Ignoring the ultimatum set by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Maoists on Sunday (October 23) issued a new set of demands. Maoists posters were found in various parts of Goaltore in West Midnapore.
According to the posters, the Maoists highlighted that pre-poll promises were not kept by the state government. Setting two specific demands, the Maoists called for the removal of Joint Forces and also demanded the list of 52 political prisoners to be released, which Mamata Banerjee had announced a few months ago. Read the rest of this entry »
The newly elected Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai
The following comes from the Times of India. Posting here does not imply endorsement of the views presented.
Democracy has failed South Asia: Nepal PM
NEW DELHI: Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has warned that if the political dissensions in his country prevent successful drafting of the constitution, the path to democracy may have to be revisited.
Bhattarai, leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), said democracy in its traditional form had failed the people of South Asia by not being participatory enough.
Nepal’s peace process, which is expected to lead to drafting of the constitution, has been subjected to incessant delay because the political parties have failed to iron out their differences. Offering all possible assistance to Nepal, PM Manmohan Singh had complimented the Maoist leader in an official banquet on Friday for having joined Nepal political mainstream. Read the rest of this entry »
“While the government goes about trying to silence the living, the dead have begun to speak up.
“It was insensitive of Barsamian to plan a trip to Kashmir just when the State Human Rights Commission was finally shamed into officially acknowledging the existence of 2700 unmarked graves from three districts in Kashmir. Reports of thousands of other graves are pouring in from other districts.
“It is insensitive of the unmarked graves to embarrass the Government of India just when India’s record is due for review before the UN Human Rights Council.”
New Delhi: On 23rd September 2011, at about three in the morning, within hours of his arrival at the Delhi airport, the US radio-journalist David Barsamian was deported. This dangerous man, who produces independent, free-to-air programmes for public radio has been visiting India for forty years, doing dangerous things like learning Urdu and playing the sitar.
He has published book-length interviews with Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ejaz Ahmed and Tariq Ali. (He even makes an appearance as a young bell-bottom wearing interviewer in Peter Wintonik’s documentary film on Chomsky and Herman’s Manufacturing Consent.) On his more recent trips to India he has done a series of radio interviews with activists, academics, filmmakers, journalists and writers (including myself). Barsamian’s work has taken him to Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan. He has never been deported from any of these countries.
This piece was originally posted at Guernica. Thanks to Selucha for pointing it out. This essay captures the contradiction in place in India: the expansive wealth of some and the dire poverty of so many, and the corrupt government trying to reconcile the conflict by taking authoritarian measures.
India is indeed rising. So why are more than three-quarters of the country living on less than fifty cents a day?
On Change in India
by Siddhartha Deb September 2011
India is indeed rising. So why are more than three-quarters of the country living on less than fifty cents a day? A snapshot of inequity, in four scenes.
1. Our author witnesses a roadside “encounter”
The highway out of Hyderabad towards Kothur village was still being worked on, with new overpasses and exits being constructed next to the lanes that were open to traffic. Vijay and I were halfway to our destination when we saw the man appear, standing in the middle of the road and waving us down. We were traveling fast, moving much too quickly to understand immediately what the man’s appearance meant. A few days earlier, on this same road, we had been stopped by two police constables. Assigned to guard duty at another point on the highway and left to fend for their own transportation, all the men had wanted was a lift. But the figure in front of us now was not in uniform, and his objective was far less clear, although I had the impression that he was part of the knotted confusion of people and cars that had sprung up suddenly on the smooth thread of the highway.
Vijay brought his tiny car to a halt, and the man loomed up in front of the windscreen, a dark, stocky figure dressed in a T-shirt and jeans. He put his right hand down on the bonnet of our car. In his left hand, he held an automatic pistol, its barrel pointing up at an acute angle. His gaze, as it swept over our faces, was intense, scrutinizing us carefully, meeting our eyes for a few seconds. Then he abruptly lost interest in us and switched his attention to a motorcycle coming up from behind, on our right. He advanced swiftly towards the bike, pointing his pistol at the riders. A policeman in uniform appeared on our left, tapped on our window, and asked us to move on. Read the rest of this entry »
This informative and inspiring documentary narrates the Maoist revolutionary movement in India from the 60s to the recent past. It includes some especially wonderful footage of adivasi (indigenous) struggles in central India. Although it appears to have been released in 2006, it is still highly recommended viewing. Thanks to Sidhartha S. for suggesting it to us.
Jhargram, August 24 (ANI): The Maoist backed People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) organisation in Jhargram district of West Bengal called for a 24-hour shutdown on Monday against the atrocities that are committed by the police on the innocent villagers and complained of apathy by state government. It was in Lodhasuli that the Maoists had called for a shutdown and around 300 tribals, who supported PCPA, attended the meeting in the area. Joydeb Mahato, a PCPA leader, said that the shutdown would also be observed on Wednesday.
The author Arundhati Roy has described herself as "Maoist sympathizer, not ideologue."
Arundhati Roy, noted author of works like the God of Small Things and Walking with the Comrades shares this opinion piece regarding the two forces working to depose the cruel Indian central government: the first a people’s army waging a liberating armed struggle movement with the support of the poorest of the poor and the other a Ghandian moralist movement led by privileged sectors. Posting here is not an endorsement of the views presented.
“you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State. One working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other, from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people.”
I’d rather not be Anna
While his means maybe Gandhian, his demands are certainly not.
If what we’re watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you’re likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind. Read the rest of this entry »
Charu Mazumdar, leader of the armed Naxalbari uprising of peasants and founder of the modern Maoist movement
Charu Mazumdar was the communist leader of India’s 1967 uprising in the village of Naxalbari — an opening shot of a fierce revolutionary wave that raged for years. This daring act of revolt created the Naxalite movement — the heart of India’s modern revolutionary effort.
Charu Mazumdar became one of the most wanted men in India, and was captured by police in 1971. He died ten days later at 4 am on July 28, 1972 — in Lal Bazar lock-up – a prison notorious for torture. Today, July 28, we remember him and the many martyrs in India’s great historic struggle for liberation and communism.
In 2007, several of us were looking for a form to write our first Kasama manifesto. We wanted to use a style sharply different from Bob Avakian (whose rambling, self-indulgent style reflects key weaknesses of his method). We chose to study closely the “Eight Documents” of Charu Mazumdar (plus early pieces by Turkey’s Maoist Ibrahim Kaypakkaya). The result was the format we adopted — “9 Letters to Our Comrades.”
This article is from the Hindustan Times, and details the preparing talks between the Indian state and the rebel Maoist forces. The Maoists have demanded that three of their captured leaders negotiate the talks with the State, meanwhile the Indian state continues its strong arm posturing of non-negotiation. It should be noted that the Indian state has initiated a bloody war on its own people, titled ‘Operation Greenhunt’ under the guise of hunting terrorists – it has unleashed terror on its own people.
Maoists name leaders for talks with state
Communist Party of India (Maoist) has named Sudip Chongdar (alias Kanchan), Himadri Sen Roy (alias Somen) and Patit Paban Haldar, its three former state secretaries now behind bars in West Bengal, to represent them in case state plans to go ahead with its proposed dialogue with the rebels.
“If Mamata Banerjee has difficulty in holding talks with us directly, she could, for a start, launch dialogue with these three leaders, who are also ideologues, after releasing them,” said CPI (Maoist) leader Bikram in a statement faxed to HT on Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
[There have been interesting developments in India, where the formal police and army forces involved in "Operation Green Hunt" have in recent years been supplanted by rogue forces (para-military and para-police) recruited from among the oppressed tribal people. Now the official disbanding of various "Salwa Judum," "SPO" and Kova commando forces has been raised, as--at the same time--the formal entry of army units into rebellious regions is expanded. The following statement is on the political struggle which Maoists in Dandakaranya are waging with the adivasis who have been involved in these anti-people rogue forces. -- Frontlines ed.]
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)
DANDAKARANYA SPECIAL ZONAL COMMITTEE
July 7, 2011
An Appeal from Maoists to SPOs (Special Police Officers):
Defeat the ploys of the government to divide us and rule!
Stop fighting for the exploiters and oppressors
and come back to your villages!! Read the rest of this entry »
This comes from the bourgeois press (The Economic Times of India) but contains important events of how the Indian Maoists are uniting with revolutionaries from South Asia.
Maoists join hands with South Asian sister outfits, resolve to fight ‘Indian expansionist hegemony’
NEW DELHI: Even as the West Bengal government explores the option of brokering peace with the Leftwing extremists, the Maoists have resolved to work with their sister outfits in Nepal and other South Asian countries to fight the “Indian expansionist hegemony” and make South Asia a base for the “world proletarian revolution.”
The declaration of the South Asian Maoist outfits – assembled under the umbrella of Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organisations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA) – “to develop ongoing people’s wars, initiate new ones, and accomplish a new democratic revolution in their respective countries” was made in a resolution adopted at their fifth international conference held in March this year, possibly somewhere in Nepal.
Congratulating the Maoist forces in India for “successful withstanding the state’s counter-revolutionary offensive”, the conference noted that “while the initial victories in beating back this war of the people, politically as well as militarily, give better conditions to the revolutionaries, the gravity of the challenges they face remains.” Read the rest of this entry »
This piece comes from the Guardian (UK) and highlights the experiences of author Arundhati Roy and her time with Indian Maoists known as Naxalites, and in this piece she describes herself as a Maoist sympathizer, but not an ideologue. This is profoundly brave for this author to side with the oppressed of India — while the Indian state continues its murderous acts under the guise of fighting terrorism which they call ‘Operation Greenhunt.’
Arundhati Roy authored Walking with the Comrades, an essay describing her time with the Indian Maoists.
‘They are trying to keep me destabilised. Anybody who says anything is in danger’
The Booker prize-winning novelist on her political activism in India, why she no longer condemns violent resistance – and why it doesn’t matter if she never writes a second novel
This is not an ideal beginning. I bump into Arundhati Roy as we are both heading for the loo in the foyer of the large building that houses her publisher Penguin’s offices. There are some authors, V S Naipaul say, with whom this could be awkward. But not Roy, who makes me feel instantly at ease. A few minutes later, her publicist settles us in a small, bare room. As we take our positions on either side of a narrow desk I liken it to an interrogation suite. But she says that in India, interrogation rooms are a good deal less salubrious than this. Read the rest of this entry »
A new compilation of activist essays by Arundhati Roy was recently launched amidst voices of protest.
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
Witch-Hunt Of JNU Students In The Name Of Proctorial Enquiry!
By JNU Forum Against War On People
28 May, 2011
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 »
“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 »