Saturday, October 31, 2009

Report of Meeting between Nepalese and Indian Maoists

A sensational report published in one of the leading national daily
newspapers of Nepal, dated October 31, 2009 that could send spine
chilling waves of the mandarins across the border in the South, claim
that only freshly the Unified Maoists Party of Nepal had held formal
talks with the outlawed Maoists party of India.

The report has come close on the heels of the Indian Home Minister, P.
Chidambaram, claimed that the Indian Maoists were receiving weapons
from Nepal.

In one of its fresh offensive against the Indian government, the outlawed
communist party of India had held up the Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani
Express for about seven and a half hours only recently. The event must
have turned into a sheer embarrassment for the Indian establishment.

The meeting between the leaders of Unified Maoists Party of Nepal and the
representatives of Indian Communist Party-Maoists took place in an
undisclosed location in India, between October 8-11, 2009.

Indra Mohan Sigdel alias Basanta, the Unified Maoist Party politburo member
led the Nepali team that held discussions with the Indian Maoists party led by Kishanji, reports reveal.

Reports further add that upon his return to Kathmandu, Mr. Sigdel, at a meeting with the party leaders briefed that he had come to the conclusion that the two parties should hold further discussions to build confidence between the two parties.

Sigdel also told the Maoists leadership in Nepal that the Indian Maoists had
serious reservations over the present line of thinking adopted by the Nepal Maoist Party.

The Unified Maoist Party Chairman, Pushpa Kamal Dahal in an interview with
NDTV, India, had recently claimed that the ex-rebel party of Nepal was not ready to mediate between the outlawed Maoists Party of India and the Indian Government.

However, he had advised the India Maoists that there was no alternative to peace. Prachanda spoke with the Indian Television Channel in Hindi Language

Friday, October 30, 2009

Solidarity Statement with CARC from Revolutionary Communists of Britain

The Co-ordination Committee of the Revolutionary Communists of Britain call for the immediate release of our Italian comrades Alessandro Della Malva, Elisabetta Cipolli and Alessandro Orfano. We express our solidarity with these comrades.

These three brave anti-fascists are paying for their militancy and commitment for defending the anti-fascist values ratified by the Italian Constitution and conquered with the victory of the Resistance, and against the rehabilitation of fascism and fascists.

The Co-ordination Committee of the Revolutionary Communists of Britain expresses its solidarity with these comrades.

The CARC party and the Solidarietà Proletaria are leading in this struggle in Italy. We express our support to your struggle

Statement issued by

The Co-ordination Committee of the Revolutionary Communists of Britain
c/o BM Box 2978, London WC1N 3XX)

28th October 2009

Democracy and Class Struggle Salutes the 2nd National Conference of the CARC - Free Alessandro Della Malva, Elisabetta Cipolli and Alessandro Orfano

Democracy and Class Struggle wish the 2nd CARC Conference success - your success in Italy is our success.

We call for the immediate release of our Italian comrades Alessandro Della Malva, Elisabetta Cipolli and Alessandro Orfano.

Long live international proletarian solidarity



Peace Talk: Maoists want formal offer

Posted by indianvanguard on October 30, 2009


Calcutta, Oct. 29: CPI (Maoist) politburo member Kishanji today said the Manmohan Singh government should formally write to the Maoist high command if it was “serious” about a dialogue.

“If the Manmohan Singh government is serious about talks, it should write to our general secretary making the offer in black and white,’’ the guerrilla leader said.

In Srinagar today, the Prime Minister stressed on a “holistic approach” to deal with the Maoists. However, the Centre’s stand has been that there can be no talks unless the guerrillas lay down arms.

Opinions differ in the Congress and the mainstream Left parties on how to deal with the situation. While chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and other top CPM leaders have spoken in the same voice as the Centre’s, CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and some other Left leaders have called for talks “without any pre-condition”.

Even if Kishanji was not keen to broach the possibility of a dialogue between the Maoists and the Marxists, today he asked the government and the CPM to participate in a contest with the rebels for Lalgarh’s development.

“The government blames us for stopping development activities. It has sent senior officials to speed up work that it has failed to do in 32 years. We want the government to prove its sincerity in meeting the basic needs of the people in Lalgarh, which includes supply of drinking water and healthcare,’’ the guerrilla leader said.

“Let the government do 70-80 per cent of the job and the people will do the rest. I also call the CPM and the Trinamul Congress, which are resorting to all sorts of drama over development, to join in. I will call the media on November 20 to show what both sides have achieved,’’ Kishanji said.

He added in the same breath he was neither declaring a “ceasefire” nor asking for the withdrawal of forces as a condition for renewing the development projects. “All I am saying is that the government should not arrest members of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities and others who join our development projects. Let the government send doctors, nurses and other staff. The people will help them.”

Kishanji’s development pitch came on a day his comrades killed at least five people. The apparent aim: to strengthen his support base among the tribals before a crackdown. The effort to get a dozen village women released in exchange for a police officer last week was part of the same objective.

However, even a section of Maoists is said to be unhappy with Kishanji’s “indiscriminate killing” and “dependence on armed squads undermining mass movements”.

The guerrilla leader said: “There is no Chinese wall between the annihilation of class enemies and mass movements. This is our party’s line, not mine. Whatever we have done was justified. We killed those who betrayed people.”

He claimed he was considered “soft” within his organisation. “We have punished only 50 per cent of those who should have been punished. I am opposed to unnecessary killings,” the Maoist top gun said. TT

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Sensible Democratic Alternative to the Proposed Military Offensive

posted by indianvanguard on October 29, 2009

From Sanhati

The government’s proposal for large-scale military offensive in Central and parts of Eastern India has been opposed by democratic minded people from across the world. Democratic sections of civil society in India have called for an immediate halt to the government’s military offensive. They have argued that the conflict be resolved through negotiations between the government and the CPI(Maoist). In response, the Home Minister has stated that in a “democracy”, such negotiations can only be held if CPI(Maoist) “abjures violence”. This is, to say the least, disingenuous. As these sorts of conflicts are by definition “asymmetrical”, and since the military might of the Indian state is incomparably superior, it is the responsibility of the government to take the first steps to win over the confidence of the adivasis and the rebels by calling off the military offensive. When the government is sending in thousands of paramilitary troops, encircling key areas and continuing military action on the rebels, asking the rebels and the people to give up arms as a precondition for negotiations, is certain to ensure that no negotiations take place.

Therefore, in order to gain the confidence of the common people that the government is sincere in its intention to end the conflict through negotiations, it needs to take at least the following concrete steps.

1. The military offensive must be immediately and unequivocally called off and all military and paramilitary from the forested and semi-forested areas of Central and Eastern India must be withdrawn. Moreover, in order to create a genuine atmosphere of trust, all state agencies should stop issuing threatening and hostile statements against the CPI(Maoist) and stop harassing its activists and sympathizers. The CPI(Maoist) should also, on its part, reciprocate by suspending all armed activities and desist from issuing threatening statements against anyone.

2. The Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act and Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act must be repealed. Also, specifically, the ban on CPI(Maoist) by the government of India should be lifted and the CPI(Maoist) and its frontal organisations, if any, should not be banned by creating some new laws. Political prisoners jailed or in custody for being involved with so-called left extremist activities and hundreds of adivasis/non-adivasis imprisoned using fabricated charges need to be freed unconditionally.

3. All Memoranda of Understanding (MoU-s) signed with different corporations, for the extraction of natural resources from the vast areas of East-Central India, must be revealed and immediately canceled.

4. Salwa Judum and similar bodies must be disbanded. A tribunal be appointed to investigate their atrocities carried out in connivance with the police, para-military forces and government agencies.

5. Negotiations must not be used as a ruse to liquidate activists of the CPI(Maoist) or any people’s movements. To ensure this, the Central and concerned State Government should submit an undertaking to a mediating body, composed of representatives chosen by the government and the CPI(Maoist), that no encounter deaths, armed actions, espionage activity would be carried out during the mutually agreed upon ceasefire.

Most importantly, we reiterate that the crux of this conflict is the neo-liberal model of development pursued by the Indian state, which has been threatening the life and livelihoods of the common people. The government’s declaration that developmental packages will follow the victory over the rebels raises fear that it has plans ready to roll in the kinds of “development” that suit the interests of multinational and domestic big corporations once these regions, rich with natural resources, have been cleansed of political dissent and the entire population has been either killed or displaced and pauperized as a result of the military offensive. If the government does not have any such plans, it should immediately engage in dialogue with people of the regions along with the suspension of military operations.

6. Thus, a wide-ranging debate on the model of development for these regions must be conducted without any delay. Given the stiff opposition by the local population to the development model that is being pushed down their throats by the government, there should not be any attempt to implement any pre-determined “development package”. Rather, there must be a serious initiative to comprehend and document what measures constitute development in the eyes of the local population and what are the ways to implement these measures such that the people concerned are in primary control of this process. Any developmental process and its modalities must be an outcome of such discussions.

7. In view of the above scenario, the government should also immediately repeal the SEZ Act 2005 and stop all the projects that have so far been cleared. It should also address the concerns related to laws of acquisition of land for corporate interests. Moreover, the government must immediately cease all evictions and diversion of forest land, under the guise of industrialisation, resource extraction or conservation, and expeditiously settle rights to forest land and forest produce.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nepal: Interview with Comrade Baburam Bhattarai

Posted by Member-WPRM (Britain)

“Protracted People’s War (PPW) is a military strategy to be adopted in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial context, and, in the different context of imperialism, could be applied in a modified form even in imperialist countries. But basically the theory of PPW 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.

Protracted People’s War (PPW) is a military strategy to be adopted in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial context, and, in the different context of imperialism, could be applied in a modified form even in imperialist countries. But basically the theory of PPW 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. And we were successful in developing this war from the stage of strategic defensive to the stage of strategic equilibrium and on to the stage of strategic offensive. We basically established the strategic offensive, which means the final stage of capturing state power and which must be meticulously calculated and applied. If you don’t take note of the existing balance of forces, both politically and militarily in the country and outside, firstly it will be difficult to capture state power and secondly even after capturing state power it will be difficult to sustain it. That’s why we introduced certain new features.

People know only the negative part, but what they forget, or what we have been unable to propagate well since the beginning of the PPW, is the new context of world imperialism and the specific geopolitical context of Nepal. In this context, our party decided that we need to adopt some of the features of general insurrection within the strategy of PPW. Therefore the basic strategy will be PPW, but some of the features of general insurrection, which relies on people’s movement in the urban areas and leads to the final insurrection in the city, the tactics of the general insurrection, should also be incorporated within that strategy. This has been the basic question within our party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN(M)]. This idea we first introduced in our national unity congress in 1991 and after that when we had our 2nd national conference in 2001. At that time we developed the theory of fusion of PPW and general insurrection to a new level, so that in the specific context of Nepal, while adhering to the basic path of PPW, the tactic of general insurrection should be fused within that strategy. That’s why at that conference we put emphasis on this aspect. But we thought that when we developed this new political line, developed through the course of the People’s War in Nepal, that it needed to be assessed more thoroughly in the international community of Maoists.

We called this one of the features of Prachanda Path, which we regarded as a new development in the theory of MLM. After 2001 we still adhered to the People’s War but we resorted to some of the tactics of general insurrection, that’s why when we were in the People’s War we always talked of political negotiations and we actually had two rounds of political negotiations. During that time we raised the issues of Constituent Assembly, abolition of the monarchy and establishment of a bourgeois democratic republic. These were the tactics we followed while we were in the PPW. Why we did that was because in the specific conditions of Nepal, though we are in the stage of transition from feudalism to capitalism, in our case the feudal system had been basically led by an autocratic monarchy for thousands of years. In most third world countries autocratic monarchy has already been abolished, and in those countries though the basic foundation of society is still semi-feudal, semi-colonial, the political superstructure was led by bourgeois democrats. But in our case even the political superstructure was dominated by the autocratic feudal monarchy, the national bourgeoisie was very weak and they could not carry forward the bourgeois democratic revolution. It was the proletarian party which had to take the lead to abolish the autocratic monarchy and introduce a bourgeois democracy, which could be again transformed through struggle into New Democracy, a proletarian democratic system.

Therefore we adopted these tactics, and after 2001 we followed these tactics and by 2005 we had reached the stage of strategic offensive in the PPW. Then we thought it was time to focus our activity, to shift our activities to the urban areas. By that time we had liberated most of the countryside, where the poor peasantry lives, and under 25% of our population lives in urban areas. There the petty bourgeoisie class and other classes needed to be mobilised if we were to complete the stage of strategic offensive and capture the state in a revolutionary manner. After 2005 we decided to shift our activity to the urban areas, because without mobilising the masses in urban areas we couldn’t complete our strategic offensive, capturing the state. With these tactics in mind we entered into the negotiation process with certain parliamentary parties who were all struggling with the monarchy but which were too weak, their class nature was too weak, they couldn’t struggle with the monarchy and complete the bourgeois democratic revolution. When the autocratic monarchy centralised all state power in a coup, it was easier for us to have an alliance with those bourgeois democratic parties and we made the 12-point understanding. On the basis of that 12-point understanding we launched a mass movement which we called the 2nd mass movement. After the 2nd mass movement there was a huge upsurge of the people and the autocratic monarchy was forced to accept the Constituent Assembly and to step down. After that we made the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, in which we had to make certain compromises. Those compromises were made to abolish the monarchy, hold the Constituent Assembly elections and then move ahead to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution in the country.

There are some ambiguous features in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Our understanding, the revolutionary party’s understanding, was that after abolishing the monarchy and establishing a bourgeois democratic republic, the proletarian party would take the initiative and launch forward the struggle towards New Democratic Revolution. We knew the bourgeois forces, after the abolition of the monarchy, would try to resist, and our main contradiction then would be with the bourgeois democratic parties. This we had foreseen. So we have not said that after the abolition of the monarchy we’ll stop there. We never said that. What we have said is that we would align with the bourgeois democratic parties to abolish the monarchy, and after the abolition of the monarchy then the contention would be between the bourgeois forces and the proletarian forces. A new field of struggle would start. That was clearly stated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the subsequent interim constitution and other documents we passed.

After the Constituent Assembly elections, when our party emerged as the largest force and we abolished the monarchy, there was a lot of enthusiasm among the masses of the people. Our party’s tactical line had been correctly implemented. That gave a tremendous force to the basic masses of the people and our support greatly increased. For the time being we cooperated with the interim government also, because by participating in that coalition government we thought we could work within the bureaucracy, within the army, within the police and within the judiciary, in order to build our support base through those state structures, which would help us for future revolutionary activities. With that in mind we participated in the coalition government. After the abolition of the monarchy, when the main contradiction would start with the bourgeois democratic forces, then our struggle took a new turn.

After April 2009 [when Prachanda resigned from government], that phase of the Constituent Assembly and implementation of the bourgeois democratic republic was more or less complete. Our understanding is to now carry on the struggle forwards to complete the New Democratic Revolution. So again we made a tactical shift, showing that from now on our major fight would be with the bourgeois democrat parties who are backed by imperialism and the expansionist forces. With this thinking our party left the government and now we are focusing on the mass movement, so that now we could really practice what we have been preaching. That means the fusion of the strategy of PPW and the tactic of general insurrection. What we have been doing since 2005 is the path of preparation for general insurrection through our work in the urban areas and our participation in the coalition government.

But what one should not forget was that we had never ever surrendered the gains of the PPW, what we had gained during the ten years of struggle. We had formulated the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), we had our base areas, we had a lot of mass support, and all this we have been able to preserve. But we have not been able to convey to our comrades outside the country that the gains of the People’s War were never surrendered. The PLA is still with us, and the arms we collected during that war are still with us within the single-key system, monitored by the United Nations team, but basically the key is with us and the army is with us and we have never surrendered. This shows we have not abandoned the path of PPW. What we have done is suspended that part of the activity for some time and focused more on the urban activities so that we could make a correct balance between the military and political aspects of struggle. After some time we will be able to combine both aspects of PPW and general insurrection to mount a final insurrection to capture state power. We would like to stress that we are still continuing in the path of revolution, but the main features we tried to introduce were to make a fusion between the theory of PPW and the tactic of general insurrection. After coming to the peaceful phase I think whatever confusion there was has been mitigated and people realise we are still on the revolutionary path.

Now we are preparing for the final stage of the completion of the New Democratic Revolution. In a few months when the contradiction will sharpen between the proletarian and bourgeois forces, maybe there will be some intervention from the imperialist and expansionist forces. During that time we may again be forced to have another round of armed clashes. Our party is already aware of that and we have decided to again focus on the basic masses of the people both in urban and rural areas. To strengthen those mass bases we have formed the United National People’s Movement, which will be preparing for both struggle in the urban areas and to strengthen our mass base in the countryside. In the decisive stage of confrontation with the reactionary forces we could again combine our bases in the rural areas and our support in the urban areas for a final assault against the enemy to complete the revolution.

I would like to say we have never abandoned PPW, the only thing is that there has been a tactical shift within the strategy. This is one point. The other point is that being a Maoist we believe in continuous revolution. Revolution never stops. Even when one stage is completed, immediately the new stage should be continued. Only that way can we reach socialism and communism. That is a basic tenet of Maoism. Being a Maoist, this reasoning of continuous revolution can never be abandoned. We are still in the course of PPW, though the tactics have shifted according to the nature of the time. But there is a confusion in the international community of proletarian forces, and we would like to clarify this, but I think this thing can be better done in practice than in words. Anyhow we are confident we can convince our comrades who have some doubts about our activities that we are still pursuing the path of revolution. We will complete the revolution in a new way and we have to show that revolution is possible even in the 21st century. And Nepal can be a model of revolution in the 21st century.

WPRM: Can you explain how the UCPN(M) understands the nature of the state in this transitional period? Can the New Democratic Revolution be completed through the holding of an election?

Baburam Bhattarai: The key question in any revolution is the question of the state. The state is simply an instrument of dictatorship of a certain class. Right now in Nepal the existing state is a dictatorship of the feudal, comprador and bureaucratic capitalist classes. So the task of the revolution is to smash this state and replace it with a New Democratic one. This is the basic objective of the revolution. But in the special case of Nepal, the semi-feudal, semi-colonial state was presided over by an autocratic monarchy and it was being backed by foreign imperialist and expansionist forces. Our party, the UCPN(M), therefore thought it more prudent first to do away with the autocratic monarchy and establish a bourgeois democratic republic and then immediately go towards New Democratic Revolution. Those were the tactics adopted by us. We took the initiative to abolish the monarchy under the leadership of the proletariat which was a tremendous boost for the proletarian forces within our country. It also marginalised the bourgeois democratic forces because they had not taken the lead in that phase of the revolution. After the implementation of these tactics and the abolition of the monarchy, we have established a bourgeois democratic republic in this country, which basically still is a dictatorship of the feudal landlord, comprador and bureaucratic capitalist classes. But politically, since the proletarian forces took the initiative to establish this transitional state, there is contention between the reactionary classes and the progressive classes. A sort of flux has been created, it has not been stabilised. Within this nature of the state, which is in flux, we think it will be easier for the revolutionary forces to intervene and further destabilise the state, putting pressure on it from outside the state which can be smashed to make a New Democratic state.

The nature of the transitional state is, to put it very concisely, in principle a dictatorship of the reactionary forces. But in practice, since the proletarian forces played a leading and decisive role in dismantling the autocratic monarchy and creating this transitional state, the political authority of the progressive, patriotic and proletarian forces is high. So this interim state won’t be very stable and if we can correctly mobilise the masses of people it can easily be overthrown and replaced by a New Democratic state. We think this is a new experiment being carried out in Nepal, it has not happened like in China where they directly implemented the revolutionary policies of the party and overthrew the old state replacing it with a new one. But in our case it has meant cutting up the state part by part, in fact we are devouring it part by part. Ultimately we will be able to smash it and then replace it with a new state. This does not mean we are trying to reform the whole state, indeed the whole state has to be totally displaced by a new state. There is no confusion on our part on this question. But the method of destroying the whole state is partly new in our case because it was presided over by an autocratic monarchy not by bourgeois democratic parties as seen in other third world countries. Because of this specificity of Nepal, this transitional state has been a new thing not seen elsewhere. But our party is very clear on the question that the state needs to be totally destroyed and replaced by the new state. We are working on that line and our party feels that after the formulation of the strategy of People’s War and general insurrection we will be able to finally mobilise the masses of the people in a mass upsurge and insurrection to abolish this state and replace it with a New Democratic one.

WPRM: After the resignation of Chairman Prachanda from the government and the coup by President Yadav over the affair of General Katuwal, the main revisionist party, the CPN-UML, is now leading the government and you are heading the recently formed United National People’s Movement (UNPM). Can you tell us the plan of the party in leading People’s Movement-3 and carrying out insurrection in this situation?

Baburam Bhattarai: As I told you, the basic orientation of our party is to complete the New Democratic Revolution in a new way in Nepal. By firmly sticking to that line we are practicing different tactical shifts. Accordingly, after we completed this task of elections of the Constituent Assembly and the establishment of democratic republic, now our next task is to organise a people’s movement and develop it into an insurrectionary upsurge and complete the New Democratic Revolution. Now we have entered that phase. During this phase we will focus more on organising and mobilising the masses and leading them towards a revolutionary upsurge. That means certain changes in the policy as had been practiced during the People’s War. During that time our focus was on the peasant masses, which was slightly different than the struggle in the urban areas which consists of basically the working class.

To lead this phase of the movement we have set up the new UNPM, which is basically a revolutionary united front of the patriotic, democratic and left forces led by the Communist Party. We have put forward a list of 25 demands related to nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood. With these demands we have mobilised the masses of people. At a certain stage the contradiction with the bourgeois democratic forces and the imperialist expansionist forces will reach a higher stage. At that time there will be a decisive clash between the reactionary and revolutionary forces. That will be the insurrectionary upsurge. This is the view of the people. So with this in mind we have been organising plans and struggles, mass struggles which we will be carrying out in subsequent months. As Marx and Lenin correctly pointed out, you must believe firmly in the tactics of insurrection. If you have to organise insurrection you have to make a decisive action and take it to the final conclusion. If you can’t do that you will be defeated. To prepare for that decisive struggle you have to move through different stages, that’s why after leaving the government we are now focusing more on the issue of civilian supremacy so we can isolate the militarist section of the reactionaries. Secondly we are focusing on the question of nationalism so we can organise the broad masses of patriotic forces against imperialist and expansionist intervention. Thirdly we are raising the issue of land reform and the basic question of livelihood among the general masses of the people, so that the poor masses of the people and the petty bourgeoisie classes can be organised.

With this in mind we are carrying on a plan in the coming few months, there will be a broad unity of patriotic, democratic and revolutionary forces, which can mount a final struggle against the reactionary forces, the bourgeois democratic forces backed by the foreign imperialist forces. We think this will lead to a proper movement and a final insurrectionary upsurge of the masses of the people. If we are able to play the contradiction between the reactionary forces within the country and the imperialist and expansionist forces outside, then at an opportune moment we can organise an insurrectionary upsurge and be victorious. Therefore we have established the UNPM and put forward protest programs. In the next few months when the contradiction will sharpen among the reactionary forces while making the new constitution, during that time this new movement will arise when the people will finally come to revolt and complete the New Democratic Revolution. This is all I want to say on this for now.

WPRM: In the past you have written of the need to confiscate the land of feudals and the capital of comprador and bureaucrat capitalists, and the party has carried this out to some extent. Is this still the plan of the UCPN(M)?

Baburam Bhattarai: To complete the New Democratic Revolution you have to smash the feudal production relations and culture, that means we have to confiscate the property of the feudal landlords and distribute it to the peasants on the principle of ‘land to the tiller’. This was the basic policy of our party during the People’s War, which we practiced in the rural areas. Nepal is geographically divided between the hilly regions and the plains areas and most of the land is in the plains. But in the plains it was difficult to carry out guerilla warfare, so we just entered there and implemented some land reform policies. Since the plains border India and there is a danger of foreign intervention there, we have never been able to completely practice land reform in those areas. This will only be implemented after the final victory of the revolution. During the People’s War this policy, the principle of ‘land to the tiller’, was practiced more clearly in the hilly areas and partly in the plains areas bordering India. But we subscribe to the policy of abolishing feudal landowners because without making the real tillers of the land, the peasants, the owners of the land, we can’t bring about the land revolution and can’t complete the New Democratic Revolution. So our basic policy remains abolishing the feudal property relations and introducing a socialist-oriented national bourgeois democratic revolution. That is our policy on the question of land.

On the question of capital, for countries like ours, a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country, capital is basically dominated by imperialist capital. In our case Indian expansionist capital in particular. The nature of capital in Nepal at the moment is comprador and bureaucratic. This means it is dependent, you cannot have national independence in the country. That’s why we want to do away with this bureaucratic and comprador capital and convert it into national industrial capital which can subsequently be organised in a socialistic manner. With this policy in mind, we intend after the completion of the revolution to confiscate all this bureaucratic and comprador capital and convert it into national capital which can be reorganised into a socialist mode of production. This is our policy to do away with all the remnants of feudal landlordism, abolition of bureaucratic and comprador capital, and reorganisation of the economy, firstly under a New Democratic line and then in transition towards socialism.

WPRM: The UCPN(M) has brought forward ideas around elections in a New Democratic and socialist state. In your article on ‘The Question of Building a New Type of State’ in The Worker #9, you particularly discuss the need for greater democracy among the people. How will the holding of elections solve the problems generated by the weaknesses of the experience of socialism in the 20th century?

Baburam Bhattarai: This question of democracy and dictatorship is also very important for the communist movement. In principle every state is a dictatorship of a certain class, so-called democracy is also a form of bourgeois dictatorship. This is a basic tenet of MLM and nobody can deny that. But what was practiced in the 20th century in different people’s democracies and socialist countries was, though in theory correct, in practice the real democratic institutions and processes were minimised. Democracy is a class concept, and bourgeois democracy has its own rules, but proletarian democracy also needs to be developed. What happened in the Soviet Union was that the Soviet, a democratic institution, and the working class became very functional, especially during Comrade Stalin’s time. In reality the Soviets couldn’t be very functional and they gradually turned into a bureaucratic state apparatus. After the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union, Comrade Mao Zedong drew certain lessons and he wanted to expand the scope of proletarian democracy. That’s what he practiced during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. There were certain new institutions of people’s committees and Red Guards to expand people’s democracy. But this experience was very short and after Comrade Mao died, the counter-revolution in China took place.

Now it is up to the revolutionaries of the 21st century to learn from those lessons of the 20th century and develop a new concept of proletarian democracy. Our party discussed this thoroughly and made a review of the positive and negative aspects of revolution in the 20th century. We came to the conclusion that though the basic concept of MLM on state and democracy remains valid, because the Soviet apparatus was no longer functional, when the Soviet state turned into a bureaucratic state, and with the lesson of Mao’s experiment of Cultural Revolution against that negative experience of the Soviet Union, we have to develop the concept of proletarian democracy further. Our conclusion was that basically we need more room for the masses of the people to supervise and intervene in the state. If that will not happen then after the revolution the initiative of the masses will be diminished, and only the few of the bureaucratic elite will rule over the state in the name of the proletariat and the revolution would not be carried further.

To check this we have to create certain mechanisms whereby the constant mobilising of the masses and the constant vigilance and intervention of the masses is ensured so the state doesn’t turn into a bureaucratic state. To create such an institution one of the ideas is to provide democracy as was practiced during the Paris Commune days, or to again go towards the Soviet model of democracy, or draw lessons from the Cultural Revolution. We want to take lessons from all these three experiences, so our party’s conclusion was that within a socialist framework, within the framework of the dictatorship of the proletariat, competition should be organised among the masses of the people, so the masses will be constantly energised and it will prevent only a few people having a monopoly over the state.

This concept of competition within the framework of socialism, of proletarian dictatorship, we have developed this basic concept. But this is only a general concept, the actual mode of that competition we have still to work out. Our general feeling is still under discussion, we haven’t reached any final conclusion. But we have proposed multi-party competition within the socialist framework. Why do we need many parties? Though the proletarian class is one class, the proletarian consciousness is different, there is uneven consciousness. If there is competition among them then the most revolutionary section will be in a position to lead this process through democratic means. All the masses of the working class can be mobilised, and in such mode of constantly mobilising the masses of people we will limit the chance of degeneration of this democracy into a bureaucratic set-up. That’s why we are thinking one of the options is to allow multi-party competition among the proletarian and progressive classes within the framework of the leadership of the proletariat and a socialist constitutional framework.

This is one of the options that we have proposed but it just a proposal, we haven’t reached any conclusion. This is what I discussed in that article, it is a preliminary article, we have proposed this but I think it needs to be discussed in the international proletarian movement and developed further. Otherwise we will not be able to draw lessons from the failures of the teachings of socialism and proletarian revolution in the 20th century and lead revolution forward into the 21st century. The basic point of departure is still from the Cultural Revolution, where Mao went beyond the traditional framework of the state system and gave more power to the masses of the people to rebel against the bureaucratic system within the party and within the state. That is the general orientation. But the right institutions have not been developed yet. The job of the revolutionaries in the 21st century will be to develop that concept further and to develop certain institutions and procedures whereby the proletarian class gets mobilised to carry forward the revolution. With this is mind, we are putting forward this concept of competition within the New Democratic and socialist state framework.

WPRM: Elections in imperialist countries generally serve not as a way to mobilise the masses but as a formal ritual that people carry out in a very bureaucratic way. Only very seldom does the election actually mobilise people and that is in very specific circumstances, like to some extent the election of Obama in the USA, because people were so opposed to the crimes of the Bush regime. How can you make elections at all for mobilising people and helping people develop their understanding of the class nature of society and the need to push towards socialism when our general experience of elections in imperialist and oppressed countries is that they are a tool for deceiving the masses?

Baburam Bhattarai: The practice of democracy in imperialist counties is a form of bourgeois democracy, a ritual that deceives the masses of people and perpetuates the rule of their class state. But what we are talking about is not organising elections within the bourgeois state, we are talking about after the revolution in a New Democratic or socialistic framework, where there will be certain constitutional provisions whereby the reactionaries, imperialists and criminal forces will not be allowed to participate. Only the progressive forces, the democratic forces and people will be allowed to compete. That is the competition within the New Democratic or socialist framework we are talking about. This is a basic difference. After the revolution, the first thing we will do will be redistribution of property. There will no longer be rich and poor, a big gap between the haves and the have-nots. That way when we organise competition there will be an equal chance for people to compete. But in the given framework of the imperialist and bourgeois democratic system there is a huge gap between the propertied and property-less working class. The competition is so uneven that the property-less working class can never compete with the propertied, the bourgeois and imperialist class. That way, only after carrying out this redistribution of property in a socialistic and New Democratic manner can you organise political competition where there will be a fair chance of everyone to compete on an equal footing. Our idea of competition in a New Democratic and socialist framework is therefore fundamentally different from the formal competition and practice in a bourgeois democratic and imperialist state. The difference in the class nature of the state should be appreciated.

WPRM: You’ve already discussed some aspects of the Cultural Revolution but I would like to go into that in more detail. The Cultural Revolution was the pinnacle of revolution in the 20th century, so what lessons do you and the UCPN(M) take from this?

Baburam Bhattarai: Yes we think the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was the pinnacle of revolution not only in the 20th century but in the whole history of the liberation of mankind. It is the pinnacle of the development of revolutionary ideas. So all the revolutionaries must make the Cultural Revolution their point of departure and develop the revolutionary idea and plan further.

The basic question of the Cultural Revolution was to continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. That was the basic idea. So first you need a dictatorship of the proletarian class, and for that you have to smash the whole state and complete the revolution, that is the first thing we have to do. After the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class needs to be constantly mobilised in a continuous revolution. Only then can we prevent the state degenerating into a bureaucratic apparatus. That is the basic idea. That’s why after the negative experiences of the Soviet Union and the initial negative experiences in China, Mao developed this concept of Cultural Revolution, giving the masses the right to rebel. He asked all the oppressed classes and people to rebel against the authority in power and he introduced Red Guards, people’s committees, all-round dictatorship of the proletariat in every field, in politics, economics and society, in cultural space, exercising all-round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie to continue the revolution. This is the fundamental aspect of the Cultural Revolution and this needs to be upheld and developed further.

But in our case since our class has not completed any revolution in the 21st century and there is no revolutionary socialist state in the world, we have to draw lessons from the Cultural Revolution and try to practice them within the revolutionary parties and within the mass organisations, and then after we complete the revolution then we can practice the basic tenets of the Cultural Revolution in the state. This is the basic lesson to be drawn. And what we would like to stress is that without taking the Cultural Revolution as the point of departure we cannot complete the revolution in any country in the present day world and we will not be able to reach socialism and communism if we don’t have this idea of continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. This idea of continuous revolution needs to be grasped very firmly. People generally think that once state power has been captured, the revolution is complete. But thinking like this means the initiative of the revolutionary masses will be diminished. That has been a flaw of earlier revolutions. What we need to practice now is the idea that the revolution never stops until all the classes are abolished, the state is abolished, the property system is abolished and we enter a classless and stateless society, or a commune of the masses of people is created. Until that stage is reached revolution never stops. This idea of Cultural Revolution needs to be firmly grasped and we are very serious on this issue.

WPRM: How do you practice Cultural Revolution within the party now?

Baburam Bhattarai: Within the party we allow broad and great democracy. The principle of the Communist Party is democratic centralism. We need centralism to guide the revolution, we need strong leadership, but if that leadership and centralism is not created on the broad foundation of democracy, that is not acceptable. Otherwise that leadership could degenerate into bureaucratic centralism. Right now within our party there are broad divisions on any issue, but the central leadership will mobilise the cadres and masses of people to discuss these issues and only then will the decision be taken. Once the decision is taken it will have to be carried out. But before taking the decision any issue must be broadly discussed so that the great exercise of democracy should be done first and on the basis of that the centralism will be created. Only that kind of centralism will be truly democratic centralism. This is what our party is trying to practice.

WPRM: What about the practice of two-line struggle within the party?

Baburam Bhattarai: Two-line struggle is also related to this question. Two-line struggle is the life of any party because everything is a unity of opposites in this world. Even the party is a unity of opposites. The policy of ‘one divides into two’ also applies to the party. So although there is a contention between proletarian and non-proletarian tendencies within any communist party, so there has to be a proper mechanism to organise a struggle of different tendencies within the party. Therefore two-line struggle needs to be promoted. The only thing is we have to be very careful in handling the two-line struggle. On this issue there are different tendencies within the International Communist Movement. One is very sectarian, once you enter into two-line struggle you always end up with a split. This is a sectarian or ultra-left tendency. The other is a right-revisionist tendency, which is to struggle and always compromise so that the party gets turned into a reformist group.

The correct MLM formulation is unity-struggle-transformation. We should struggle with the aim of achieving a higher level of unity. That’s the aim of the correct handling of two-line struggle in a revolutionary party. And our party has been very successfully conducting this method of two-line struggle with the aim of unity-struggle-transformation. We are interested in mainly transformation. If the aim is not transformation then it is not reaching a higher level of unity and then the two-line struggle always leads to a split. And a split of the proletarian party weakens our class and our ability to carry forward revolution. This lesson needs to be firmly grasped, especially among Maoist revolutionaries in the world today. In the name of carrying out two-line struggle they forget the aspect of reaching a higher level of unity and transformation. In that way the revolutionary parties remain as very small groups and collections and are not able to carry out revolution. I think these lessons, especially from Lenin and Mao, need to be drawn and practiced.

WPRM: As a way of concluding this interview, in the situation of continued pressure and the possibility of intervention from US imperialism and Indian expansionism in particular, do you think that socialism in one country can be developed in Nepal?

Baburam Bhattarai: This question of socialism in one country is a theoretical question to be debated. This is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Imperialism always consists of uneven and unequal development, so revolution within a country is not only a possibility, it is a must, because revolution won’t break out all over the world at the same time. That’s impossible as long as imperialism remains and uneven development is there. This is a basic tenet of Leninism which still holds true and we should grasp it. But in the specific case of a small country like Nepal, sandwiched between the big countries of India and China and being dictated over by US imperialism all over the world, if you don’t have support, international support, or there is no strong revolutionary movement, it will be very difficult to sustain the revolution. It may be possible to carry out the revolution to capture state power, but to sustain the state power and develop in the direction of socialism and communism we will need support from the international proletarian movement. That way the level of international support and international proletarian solidarity is important. After the growing influence of so-called globalisation, imperialist globalisation, the reaches of the imperialist power have gone to every corner of the world. If there is no strong international proletarian organisation to fight against imperialist intervention and domination, it will be difficult to sustain the revolution in one small country.

Keeping this in mind, we must however make revolution in our country, this is a must. But to sustain it and develop it further we need the backing of the international proletarian forces. For that we have to give more importance to internet work and the international community. This need is more important in the case of small countries like Nepal. In fact, in recent months we have been discussing this issue. To complete the revolution in Nepal and sustain it and develop it further, at least in the South Asian context, we need to have strong revolutionary solidarity and we need the backing from the international proletarian movement. We feel the events of the international proletarian movement worldwide and some of the institutions that are being developed are all important, like the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties in South Asia (CCOMPOSA) and the World People’s Resistance Movement (WPRM). These type of organisations are very important for the success of the revolution and to gather support at the international level for the success of our revolution.

WPRM: Thank you for your time.
Baburam Bhattarai: Thank you and lal salam!

Monday, October 26, 2009



Speaker: G N Saibaba
General Secretary
Revolutionary Democratic Front India

Friday 27th November 7pm
Merchmont Community Hall
62 Marchmont Street London.
WC1N 1AB, near Russell Square Station

Organised by:


(c/o BM Box 2978, London WC1N 3XX)

Supported by:

George Jackson Socialist League Britain
South Asia Solidarity Forum
World People’s Resistance Movement - Britain
Indian Workers Association (GB)
Democracy and Class Struggle

Indian Democracy in a State of Emergency - Arunduhti Roy

Maoist chairman asks cadres to be prepared for '3rd Janaandolan'

Maoist chairman ( Prachanda ) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has asked his party workers to be ready for a nationwide stir to be launched by the party soon.

Speaking at a tea reception organised by the Maoist-affiliated Newa State Council in the capital Monday afternoon, Dahal said the Maoist party is going to create a wave of protests which might well turn into third Janaandolan (people's movement), and party cadres to stay prepared for that.

Dahal maintained that there is a need for third Janaandolan to restore civilian supremacy, write the new constitution and bring the peace process to a logical end.

The Maoist strongman also claimed that some elements were conspiring to dissolve the Constituent Assembly and derail the peace process.

“Some people have already started talking about imposing President’s rule,” Dahal said, adding, “But, we are not going to run away from peace process nor are we going to let the CA dissolve.”

Whatever the provocations, the Maoists will not return to jungle, he added.

Dahal also said his party made a grave mistake by bringing current Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal into the CA and that the party was regretting the decision.

Earlier, addressing a gathering of senior Maoist cadres from Terai at the party headquarters Koteshwor Dahal said possibility of consensus among parties was getting weaker and that protests would be the next step.

Meanwhile, a prescheduled meeting of top leaders of the three major parties could not take place today due to Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala’s bad health.

Bilateral meetings of the three parties yesterday hit a snag after the Maoist side put forward a 'new proposal', seeking 'package agreement', which would include formation of a national unity government, among others.

Source: Nepal News

The Media Question and the Maoists

Posted by indianvanguard on October 26, 2009

A leaflet issued by Correspondence and Radical Notes

Admittedly it has been an old problem with most movements, that they have treated the media only as a means to an end, ‘a way of making themselves heard,’ and so long as they got some coverage with the help of conscientious friends within the media, they were satisfied. The larger dynamics of the media, as a certain sort of work, in a certain sort of work place, with human agents who are workers here, has not been addressed. Newspapers and news channels should be and can be the strongest arms of a democratic society; they can make sure that the voice of the people finds representation. Though cliché, one has to point out how the media can raise difficult questions, but the onus is upon journalists as responsible citizens and in their capacity as workers to raise them.

The decidedly undemocratic tenor of mainstream newspapers and news channels, whose editorial bosses seem to be dummies through which the state on the one hand and multinational capital on the other preach their doctrines, is not merely a sign of the larger move away from democratic values, but also of the way in which journalism is becoming an alienated activity. Responsible journalism, bent upon bringing out the democratic truth languishes as the unholy nexus of the state and moneyed interest decides the ‘line’ of a newspaper. The inability of journalists to raise their voices against recent pay-cuts in houses like The Times of India (TOI) is not unconnected from the destruction of democratic space within journalism and mass media. Both of these get subsumed in the large movement away from true democracy – maximization of profit that a few make, in the last analysis determines all these tendencies. That is to say that the general antipathy to democratic movements visible in the lack of honest media coverage and an anti-people, non-democratic shift in the Indian situation at large not only go hand in hand but are also born out of the same tendencies.

Where do we see all this? For one, in the highly disproportionate coverage of various people’s movements by mainstream media. For instance, the space/airtime given to non-violent movements like Narmada Bachao or in Tehri is negligible. One could argue that violent movements catch the media’s attention more, but they are nonetheless covered very selectively. The struggles in the North East against AFSPA are barely covered. No true attempt to understand ULFA or LTTE is to be found in the mainstream, no attempt to go to the depths of the issue and to not simply report (reinforce) the state’s position. While the many social activists who have done serious work in the North East, J&K, or Chattisgarh report the excesses and violence committed by the paramilitary, Special Police Officers or the Salwa Judum on innocents, it is only rarely, if ever, mentioned by the media. At the moment though, with the Maoists taking centre stage on the front pages of newspapers and on prime time news, one cannot complain on grounds of quantity. But on grounds of quality, even here there is a lot to be said.

It has been assumed that the Maoist movement is not a mass movement; it’s only a bunch of ‘outsiders’ imposing themselves upon hapless tribes. The absurdity of the ‘outsider’ clause becomes obvious if one spares a moment’s thought to the way in which they function. The nature and width of their activities could not have been made possible without mass support. This is not the place to substantiate this assertion. What one needs to recognize at the primary level is that this is an open question and needs to be treated as such. If it is an open question with many opinions, the least the media can do is give space to these opinions, and accept the complex nature of the issue. It might be pointed out that the debate shows on news-channels do bring in people of different opinions. However, a closer look at the dynamics of these shows will demonstrate how easily the biases of the mainstream hijack the entire debate. The newer, uncommon opinion cannot be expressed in the 10 seconds given to the participants, unlike the hegemonic narrative that we are all so familiar with. This inability to say everything in the imposed time limit is read as the lack of substance in these new voices, and a consensus on the issue is ‘created’.

Arnab Goswami is a good example. He seems to have found answers to all questions posed by him on his show. Furthermore, his show is an exercise in forcing his moment of epiphany upon others. ‘Mr. Varavara Rao, is Kobad Gandhy an ideologue or a terrorist, ideologue or terrorist, yes or no?’ We need to move beyond these multiple choice questions – reality is more layered than the media’s projection of it. We can all do with some thinking, including our editor-in-chief. Arnabism is actually symbolic of the lack of depth, and the fear of depths that haunts the journalism of big news houses. Maoist violence is highlighted again and again, often with cheap melodrama (showing the lack of humanity implicit in this form of reporting) as if it exists in a vacuum. Such portrayal denudes an act of its nature as an utterance, which responds to a situation (possibly another violent act on the state’s part) and is informed by necessities of a spatio-temporal/socio-political position. In the same way the struggles for self-determination are defined only in terms of their separatist or fundamentalist tendencies’, (one could go out on a limb and suggest that the refusal to understand or explain Islamic violence, as something more than madness or blood-thirstiness is a sign of the same problem). Just touching the surface, there too a very small section of the surface, the mainstream media presents it to its consumers (for that is what passive reception is) as the entire reality, the sole and complete truth.

It needs to be understood, and this cannot be stated any other way, that the media is responsible for manufacturing consent for war. It has taken the state’s call for war forward by eliminating dissenting voices within. In addition to several other things, the majoritarian nature of the media poses serious questions about any semblance of internal democracy. We have to make a choice between pushing for greater democracy within and allowing ourselves to get subsumed in the state’s narrative. If we choose the latter then we need to question the idea of journalism being ‘free and fair’ and see it as an instrument in the hands of a few who hold power and seek to keep it in their hands.

It is not only that journalists should try and understand the crucial position they can occupy in the struggles of the people. It is important for them to place themselves within these struggles, for even if they try to ‘keep out,’ their attempt to exclude themselves becomes the shape of their inclusion. It is never somebody else’s fight, it is always our own. In the final analysis journalists are nothing but (whether high paid or low) workers working under the imposition of capital, continuously losing control over their own work, unable to determine the conditions of their own existence.

Interview with CPI Maoist Leader Ganapathi

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

'UCPN-M will declare stir very soon'

Wednesday, 21 October 2009 18:22

Maoist vice-chairman Mohan Baidya Wednesday said his party was going to announce fresh stir very soon since the talks among the parties to resolve the current deadlock were going nowhere.

Maoist vice-chairman Mohan Baidya speaking at an interaction organised by Janasanchar Abhiyan in the capital Wednesday

Speaking at a programme organised by Janasanchar Abhiyan in Kathmandu, Baidya said the possibility of political consensus through talks was getting weaker and that his party would wage a protest movement, but would not give up dialogue right now.

He said the upcoming meeting of the Maoist standing committee would come up with the protest programmes.

The Maoist leader also blamed Nepali Congress and UML for the failed negotiations as the two ruling allies were not even ready to touch the main issue - the 'unconstitutional step' of the President.

Baidya, who is considered a hardliner in the Maoist party, also claimed that the current government was working against constitution-drafting and the peace process.

Baiya, who accompanied party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the 8-day long China visit recently, also said the visit was successful and that the Chinese leaders emphasised that peace process and the task of constitution-drafting could not be completed by bypassing the Unified CPN-M.

During the discussions with the Chinese leaders, the Maoist leadership also assured that no anti-China activities would be allowed in Nepali soil, Baidya informed.

Why Operation Green Hunt will fail

Posted by indianvanguard on October 21, 2009

The government says there is no ‘war’ against Naxals – yet it’s preparing for one. However, Operation Green Hunt is a disaster in the making. Why? Because the government has so far failed to identify the root of the Naxal problem – namely itself.

As with numbers – P. Chidambaram has his way with words too. “We do not wage war against our own people,” said the enlightened Home Minister; this even after it became evident that the Naxals were on a warpath against the Union of India, their orgy of mass killings and beheadings continuing unabated. But away from the preying microphones, the minister wasn’t exactly walking the talk; on the contrary, he was busy charting out the largest military operation against the Naxals ever undertaken by any government.

True that Chidambaram’s ambitious plan of a virtual blitzkrieg against the Naxals was pruned down by the CCS – but even in its abridged form, it’s a mobilization of massive proportions. Sample this – New Delhi is sending 27,000 troops to the Naxal-hit areas, six (or more) Mi-17 choppers will provide air support (with special forces guards on board), a special forces school and a brigade HQ to be set up in Chhattisgarh (add to this, the local state forces and specialized anti-Naxal forces who will join in). The Home Minister might not want to admit it – but the ‘war’ it’s denying is set to break out in November.

The first theatre of action is likely to be Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and Kanker in Chhattisgarh. Forces will try to push the Maoists into ‘Abuj Marh’ (literally ‘unknown jungle’ in the local dialect) area of Chhattisgarh, an old Maoist stronghold, and it’s here that Naxals are trained to this day. It’s here where the decisive battle may be fought. Now all this sounds great on paper – but the only problem is that – the forces don’t know who they are supposed to be fighting against. Since the distinction between a Maoist and a tribal is vague – the job of dealing with them becomes all the more challenging. So it brings us to three questions that must be answered by the government, before any more blood is spilt.
First Question- Will ‘Operation Green Hunt’ be successful?
Honestly the answer is a big NO. Call me a Naxal sympathizer, but like me, if you ever face the brutal wrath of the local police in heartland India – your world view will witness a paradigm shift within seconds. I was in West Bengal last July – covering the offensive launched by the state administration to counter the Naxals in Lalgarh. It was here, during one of the shoots that my cameraperson and I were chased down a road in Midnapore district by the West Bengal police and hit with sticks.

Our crime??? We had dared to shoot the police breaking down doors and hauling up village youngsters for ‘questioning’. (What happens in these ‘questionings’ I don’t need to tell you) When journalists could be treated like dogs by the police – I began to grasp the plight of the local villagers who don’t have a voice – or redressal system of any sort. The moral of the story is very simple – between the two evils of Naxalism and Police, the tribals choose the former. At least Naxals don’t rape, maim and kill without reason.

Second Question – Who started the Fire?
There is little debate that the government did; and every time we refer to the Naxals as a ‘menace’ we add credence to the theory that Naxals are some sort of alien virus that came and ravaged our picturesque countryside that was otherwise peaceful, plentiful and prosperous.

Let me make it clear, I abhor the mindless philosophy of the Naxals and their warped world view – but unlike a myopic government I also see Naxalism as a manifestation of popular discontent – created by the laxities in the system. Sadly, Naxalism has thrived because these glaring shortcomings have not been addressed.

The Home Minister says that he will follow a ‘clear and hold’ policy – which in less flashy terms – means that once the area has been cleared of Naxals, the government will provide development to the area. It’s a brilliant idea – only if it had struck the government in the course of the last 62 years, then things would not have come to such a head. It’s ironic, but the Naxal ‘menace’ may finally bring some development to these impoverished regions of India.

On my tour of Lalgarh, this is one saying that I came across time and again – “That in the night if you hold your hand to your face in this region, you would not be able to see it. It’s so dark.” This axiom actually hits home the point of how backward (or pitch dark) many regions of this nation can be. Here Sensex, Liberalization, Nuclear Deal, etc don’t mean a thing- because words like Education, Clean Water, Medicines and Property Rights are still struggling to make inroads. The mandarins in North Block need to see the abject condition of the tribals and the exploitation of the villagers in heartland India to appreciate why tribals support the Maoists.

Why would tribals armed with ancient bows and arrows want to take on the might of state and central paramilitary forces in Lalgarh and elsewhere? Either they are crazy or their levels of desperation are such that they don’t mind dying. Sadly the government thinks that the tribals must be crazy.

Third Question – What is the course of action to follow then?
Well to begin with, stop foolhardy adventurism against the Naxals. A little respect for your enemy enables you to plot a faster and more comprehensive win. For instance, the government thought (foolishly) that arming villagers against Naxals was a brilliant idea…now after years of denying it – the government admits that the Salva Judum ended up doing more harm than good. Even the NHRC notes that Judum members along with security forces were responsible for “widespread arson, rape, forced disappearances, suspect encounters and extrajudicial killings”.

Once the forces have learnt to give some respect to the lives of people – work can start to give them some fundamental rights and development too. The corrupt administration has to be revamped to usher in progress at the grassroots level. Poor governance resulted in the rise of Naxalism, that’s a fact that even the government has accepted now. End of debate.

The Tribal Bill exists only on paper – states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have not even acted on it. When you don’t give a tribal his basic rights and tell him to stay away from the forests that he’s always depended on – you are effectively making him a Naxal sympathizer/Naxalite – it would be interesting to see how the government wants to combat this situation with FORCE.

True that these measures will take time – but then the problem was not created overnight, six decades of neglect cannot be swept away with one security sweep. The Home Minister perhaps should know this by now.

And talking about security sweep – the most decisive push against the Naxals till now had been Lalgarh. The Lalgarh experiment was even described as a success in many quarters. It certainly did not look like a success to me when I was there – and certainly doesn’t look like one when I study data coming out of the region.

For instance – since June 18, 2009 (when the Naxals had been pushed out of the region)

- 82 people killed (of course most of them CPM cadres)
- 15 CPM offices ransacked in broad daylight
- 100 houses (again mostly of CPM cadres) ransacked / burnt
- Thousands of people chased away from their homes.

If this is the situation AFTER the security crackdown – the efficacy of force becomes only too obvious. The government should use force where it works – namely along the borders. Here it should use its head.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Yellow journalism’s vilification campaign and blame game propaganda against the Maoist revolutionaries of India…….

An open letter by P.Govindan Kuttyto all print and electronic media in portraying Maoist revolutionaries as Terrorists and NAXAL’S India’s Taliban?

All sorts of criminal activities including murders and rapes which occur, including many carried out by fascist gangs organized by the big landlords, or even by the “security forces” themselves, are falsely blamed on the CPI (Maoist). One recent case in point is the Amousi Massacre

1.The Amousi Massacre — On or about Sept. 29, 2009, a criminal gang killed 16 people, including 5 children, in the village of Amousi (or Amausi, or Icharwa-Amousi) in Bihar’s Khagaria District. This massacre was immediately blamed on the “Maoists” by the government and media. The articles below include just a few of the barrage of false accusations, and then a few articles with grudging admissions that later appeared which showed that the whole attribution of the crime to the CPI (Maoist) was a complete fabrication. Of course these eventual admissions received far less publicity than the initial lies, and moreover they also include new unsupported or false accusations!

•“India Must Check Maoist Menace”, an editorial from the Gulf News, Oct. 2, 2009.
•“Maoist Rebels Kill 16 Villagers in Eastern India”, AFP, Oct. 2, 2009.
•“Land Row Sparks Maoist Carnage in Bihar”, Hindustan Times, Oct. 2, 2009.
•“Doesn’t Look Like Our Op, Says Top Maoist”, The Times of India, Oct. 4, 2009.
•Police Now Admit that Bihar Killers were Criminals, Not Maoists, Hindustan Times, Oct. 4, 2009.
•“Carnage is Work of Goons, says Naxalite”, The Times of India, Oct. 6, 2009.
2.General Articles on Disinformation About the Indian Revolution and the Maoists

“PC [P. Chidambaram] Becomes the Flaming Arrowhead [against the Maoists], The Telegraph Oct. 11, 2009. This article speaks openly about the orchestration of a “gathering storm” of propaganda and psychological warfare in preparation for the launching of the military war against the Maoists.

This blame game propaganda & psychological warfare tactics against the Maoists by the government and the police were there on earlier occasions too whenever a Maoist leader was arrested are killed in ‘encounters’ as claimed by the police. The arrest of Kobad Gandhy came to light only after three days on 21st September in print media. Then on it was the job of print & electronic media to drum-beat police version. After my arrest on 19th December 2007, Sessions court while dismissing my bail petition parroted the police version, if the confession of the petitioner as borne out by the case diary files was anything to go by, he was a life convict for having murdered his wife. This was drum-beated by the print & electronic media. The Hindu (India’s National newspaper) dated 8th January,2008. (My wife is very well alive in Hyderabad)

From the beginning of the first week of October 2009 this blame game propaganda & psychological warfare tactics against the Maoists by the government and the police were further intensified after the alleged beheading of a police officer Francis Induwar in the print & electronic media by portraying NAXAL’S India’s Taliban?

Dear pressmen & TV channel hoisters,

Aam aadhmi janthe hein ki “dho rupye ki moongpali bejkhar jeenewalon kho be ye khaki vardhiwale nahin chodthein, unse be dhus rupye lethein. Ye khakiardhiwale aam janata ke surakaksha ke liye nahin, balki hume thung karnewale hein”.

General public knows very well that these men in khaki never leave even the people who make their livelihood by selling two rupees worth ground nut, take Rs 10/= from them too. They are not for our security; their only job was to harass the people.

You must ask yourself; or else conduct a survey on how many were able to digest your news and how many Indians are fond of policemen? From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, every Indian deeply mistrusts the average policeman. The average cop is corrupt. He is obese. He is insane with power…. In the eyes of the tribals who are fighting for their livelihood the police is nothing but terrorist in khaki; if one of them gets beheaded, they think it’s no big deal. Such logic does not equate the Maoists with the Taliban as both their aims and ideologies differ. How can a Prime Minister of a ‘democratic’ country say, while dealing with Maoists, there may be human rights violation? By such saying does he want the peoples’ approval for the misdeeds of police? He knows very well that he won’t able to tame the lawlessness of the police. One won’t find a single Naxalite or a Maoist if the lawlessness of the Indian Police are tamed and made to serve the people honestly.

After the brutal torture and killing many a revolutionary leaders and cadres by capturing them from somewhere and killing them elsewhere in fake encounters and after a series of legal struggles by human rights activists the full bench of The AP High Court in its historic judgment made it mandatory for the police to file an FIR and register a case under Sec 302 of the IPC on every encounters by the police. It is for the police to prove in the court of law that they fired in self-defense. Instead of the AP State government, The Police Officer’s Association filed an appeal and stayed the operation of the judgment. In May 2009, Patel Sudhakar Reddy CCM of CPI (Maoists) was picked up from Nashik, brutally tortured and killed in Warangal, 800 kms away in fake encounter. Human Rights activists probing fake encounters and police excesses were branded as Maoists with human rights mask. Many a human rights activists, to name a few, Dr. Ramanatam, Dr. Narayan, Purushottam. Azam Ali, Kalra, Parag Kumar Dass were murdered by the mercenary gangs of the state. Belly Lalitha, a cultural activist’s body was found in 17 pieces.

Justice AN Mulla has correctly said, “There is not a single lawless group in the whole of the country whose record of crimes comes anywhere near the record of that organized unit which is known as the Indian Police”.

CPI (Maoist) party is the only party in Indian history that owned the responsibility of any of its acts, and if any mistakes are committed by the party, it apologized to the public. Before getting the version of the party on the incident, print & electronic media started portraying NAXAL’S India’s Taliban?

In India more than 50% of the print and electronic media are owned either directly or indirectly by political parties. Another 40% are pressurized to toe the lines of the government in power. The remaining 10% who does a true and fair reporting faces the wrath of the government in power. Sakshi TV channel, owned by YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s son, continued to mislead public by saying YSR’s copter landed safely at Kurnool and the CM is safe till the evening. The other TV channels have no other option than to follow. He owns a newspaper too in the name of Sakshi. Even Madhavan Nair’s satellite was unable to track the debris of the copter.

The CPI (Maoist) has abducted many a policemen on earlier occasions and set them free un-harmed. It was during the period of blame game, propaganda & psychological warfare tactics against the Maoists by the government and the police, the news regarding the alleged beheading of the police officer Francis Induwar broke out. The Maoist party to the alleged beheading of the police officer has not come out with its official version of the incident. There were conflicting reports both in print and electronic media regarding the demands put forth by Maoists for the release of abducted police officer. Home Minister P.Chidambaram has said that no demands were put forth by the Maoists. Jharkhand government (President’s rule) rejected the demands of the Maoists. Some media reported that the killing was done before putting forth the demands. Police officer Induwar’s wife has gone on record by saying the government did not care for her husband’s life for six days after the abduction. She further added that they searched AP Chief Minister’s body within 24 hours. There were no communication between the Maoists and the government. The Maoists too learnt lessons from the arrest of Chatradar Mahato, being arrested by policemen posing as journalists. Unlike the government they don’t have prisons to hold the captives.

Like Francis Induwar many of those thousands of Sikhs burnt alive by Congress barbarians with tyres around their neck have wife and children. Many of those thousands of Muslims burnt alive by Modi’s goons have wife and children. There are many untold stories of police atrocities. People of this country are aware of the misdeeds of politicians and the police. People of this country can not and will not digest your print & electronic media portraying Maoists as terrorists or NAXAL’S as India’s Taliban. As more and more people are being pushed towards Maoist politics due to failed democratic process and police repression, all these 62 years of so-called Independence, the anger expressed by Francis Induwar’s son on the print and electronic media that he will join police and fight Maoists has no effect on general public. I too have three boys like Francis Induwar. If you approach my three children and reveal the story published in Mathrubhumi weekly dated 3rd February 200 & Madhyamam weekly dated 10th March 2008 and if they come to know how their mother was brutally tortured in police custody, they too like Francis Induwar’s son would say, “We will leave our lucrative jobs and join Maoists and kill hundreds of police officers”. Will you air their anger and expressions in the print and against the politicians and the police?

The Maoists have not landed from some other planets or country to destroy India. They are part and parcel of Indian blood.

The arrest of comrade Kobad Ghandy is being touted as a big success of the Intelligence officials and media portraying him as terrorist. 3,000 years back Gautam Buddha left the kingly pleasures and said, Desire is the cause of all sufferings. Desire should be abolished”. 150 years back Karl Marx came out with his scientific theory, “Private property is the cause of all sufferings. Private property should be abolished”. For the people of this country Kobad Gandhy is a Buddha of modern age. He hails from a rich, elitist background. Interestingly, he was the class mate of Sanjay Gandhi at Doon school. Both the Gandhis went to London. One joined the Rolls Royce as apprentice. The other Gandhy at Oxford University. Both Gandhis returned to India. One Gandhy left his heavenly pleasures from a giant sea facing house in Worli, joined revolutionary politics and worked among the poorest of the poor (dalits & adivasis). The other Gandhi entered the daughters bedrooms of Army, Navy and Air Force Officers. This Gandhi entered the Doordarshan Kendra on 25th June 1975 with a video cassette of the film Bobby and asked the Director to broadcast Bobby cancelling the scheduled programmes to prevent the people from attending JP’s meeting. This Gandhi ordered PS Bhinder Police Commisioner to bulldoze Turkman Gate residents. This Gandhi under his five point programme of forcible sterilization was targeting Muslim population. The other Gandhy (Kobad) married Anuradha (An M Phil Sociologist), both leaving their heavenly life and worked among the poorest of the poor, dalits and adivais for their up-liftment. People close to him know that Anuradha wanted a child. But it was Kobad who was against this saying having a child will be an hindrance to revolutionary work. It was this Gandhi being portrayed as a big terrorist.

People’s March thanks Shoma Chaudhury of ‘Tehelka’ for the cover story “Weapons of Mass Destruction” dated 3rd October, 2009, in giving a diplomatic bashing for the ‘Times Now’ TV anchor Arnab Goswami for his aggressive rhetoric against the Maoists and for the report.

People’s March thanks Aditya Sinha, Editer-in-chief of ‘The New Indian Express’, for editorial “Cowboy and Red Indians” dated 10th October, 2009.

Dear journalists from print and electronic media,

“They can pluck and destroy all the flowers. They can’t hold back the spring”.

So carries my humble appeal to the print and electronic media not to succumb to pressures of the corrupt government and the police officers.

P.Govindan Kutty

Editor, People’s March 18th October 2009