Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maoists making Inraods

Despite serious set backs including the death of Kishanji, the CPI Maoist is making inroads in many parts of India. In a single  district of the state of Orissa, around 5000 youth joined their PLGA during the recent observance of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week. Two reports. 

 PLGA Week: Maoists recruit 5,000 youth in Malkangiri

During the recent observance of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week, about 5,000 youth and adolescent girls were recruited by the Maoists particularly from Malkangiri district, sources said.
Challenging the joint combing operation of police, CRPF, SOG and paramilitary forces, they were able to hold open meetings for membership drive in the cut - off and remote pockets of the district. They held Prajamelis in around 10 villages, including in several village haats in Alampaka, Similibanki, Kusuguda and Kurmanur areas along the AP- Odisha border.
The Maoists made the tribals aware of the significance of observing PLGA Week, its aims and objectives besides corruption by the Government agencies in the integrated tribal development programmes. About eight Maoist organisations, including Korukonda, Kalimela, Podia and Chitrakonda Dallam of both Andhra Pradesh and Chatishgarh participated in the Prajamelis, sources confided.
They demanded declaration of area encompassing Bihar, Jharkhand and Dandakaranya area as free zone so that the tribal development can be possible and the aboriginal tribes are not deprived of their rights. They appealed to the tribes to join their hands with them for the revolution, sources revealed.

Maoists eyeing commercial hubs in Western India to spread Red terror

NEW DELHI: After facing some reverses in their strongholds, the CPI (Maoist) has formed a 'Golden Corridor Committee' to build its base in hitherto untouched industrial areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra, stretching from Pune to Ahmedabad, including commercial hubs like Mumbai, Nashik, Surat and Vadodara.
Besides, the Red Ultras have planned to expand their movement to Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara and Yavatmal districts of Maharashtra in addition to their existing bases in Gadchiroli, Gondia and Chandrapur in the state.
Maoists' game-plan is to make foray into these unexplored areas was disclosed by the Union home ministry in response to a question in Parliament on Tuesday. The ministry informed the Lok Sabha that Maharashtra alone had witnessed 221 deaths in naxal incidents from 2008 till November, 2011. The state has reported more deaths (51) this year as compared to 2010 when it had witnessed 45 killings in Red violence.
Security agencies had first got to know about the Maoists' plan to set up another theatre of their activities through the 'Golden Corridor Committee' after arresting a number of Ultras in Maharashtra in the past six months, including the first batch of 10 Maoists - all belong to West Bengal - in Pune in May. All the Ultras were working as casual labourers in different industrial units.
"Their questioning and subsequent arrests of many more Maoists gave us lot of details about the Ultras' plan to set up their bases in the industrial areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra," said an official.
Though the CPI (Maoist) had planned to set up the 'Golden Corridor Committee' in February, 2008, it took shape recently when Urban Unit of the Red Ultras started recruiting cadres in different cities of both the states - primarily from among those who are working in various industrial units.
Western India has become one of the eight strategic areas for Maoist activities. Establishing organizational bases in north-eastern India is yet another 'new' strategic area, where they have forged relations with insurgent groups to meet their military requirements.
In response to another question in the Lok Sabha, the ministry said that the CPI (Maoist) had developed "close fraternal ties with north-eastern insurgent groups like the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) and People's Liberation Army (PLA) of Manipur. Both the outfits have agreed upon mutual cooperation in the areas of training, funding and supply of arms and ammunitions".
Referring to Maoists' north-east agenda, the ministry said: "The Upper Assam Leading Committee (UALC) of the CPI (Maoist) is presently operating in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and has been involved in incidents of looting of weapons and extortion from local villagers".

Stating that the UALC has also engaged in recruitment and training of cadres for the outfit in Assam and these cadres have been utilized in extensive propaganda against mega dam in Assam, the ministry said: "In this backdrop, Assam-Arunachal border has emerged as another theatre of Maoist activity. The outfit is also establishing separate channels in the north-east, particularly in Nagaland, for procurement of ammunition."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How to Start a Revolution: Or the Delusions of Gene Sharp

The West promote this White Gandhi as the saint of non violence and the chief inspiration of Arab Spring. In fact he himself claims that he engineered the Arab spring. But who is this man in fact? Saint or an agent of CIA? The man the West says is the world's leading expert on non violent revolution...And this is a brief review of the new film on Sharp 'How to Start a Revolution' directed by Ruardh Arrow. Below is posted a trailer

The documentary How to Start a Revolution by Ruaridh Arrow was screened at the Zionist Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, among other places presumably. It comes at a time when Foreign Policy magazine has decided that Gene Sharp “has inspired Arab spring protesters.” It all started with a front page story in the New York Times, which decided—without any evidence whatsoever—that Gene Sharp has inspired a non-violent revolution throughout the Arab world.

Of course, the Arab uprisings have not been non-violent at all: the Egyptian people revolted violently in Suez and other places, and government buildings and police stations have been attacked throughout the country, as were offices of Hosni Mubarak’s party. The Libyan uprising degenerated, with NATO intervention, into multiple wars inside Libya. In Tunisia, the rebels also attacked government buildings. In Syria, the situation is now regularly labeled a “civil war.” So one can easily dismiss the theory of Gene Sharp’s so-called inspiration by underlining the non-non-violent nature of the “Arab spring” — it’s more like an Arab autumn these days. But what does the documentary How to Start A Revolution say?

It is not easy to finish the movie: there is no story, really. It is also a bit disturbing. It focuses on Gene Sharp in his old age, in his house in Massachusetts. In the basement of the house works the executive director of his Albert Einstein Institution. The movie focuses on both. But the director struggles to make his case, and the movie has the feel of a promotional movie of a cult.

Sharp disturbingly has no problem in promoting himself and praising, nay exaggerating, his influence. He starts the movie by talking about the oft-used evidence of the spread of his ideas: that his books have been translated into more than 30 languages. They keep talking about the translation of one of his books (prominently featured in the film) into Arabic. But this is dishonest. Sharp knows that his books were not translated through the initiative of Arab fans. They were translated by his own Einstein Institution and through external funding provided to his organization.

Jamila Raqib (who was featured in the film as his devotee) contacted me a few years ago when the Institution funded the translation of the books. They asked me to supervise the translation process and verify the accuracy. But the books were too uninteresting for me, and I turned down the job (although I referred them to a friend). How could Sharp convince himself that the translation of his work into multiple languages is evidence of his influence when he knows that he himself commissioned the translation of his own work?

Politically speaking, Sharp has been working largely in sync with US foreign policy goals. He promoted his non-violent agenda against the communist governments during the Cold War, and his partner (a former US army General) talked about his work under the tutelage of the Republican International Institute. But if Sharp is keen on promoting non-violence, why does he not preach non-violence to the US government which practices more violence than most countries of the world? And why has Sharp preached non-violence to Palestinians but not to Israelis? His project of non-violence seems in the interest of the most violent governments in the world today.

The movie could not provide any evidence of Sharp’s influence so it invites four men to confirm that Sharp has inspired revolution. One man is from Serbia, and another from Georgia, and one is from Egypt, and the fourth, a Syrian from London. Each of the four was tasked with providing a testimonial (clearly under prodding from the interviewer behind the camera) to the effect that, yes, Sharp inspired “his” revolution. But that was it. The film was crude in contrasting images of revolutions and protests with a close up of Gene Sharp’s face in his house. But this method would then prove that a potato inspired a revolution, if you contrast the images of that revolution with the image of a potato.

And the movie claimed falsely that governments around the world have been attacking Gene Sharp’s works due to his influence. Sharp himself, without any evidence, claimed that the Russian government set on fire two printing presses because they carried his books. The film claimed that protesters in Iran were convicted on following the instructions of Sharp — and again no evidence was presented.

The second part of the movie focuses on the Egyptian and Syrian cases. In the Egyptian case, the movie brings in a guy and introduces him to us as “a leader of the Egyptian revolution.” I personally have never heard of the guy, but you had to believe that he is the leader of the revolution. He, of course, said that, yes, Sharp inspired “his” revolution. The Syrian guy, an Ussama Munajjid, was even funnier. He lives in London but the film introduced him as a — you guessed it — “leader” of the Syrian revolution. We saw him in his office uploading footage from cameras that he “had placed” all over the country, as the film alleges. But if this guy’s testimonial was not enough, he was flown to Boston to be filmed while listening to Sharp’s advice.

It is not difficult, of course, to mock the writings of Sharp. His instructions for revolution are too basic and common-sensical to be credited to Sharp. The film even suggests that he was behind the idea of beating pots and pans in Serbia, when Latin Americans have engaged in this form of protests for decades, long before Sharp’s books were translated (at his own initiative) to Spanish. He, for example, suggests that protesters should wave flags, as if they did not think of that prior to the publication of Sharp’s books.

The film is disturbing at more than one level: the message of Sharp is condescending and patronizing, although his firm belief in his own international influence has a tinge of self-delusion. He believes that he — the White Man — alone knows what is the best course of action for people around the world. He preaches to Arabs that they were wrong in insisting on the resignation of the leader: he urges that the downfall of the government be stressed instead, as if Arab popular chants did not aim at that. Sharp (or his one Egyptian fan in the film) may have not heard of the nine bombings of the Egyptian pipeline to Israel. That was not in any of Sharp’s books.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Freedom soon will come / Then we'll come from the shadows.


When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender
This I could not do
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often
I've lost my wife and children
But I have many friends
And some of them are with me

An old woman gave us shelter
Kept us hidden in the garret
Then the soldiers came
She died without a whisper.
There were three of us this morning
I'm the only one this evening
But I must go on
The frontiers are my prison.

Oh, the wind, the wind is blowing
Through the graves the wind is blowing
Freedom soon will come
Then we'll come from the shadows.