RDF India: Stand by the Struggling Masses Against Operation Green Hunt
Posted by n3wday on November 20, 2009
Following is a statement by the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India (firstname.lastname@example.org) from the end of October 2009.
The former U.S. President George W. Bush declared a “War on Terror” on the pretext of 9/11, and attacked Iraq and then Afghanistan so that U.S. imperialism could capture oil, gas and other natural resources in these foreign countries. The prime minister of India too made an open declaration of “war against terrorism” after 26/11. P. Chidambaram [The Home Minister in charge of Operation Green Hunt] too recently announced the government’s decision to go on a military offensive adhering to the dictates of the U.S. This time the offensive was aimed at the people of this country, those who are among the most deprived and exploited. This is just to facilitate the handing over of the country’s natural resources to the plunder and loot of foreign corporations, even though purported aim is to re-establish the sovereign rule of the Indian state in Maoist-influenced regions.
One of the main proponents of this war on people is Manmohan Singh, who was an economist with the World Bank controlled by U.S. imperialism before he joined active politics. Till the day he became finance minister of the UPA government , P. Chidambaram was a member of the Board of Directors in Vedanta, the British mining multinational. He was also the lawyer of the notorious U.S. electricity corporation, Enron.
Both Singh and Chidambaram have been die-hard advocates of foreign investment to the country, the two foremost agents of U.S. imperialism in the country. On 18 June 2006, the prime minister made a statement in the parliament, pronouncing that, “the environment for foreign investment is going to be severely affected if left-wing extremism continues to grow and expand in the mineral-rich regions of the country”. The booty of this war declared by Manmohan Singh’s government on the people is going to be handed over to the imperialist countries, particularly to U.S. imperialism.
Borders within the country: Much like the U.S. government which sent 150,000 soldiers to occupy Iraq and 100,000 to Afghanistan, the Indian government too is sending its 100,000 troops to wage a war against in central and eastern parts of the country, with similar purposes in mind. Only that the target this time is our own people, in our own territory. It is as if the government has declared a part of this country to be a foreign land, and is now sending its armed forces to occupy it.
In addition to the Indian army and the air force, tens of thousands of armed personnel from the police, CRPF, ITBP, IRB, Special Task Force, Rashtriya Rifles, etc. [various special forces and paramilitary police] are mobilized to take part in this full-scale war. The home ministry and the defence ministry are jointly overseeing this war under the command of high-ranked army officers. Army colonels and brigadiers are running Jungle Warfare Schools in Chhattisgarh, and are imparting training to the troops to confront the people. The notorious Rashtriya Rifles under the direct command of the Indian army, as well as the ITBP and BSF, raised for defending the borders of the country, are being redeployed by the central government for this military offensive. Air force helicopters are being requisitioned, including the “Garud” armoured helicopters. The government is outlaying more than Rs. 7,300 crores [about $1.5 billion] of hard-earned money of the working people for this war.
The government is preparing to take the help of intelligence input from U.S. defence satellites as well. In Lalgarh too, which the home secretary has termed as the “laboratory of joint army operations”, U.S. spy-satellites were used to scan Borpelia, Kantapahadi, Ramgarh and adjoining areas. In September 2009, the home minister Chidambaram went on a four-day state visit to the U.S. Just after his return from this trip, “Operation Green Hunt” was launched in the northern, southern and eastern parts of Bastar. At least 19 adivasi villagers were brutally murdered during this operation. It is worth noting that many teams of US security establishment secretly visited Chhattisgarh in order to assess the war preparations. The Indian government is also in constant consultation with the U.S. army officers who are commanding the imperialist war against Afghanistan and North-West Pakistan.
Corporate plunder for super-profits is the real motive behind this war: From the year 2001 onwards, there was a scramble among various state governments to outsmart one another in inviting foreign investors and comprador big business houses of the country to their respective states, and to conclude hundreds of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). In Jharkhand itself, more than 100 MoUs were signed by the state government with Mittal, Jindal, Tata, Rio Tinto and other foreign and Indian big corporations in the last nine years involving mining projects, steel and aluminium plants, electricity plants, dams, and so on. In Orissa too, companies like Vedanta, POSCO, Tata, Hindalco, Jindal and Mittal are eyeing the unexplored natural resources. The BJP [Hindu fundamentalist] government in Chhattisgarh has already concluded agreements with Essar, Tata, Rio Tinto and other such big corporations to set up Special Economic Zones in the mining sector. In these three states alone, agreements worth Rs. 873,896 crores [about $ 19 billion] of investment in various projects have been concluded till September 2009.
The peasants who are largely dependent on land, forests and rivers for their livelihood, particularly the adivasis, have refused to give up their resources for corporate plunder. They have organized themselves against forcible land-acquisition for these big projects. The Maoists too, who have been fighting against the ruling classes to carry out a revolutionary transformation of the present exploitative system and for the liberation of the oppressed masses, have built up a strong resistance against these anti-people projects.
The Maoist movement has successfully organized the masses to fight for the scrapping of these agreements and MoUs, to resist the incursion of the corporates, and to establish people’s revolutionary power that guarantees the rights of the masses over land and natural resources in many of these regions.
The government intensified its onslaught on the people soon after the agreements and MoUs were concluded, and the adivasis in particular subsequently became the targets of state terror. The unleashing of Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh left hundreds of adivasis dead, raped and maimed, thousands of houses burnt, and more than seven hundred villages displaced. Children were decapitated, dead bodies of adivasi villagers were mutilated and hung from trees, rape was used as a means of state repression. Around 300,000 adivasis were forced to leave their villages, of which more than fifty thousand were forcibly kept in Salwa Judum camps. The first of these police camps were financed by Essar.
In the Singhbhum region of Jharkhand which attracted the largest amount of agreements for corporate investment, a reign of state terror was established through “Nagarik Suraksha Samiti”. The “Tritiya Prastuti Committee” was used in Balumath in order to crush the resistance against the setting up of a power plant by the Abhijit Group of Companies. In Orissa too, the so-called “Shanti-Sena” which complimented the mercenary goons of the corporations, was created to attack the people’s resistance.
The resistance of the people and the revolutionary movement has resiliently withstood the combined attacks of the police, paramilitary and the vigilante gangs, and defended the people’s rights over land and natural resources. Imperialist forces, particularly U.S. imperialism and its “strategic partner” the Indian government, have therefore launched this fresh military offensive on the people in these regions, with motives similar to those with which the U.S. imperialists went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan to subjugate and plunder the mineral and natural resources of these countries.
The only way forward is to Establish People’s Power: The people’s struggle for rights over their land, forests and natural resources has been continuing ever since the feudal and colonial forces have tried to dispossess them through the use of force or the “rule of law”. Ever since the imposition of the Forest Act by British colonialism, whereby the rights of the adivasis to their forests and land was taken away, many glorious rebellions challenged the might of British India. The adivasi Ulugulan under the leadership of Birsa Munda in Jharkhand, Bhumkal Vidroh in Bastar led by Gundadhar, the Ghumeswar rebellion in Orissa, etc., all were aimed at defending the rights of the people over land and forests. During the Naxalbari movement [the 1960s peasant rebellion in West Bengal that gave rise to the Maoist movement in India], too, the oppressed masses fought for their rights over land, and to establish people’s revolutionary power by overthrowing the feudal social order. The masses of this country in general and the adivasis in particular have a history of waging persistent and uncompromising struggles against the exploitation and oppression of the ruling classes.
Even today the masses of the entire country, led by the people’s movements in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal etc., are marching forward, holding high the banner of revolutionary class struggle and defeating the fascist attacks of the reactionary rulers one after another. Be it Operation Green Hunt or Operation Siddhartha, Salwa Judum or Harmad Vahini, Ranveer Sena, Sunlight Sena, C-60, Black Hundreds, Sendra, Grey Hounds, CRPF or CoBRA, the fighting masses of the country have time and again stood up to ensure befitting response to the combined repression of the feudal, comprador big bourgeois and imperialist forces.
The Indian government must stop this war waged against the people of central and eastern India, and must immediately and unconditionally withdraw its armed forces from these regions. All the MoUs and agreements with foreign multinationals and Indian corporations for the plunder of natural resources of the people must be scrapped, and the land forcibly acquired for such projects must be restored to their rightful owners. In addition, the rights of the people over land and forests must be acknowledged. Otherwise, the people of this country will rise up against this war waged on them by the central and state governments, and fight a resolute struggle for establishing people’s sovereign power over their resources, their sources of life and livelihood. This struggle will not cease until the dream of a truly People’s Democratic India, visualized by Bhagat Singh and thousands of martyred revolutionaries, is turned into a reality.