Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Naxals propped up by politicians

By Piratla Venkateswarlu

This article analyses the irrationality and imbalance in the attitudes of different governments towards the key issue of Naxalism.

It was 1966. The Satyagraha launched by the tea garden workers of Siliguri in Bengal continued for 16 days. The movement led by Charu Mazumdar, leader of the kissan wing of the then Marxist Party, proved a success to some extent. The revenue minister, Hari Krishna Konar, who, understood the outburst of the farmers of the area, visited the Siliguri region in May 1967. He assured the agitating farmers that there was no need for any discontent because the West Bengal government had been implementing land reforms sincerely.

As soon as the minister reached Calcutta from Siliguri, the ryot's squad killed a police constable and seized his gun. After a month the squad admitted 20,000 ryot coolies (farm workers) as Dal members and trained them for a revolt against the government. Then from May 1967 onwards began the annihilation of landlords, moneylenders etc. in the name of "class enemies".

Later, the Marxist Party of India banished Jagat Santhal, Kanu Sanyal and Charu Mazumdar.

Maoists Aim at Political Power

Mazumdar's views

In the June 1967 issue of "Liberation", the views of Charu Mazumdar were published and under the heading "Naxalbari movement'. "The extremist movement being waged now is for land but not for crops. This fight is aimed at grabbing power", Charu Mazumdar said and added, "With this aim all our movements should stall working of the government". Thus, Charu Mazumdar gave his call for revolution! Another leader, Kanu Sanyal writing in "Liberation stated," We can throw out this government by supplying arms to the farmers and the landless poor. For that we must evolve dalams. We must go on waging armed struggle against the government machinery with guerrilla tactics. Then only can we set up our own government", Kanu Sanyal opined.

From that day onwards they have been fighting with the sole aim of seizing political power, in spite of change of leadership, change of dalams and change of regions in their cadres. Infighting was a common feature of the Communist Party of India. As of now, there are 40 Communist groups all over India. Out of them, the Maoist Group (MCP) in North India, and the People's War Group in South India have emerged powerful. After five years of discussions between the group leaders at last, a single party, CPI (ML) had emerged. Shri Ramakrishna, Andhra Pradesh State Secretary of the group, made an announcement to this effect on the emergence of a single party, just on the eve of starting peace talks with the Andhara Pradesh Government in October 2004. By then a Red Corridor had been formed from Kathmandu in Nepal to Karnataka.

Now all groups have been striving to mobilise their cadres strongly along the red corridor. As a result, a gateway has been formed from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, to Bihar, West Bengal, Chatisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Dalams comprising of the armed wings have been formed for guerrilla warfare.

Promises of the Congress

The Congress Party at the Centre as well as in Andhra Pradesh has spared no effort to win over power during the last one year. The naxals on their part also required some sort of intermission because of the restless fight waged during the last several years. Now, the stage has come to change their strategies.

Further the assassination attempt made by the Naxals on the then Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had failed giving rise to intensive combing, increased encounters, arrests and harassment. Chandrababu Naidu declared during the last general elections that the voters' verdict would be a referendum against Naxalism. This call had served as an advantage for the Congress Party which readily encashed on it. The Congress Party on its part had announced during the elections that they would conduct peace talks with the Naxals without any conditions.

The armed group, which had been outlawed till then, had suddenly gained protection from the enforcement authority and came out of the shadow of ban. The People's War and other groups have begun to strengthen their cadres and mobilise arms while continuing peace talks with the Andhra Pradesh government. They have mobilised sophisticated arms and other equipment apart from collecting crores of rupees by force. They have come to the stage of paying salaries to the new recruits in their dalams.

After becoming fully prepared for a long range armed struggle, they have suddenly announced that they are not ready to participate in the second round of peace talks. During the first round of talks they not only got protection from law enforcement authorities but also received wide publicity in the media. They have received almost 784 public petitions seeking solutions for different problems faced by commoners. Thus, it is clear that during the peace talks, they were successful in creating an image of confidence and trust among some sections of the people that they would work for social welfare if they come to power. As such they have started new efforts with renewal enthusiasm to achieve this goal i.e. grabbing of political power.

The People's War and other groups have begun to strengthen their cadres and mobilise arms while continuing peace talks with the Andhra Pradesh government. They have mobilised sophisticated arms and other equipments apart from collecting crores of rupees by force. They have come to the stage of paying salaries to the new recruits in their dalams.

Truly new programmes

In the conference hall named after Charu Mazumdar, Kana Chatterji, the MCCP People's War Group merger conference was held on September 17, 2004. During the conference, MCCP Secretary Kishen, People's War Secretary Ganapathi spoke. "This merger will speed up the launching of people's liberation fronts. Setting up of this kind of dalams (fronts) all over the country will not only promote the fighting techniques, but also strengthen the revolutionary flare-up which was suppressed in the people's minds. As a result, the mass will be empowered and prepared to liberate this country", Kishan and Ganapathi declared.

They announced that they would intensively implement some programmes after setting up the new democratic government. First among the programmes is abolition of debts and loans taken from the earlier governments and also the investments made by capitalists. The second: Scrapping of all agreements made with fascist nations. Distribution of lakhs of acres of land to the poor, suppressed and backward class people which were till then enjoyed by the landlords and religious institutions. The third: Seizing of all the industries under the control of bourgeois leaders. The last: Implementation of democracy for the common man and dictatorship for the anti-social elements. These are their future programmes.

Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai strongly condemned the revolution waged by the Naxalbari extremists in India. He vehemently criticised the extremist battle being fought in India describing it as " A revolution diverted to the wrong route." He made it clear that it was wrong to praise the leader of one country as the hero of another nation and also to launch movements without mobilising people's support. Chou-en-Lai remarked:" One country’s environment and conditions can't be likened to that of another country. They won't match. Marxism, Leninism, Maoism should be interpreted to suit each country's existing situations and conditions. Your revolution seems to be fighting in the air". It is highly regrettable that the leaders of India in this context are lacking the wisdom shown by the leaders of other countries.

How many dalams will be required to liberate a country like India...? That is why, in line with Mao’s philosophy they have started killing the top people among those who cross them. The main strategy behind such a killing policy is "kill one... terrorise lakhs". While following this mass assassination policy, they have adopted the technique of shooting down their class enemies (one cannot become a revolutionary if one doesn't wet his hand with the blood of class enemy, Mao said). During the last 38 years, starting from 1967, a lot of bloodshed has taken place. This happened specially because clear goals were not announced.

They argue that only because they are fighting for the poor they have been physically eliminating landlords, political leaders and the police who have been supporting and guarding the interests of landlords. Thousand's of people have been shot dead irrespective of the groups to which they belonged. Thus an environment of fear psychosis had been created by them among the people. Ignoring these developments and crisis situations, our political parties have been fighting among themselves and at times seeking the support and help of the extremists for promoting their vested interests. This has become the common feature.

This is the strategy...

Maoists believe that they can create trust and confidence among the people by killing political leaders thereby to create a political vacuum so that finally they will be able to fill the vacumm by (grabbing power). Generally personnel of the police and revenue departments cannot be cowed down by their attacks and raids. As such if both these sections will surrender to them, emergence of the Naxalite government will be easier. That is why the Naxalites have decided to intensify their raids on police officers thereby to make them surrender to them. This secret has come to light with the help of confidential documents which had surfaced recently.

It will be irrational to view Naxalism as law and order problem and to think that it can be suppressed with police force and measures like imposition of ban. Naxals have been fighting with the sole aim of attaining political power.

Democrats’ responsibility

It is not logical to say that Maoists have come into society only because poverty exists in society. It is also not fair to say that they have been waging the battle to solve the people's problems and also to describe their battle as "a struggle for social, economic and land reforms". Further, it will be irrataional to view Naxalism as law and order problem and to think that it can be suppressed with police force and measures like imposition of ban. Naxals have been fighting with the sole aim of attaining political power.

Their only goal is to destroy the democratic setup existing for the last 57 years and to launch an alternative democratic government. That was why during the peace discussions held in Hyderabad, all leaders, from Varavara Rao to Amar have declared that "these peace discussions are one strategy in the armed struggle." It was they who first attempted to foil the peace dialogue by hoisting red flags in the vacant lands in Prakasam district immediately after conclusion of the first round of peace talks. Moreover, they had declared that lands would be distributed to the landless poor. In fact, welfare of the poor people, land distribution, etc., are only slogans raised by them to attract the masses. It is high time all the political as well as social institutions, which believe in democratic empowerment, to politically fight against the Maoist. The demoratic set-up can be saved only when all the democratic forces in the coutnry unitedly create an awareness among the masses. Several people's movements had taken place in independent India. Likewise, many political parties were also born. But Naxalism is an armed struggle aimed only at destroying the democratically elected governments during the last 57 years and thereby to grab political power. It is most urgent and highly essential for all sympathisers and lovers of democracy to recognise this danger faced by the people of free India!

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