Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India

Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India

[From Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle]

On 14th of April 2012, the  “Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award” was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of IndiaG.N.Saibaba.

Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012

IndiensolidaritetCan you say something about the political work you do in India?

G. N. Saibaba

Saibaba: I work for an organization called Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working among different oppressed classes and sections of Indian society.  Revolutionary students and youth organisations, revolutionary peasants’ organisations, revolutionary workers’ organisations, revolutionary cultural organisations as well revolutionary womens’ organisations from different regions across India are constituents of RDF. Thus RDF is a large network of revolutionary organisations reaching out to all sections and strata of the society.

From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.

Indiensolidaritet: The way we see it, there are two lines regarding solidarity work in Europe. One line is trying to unite people on an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal basis and another one focuses more on Maoism. What do you think about this? Continue reading “Internationalism and the Revolution of the Masses in India”

Indian poll: People Support Maoists

From Times of India:

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

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.

Continue reading “Indian poll: People Support Maoists”

Arundhati Roy: The crisis of Indian democracy (part 2)

Over the past few months, the government has poured tens of thousands of heavily armed paramilitary troops into the forest. The Maoists responded with a series of aggressive attacks and ambushes. More than 200 policemen have been killed. The bodies keep coming out of the forest. Slain policemen wrapped in the national flag, slain Maoists, displayed like hunter’s trophies, their wrists and ankles lashed to bamboo poles; bullet-ridden bodies, bodies that don’t look human any more, mutilated in ambushes, beheadings and summary executions. Of the bodies being buried in the forest, we have no news. The theatre of war has been cordoned off, closed to activists and journalists. So there are no body counts.On 6 April 2010, in its biggest strike ever, in Dantewada the Maoists’ People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) company and killed 76 policemen. The party issued a coldly triumphant statement. Television milked the tragedy for everything it was worth. The nation was called upon to condemn the killing. Many of us were not prepared to – not because we celebrate killing, nor because we are all Maoists, but because we have thorny, knotty views about Operation Green Hunt. For refusing to buy shares in the rapidly growing condemnation industry, we were branded “terrorist sympathisers” and had our photographs flashed repeatedly on TV like wanted criminals. What was a CRPF contingent doing, patrolling tribal villages with 21 AK-47 rifles, 38 INSAS rifles, seven self-loading rifles, six light machine-guns, one Sten gun and one two-inch mortar? To ask that question almost amounted to an act of treason.

Days after the ambush, I ran into two paramilitary commandos chatting to a bunch of drivers in a Delhi car park. They were waiting for their VIP to emerge from some restaurant or health club or hotel. Their view on what is going on involved neither grief nor patriotism. It was simple accounting. A balance sheet. They were talking about how many lakhs of rupees in bribes it takes for a man to get a job in the paramilitary forces, and how most families incur huge debts to pay that bribe. That debt can never be repaid by the pathetic wages paid to a jawan, for example. The only way to repay it is to do what policemen in India do – blackmail and threaten people, run protection rackets, demand payoffs, do dirty deals. (In the case of Dantewada, loot villagers, steal cash and jewellery.) But if the man dies an untimely death, it leaves the families hugely in debt. The anger of the men in the car park was directed at the government and senior police officers who make fortunes from bribes and then so casually send young men to their death. They knew that the handsome compensation that was announced for the dead in the 6 April attack was just to blunt the impact of the scandal. It was never going to be standard practice for every policeman who dies in this sordid war. Continue reading “Arundhati Roy: The crisis of Indian democracy (part 2)”

Arundhati Roy: India in Crisis

The law locks up the hapless felon
who steals the goose from off the common,
but lets the greater felon loose
who steals the common from the goose.
– Anonymous, England, 1821

In the early morning hours of the 2nd of July 2010, in the remote forests of Adilabad, the Andhra Pradesh State Police fired a bullet into the chest of a man called Cherukuri Rajkumar, known to his comrades as Azad. Azad was a member of the Polit Bureau of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and had been nominated by his party as its chief negotiator for the proposed peace talks with the Government of India. Why did the police fire at point-blank range and leave those telltale burn marks, when they could so easily have covered their tracks? Was it a mistake or was it a message?

They killed a second person that morning — Hem Chandra Pandey, a young journalist who was traveling with Azad when he was apprehended. Why did they kill him? Was it to make sure no eyewitness remained alive to tell the tale? Or was it just whimsy?

In the course of a war, if , in the preliminary stages of a peace negotiation, one side executes the envoy of the other side, it’s reasonable to assume that the side that did the killing does not want peace. It looks very much as though Azad was killed because someone decided that the stakes were too high to allow him to remain alive. That decision could turn out to be a serious error of judgment. Not just because of who he was, but because of the political climate in India today. Continue reading “Arundhati Roy: India in Crisis”

Killing Azad: Silencing the Voice of Revolution

by N Venugopal.  From Monthly Review zine, July 29.
Cherukuri ("Azad") Rajkumar, CPI (Maoist) spokesperson

To suppress the most articulate voice of the Indian revolutionary movement, the state indulged in the brutal assassination of Cherukuri Rajkumar, popularly known as Azad, spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), along with freelance journalist Hemchandra Pandey, on July 2.  Azad was supposed to meet a courier at Sitabardi in Nagpur, Maharashtra at 11 am on July 1, to go to the Dandakaranya forest from there.  The bodies of Azad and Pandey were displayed on a hillock in the forest between the Jogapur and Sarkepalli villages in the Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, about 250 kms from Nagpur.

Around 9 in the morning on July 2, the television channels in Andhra Pradesh started flashing that there was an “encounter” in which two Maoists were killed.  Within the next few hours it was speculated that the deceased were Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and Pulluri Prasada Rao alias Chandranna, secretary of the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee.  By afternoon Gudsa Usendi, spokesperson of the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, came on air and told the channels that the second person might be Sahadev, an adivasi courier sent to fetch Azad.  Then, Usendi came on air again and told that Sahadev returned safely after not finding Azad at the rendezvous.  Meanwhile, friends of Hemchandra Pandey recognized the picture of his dead body that appeared in the New Delhi edition of the Telugu daily Eenadu, and Pandey’s wife Babita announced that at a press conference in Delhi.  For the first few days, Pandey was passed off as a Maoist; once he was identified, police started denying that he was a journalist.

The official version of the incident goes like this: On the night of July 1, police got information that there was some movement of Maoists in the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border forests and a combing party consisting of police from both the states went in search of them.  Around 10:30 the police party identified the Maoists and asked them to surrender, but the intransigent Maoists, numbering around 20, started firing at them.  In order to defend themselves the police returned fire and the exchange of fire continued till 2:30 in the morning.  The police party could not search the area due to pitch darkness and came back next morning to find two unidentified dead bodies, along with an AK-47, a 9 mm pistol, two kit bags, and revolutionary literature.

However, newspaper readers in Andhra Pradesh are sceptical: they have been reading the same story over and over again for the last forty years with changes in proper names alone.  That nobody believed the official story was a commentary on the credibility of state machinery. Continue reading “Killing Azad: Silencing the Voice of Revolution”