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Azad on Waging a People’s War of Self-Defense

Posted by Ka Frank on November 19, 2009

The title of this article implies that the Maoists are hiding behind civilians, in contrast to Azad’s view that we “rely on the sea of people in which we swim like fish.”

Can use civilians to fight govt, warn Maoists

Manoj CG, Indian Express, November 12, 2009

With the Centre planning to move in more forces to combat Left-wing insurgents, the Maoists have for the first time indicated that they could use civilians in the war against the government. Giving an insight into their battle strategy, the Maoists have said they would not fight a “positional war” against a superior force and would instead employ guerilla warfare tactics.

Coming out with details about its operations, the Maoists have insisted that they enjoy “massive mass support” and claimed that a “handful of guerillas” had repulsed a massive joint operation by the Central forces in Dantewada district in September by “relying on the sea of people in which we swam like fish”. And they plan to use the local population in the future also to thwart more such attacks from security forces.

“All our plans, policies, strategy and tactics will be based entirely on the active involvement of the vast masses of people in this war of self-defence. The enemy class cannot decimate us without decimating the entire population in regions we control,” Maoist leader Azad, who is also the spokesperson of the group’s central committee, said in an interview with The Indian Express. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in India News, Maoist Theory | Leave a Comment »

Kisenji: India’s 2nd Most Wanted Man Discusses Violence & Power

Posted by Ka Frank on November 14, 2009


Kisenji speaks to media 1.5 kilometers from police camp in Lalgarh area.

‘I Am the Real Patriot [Desh Bhakt]’

Tusha Mittal, Tehelka, November 13, 2009

In this interview, underground Maoist leader Kishenji speaks on issues such as peace talks, armed struggle, the party’s sources of funding, the difference between people’s democracy and India’s formal democracy, and the goals of the CPI (Maoist).

With unmistakable pride, he says he’s India’s Most Wanted Number 2. CPI (Maoist) Politburo member Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji, 53, grew up in the interiors of Andhra Pradesh reading Gandhi and Tagore.  It was after understanding the history of the world, he says, that he disappeared into the jungles for a revolution. During search operations in 1982, the police broke down his home in Peddapalli village. He hasn’t seen his mother since, but writes to her through Telugu newspapers.  After 20 years in the Naxal belt of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, he relocated to West Bengal. His wife oversees Maoist operations in Dantewada [a district in southern Chhattisgarh]. Now, at a hideout barely a few kilometres from a police camp in Lalgarh, he reads 15 newspapers daily and offers to fax you his party literature. If you hold on, he’ll look up the statistics of war on his computer.

Excerpts from a midnight phone interview: Read the rest of this entry »

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Basanta Interview: Possible Victory or Collapse in Nepal’s Revolution

Posted by n3wday on October 29, 2009

nepal_basanta_UCPN_nepal_Maoist_revolution_south_asiaThis article was published on the WPRM’s home site.

Nepal: Interview with Comrade Basanta

When we first met Comrade Basanta, together with Comrade Laxman Pant, on the edge of the Thamel area of Kathmandu, we were greatly impressed by their down to earth manner. Comrade Basanta, it would be fair to say, exudes an air of quiet dignity without being distant, taking great pains to accurately put across his points.

“When we were in the government… the reactionaries clearly understood that Maoists were not abandoning revolution but familiarizing their programmes within the masses.”

“Before us there is a big opportunity, but serious challenges also. If we take the correct steps there is a big possibility that we can accomplish New Democratic revolution. But if we make a mistake then the whole revolution can collapse.”

* * * * * *

WPRM: Can you explain the current situation in Nepal since the resignation of Prachanda from the government?

Basanta: First of all I would like to say something about the situation in which we had to enter into this process.

When Gyanendra usurped the whole political power, the contradiction of the Nepalese people with monarchy became the principal political contradiction. It created a situation in which all the political forces that had a certain level of contradiction with the king could come tactically together to fight absolute rule of the monarchy. It was in the Chunwang meeting held in 2005 that we adopted a new tactic of democratic republic, which became a basis for 12-point understanding between our party and other 7 parliamentarian parties.

Everyone in the world knows the result, the unprecedented mass uprising in April 2006. After that the king, relinquished his absolute power and reinstated the parliament. In the Constituent Assembly election, we emerged as the largest party and the king was removed and the country was declared Federal Democratic Republic from the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.

In fact, it was basically the end of the tactics adopted from the Chunwang meeting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

Interview with Bhattarai: Fusing People’s War & Insurrection in Nepal

Posted by n3wday on October 28, 2009

NEPAL_ELECTIONS_MAOISTS_Baburam_Bhattarai_UCPN_nepal_revolution_communistsThis article was originally published on the WPRM’s home website.

Nepal: Interview with Comrade Baburam Bhattarai

“…the theory of Protracted Peoples War as developed by Mao was to be applied in semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries. That’s why the military line adopted in the case of Nepal was basically a line of Protracted People’s War, which we developed through the course of our struggle, applying it very creatively in Nepal for ten years.”

* * * * * **

WPRM: Thank you for meeting with us today. In your article in The Worker #4 ‘The Political Economy of the People’s War’ you write that “the transformation of one social system into another, or the destruction of the old by the new, always involves force and a revolutionary leap. The People’s War is such a means of eliminating the old by a new force and of taking a leap towards a new and higher social system.” Why then did the Maoist party enter the peace process and attempt to change society through Constituent Assembly elections?

Baburam Bhattarai: This is a very important question related to the basic tenets of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). The basic motive force of history is the contradiction between the existing level of productive forces and the production relations within society. At a certain stage this contradiction sharpens and there is a break with the old relationship and a leap to the new one. We call this social revolution. That leap necessarily confronts a certain force, because every set of productive relations is backed by a state, and the state means basically the organised force of the army. To break with the old mode of production and leap into a new one, you have to break all the relations within the state backed by the army. And that inevitably requires the use of force. This is a law of history and a basic principle of MLM which nobody can revise. If you revise or abandon it then you are no longer a Marxist. There is no question of our party ever ending this basic principle.

By adhering to this basic principle we waged armed Protracted People’s War (PPW) from 1996 to 2006. But after 2006 we made a certain departure in our tactical line. Some people are confused about this and think we have abandoned PPW forever and adopted a peaceful path of social development. This confusion needs to be cleared. What we are saying is that People’s War is a multifaceted war where both the armed and political form of struggle needs to be combined. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Interview with Ganapathi, Leader of India’s Growing Maoist Revolution

Posted by Ka Frank on October 16, 2009

Maoist_rebels_IndiaIn this interview, taken from the October 17, 2009 issue of Open, Ganapathi, General Secretary of the CPI (Maoist), talks about the party’s work in Lalgarh, its response to the government’s upcoming military offensive, the political situation in Nepal, the defeat of the LTTE, the contradictory nature of Islamist movements in the world today, and the role of the new chieftain of US imperialism.

“We Shall Certainly Defeat the Government”

The supreme commander of CPI (Maoist) talks to Open in his first-ever interview.

At first sight, Mupalla Laxman Rao, who is about to turn 60, looks like a school teacher. In fact, he was one in the early 1970s in Andhra Pradesh’s Karimnagar district. In 2009, however, the bespectacled, soft-spoken figure is India’s Most Wanted Man. He runs one of the world’s largest Left insurgencies—a man known in Home Ministry dossiers as Ganapathi; a man whose writ runs large through 15 states.

The supreme commander of CPI (Maoist) is a science graduate and holds a B Ed degree as well. He still conducts classes, but now they are on guerilla warfare for other senior Maoists. He replaced the founder of the People’s War Group, Kondapalli Seetharaamiah, as the party’s general-secretary in 1991. Ganapathi is known to change his location frequently, and intelligence reports say he has been spotted in cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata and Kochi. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News, Maoist Theory | 4 Comments »

WPRM Interview: On Women’s Liberation in Nepal

Posted by n3wday on September 15, 2009

comrade_jaypuri_UCPN_nepal_maoistThis article was published on the WPRM Britain’s home site.

Nepal: Interview with Comrade Jayapuri

Posted by Member-WPRM (Britain)

Activists from both WPRM Britain and Ireland, were invited to meet and interview Comrade Jayapuri of the All-Nepal Women’s Association (Revolutionary) in Kathmandu recently.

The new Maoist headquarters sits on a hill overlooking the city and can be reached via a muddy pathway. Approaching the front door, there are obvious signs of work going on in different parts of the building and the noise from these continued throughout the time that we spent there.

Comrade Jayapuri is, like many of the high-ranking UCPN(M) members that we met, a down to earth friendly woman whose long service to the revolutionary struggle and sophisticated political knowledge does not cause her to be anything other than approachable. Speaking through Comrade Suresh Ale Magar, who kindly acted as interpreter, Comrade Jayapuri gave an outline not just of the situation with regard to women in the emerging Nepal, but also her own insights into the current nationwide situation.

WPRM: Can you please introduce yourself?

Com. Jayapuri: My name is Jayapuri Gharti and I am the president of the All-Nepal Women’s Association (Revolutionary), a Central Committee member of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and a member of the Constituent Assembly, elected directly from Rolpa District. I am also the whip for our party in the Constituent Assembly.

WPRM: What is the agenda of the UCPN(M) on women’s issues in Nepal today?

Com. Jayapuri: The party is presently involved in writing a new constitution for Nepal. We are working to write a constitution that will guarantee the rights of women, particularly women from oppressed areas. We are fighting for inclusive and proportional representation for women, for economic and social rights and equality for women. At present we are fighting against the presidential coup and military supremacy and for civil supremacy, alongside all democratic and civil society forces, revolutionary and republican forces. We are also fighting for the national sovereignty of Nepal. Our party has been raising the issue of the unconstitutional step of the president. We are fighting to discuss this issue in the Constituent Assembly. Now there is 30% representation for women in state mechanisms but we are fighting for 50%. In the 601 member Constituent Assembly there are only 179 women members but from our party alone there are 79 women in the Constituent Assembly, the largest proportion by far. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Nepal News | Leave a Comment »

2-Line Struggle At Paris Height: Report from Key Meeting of Nepal’s Revolutionary Leaders

Posted by n3wday on September 12, 2009

Nepal_maoist_womenThe following piece appeared on the re-opened Red Star website.

“The central committee meeting was held in such a challenging situation in which the adoption of a correct ideological and political line would lead the Nepalese people to a victorious conclusion of new democratic revolution while an incorrect one would either entrap the whole party into reformism or defeat it for a long way ahead in the face of tightening encirclement of the enemy nationally and internationally. This situation had unsurprisingly made the entire central committee members serious in their responsibility… there was in this central committee meeting a vigorous ideological and political struggle against various wrong ideological trends, principally the right opportunism, which is the main danger in the contemporary communist movement.

“….the tactic of democratic republic that was adopted from Chunwang meeting had already completed with the promulgation of federal democratic republic from the Constituent Assembly. When the tactical political objective had been achieved then the tactical unity expressed in the form of the 12-point understanding between seven parliamentarian parties and ours had also become obsolete. In spite of this, for a long one year and more our party remained hesitant to address it correctly but remained in the main groping in the dark with no comprehensive ideological and political line and correct tactical slogan to go forward to establishing people’s democratic republic under the leadership of the proletariat. Unless this situation was dealt with in a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist way the danger of democratic republic, the tactic adopted from the Chunwang Meeting, eating up the strategy of new democratic revolution was looming on the horizon. It was the main ideological question where the two-line struggle was focused on.”

The UCPN(M)’s Paris Height Meeting, a victory of the proletariat

by Basanta, central committee member, Unified Communist Party Nepal (Maoist)

The Central Committee Meeting held at Paris Height, Kathmandu, of our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), has been concluded recently. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nepal’s Binod: We Have to Accomplish Insurrection

Posted by n3wday on August 31, 2009

NEPAL_MAOISTSMembers of World People’s Resistance Movement from Britain and Ireland conducted this interview  in Nepal.

At this moment when there is no experience of revolution in the 21st century, when there is no advanced proletarian revolutionary movement in the world, when this country is encircled and governed by Indian expansionism, at this moment against imperialism and expansionism, we have come to the decision that we have to accomplish insurrection. This is the important outcome of this meeting.”

WPRM: Can you introduce yourself please?

Com. Binod: My name is Comrade Binod. I am a Central Committee member and secretary of the state council for Mahakali state, which comprises seven districts in the far west of Nepal.

WPRM: Can you tell us about the recent Central Committee meeting and its implications for the coming weeks and months?

Com. Binod: In the life of the party, this Central Committee meeting has been unusual from the point of view of ideology and debate. We have received an opportunity, and we are proud that this meeting has been very unusual because it has taken place amid the deep curiosity of the proletariat in Nepal as well as the world over. This curiosity is positive. At the same time, the imperialists and reactionaries also have an expectation. Amid this we have carried out a great meeting, and made decisions which have made us proud to talk about this meeting.

WPRM: And what are these decisions?

Com. Binod: At this moment when there is no experience of revolution in the 21st century, when there is no advanced proletarian revolutionary movement in the world, when this country is encircled and governed by Indian expansionism, at this moment against imperialism and expansionism, we have come to the decision that we have to accomplish insurrection. This is the important outcome of this meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal Background, Nepal News | 5 Comments »

Banned Thought: Extensive Resources on India’s Lalgarh Uprising

Posted by n3wday on August 20, 2009

adivasi-maoists-cpm-communist-party-of-india-marxist-west-bengal-lalgarhThis this was written by Banned Thought and is an introduction to a series of articles collected and posted on the site.  Many thanks to those folks for taking the time to put this great resource together.

The Great Lalgarh Revolt

Starting in November 2008, the tribal people (or adivasis) of the Lalgarh village area of the Midnapore district of West Bengal, India, rose up against decades of oppression and abuse by the police and armed thugs of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This party is usually known by its initials as the “CPM”. Despite its name, this is by no means a revolutionary Marxist party; it is instead a revisionist or phony “communist” party, which represents not the workers, peasants and the poor, but actually the ruling alliance of exploiting classes (capitalists and landlords). The CPM has been in power in West Bengal for decades, and has come to demonstrate that old revolutionary Marxist addage that revisionism in power is nothing other than outright fascism as far as the masses of people are concerned.

Naturally the people of West Bengal are more and more resisting this state oppression, but when a revolt like that in Lalgarh occurs, the CPM police and armed goons become all the more ferocious in their attempts to suppress the people’s upsurge and drive them back into submission. There are now huge numbers of state police and paramilitary forces in the Lalgarh area attempting to put down the people’s revolt. But the mass struggle is continuing!

In recent years hundreds of adivasis in the Lalgarh area have been imprisoned on false charges of having ties with the widespread and ongoing Maoist insurgency in large parts of India, and many of them have been murdered. But it is a fact that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has become more and more influential in the area, and has proven to be the only significant party which actually sides with the people in their fight against the oppressive CPM state machine. It has helped the adivasis set up People’s Committees, and start to take control over their own lives. Activists of the CPI(Maoist) have played a leading role in promoting these People’s Committees and in expanding the struggle to new areas. There are, in addition, a number of special people’s organizations with a broad range of support and participation, such as the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, which are playing very positive roles in defense of the masses. This is the overall situation at present in the Lalgarh area and beyond. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News, Maoist Theory | 8 Comments »

People’s Truth: The Lalgarh Revolt a ‘Festival of the Masses’

Posted by n3wday on August 15, 2009

lalgarh_uprising_adivasis_women_india_CPI_MaoistThis article comes from People’s Truth #7 posted on Banned Thought. Thanks to D for bringing this to our attention.

The Lalgarh Revolt a ‘Festival of the Masses’


What has been taking place in Lalgarh during the mid-June period was a festival of the masses. It is a festival the like of which was not seen anywhere else in our country for a long time. People who had been oppressed and humiliated for a long time have stood up with arms, with their heads held high like a mighty storm and are attacking their enemies, and destroying their property, annihilating the most hated among them. The CPI (M) leaders and cadres–the most trusted stooges of the ruling classes, the revisionists and most notorious of the reactionary elements have been rightly identified as the main enemies of the people and they are being dealt crushing blows with ferocity. Never in the wildest of dreams could these enemies of the people think that they would be reduced to such a fate in a state where they had been lording over for more than three decades with sky-kissing arrogance. The heroic people of Lalgarh have targeted those symbols of power—the most hated CPM leaders and goons, those social fascists, their party offices and property. It was a scene worth beholding.

Locals describe the CPM cadre as the government’s rampaging bull. Thirty-two years of CPM has brought about no change in their way of living they say. The dirty primary health centre is in abysmal condition, there is not even drinking water, people have to travel a long distance to get basic medical care, the public distribution system has collapsed, wages are low, there is no infrastructure and acute poverty stalks the land. The chief occupation is agriculture; but there is no irrigation. The pent up anger of the masses has now burst forth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prachanda’s Talks in London (English and Nepali)

Posted by n3wday on August 13, 2009

Thanks to Democracy and Class Struggle for posting these. (1-7 are in Nepali language. 8 is in english.)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Parvati: On the Current Tactics of Nepal’s Revolution

Posted by n3wday on July 25, 2009


This site has closely covered the different views and debates within the ranks of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Hisila gave this interview to journalist AMRITA NANDY-JOSHI. The piece was posted on  Democracy and Class Struggle, and first appeared in India’s Tehelka Magazine.

There are some who do not agree with our struggle within the parliamentary framework… We have given up violence for the time being…. If the peace process is long, some cadres may leave us. Some of them have joined the Terai movement. Even within our party, some want to go back to the path of revolution. A philosophical churning is on, not just within our party but within other parties as well.”


50-year-old Hisila Yami alias Comrade Parvati, Nepal’s most powerful woman Maoist leader, dispells the myth that Maoist guerillas are bellicose and unkempt.

She is suave, soft-spoken and smiles often. Educated in India and England, this architect taught in a college for 13 years before going underground during the Maoists’ 11-year-long armed struggle.

From guerilla camps to becoming Minister for Tourism to being elected to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, Hisila has had a long and eventful journey.

Despite being a political heavyweight — a Member of the Politburo of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPNM), a former Minister and wife of Baburam Bhattarai, the ideological fount of the CPN-M — Hisila wears her identity lightly…

Despite years of a violent war, what brought the Maoists victory in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly elections?

Our armed struggle was a people’s war. The people of Nepal had grown intolerant of a corrupt and inefficient government. The monarch and other non-left parties have promoted and taken advantage of the dominant Hindu belief systems. With the Army supporting and protecting monarchy and imperialism, people eventually saw who stood for what. The CPN-M declared total war against these forces. We had even thought of taking over Kathmandu but we realized that this would not be appropriate. Besides, we knew how India and China would have responded.

Meanwhile, the Maoists gained popularity and our strategy gained momentum because we delivered what the government could not. For example, justice was Kathmandu-centric and archaic. So we appointed two legal officers, a man and a woman, to every district. We started a crude banking system and cottage industries as well. We almost ran a parallel government. People knew and appreciated our values of egalitarianism. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Maoist Theory, Nepal News | 1 Comment »

Lalgarh’s Radicalisation of Resistance: From ‘Ordinary Civilians’ to Political Subjects?

Posted by n3wday on July 10, 2009


This article was published in the MRzine. Thanks to Ka Frank for pointing it out.

Lalgarh and the Radicalisation of Resistance: From ‘Ordinary Civilians’ to Political Subjects?

by Saroj Giri

One image stands out from the Lalgarh resistance.  Chattradhar Mahato, the most visible leader of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA), distributing food to ordinary villagers — not as a high-up leader doing charity but as one among them.  Is this the ‘new’ image of the Maoist?  But maybe Mahato is not a Maoist — he himself denies being one.  But if he is not, given his power and influence in the area, the ‘dictatorial’ Maoists must have eliminated him by now?  Then maybe he is only being used by them, following their ‘diktat’ out of fear.  But a man with the kind of popularity and love from the masses would fear the Maoists?  So, is he a Maoist, or like a Maoist, after all?  But a Maoist who is this popular among the masses and who does not seem to terrorise them?

These questions are tricky, almost baffling to many.  For the resistance in Lalgarh is a unique experiment, not following any formulaic path or given script.  The Lalgarh resistance not only rattled local power relations and state forces but also challenged accepted ideas and practices of resistance movements, their internal constitution, and above all opened up radical possibilities for the initiative of the masses — partly symbolized in the unscripted image and contested political identity of Mahato and indeed of the PCAPA vis-à-vis Maoists.  Crucially, Lalgarh undermines conventional ideas about the relationship between ‘peaceful’ and ‘violent’ forms of struggle and inaugurates possibilities of resistance unfettered by given notions of political subjectivity or by subservience to the ‘rule of law’. Read the rest of this entry »

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A World to Win: Uprising in Lalgarh

Posted by n3wday on July 7, 2009

lalgarh_uprising_adivasis_womenThis article was sent out on the AWTW e-list. We have already posted the longer version of this article here, but are choosing to republish it because of the AWTW intro and because a condensed version of this article may be useful to our readers.

India: Uprising in Lalgarh

[Note from AWTW] 29 June 2009. A World to Win News Service. Central government troops and state police and militias are continuing the brutal assault on the adivasis (tribal people) and the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in and around Lalgarh in the West Midnapore area in the state of West Bengal that began in mid June. Indian Air Force helicopters rained down leaflets on the masses warning them not to support the Maoists. While the repressive forces boast that they will achieve a quick victory, the Maoist-led guerrillas melt away and reappear in other villages and forests nearby Lalgarh with the support of the people. Urban intellectuals from Kolkata who have gone to the Lalgarh area confirm that the armed forces are beating and humiliating the masses in every way imaginable and herding them into refugee camps.

The area encompasses vast tracts of the forests of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts of West Bengal and adjoins parts of the states of Jharkhand and Orissa, where the CPI5Maoist) enjoys strong mass support. Unrest in Lalgarh had been going on for a number of months, reaching a boiling point last November with the arrests, torture and rape of women and children after a bombing that almost killed a West Bengal chief minister. The state has been dominated by a reactionary so-called Left Front led by the Communist Party (Marxist). Decades ago this oppressor party abandoned any semblance of Marxist or communist thinking and joined forces with the Indian ruling classes to suppress and exploit the people and steal their land. After making a series of demands, the tribal people of the area took matters into their own hands, forcing out government agents and police. CPI(Marxist) officials were run out of the villages and some killed. Their offices as well as many police stations were torched. Trees were felled to block roads and prevent security forces from re-entering the area.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Singur to Lalgarh via Nandigram: Rising Flames of People’s Anger against Displacement, Destitution and State Terror

Posted by n3wday on July 4, 2009


This article is available at No 2 Displacement.

Singur to Lalgarh via Nandigram: Rising Flames of People’s Anger against Displacement, Destitution and State Terror

Amit Bhattacharyya

After the historic Nandigram struggle, it is now the turn of Lalgarh. If Singur faced the initial experience of defeat, Nandigram could legitimately take pride in her experience of victory in course of her long and bloody struggle against the oppressive anti-people West Bengal government, the ruling CPI (M)-sponsored hermads (goons) and police brutality. From the historical point of view, Nandigram elevated the struggle against displacement and the State-sponsored land-grab designs to a qualitatively higher level. It showed a path that, although rooted in the anti-colonial struggle of the 1940s, was new and had elements from which the struggling people of other regions could learn. And Nandigram had already found a rightful leading place in the history of just struggles in our country. The Lalgarh struggle started in a somewhat different context and so has many new features attached to it. It is the culmination of a long-standing discontent and sense of humiliation and persecution at the hands of the powers-that-be and their agencies that the downtrodden adivasis nurtured in their minds. The Lalgarh revolt is a revolt against the existing order of things, against humiliation, police brutality and for justice. Some of the methods the people of Lalgarh have adopted showed that they had already learnt from the experience of Nandigram.


The place called Lalgarh is situated near Jhargram on the north-western side of the West Medinipur district of West Bengal. It is not very far from Salboni area located in the same district. Around 5000 acres of land have been acquired for the Salboni project, of which 4,500 acres have been handed over by the government and 500 acres have been purchased directly by Jindal from the landowners. According to newspaper reports, a large portion of this land was vested with the government for distribution among landless tribal people as part of the much-publicised land reform programme and also included forests tracts. Moreover, although the land was originally acquired for a “usual” steel plant, in September 2007, Jindal got SEZ status for the project, with active backing from the state government, which, as always, dispensed with the requirements for following most regulations for building and running the plant, including such crucial requirements as doing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). A government that has in reality sold itself out to big capital—both domestic and foreign—is not at all bothered about the setting up of an SEZ having a polluting steel plant in the middle of a forested area, brutally displacing tribals from their land and endangering their means of survival. It is, thus, quite understandable that there could be major grievances among the tribals against this, although the mainstream media, as one of the spokespersons of the State policy, had constantly portrayed a very rosy picture of the entire project. Read the rest of this entry »

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