Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Archive for March 22nd, 2010

Arundhati Roy: Walking with the Comrades

Posted by Mike E on March 22, 2010

Arundhati Roy during a visit to the forest where she broke the taboo of of interviewing Maoist guerrillas in their base areas.

Last month, quietly, unannounced, Arundhati Roy decided to visit the forbidding and forbidden precincts of Central India’s Dandakaranya Forests, home to a melange of tribespeople many of whom have taken up arms to protect their people against state-backed marauders and exploiters. She recorded in considerable detail the first face-to-face journalistic “encounter” with armed guerrillas, their families and comrades, for which she combed the forests for weeks at personal risk. This essay was published on Friday in Delhi’s Outlook magazine. Arundhati Roy made the pictures in this 20,000 word essay available exclusively to Dawn.

The following was first posted on Dawn.com. Kasama urges all readers to give it close attention and wide circulation.

Walking with the Comrades

by Arundhati Roy

The terse, typewritten note slipped under my door in a sealed envelope confirmed my appointment with India’s Gravest Internal Security Threat. I’d been waiting for months to hear from them.

I had to be at the Ma Danteshwari mandir in Dantewara, Chhattisgarh, at any of four given times on two given days. That was to take care of bad weather, punctures, blockades, transport strikes and sheer bad luck. The note said: “Writer should have camera, tika and coconut. Meeter will have cap, Hindi Outlook magazine and bananas. Password: Namashkar Guruji.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News | 14 Comments »

Pamphlet: A Letter From Kathmandu

Posted by Mike E on March 22, 2010

We now have Jed’s first report from Nepal available in printable PDF pamphlet form. The is tabloid sized and folds into an illustrated pamphlet. The original first appeared in English on jedbrandt.net

* * * * * *

by Jed Brandt

March 7, 2010 — I can’t leave home for a few weeks without everything going crazy.

It took a bit for my time to adjust, to see things as they are coming here and where they’re coming from. Not the instant back-and-forth rhythm of New York multi-tasking anxiety time. Most days the electricity is out in Kathmandu. You can hear chickens in the morning, children playing after school and quiet talk at night when the old women laugh and call across the rooftops. Blackouts make working a computer hard, but the pace of people living by hands and minds alone, without so much mediation, is not a place I’ve ever spent much time. And I do love it here. The city is dirty. The people are upright, direct and curious….

Did I mention there is a revolution going on?

We haven’t seen a revolution in our lifetime. Not a communist revolution anyway, with broad support and participation sustained, growing over such a short period of time.

The Maoists are unorthodox, to be sure. They have defied everyone’s expectations, friend and foe alike. To their credit, they haven’t let their enemies tell them who they are or been confined to some historical script handed down by the Comintern in 1930-whatever. After a 10-year People’s War, starting in 1996, they grew exponentially among the rural people who make up the heart and body of Nepal.

Posted in Nepal News | 2 Comments »