Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for May, 2011

An Evening with Arundhati Roy: Discussion and Dissent

Posted by hetty7 on May 31, 2011

This article originally appeared on The Hindu.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy

Shades of Dissent

A new compilation of activist essays by Arundhati Roy was recently launched amidst voices of protest.

Nupur Sharma

Last week saw the release of “Broken Republic”, a Penguin India publication that consolidates three essays by the irrepressible Arundhati Roy. After her Booker Prize winning novel “The God of Small Things” in 1997, this is the latest addition to a body of non-fiction writing. The launch in New Delhi included a discussion as well as musical performance.

Roy, an outspoken critic of prevailing paradigms of industrial ‘development’ was in conversation with the distinguished economist Amit Bhaduri.  This was followed by an engaging musical performance by the experimental group Ska Vengers

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in India Background, India News, Indian Maoism | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

India: Operation Green Hunt Attacks Delhi Students

Posted by celticfire84 on May 30, 2011

Thanks to Revolutionary Frontlines for sharing this.

Witch-Hunt Of JNU Students In The Name Of Proctorial Enquiry!

By JNU Forum Against War On People

28 May, 2011
Countercurrents.org

In a leaflet announcing speeches on campus by Arundhati Roy and Amit Bhaduri, campus activists used this image to depict repression in India. The university administration says the image is offensive and a crime against the Indian state under the Official Emblem Act, and those responsible "must" be punished.

The Indian state’s war against the people in the form of Operation Green Hunt launched almost two years back is aimed at facilitating the corporate plunder of peoples’ land, forests, and resources. In the process the state has unleashed a spate of violent repression of the people fighting against this corporate loot. Braving extreme forms of state repression, Green Hunt has been resisted and fought back by vast sections of the people across the country, including peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits, students, intellectuals, peoples’ movements and democratic organisations. Outside the country too, the Indian state’s war campaign in central and eastern India has been opposed by the pro-people organisations and individuals. They have all vocally protested the crimes committed by the Indian state and its armed forces in these regions on a daily basis – be it the murder of adivasi villagers and political activists in their hundreds, use of brutal torture, burning and loot of hundreds of villages, thousands of arrests and forced displacements in still larger numbers.

The JNU Forum against War on People, formed by the students of the campus two years back to oppose the onslaught of Operation Green Hunt on the people of this country, has consistently worked towards bringing out the ground realities of state terror and repression in these regions. Against the state’s and the corporate media’s attempts to hide this reality, the Forum has continued to acquaint the campus community of the ongoing war in India’s heartland, and the students and teachers responded positively by participating in each of its programmes in their hundreds. The huge mobilisation of the students of JNU at the call of the Forum, whether it is to protest the JNU visit of P. Chidambaram –the main architect of Green Hunt– on 6 May 2010, the public meeting addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri on 5 March 2011, or various protest actions at the initiative of the Forum in the last two years seem to have become a cause of worry for the Indian state and its local representative – the JNU administration. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The Brutal World of India’s Political Prisoners

Posted by celticfire84 on May 25, 2011

Thanks to Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle for sharing this piece. It originally appeared here, and details the horrific treatment of political prisoners in India. 

“He was being beaten so badly,” said Mr Mahato, a look of controlled pain on his face. “In the end, I could take no more. I told him to say he was there. It was the only way they would leave him alone.”

KOLKATA // The new government in West Bengal has promised to review all cases against political prisoners, but a long history of police brutality has made it difficult to distinguish between legitimate protesters and active insurgents.

After three days of watching his teenage son being tortured, Utpal Mahato could take no more. In desperation, he told his son to tell the police what they wanted to hear – that he had been involved in one of the most lethal terrorist attacks in India’s history. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News, Indian Maoism | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Arundhati Roy: India’s Democracy is a Charade

Posted by redpines on May 25, 2011

In this piece from The Wall Street Journal, writer and public intellectual Arundhati Roy continues her defense of India’s Maoists and tribal peoples, while criticizing the Indian state, its upper classes and capitalism in general.

“We are living in a country where simultaneously we are trying to make the discourse of democracy sophisticated while we are colonizing ourselves”

Arundhati Roy on Indian Democracy, Maoists

by Krishna Pokharel

Writer and activist Arundhati Roy, winner of the 1997 Man Booker prize for “The God of Small Things,” is undoubtedly India’s iconoclast no.1. During the launch of her two latest books—“Broken Republic” and “Walking With the Comrades” —on Friday evening, she came to the defence of the military tactics of India’s Maoists in her polemical best:

“When you have 800 CRPF [Central Reserve Police Force, a paramilitary force deployed to fight country’s internal insurgencies] marching three days into the forest; surrounding a forest village and burning it and raping women, what are the poor supposed to do? Can the hungry go on a hunger strike? Can people who have no money boycott goods? What sort of civil disobedience we are asking them to adhere to?” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Banerjee’s Election in West Bengal: An Uncertain Hope

Posted by redpines on May 23, 2011


The election of Mamata Banerjee to the position of chief minister in West Bengal may have important ramifications for revolutionary forces in India. Banerjee, a founding member of the Trinamool Congress  has been an opponent of the revisionist CPI(M) for decades, and, since her recent victory is touted as a “communist giant-killer”. Many of her policies appear more progressive than those of the CPI(M)–she fought against the forced eviction of small farmers from their lands and has opposed corporate development schemes and Special Economic Zones. Yet, these populist moves may be intended to undercut the influence of revolutionary forces–the CPI(Maoist) in particular. 

What impact, if any, Banerjee’s election will have on the Maoist armed struggle in India is unclear. But it is a significant development, and one that bears watching, especially given that it means a major setback for the CPI(M), whose forces have been responsible for numerous attacks on Maoists and tribal peoples.

The following article originally appeared at dawn.com. As usual, posting here does not imply endorsement.

‘Big Sister’ set to evict Communists from India Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Nepal’s Kiran: Against dissolving the Peoples Liberation Army

Posted by celticfire84 on May 22, 2011

Nepali revolutionary forces training

” The issue at hand is about Peoples Liberation Army integration [into the government army]. The peace process and constitution drafting should move ahead simultaneously. So many people sacrificed their lives for the sake of a “People’s Constitution”, but attention has not been paid in that regard.

“We have suspicions that we may be betrayed.”

The following interview with Mohan Baidya (nom de guerre is Kiran) reveals that the struggle within Nepal’s Maoist party focuses increasingly on the fate of the Peoples Liberation Army. 

There is a well-known saying from Mao Zedong’s red book that has been important to Maoism-since-Mao:

“Without a peoples army, the people have nothing.”

This question now stands center stage — in Nepali politics, in the struggle among the Maoists, and in the strategic decisions being taken for the Nepali revolution. The following is from myrepublica.com.

* * * * * * * * *

by  KIRAN PUN

Maoist Senior Vice-chairman Mohan Baidya, who leads the hardline camp in the UCPN (Maoist), has registered a note of dissent against the party’s decision to accept Nepal Army’s modality for PLA integration.

Earlier, he had registered his dissent when Chairman Dahal adopted the line of peace and constitution overturning the mandate of the Palungtar plenum. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Indian Maoists Fight Mining & Destruction

Posted by redpines on May 17, 2011

This short article is remarkable for what it says about the resilience of India’s Maoists and tribal communities, who are often one and the same.

For a decade, a Maoist-controlled area in Jharkand, not far from some of India’s industrial strongholds, has been off limits to the state and captalist mining interests. The Maoists’ continued defense of these territories has likely prevented these interests from displacing tribal communities and destroying of their land. One police officer noted:

“If we have knowledge of mineral reserves, many private and public sector undertakings would be interested in taking up mining projects.”

The article originally appeared in The Times of India.

* * * * * *

Govt helpless as Maoists stall state mineral reserve survey

by Sanjay Ojha

May 17, 2011, 12.45pm

RANCHI: Survey on the state’s rich mineral reserves has been stalled because of Maoist-induced resistance by villagers. Though the state possesses rich reserves of iron ore, coal, mica, bauxite and uranium, the government is in no position to give details of the sources even 10 years after formation of the state of Jharkhand.

Sources in state mining and geology department allege serveral attempts in the past to assess the rich resources, enough to meet raw material requirement of industries for decades to come, have failed due to non-cooperation from villagers. “Whenever officials tried to assess the reserves, villagers opposed it. Our officers were not allowed to drill the crust in remote villages and deep forests,” said a source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News, Indian Maoism | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

India: Comrade Azad’s reponse to a reactionary

Posted by redpines on May 16, 2011

“How is it that the illiterate, seemingly uncivilised, backward, half-naked adivasi thinks, analyses and acts a lot better than an established, well-read, highly qualified intellectual like Verghese?…

“Verghese is a typical example of the self-proclaimed civilisers of modern-day India, akin to the white ‘civilisers’ of yesteryear, who would have been the pride of a Rudyard Kipling.

“He reveals this colonial mindset by vehemently arguing in favour of the civilising mission of the corporate sharks and the Indian State to transform the poor, backward adivasis from savages into civilised people through a ‘development’ that destroys people’s economy, social life, culture and all human values.”

Azad (Cherukuri Rajkumar) was a  leader of revolutionary struggles over several decades, with the CPI(Maoist) and some of its predecessor organizations. Until he was murdered by the Indian state in 2010, he was a tireless defender of the oppressed in India.

The following piece, published posthumously in Outlook shows Azad to have been an eloquent opponent of reactionary ideologies  until his death. Here, he confronts the colonial policies still pervasive in India. These  policies include, Azad notes, a  “scheme of development that displaces the adivasis and destroys their lives, lands and cultures.”

 A brief bio of Azad can be found here. And a pdf book of Azad’s writings is available here.

A Last Note To A Neo-Colonialist

by Azad

Reading B.G. Verghese’s article “Daylight at the Thousand-Star Hotel” in Outlook (May 3), one is stunned by the abysmal poverty of thought and colonial mindset of this renowned intellectual. How is it that the illiterate, seemingly uncivilised, backward, half-naked adivasi thinks, analyses and acts a lot better than an established, well-read, highly qualified intellectual like Verghese? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, Indian Maoism | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Nepal’s Kiran: Pressing toward the seizure of power

Posted by Mike E on May 15, 2011

“We have now two main problems. They are:

  1. problems related to class struggle or national struggle and
  2. problems related to two-line struggle in the party.

“The problem concerning national struggle is related to the problem in correctly identifying the class enemy and the problem in effectively advancing the struggle against it. Now the reactionaries, on the one hand, are conspiring to convert our party- Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)- into a reformist and status-quoist party by pushing it to the grand parliamentary quagmire and should this plan fail, they are plotting to resort to suppression against our party, one or the other.

“We must understand this truth properly.

“In the same way, the two-line struggle in the party is getting complicated and this is also the expression of class struggle. We also must be serious on the issue of properly understanding the two-line struggle and advancing it in a comradely manner. “

The following is an extremely important statement concerning the direction of the Maoist revolution in Nepal. We urge everyone to study and consider this document, explore its context, and think through what it proposes.

This was presented as a proposal by senior vice-chairman Comrade Mohan Baidhya Kiran at the Central Committee meeting of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in April 2011.

This is a document of dissent — issued in contrast to the proposal of the Maoists’ chairman. Central to the discussion here is whether to focus on preparing for an insurrection or whether to present new proposals for resolving the existing stalemate over national constitution and the subordination of the national army.

Previously the CPN(Maoist) had adopted a political approach of ‘popular insurrection’ at the Party’s sixth extended meeting or plenum in November 2010(held in Palungtar within the Gorkha district).

By posting this here, Kasama is not endorsing political arguments or conclusions — but presenting documents and views essential for communists to understand and debate.

* * * * * * * *

by Mohan Baidhya Kiran

‘The immediate political proposal’ presented by comrade chairman in the Politburo meeting held on April 20, 2011 and also in the present Central Committee meeting is against the fundamental spirit of the political line adopted by the Central Committee meeting held soon after the Palungtar extended meeting. Expressing my dissenting opinion on Chairman’s proposal, I, therefore, would like to present a separate political proposal in this committee.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | 7 Comments »

LCP Brazil demonstration in support of Indian Maoists

Posted by redpines on May 14, 2011

On May 1 in São Paulo, Brazil, the Liga dos camponeses pobres (League of poor peoples) led a demonstration in solidarity with the CPI(Maoist) and the adivasi peoples of India. Thanks to Eric for alerting us to this video, which originally appeared at Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle.

Posted in India Background, Indian Maoism | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Price of Economic Growth in India

Posted by redpines on May 12, 2011

India is touted as an economic ‘miracle’ by capitalist economists and pundits. Yet India’s economic growth has come due to and at the expense of its urban and rural poor, whose low wages make it possible for call centers and tech companies to remain ‘competitive’ on the global market.

As the following article notes, these jobs themselves depend on a “range of support services” that are ignored in discussions of India’s economy–“cleaning and maintenance of offices, transport, security, back office work, catering, and so on.” Though these workers largely live in extreme poverty, they are often more fortunate than the millions of lower-caste landless peasants and slum residents in India who have no formal employment at all. Analyses like the one below, from Mrzine point to the urgency of communist revolution in India. Posting here does not imply endorsement with the entirety of the article’s conclusions.

India:
The Growth-Discrimination Nexus

by Jayati Ghosh

Many people, especially in India, tend to believe that the process of economic growth is likely to be mostly liberating for those oppressed by various forms of social discrimination and exclusion.  The argument is that market forces break open age-old social norms, especially those of caste and gender, that have for so long denied opportunities and restricted options for so many.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

India: Activist Binayak Sen attacks Sedition Laws

Posted by celticfire84 on May 12, 2011

From BBC News South Asia Service.

India: Activist Binayak Sen attacks Sedition Laws

Indian human rights activist Binayak Sen has accused the government of misusing the country’s sedition laws “to silence voices of dissent”.

In an interview with the BBC, he said that the laws were an outdated relic from the country’s colonial past.

Dr Sen was freed from jail in the state of Chhattisgarh earlier this month. He had been sentenced to life in prison in December for helping Maoist rebels.

The government is reportedly reviewing sedition laws.

Dr Sen also said the government was forming vigilante groups to fight the rebels. Villagers in some Maoist-affected areas have formed so-called self-defence groups, wihch have received state support.

The Indian government has repeatedly denied using unlawful means to fight the Maoists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal: Maoists to Host Anti-Imperialist Conference

Posted by celticfire84 on May 10, 2011

This article is originally from MyRepublica.com

“According to Mukherjee, the conference will finalize a concrete program to fight political, economical and cultural imperialism.”

The Indian government has committed a long list of crimes against people domestically and has violently silenced internal opposition while making aggressive stances against the sovereignty of Nepal.

Maoists to host anti-imperialist conference

KATHMANDU, May 9: The ruling UCPN (Maoist) is hosting an anti-imperialism conference in November, inviting, among others, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark to Kathmandu to discuss political, economic and cultural imperialism, and peace in the world.

International Anti-Imperialist People´s Solidarity Coordinating Committee (IAPSCC), a network struggling against imperialist aggression, occupation and evils of globalization, is the organizer of the conference. UCPN (M), along with communist parties of 23 other countries, is also a member of the network.

IAPSCC General Secretary Manik Mukherjee is currently in Kathmandu to meet Maoist leaders to finalize the conference that has been held every two years since 2007. He met Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday to finalize the conference. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Prachanda: We Stand by our Inclusive, Federal Nepal Pledge

Posted by celticfire84 on May 10, 2011

This interview comes from ekantipur.com

Chains of Command

“The new constitution will have to create a win-win situation for all. That means all parties will have to compromise and adjust. But there are few things we have all agreed on. At the outset of this process we have agreed on a constitution through the Constituent Assembly and that there will be a progressive and inclusive restructuring of the state”.

We stand by our inclusive, federal Nepal pledge

Barely 18 days are left for the expiry of CA, but given the glacial progress, it is unlikely that it will deliver a constitution on time. Instead the discussions are now centred on making irreversible progress on the peace process and finalising a preliminary draft of the constitution by May 28. The Maoists as the largest party in the CA are leading the political parleys. In his first exclusive interview with Akhilesh Upadhyay and Kamal Dev Bhattarai after the crucial Maoist Central Committee meeting on April 29—which decided that peace and constitution would remain the party’s core focus until the outstanding peace and constitutional issues were settled—Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, perhaps for the first time, offered specifics on the party’s positions on a range of much-disputed integration issues, such as the norms and modalities for entry into the security forces—including the combatants’ age, rank, number and chain of command. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal Background, Nepal News | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

India Puts Tight Leash on Internet Free Speech

Posted by celticfire84 on May 9, 2011

The Indian government has actively worked to suppress opposing voices such a those from the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

This comes from the website of the International Campaign Against War on the People in India.  Click here for some background material about the revolution in India.

NY Times: India Puts Tight Leash on Internet Free Speech

MUMBAI, India — Free speech advocates and Internet users are protesting new Indian regulations restricting Web content that, among other things, can be considered “disparaging,” “harassing,” “blasphemous” or “hateful.”

The new rules, quietly issued by the country’s Department of Information Technology earlier this month and only now attracting attention, allow officials and private citizens to demand that Internet sites and service providers remove content they consider objectionable on the basis of a long list of criteria.

Critics of the new rules say the restrictions could severely curtail debate and discussion on the Internet, whose use has been growing fast in India. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »