Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for November 2nd, 2009

Arundhati Roy: Corporate Land Grab Needs Enemy–the Maoists

Posted by Ka Frank on November 2, 2009

India--NiyamgiriMr. Chidambaram’s War

The heart of India is under attack

To justify enforcing a corporate land grab, the state needs an enemy – and it has chosen the Maoists

Arundhati Roy, Sri Lanka Guardian, October 31, 2009

The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a country called India or a state called Orissa. The hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now these hills have been sold for the bauxite they contain.  For the Kondh it’s as though god had been sold. They ask how much god would go for if the god were Ram or Allah or Jesus Christ.

Perhaps the Kondh are supposed to be grateful that their Niyamgiri hill, home to their Niyam Raja, God of Universal Law, has been sold to a company with a name like Vedanta (the branch of Hindu philosophy that teaches the Ultimate Nature of Knowledge). It’s one of the biggest mining corporations in the world and is owned by Anil Agarwal, the Indian billionaire who lives in London in a mansion that once belonged to the Shah of Iran. Vedanta is only one of the many multinational corporations closing in on Orissa.

If the flat-topped hills are destroyed, the forests that clothe them will be destroyed, too. So will the rivers and streams that flow out of them and irrigate the plains below. So will the Dongria Kondh. So will the hundreds of thousands of tribal people who live in the forested heart of India, and whose homeland is similarly under attack. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | 1 Comment »

New York Times Launches U.S. Media Offensive Against Indian Maoists

Posted by Ka Frank on November 2, 2009

India--troops in Chhatt.The appearance and timing of this article on the front page of the Sunday New York Times–the leading voice of the U.S. imperialists–is very significant.  The Indian military is just starting an unprecentedly large offensive in the regions of the central and eastern India where the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has a strong popular base, especially among the adivasis (tribals). These areas of Maoist support contain a vast trove of bauxite, iron ore and other minerals whose exploitation requires removing the adivasis from their ancestral lands.

A major battle shaping up on the ground and in the media.  This situation requires progressive and revolutionary forces–including those of us outside India–to call for an end to the military offensive and to meet the demands of the adivasis for economic and social development that they control.  One way you can do so is to add your name to the statement initiated by Sanhati in West Bengal, which you can read below at the end of the NYT article.

Maoist Rebels Widen Deadly Reach Across India

Jim Yardley, New York Times,  October 31, 2009

BARSUR, India — At the edge of the Indravati River, hundreds of miles from the nearest international border, India effectively ends. Indian paramilitary officers point machine guns across the water. The dense jungles and mountains on the other side belong to Maoist rebels dedicated to overthrowing the government.

“That is their liberated zone,” said P. Bhojak, one of the officers stationed at the river’s edge in this town in the eastern state of Chattisgarh.

Or one piece of it. India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have evolved into a potent and lethal insurgency. In the last four years, the Maoists have killed more than 900 Indian security officers, a figure almost as high as the more than 1,100 members of the coalition forces killed in Afghanistan during the same period.

If the Maoists were once dismissed as a ragtag band of outdated ideologues, Indian leaders are now preparing to deploy nearly 70,000 paramilitary officers for a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign to hunt down the guerrillas in some of the country’s most rugged, isolated terrain. Read the rest of this entry »

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