Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for February, 2012

Mining operations stalled in Central India

Posted by redpines on February 29, 2012

Much of the February 28 strike action is happening in India’s cities, but there are reports of industries being shut down in rural areas as well. The following report from Zee News discusses the effects of the strike in Chhattisgarh, a heavily rural area in central India. Chhattisgarh is also a CPI(Maoist) stronghold, and an area where the Maoists have struggled against mining interests for years.

Strike hits mining in Chhattisgarh

February 28, 2012

Raipur: The nationwide strike called by the country’s trade unions has hit bauxite, coal and iron ore mining in mineral-rich Chhattisgarh, officials said on Tuesday.

Reports coming in from the state’s northern Surguja district say that bauxite mining has been severely hit at Mainpat area, about 450 km north from here. Aluminium major BALCO, in which Vedanta Resources Plc holds 51 percent stake, has mines in Manipat.

Contracted miners gathered in groups with flags and banners at mines and raised slogans against an alleged anti-labour policy of the Indian government. Dozens of trucks transporting bauxite from Mainpat to BALCO’s plant in Korba town were stranded on forested roads due to the strike. Read the rest of this entry »

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India: Workers shut down the country

Posted by redpines on February 28, 2012

Tens of millions of Indian workers went into the streets today to challenge abysmal labor conditions. The 24-hour strike is a broad effort of trade unions  associated with various parties and ideologies. Their demands include social security benefits, a minimum wage, permanent jobs for contract workers, and an end to rampant inflation.

Though the strike includes 11 different unions–some aligned with reactionary parties like Congress and the BJP–at least one reactionary leader is not too pleased with the action. Mamata Banerjee, the anti-Maoist chief minister of West Bengal has opposed the strike. We will offer more analysis as the situation becomes clearer. 

The following article appeared at Al Jazeera.

Millions of Indian workers strike for rights

One-day walkout hits transport, banks and post offices, as unions seek better rights and protest over rising prices.

28 Feb 2012 

Millions of workers in India are staging a 24-hour strike to demand improved rights for employees and to protest over rising prices.

Tuesday’s strike, one of the biggest in recent times, is being backed by all 11 major trade unions in the country, including the left affiliated All India Trade Union Congress [AITUC] and Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] linked to ruling Congress party, local television station NDTV said.

In the capital, New Delhi, and the financial hub, Mumbai, the effect of the strike was minimal. Banks and insurance offices were closed but buses and taxis plied the streets and shops were open for business. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kalikot, Nepal: Communists protest Prime Minister Bhattarai’s visit

Posted by redpines on February 27, 2012

Kalikot is nestled in mountainous western Nepal, near where the people's war began in 1996

The Himalayan Times reports on a demonstration by members of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in the Kalikot region. This is part of the ongoing struggle within the UCPN(M) over the direction and future of the revolution in Nepal. Thanks to Signalfire for pointing this out. [Introduction by Joe]

Maoists burn PM Bhattarai in Effigy

KATHMANDU: A group of UCPN-Maoist cadres of the Kalikot district burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai on Saturday morning.

Kalikot-bound Maoists ranted slogans in the district against the PM Bhattarai, “for maintaining close proximity with India,” confirmed sources.

Agitators even aired views amid their demonstration that the upper Karnali project should be operated locally and no foreign company should be involved in it.They also said that the agreement reached with Indian hydro-power company, GMR was against the interest of Nepal, and demanded that it be scrapped. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prachanda hinting at people’s revolt?

Posted by hetty7 on February 26, 2012

As of late, it seems Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda has aligned himself with UCPN(M) Vice Chairman, Baburam Bhattarai to pursue a line of compromise with the reactionary parties of Nepal. Most disturbingly, Prachanda and Bhattarai (now Prime Minister) supported an agreement to disarm the People’s Liberation Army and disband the YCL. They also pushed through BIPPA, a trade agreement that allows India greater economic power over Nepal. And they seemed to have abandoned the Party’s official line  of going forward with a People’s Revolt–an urban insurrection that would seize state power.

But in the following article from My Republica,   Prachanda makes a number of statements that seem to indicate the possibility of a People’s Revolt in the near future:

Whipping up the party cadres, Dahal claimed that a people’s revolt will be inevitable if the NC and UML conspire to formulate a new edition of the 1990 constitution.

He also issued a threat to the parliamentary parties saying his party would launch a people’s revolt if they attempted to bring a new edition of the 1990 constitution. He also claimed that the achievements of the people’s war and peace process  and constitution drafting are at risk.

We should note that these statements are qualified. So far it is unclear whether this means Prachanda does have serious intentions to support a People’s Revolt. This development, if true, is potentially positive, as Prachanda remains a popular figure and symbol of the decade-long People’s War. His camp also includes many dedicated and deeply revolutionary cadres. We will keep a close watch on these developments.

The article also suggests that a prominent leader of the left wing of the UCPN(M),  Netra Bikram Chand, aka Biplab, seems to be putting the option of People’s War back on the table. 

Of course, we caution our readers that this article appeared in the bourgeois press and may contain inaccuracies or information taken out of context. 

People, not Supreme Court, will Decide CA’s Fate – Dahal


Kathmandu, Feb. 14: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Monday that his party will accept people’s verdict on whether or not to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly (CA) for a fifth time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Nepal – Indigenous Groups Demand Autonomy

Posted by hetty7 on February 24, 2012

Magar peoples in Nepal

The Maoists of Nepal have long called for a Federated People’s Democratic Republic. Kasama’s Nepal’s Crossroads: Without a people’s army, the people have nothingaddresses this issue, which is related to the article below:

For a Federated People’s Democratic Republic Broad ranks within Nepal’s Maoist party have been opposed to proposals and compromises that would consolidate a parliamentary political order without basic revolutionary change. They have popularized their plan for a New Nepal: a federated people’s democratic republic.

This envisions a determined and thorough uprooting of the oppressive old feudal culture and an agrarian revolution to end the exploitation of rural people by landowners and usurers. It would bring a historic end to the domination of Nepal by India and foreign corporations. And it would overthrow survivals of the previous political-military system that served elites alone.

Having a federated republic means an end to theocratic Hindu hegemony and the dominance in Nepal of one ethnicity and language. It would involve forms of autonomy in local areas, establishing equality of many minority religions, languages, and ethnic groups for the first time.

This article is from myrepublica

Indigenous groups demand autonomy

Rohit Rai

Dharan, Jan. 21: Leaders of indigenous groups  have said they will exercise autonomy through their own mechanism if the political parties fail to ensure right to self-determination and autonomy in the new constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Maoists Resist Indian Occupation of Nepal’s Forest Lands

Posted by hetty7 on February 24, 2012

Kalikot, Nepal

Members of the UCPN(M) in Nepal have been mounting greater challenges to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai for his pro-India policies. In this case, cadres are resisting an attempt by India to use Nepali land and natural resources.

This article is from myrepublica

Maoist Cadres Burn PM’s Effigy

Kalendra Sejuwal

Surkhet, Feb. 18: Maoist cadres burnt effigy of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai in Dailekh and Kalikot districts on Friday protesting the government decision to lease Indian company GMR some portion of local forest land, which the company needs for developing Upper Karnali Hydropower Project. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maoists in Manipur oppose burdens on children and families

Posted by redpines on February 23, 2012

The Imphal Free Press, an English language publication from the region of Manipur (currently occupied by the Indian state), reports on a press release from the Maoist Communist Party, Manipur. The Maoists have issued demands on local educational institutions in an effort to advance the new democratic revolution in the region and to fight for quality education for the oppressed masses here.

[Intro by Joe]

Maoist warns private schools to forego multiple dress code, other extravagances

The Maoist Communist Party, Manipur in a press release by its publicity secretary Nonglen Meitei came out strongly against the imposition of two or three sets of uniform on its students by private schools.

It stated that the multiple uniform sets caused unnecessary financial burdens to the parents especially those belonging to the financially underprivileged section. The Maoist`s statement assured that the party stands against such exploitation and will not remain a mute spectator. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India News, Manipur | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Monsanto’s Zombie Crops in Vietnam

Posted by hetty7 on February 18, 2012

In November 2011, SAREV posted an article Monsanto’s Zombie Crops in Nepal.

Monsanto. one of the most widely hated corporations in the world, is working with USAID in Nepal  helping Monsanto sell its hybrid varieties of corn in urban and rural areas.

Now Monsanto is ready to sell GM crops and weed-killing chemicals in Vietnam. The Vietnamese are familiar with Monsanto. It is the creator of Agent Orange which the U.S. used during the Vietnam War and which is estimated to have  killed 400,000 people and deformed 500,000 people.

The Vietnamese are outraged.

This is from commondreams

Monsanto, Agent Orange Creator, Returns to Vietnam

Common Dreams Staff –  2/7/2012: Multinational agricultural biotech corporation Monsanto, known as the creator of chemical weapon Agent Orange, is attempting to infiltrate Vietnam once again – this time as GMO dealer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Feeling like a slumdog millionaire: Gujarati textile workers strike, organize

Posted by redpines on February 17, 2012

Working folks are rising across India. Labor unrest and workers’ struggles have exploded all over the country, parallel to the intensification of adivasi tribal people’s movements and battles for popular self-determination from Kashmir in the northwest to Manipur in the northeast. Amidst this wave, activists have published a report on a strike at a massive textile factory in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat (a province of over 60 million people in western India). The document shines a light on the working conditions in India’s burgeoning industrial sector and the autonomous struggle that has bursted out among the Reliance textile workers at the Naroda plant. Those familiar
with the contemporary labor situation in places like the United States or Europe may feel a certain sense of deja vu reading about the use of temporary workers, the management-friendly unions, and even the ban on carrying mobile phones at work.

Since February 2nd of this year, the 5,000 Reliance Textile Industries workers have been on strike. They have formed a new, independent union and published a list of demands, which are reprinted here. Thanks to Sanhati for publishing this report. [Introduction by Joe]

Gujarat – A Report on the Workers’ Strike in Reliance Textile Industries, Naroda plant, Ahmedabad

February 8, 2012

[The report was received from activists who recently visited the striking workers at the Reliance plant. – Ed]

Highly exploitative wage structure and abysmal working conditions have led the over 5000 workers to strike work in the primary manufacturing plant of Reliance Textile Industries in Naroda, Gujarat, which is at a halt since 2nd February 2012. While the company posted its highest ever turnover of over USD 44 billion and its net profit increased to USD 3.6 billion, workers in the factory (‘dressing up India’ with ‘fabrics which make you feel like a millionaire’ its website says) which started this empire’s journey find their lives getting cheaper by the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal’s Maoists celebrate People’s War anniversary

Posted by redpines on February 15, 2012

The following piece appeared at The Red Star.

Celebrating 17th Anniversary of People’s War

Kathmandu, February 13:  United Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN) Maoist is celebrating 17th anniversary of peoples war in Nepal.

UCPN Maoist is the largest party in Nepal which has been running its coalition government for five months.

The grand ceremony is celebrating in Kathmandu where top leaders will address to the people.

Maoist Supremo Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ , Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’ and finance minister Barsa Man Pun ‘Ananta’ will address to the mass about their latest party line.

The very first time, supremo Prachanda’s photo has not been posted in the main banner hanged down in Khula Manch in Kathmandu.

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

Young Communist League Padlocks Party Offices in West Nepal

Posted by hetty7 on February 14, 2012

The following  is from Kasama’s – Nepal’s Crossroads – Without a People’s Army, the People Have Nothing.

Any attempt to consolidate Nepal’s changes at this point – without the clear subordination of the Nepal Army, without a revolutionary army representing the people’s interests, without carrying out revolutionary land reform, without Nepal taking a historic turn toward real independence from India, without adapting a socialist approach to production, without freeing the country from dependence on world capitalism – would represent a resolution of Nepal’s revolution far short of the liberation the people need. It would inevitably involve consolidating forms of oppression and exploitation that are extreme and intolerable. It would mean the replacement of great hope with feelings of betrayal and disappointment.

The continued existence and active resistance of powerful revolutionary forces – within the UCPNM, the People’s Liberation Army and deep among the people – mean that preparations may well go forward for the creation of a people’s democratic republic and for the defeat of organized reactionary forces.”

In relation to the article below, these quotes give a broader context for the current mixture of despair and hope YCL members must be experiencing after they were officially liquidated as a force. But as the article shows, there is still plenty of “active resistance” in Nepal, from ex-YCL members, to the People’s Volunteers, to militant cadres in the countryside, Kathmandu and elsewhere.

This article is from

YCL Members Lock Party Offices in West Nepal

Dil Bahadur Chhatyal

Dhangadi, Feb. 6: Members of the Maoist Young Communist League (YCL) on Monday locked the party’s offices in western Nepal for “depriving” them of financial packages on par with PLA personnel as promised by the party leadership back in 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Jan Myrdal: On building international solidarity with the Indian revolution

Posted by redpines on February 14, 2012

Swedish author Jan Myrdal speaks in India

Jan Myrdal is a Swedish author who has written extensively on revolutionary communist movements worldwide, including works like his well-known Report from a Chinese Village (1963) as well as his recent book Red Star Over India.

He recently spoke in India at the Forum Against War on the People in New Delhi. What follows is the text of a speech Myrdal delivered at the Forum. Thanks to Democracy and Class Struggle for pointing this out. (Introduction by Joe). 

Let’s Stand Against the Indian State’s War on People

Forum Against War on People–Public Meeting, Rajendra Bhawan, DD Upadhya Marg, New Delhi, 6 February 2012

(The text of the speech of Jan Myrdal, internationally well-known writer for his support for the people’s movements world-wide)

Dear friends,

I want to say something on the international solidarity movement with the peoples of India.

We are here because there is an ongoing war against the peoples of India by the Indian state itself or – to put it more charitably – by dominant sections of the Indian state machinery. You as Indian citizens want to stop this war. I and other friends of India abroad are trying to organise an international solidarity movement with the people of India against the horrors of this war. Read the rest of this entry »

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Interview with Arundhati Roy – Revolutionary Journalists Needed

Posted by hetty7 on February 12, 2012

This is a lightly edited transcript of an interview conducted by Manav Bushan for Free Speech Debate in January 2012.

India does gain a lot of brownie points from appearing to be a democracy, which is why nobody says half as much about Kashmir as they will about Tibet or about the uprising in the Middle East. So when major media start reporting very enthusiastically about one uprising and keeps very quiet about another, you have to work it out – why is it happening? What’s the story here?”

This is from freespeechdebate

Arundhati Roy on National Security and the Indian Media

The award-winning Indian novelist and activist speaks to Manav Bhushan about the limits to free speech in India, including government censorship through the media and “good squads”.

MB: Do you think there should be any restrictions on the freedom of speech, justified on the grounds of national security, public order or morality?

AR: No. I am completely against any restrictions. Once you have restrictions, they lend themselves to interpretation and the interpretations will always favour the state or the powers that be. So I am completely against any restrictions. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | 2 Comments »

India: Cop given award for ‘gallantry’ after torturing adivasi woman

Posted by redpines on February 10, 2012

Last October, Soni Sori, an adivasi schoolteacher was tortured and sexually assaulted by Indian police in the state of Chhattisgarh. Her crime? She was suspected of being a Maoist.

She has struggled to tell her story. Initially, she had  to smuggle handwritten notes out of jail. Media and human rights groups have been denied access to her prison cell.

And now, the thug who is responsible has been given an award for his ‘gallantry’. This is his reward for leading death squads against the CPI(Maoist) and their tribal allies. 

Revolution is necessary. 

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

February 28: Massive strike in India

Posted by redpines on February 10, 2012

Workers in India’s cities have an incredibly militant history, and the current moment is  hardly different. Now India’s trade union leaders are planning a massive strike on February 28. The following article, however, prompts questions: how well will revolutionary unions, reformist trade unions, and unions with Muslim members coordinate with unions affiliated with right-wing parties like Congress and the Hindu nationalist BJP? Will the strike present further opportunities for collaboration between revolutionary forces in the cities and rural scheduled castes and tribal peoples? Will the strike be effective in exposing the rotten foundations of India’s “shining democracy” to the world? 

Readers who are closer to these issues are encouraged to post their thoughts and clarifying information. 

The article originally appeared at The Hindu.

TUs gear for all-India strike

by Sunny Sebastian

February 5, 2012

Senior Communist Party of India leader and All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta has termed the joint strike call by the trade unions on February 28 as the biggest show of unity by the working class and the poor.

All the leading trade unions, including the INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress), affiliated to the Congress, and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh of the Bharatiya Janata Party, besides the Left unions — the CITU (Centre for Indian Trade Unions) and the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) — will participate in the strike. Read the rest of this entry »

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