Over the weekend, a number of journalists received the following statement from Ganapathy; General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). In the text, Ganapathy clarifies the Maoist stance on a broad range of topics – particularly Kashmir, the Commonwealth Games, the Ayodhya Verdict, Mamta Bannerjee in Bengal, Obama and the North East.
However, the fact that the questions are posed by an obviously sympathetic “interviewer” and our inability to send any follow-up questions means that, I personally, treat this as a policy document rather than an “interview”. To get a quick newsy sum-up, you could read my report for The Hindu.
I felt it would be interesting for our readers to go through this text to get a sense of “What Maoists Want”. As a reporter, I am only too aware of how Maoist politics is severely under-reported as opposed to their military tactics.
As neither the Maoists, nor Mr Ganapathy are currently in a position to defend their views on Kafila; I have disabled comments on this post. Afzal’s acerbic (and spot on) comment has changed my mind. Have allowed comments on this piece.Hopefully, this document shall serve as a reference point for further discussions on the Maoist movement.
Continue reading “Nobody Can Stop The Revolution”
By ARUN K AGRAWAL
Dear Shri Chidambaram,
This is in response to your repeated taunts on NDTV that the civil society must respond to the wanton killing by the Naxals. It appears that the interview was tailor made for getting the consent of the Cabinet for more firepower and airpower to combat the Maoist. The diabolic support of Arun Jaitly, be it by describing you an injured martyr, was designed to achieve his ambition through the support of the mining barons of the BJP ruled states.
As a member of society I hope I am being civil in disagreeing with you on your hard line approach against the innocent tribal. I also hope you will not find it too shocking for being accused of being largely responsible for the rise and growth of Naxalism, as the following happened on your watch as Finance minister.
Continue reading To P Chidambaram: Response from a member of civil society, by AK Agrawal
THIS note attempts to understand the nature of the politics behind the violent actions of the Maoists. There seems to be an agreement among human rights activists that Maoist violence is a ‘forced’ response to the extreme repression of the Indian state. The argument is that since the Indian state has been consistently ignoring or violently repressing various people’s movements, the people are left with no choice but to take recourse to the gun.
There is a fallacy in this argument. We know about people’s movements on issues of land rights or displacement which have not turned into armed insurrections, even though they have suffered major losses and have been treated in a very callous manner by the state. Apart from the Narmada Bachao Andolan there are hundreds of big and small peoples’ resistance movements in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and other states which have not given up on the ‘parliamentary’ path of struggle.
Interestingly, we find that Maoist groups are also active in these areas and they constantly try to infiltrate and take control of such movements. We do not know of any movements organized by the Maoists which were initially ‘peaceful’ but compelled to turn to arms after all attempts at working with the state failed. I would suggest that the theory of ‘peaceful’ movements mutating into ‘violent’ insurrections appears flawed. Also that instead of using ‘Maoist’ as an adjective in a careless manner we should treat them as a political formation organized on the lines articulated in its political programme and constitution which is based on its own Marxian theory of revolution which is impossible without violence. Continue reading Violence and revolution
Gachanpalli: Stories of the “Operation” reverberate along the path from the Andhra Pradesh border to Gachanpalli, a village deep in forests of Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. Villagers along the 35 kilometre stretch of broken track, bombed-out schools, and graves, still speak of the day when security forces swept through their fields and killed 12 men.
Testimonies collected from the villages of Gachanpalli, Gattapad and Palachalam in the Konta block in Dantewada claim that at least 12 of the 30 people killed during a security operation in September 2009 were innocent villagers with no links to the Maoists. If true, the allegations point to a concerted attempt at dissimulation on the part of Chhattisgarh’s security forces.
The Gompad case gets murkier. Gachanpalli is another village mentioned in the same case I have been writing about for some time now. I visited the village this week to find a similar pattern where villagers vanish without really telling anyone where they are going and suddenly show up in the Supreme Court in New Delhi.
Given the matter is sub judice, I’ll refrain from any theorizing at this point.
Gachanpalli: A frayed umbrella, a half filled bottle of cooking oil and two shopping bags stuffed with clothes constitute the unlikely tombstone that marks Kowasi Ganga’s grave. “It’s the sum total of his worldly possessions,” says his grandson Kowasi Muye, “It’s a Muria tradition.”
Kowasi Ganga, 75, died on September 17 2009. Muye’s last memory of his grandfather is of Ganga dying dead outside their home. He had been stabbed multiple times.
I have been following the Gompad case for the past month and a half, and have been surprised at every turn. The issue is centred on the deaths of 12 villagers on October 1 2009 in Chhattisgarh. The matter is currently sub judice – so I would prefer not to comment on what I think happened, but this is my most comprehensive piece on the issue till date.
GOMPAD: A charred wooden stake and three graves are all that remain of the Madavi family in this remote village in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.
“Madavi Kanni was lying face down in front of the burnt house,” said an eyewitness. “She had been slashed with a sword and shot in the chest.” The bodies of her father, Madavi Bajar, her mother Madavi Subbhi and her 12-year-old sister Madavi Mutti, were found under a tree, 50 metres away.
Testimonies collected by The Hindu from Gompad allege that a composite force of Adivasi special police officers and security force regulars appeared on the outskirts of the village in the early hours of October 1, 2009. “We ran away when we saw the force,” said the witness, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We found the bodies when we returned.”
Continue reading “Police killed them” say the villagers