലക്ഷണമായി ഈ നിഴല്‍യുദ്ധത്തെ കാണാവുന്നതാണ്.യാന്ത്രികവും, എകപക്ഷീയവുമായ വര്‍ഗവീക്ഷണം പോലെ അപകടകരമാണ് ഏകപക്ഷീയവും യാന്ത്രികവുമായ സ്വത്വവാദങ്ങളും. ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഭരണകൂടത്തിന്റെ അടിത്തറ സവര്‍ണ്ണമാണെന്ന് പറഞ്ഞതുകൊണ്ട് മാത്രം കാര്യമില്ല. സവര്‍ണ്ണ പ്രത്യയശാസ്ത്രത്തിന്റെ ആവരണത്തിനുള്ളില്‍ കുടികൊള്ളുന്ന ഇന്ത്യന്‍ മുതലാളിത്തത്തിന്റെ സവിശേഷത അവഗണിക്കുന്ന സ്വത്വവാദികള്‍ നിലനില്‍ക്കുന്ന അധികാരവ്യവസ്ഥയുടെ പരിരക്ഷകര്‍ മാത്രമാണ്. ലിബറല്‍ ജനാധിപത്യം, സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യമെന്ന് പറയുമ്പോള്‍ യഥാര്‍ത്ഥത്തില്‍ അര്‍ത്ഥമാക്കുന്നത് മൂലധനത്തിന്റെ ക്രയവിക്രയത്തിനുള്ള സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യം മാത്രമാണെന്ന ഷീസെക്കിനെപ്പോലുള്ളവരുടെ വിശകലനം ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള ഇരട്ടത്താപ്പിനെ മനസിലാക്കുവാന്‍ സഹായിക്കുന്നതാണ്. കൊളോണിയല്‍ കാലഘട്ടത്തിനുശേഷം ഉരുത്തിരിഞ്ഞ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ദേശീയ സ്വത്വം സവര്‍ണസ്വത്വം എന്ന് പറഞ്ഞതുകൊണ്ട് മാത്രം കാര്യമില്ല. സവര്‍ണസ്വത്വം ഏതുതരത്തിലാണ് അതിന്റെ ആധിപത്യം ഉറപ്പിക്കുന്നത്? ഈ ആധിപത്യം ഉറപ്പിക്കുന്നതില്‍ ഭരണകൂടത്തിന്റെ പങ്കെന്താണ്? ഗാന്ധിയുടെ നേതൃത്തത്തിലുള്ള സവര്‍ണധാര സൃഷ്‌ടിച്ച കപടാവബോധത്തെ മുതലാളിത്തം എങ്ങനെയാണ് സ്വന്തം താല്പര്യത്തിനായി ഉപയോഗപ്പെടുത്തിയത്? കേരളത്തില്‍ ഉരുത്തിരിഞ്ഞ ചര്‍ച്ചകളില്‍ ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള വിഷയങ്ങള്‍ ആഴത്തില്‍ പരിശോധിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടില്ല. കേരളത്തിലെ ധൈഷണികമണ്ഡലത്തില്‍ രൂപപ്പെടുന്ന നവയാഥാസ്ഥിതിക വാദങ്ങളുടെ ഒരു ധാരയും സ്വത്വവാദത്തിന്റെ മറവില്‍ അരങ്ങേറുന്നതും ഈ ചര്‍ച്ചയുടെ സവിശേഷതയായി കാണാവുന്നതാണ്. സ്വത്വവാദത്തിന്റെ മറവില്‍ കേരളത്തിന്റെ ജനാധിപത്യവല്‍ക്കരണത്തിന്റെ നാഴികക്കല്ലായി വിമോചനസമരത്തെ ഉയര്‍ത്താനുള്ള ടി.ടി. ശ്രീകുമാറിന്റെ ശ്രമങ്ങള്‍ (മാതൃഭുമി ദിനപ്പത്രം, മാധ്യമം ആഴ്ച്ചപ്പതിപ്പ്) ഇതിനുള്ള ദ്ര്യഷ്ടാന്തങ്ങളാണ്. ജെ.രെഘു, എം,ജി,എസ്സ്.നാരായണന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയവര്‍ കുറച്ചുകാലമായി ശ്രമിക്കുന്നതിന്റെ തുടര്‍ച്ച തന്നെയാണ് ശ്രീകുമാറും നിറവേറ്റുന്നത്. "നായാടി മുതല്‍ നമ്പൂതിരിവരെ" ഒരുമിക്കുന്ന വെള്ളാപ്പള്ളി നടേശന്റെ സ്വത്വവാദത്തിനുശേഷം സമാനമായ ഒരു കുതിച്ചുചാട്ടം നടത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നത് ശ്രീകുമാറാണെന്ന സവിശേഷത എന്നാല്‍ കാണാതിരുന്നുകൂട.കത്തോലിക്കതിരുസഭയും, എന്‍.എസ്സ്.എസ്സും, എസ്സ്. എന്‍. ഡി.പിയും, ജമ അത്തും, ദളിതരുമെല്ലാം വര്‍ഗരാഷ്ട്രീയത്തിനെതിരെ ഒരുമിക്കുന്ന നവജനാധിപത്യത്തെകുറിച്ചാണ് ശ്രീകുമാരന്റെ സ്വപ്നം. വിമോചനസമരകാലത്ത് വ്യാപകമായി ഉയര്‍ന്നുകേട്ട "തമ്പ്രാനെന്നു വിളിപ്പിക്കും, പാളേല്‍ കഞ്ഞി കുടിപ്പിക്കും" - എന്ന മുദ്രാവാക്യത്തെ നവജനാധിപത്യത്തിന്റെ ഏതു ഗണത്തില്‍പെടുത്തുമെന്നു വരാനിരിക്കുന്ന നാളുകളില്‍ ഈ വിദ്വാന്‍ "അപനിര്‍മിക്കുമെന്നു" പ്രത്യാശിക്കാം.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

woman naxalites

Slightly built they may be, but you’d be a fool to take them lightly. Battle-hardened, fiercely committed to their cause and proud of the identity the movement gives them, the woman Maoists here are every bit as fierce as their male comrades.
ON THE JOB: A Maoist guerilla readies for a patrol.
ON THE JOB: A Maoist guerilla readies for a patrol.

DANDAKARANYA: In a largish clearing of forest along a flooded river, somewhere on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border, Maoist commander Tarakka sits on a large boulder, wearing a shirt and bottle-green pyjamas. She is cleaning her AK-47 assault rifle with a toothbrush dipped in kerosene oil. The roar of the river is deafening, with the incessant nocturnal buzz of insects giving the air an eerie edge. The Maoist camp is also home to poisonous snakes, deadly looking spiders, wild pigs, even bears. An hour ago, they killed a huge snake with another snake in its mouth. “The police doesn’t come here,” Tarakka says with a smile, “They know they will be slaughtered.”

“By the way, did you try that karela [bitter gourd] chutney? I made it,” she adds, as she fits the magazine to her gun. It goes in with a distinct click.

Around her, a platoon of Maoist guerillas—mostly young men and women—goes about the daily grind with surgical precision. Men help cook while women go around with axes to chop firewood. Water is boiled to make it safe for drinking. In one corner, a few guerillas have returned after sentry duty at night and are fast asleep on a jhilli (thin plastic sheet). Some girls are reading to each other, while two comb their hair, listening to Gondi songs on a small tape recorder. In another tent, a class is being held on military strategy. In a corner, a bunch of guerillas from the Maoists’ cultural troupe are rehearsing for a performance. No matter what you are doing, the gun always stays next to you, always less than an arm away.

In the monsoons, life becomes quite tough here. We have arrived at the camp after walking for days through dense forests, wading through rivers and nallahs overflowing with rainwater. It is lush green no matter where you look, and with continuous rains, it feels like Vietnam. For the night, we stay in tents or in small isolated huts of Adivasis on the outskirts of some village. We just sigh in the darkness; somebody lets out a cough, and somebody else takes out a tube of mosquito repellent and rubs yet another coat all over his body.

A night before arriving at the camp, we have halted at an Adivasi hut along with the Maoist squad. Under the influence of mahua, or maybe in spite of the intoxicant, the Adivasi begins to cry after some time as he forces a few morsels of rice down his throat.

“Why are you crying?” Maoist squad leader Samayya asks him in Gondi.

“I feel like crying,” he replies.


The next afternoon, we reach the Maoist camp. This is to be our home for the next few days—till further orders. The orders, they keep coming all the time, from all over. Suddenly, anytime of the day or night, a squad of armed guerillas appears and Comrade Narmada, 48, a veteran who has spent 30 years in these jungles, breaks away politely from us to receive news or instructions. Maoist squads are always on the move, and in their area of influence, they move almost freely, without worrying about falling into a police ambush. The last time the police came around to a village neighbouring the camp was about two years ago, we are told.

Whenever Maoists establish a camp, it’s a spectacle for villagers around the area; they keep their necks craned for a look. Here too, a few Adivasis have assembled on the border of the camp area. My friend Vanessa, a French journalist with us, tries speaking to them in broken Hindi that Narmada translates into Gondi. Vanessa is keen to know if there is any school around and if a teacher ever takes classes there.

Narmada translates her question. There is silence for a few seconds. Then one of them, Dolu, starts laughing. He can’t stop. And when he finally does, he does abruptly, almost as if he has clenched his throat. “Guruji!” he speaks with the same wonder with which he utters “Dilli”. “Guruji, he comes every year on 15 August, Jhanda phehraate hein (unfurls the flag) and that is it. We never see him again,” he says, almost astonished at why anybody should ask him about the school teacher, as if this is what school teachers are supposed to do anyway.

A young woman—a child suckles her breast—walks over and kicks a mongrel. It runs away, whimpering, taking refuge beside two Maoists who sit on their haunches on one side.

It makes me wonder: is there a difference between the treatment meted out to mongrels and Adivasis around here? Kicked by the woman, the mongrel ran to the Maoists. Kicked by the State, do these Adivasis have a choice?


Ageing villagers across Gadchiroli recount their experiences. This is the district in Maharashtra that Maoist rebels entered back in 1980. At that time, the exploitation of Adivasis was at its peak. Forest officers, big-town businessmen and contractors would fleece them as a matter of routine. Wily traders introduced their diets to salt, and in exchange for 1 kg of it, they would take a kilogram of dry fruits from them. A social activist who works in this area recalls how a forest officer had collected1 lakh in three months from Adivasis living in crushing poverty in lieu of letting them stay in the jungle or collect firewood and other free resources of the forest. In connivance with tendu leaf and bamboo contractors, these officers would make them work on plantations for a pittance. To top it all, there was also sexual exploitation of Adivasi girls.

This injustice was what prompted Tarakka not to heed her parents’ warning and go to the riverside in her village in Gadchiroli where Maoist rebels had put up a camp in the early 1980s. Initially, the villagers had feared that the rebels were dacoits and would loot them of their belongings. Finally, when no one would approach them, the rebels caught hold of a village boy and explained their aim and agenda to him. The word spread

Tarakka says that forest officers would come to her house every year for rice and jowar. “‘Why are we giving them this?’ I would ask my father,” she recalls, “but he would just ask me to keep quiet.” Ultimately, she went secretly to the riverside and met a senior Maoist leader she calls Shankar anna. She was 15 then. By 1986, a few years later, she had joined the rebels full-time. Her first military action was in 1993 when her squad attacked a police post. The last time she saw action, she says, was in 2008 when their camp came under police fire.

But Tarakka’s name figures prominently in the October 2009 attack on police personnel in Gadchiroli’s Laheri area in which 17 policemen lost their lives. A news report in a prominent newspaper refers to Tarakka as the leader of the attack, calling her ‘a woman known not just for her commitment to the ‘Naxalite cause’ but also her beauty’. When the report is cited, she smiles with an almost girlish delight. “No, I was not in the group that attacked policemen in Laheri,” she says, fiddling with her gun.

While Tarakka feels free to talk about her reasons for entering the Maoist fold, most of the younger lot shy away from discussing it, often citing constraints of language. Even when leaders who can speak Gondi and then translate it into Hindi or English offer to play interpreters, not much can be heard from the younger guerillas, especially the girls.

It is futile asking them why they joined, just as it is futile asking Adivasis what they would want in terms of a

better life. The younger lot have no specific answer on why they joined the Naxal rebellion.

After a few years of political instruction by higher-ups, they might bring themselves to utter phrases such as “class struggle” or “peasant insurrection”, or raise their fists in a defiant ‘red salute’, but mostly it is because of the lure of battle fatigues. It offers them a sense of group bonding, a sense of who they are, and some purpose in life.


As for a better life, over years and years of such jungle visits, I have come to realise that the typical Adivasi has no reference point for such an aspiration. Having been left in the lurch like this by the rest of India, filling their bellies is the main idea. Two villagers died of diarrhoea just a week before our arrival at the village next to the Maoist camp. The villagers grow paddy, but in the absence of proper knowledge, the crop often falls victim to disease. To avoid this, Adivasis use the services of a vadde—local witch doctor—to perform adev puja. The paddy they grow is not enough to feed them. So their staple diet is rice gruel. The nearest ration shop is about 20 km away. “But by the time we come to know that rations have come, it is already over,” says a villager. Many have run away to work as labourers in Bombay and Pune.

The villagers also have ties with Maoists. In the absence of the State, it is the guerillas who they rely on for help in small ways. Villagers often dine with them at the camp. Maoist medical teams also distribute medicines, including anti-malaria and anti-venom vaccines, among villagers. Unsurprisingly, some end up joining them. Like 14-year-old Suresh, who is now part of Chetna Natya Manch, the CPI (Maoist) cultural troupe. “We dissuaded him from joining us at such a young age, but he followed us for weeks,” says his team leader Raju.

Suresh used to attend a local paathshala (school) run by the Tribal Affairs Ministry. “But the food there was so bad and erratic, I ran away,” he says. Suresh has returned to his village after months, since he travels with the troupe from one village to another. His mother has come to meet him. “I ask him to come back,” she says, “but he refuses.”

The Maoist cause gives Suresh a sense of identity. The work and guns of his senior comrades give him a purpose in life.

It is the same sense of identity that stops another young boy from taking off his cap. It is olive green with a star. On its tip, he has scribbled the name given to him by the party: Viju. “Some comrades who knew his original name would call him by that, and he would get upset,” says another guerilla. “That is why he wrote ‘Viju’ over that cap.”

In the camp, Viju has fallen asleep. Narmada, who is the political head of the Gadchiroli division, looks at Viju lovingly and asks her bodyguard to pull a sheet over him for warmth. “From wearing saris to donning military fatigues like men, we women comrades have come a long way,” she says. In a check shirt and loose trousers, with short hair, Narmada is hardly distinguishable from the rest of the platoon. She has just arrived at the camp five days ago after crossing a dirtynallah. This has led to a severe allergy all over her body.

Narmada comes from Andhra Pradesh and joined the Maoist movement when she was 18. “My father was a Communist, and in those times, a Communist was like a pariah. My father would talk about Naxals and say that they have broken away from the shackles of domesticity,” she says. It was then, she says, that she made up her mind to join the Naxals. Today, she frames all policies for the female cadre of Maoists. Inside the camp, Narmada pops pills silently, as she goes about writing and discussing military strategy with Commander Eiatu, the military head of the Gadchiroli division.

When the whistle blows, both of them take out their steel plates and go to get food from the kitchen—mostly rice and dal. When guests arrive (in this case us), there might be eggs or an occasional chicken cooked without wasting any body part, not even the intestines.

Narmada’s bodyguard is a young girl, Sunita, who, with her cropped hair, looks like an LTTE militant. She hardly smiles, and even while she eats, her AK-47 rests against her knee. In contrast, her friend Rummy, who likes to sing revolutionary songs about fallen comrades, smiles easily. All of them can read and write—and assemble a gun in seconds. During patrols, they move about stealthily and reputedly attack with ferocity.

The CPI (Maoist) has an open policy about relationships. A man can marry a woman comrade with mutual consent. There have been stories of a Maoist squad coming under fire and a husband-wife duo staying behind together to engage the police, sacrificing their lives jointly to let others flee to safety. Another girl, Surekha, shows us her kit which includes a hand grenade. Has she ever taken part in action? We ask. She doesn’t say anything. Later, a senior Maoist confirms that she indeed has, and in some of the most deadly encounters.


Commander Eiatu’s brother, a senior leader, was allegedly killed in a fake encounter along with his partner in 2008; another brother is also a Maoist commander. Eiatu’s partner works with the Maoists’ doctor brigade. “We meet sometimes,” he says.

Later that night, Eiatu offers us glimpses of the military planning that went into the Laheri attack he had led. “Just before the Assembly election, the police had created fear in village after village to coerce people into submission,” he says. One day, their platoon of Maoists got information that a team of police commandos, led by their leader Rama, was moving in the area. For two days, the guerillas followed them, without as much as stopping for food. Finally, hostilities broke out at Laheri in Bhamragarh taluka, just 750 yards away from the Laheri police station. Some 42 policemen and 18 Maoist guerillas (who’d reached before their other exhausted comrades) found themselves locked in a fierce gunbattle. “The police have a lot of ammunition,” generalises Eiatu, “and they just lay on the ground, firing thousands of rounds all over. But since we have limited ammunition, we fire at specific targets.”

The policemen, Eiatu says, kept shouting that the guerillas would be mowed down since police enforcements were coming, but they held their ground—and upped the ante. For the first 30 minutes, nobody was injured on either side. Then, in the next ten minutes, six policemen were killed. After this, Eiatu claims, most policemen fled, including their leader. Eight policemen who had taken positions at one particular spot were asked to surrender. “But they let out another volley of bullets in which our senior comrade was killed,” says Eiatu. After this, the guerillas let their guns blaze—killing eight of them and three others. In all, 19 weapons were seized in that encounter. That also explains the extraordinary extent of modern weaponry I saw in the platoon’s possession. In five major engagements over the past 18 months, Maoists have been able to snatch as many as 77 guns—mostly AK-47 and Insas rifles—from security forces in Gadchiroli district alone.

It’s message time again. Everyone looks up. We cannot move further, it seems—all the rivers are in spate. (Later when we return, we learn of the death of senior Maoist leader Ganesh Uike who had malaria and could not be taken to a hospital in Bastar because of floods.) It is just too tough to embark on our return now. Roads are cut off. We are left stranded in a small village for three days. On the last day, we finally gather the courage to take a small boat across an angry river.

On the last night in the jungle, a writer who is with us, and has left his ailing mother behind, wakes up suddenly and cries: “Mother, I am coming.” I tell Samayya this and we smile. “Yes, mothers can do that to you,” he says. “Ho,” he nods his head. Ho means yes. Yes.