On 9-05-2012 Home Minister P. Chidambaram while replying in Rajya Sabha said – “Maoists ‘kidnapping’ young collectors, elected representatives and foreigners indicates a clear shift in the nature of the Maoist extremism and shows that Maoists are resorting to ‘terror’ tactics to bend the state government to their demands and that Maoists seek to stop development in those districts.” He reiterated his government’s resolve to continue the anti-naxal operations by following a two-pronged strategy of development and security related strategies to face this challenge.
Chidambaram was obviously referring to the recent ‘kidnaps’ of the Italian tourists and Jhina Hikaka (MLA) in Odisha and collector Alex Paul Menon in Chhattisgarh. This statement also comes in the backdrop of the centre pushing hard for the formation of the NCTC. The government wants to put each and every just struggle under the head of so-called ‘terrorism’ and suppress the movements that they are part of. With the May 5th meeting with the Chief Ministers not reaching a decisive conclusion on the formation of NCTC, P. Chidambaram even while trying every trick in his basket to form it, is fast weaving his vicious web to create opinion that would push every action taken by the people for their genuine demands into the so-called ‘terrorism’ vat and consequently makes every citizen who participates in these struggle forms a so-called ‘terrorist’.
Firstly, we want to state that these are not ‘kidnaps’ done for ransom, vendetta, personal demands or settling scores. People are ‘arresting’ them and putting the genuine long-standing collective demands of the oppressed people, particularly the Adivasis in those areas in front of the government. All the demands are pertaining to the severe excruciating state repression that has been unleashed on them, particularly for the release of thousands of Adivasis incarcerated in the jails and their leaders. 3000 Adivasis are in jails in Chhattisgarh while 6000 Adivasis are in jails in Jharkhand. Thousands more are jailed in Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and other states for fighting against displacement and for Jal-Jungle-Zameen. Peasants fighting the land lords with the slogan ‘Land to the tiller’ and fighting police atrocities have been put in jails in large numbers in areas like Narayanapatna and Lalgarh. They had been implicated under false cases and denied bails in the most unjust manner. Many had been arrested in front of the jail gates after being granted bails and again put in jails after foisting more false cases on them. In fact, most of them would have been released even if they had been sentenced. Such is the callousness of the Indian state towards the Adivasis and the poor of our country and the reason for this is to pave the way for corporate loot of natural resources in the mineral rich forest areas of our country.
The sole reason for such ‘arrests’ is not any so-called ‘terrorist tendencies’ among the people or the CPI (Maoist) leading them but the Indian State. If at all it had delivered justice to the people at any point of their life, people would not have been forced to take up such struggle forms to get their demands fulfilled. A people crushed under the iron heels of the State are very rarely taking up such forms after taking up all kinds of struggle forms like dharnas, bandhs, rallies, protest marches, hunger strikes – in one word every kind of collective struggle form involving hundreds and thousands of people for days, weeks, months or even years together to get their people (ranging from juveniles to very elderly persons) released. The Indian state always answered with bullets, more arrests, more beatings, more custodial deaths, more false cases and more ‘abductions’ of these agitators. The police, paramilitary, judiciary, civil administration, bureaucracy etc that constitute the Indian State are acting like the tentacles of a giant Octopus and entangling the people and making them breathless. The struggles of political prisoners in the jails are also being crushed most brutally. The rights to which prisoners are entitled are also violated most blatantly. It is this suffocating situation inside and outside jails that is leading to arrests of government representatives by people.
With all doors closed for justice, such struggle forms are taken up to find some respite from the umpteen numbers of violations of human rights of the Adivasi people by the central and state armed forces. In a country where media corporations are in cahoots with the interests of the imperialists, MNCs and the big land lords and do not lend their voice or space to the poor people, sometimes such struggle forms are being used by the people to even bring the genuine demands of theirs to the attention of the citizens of this country.
A quick perusal of the main demands put forward during such arrests would give anybody a fair idea about the ordeal of people under Operation Green Hunt (OGH). They are demanding the release of ordinary Adivasis who were ‘kidnapped’ by the state and have been traceless since then or were put in jails under fabricated charges and they are demanding the release of their leaders. On such occasions, they are also focusing the demand to end the multi-pronged country-wide offensive named OGH but in reality a ‘War on People’ – on the toiling masses of our country, most of whom are Dalits and Adivasis and half of whom are invariably women.
The young collectors that Chidambaram is speaking of are implementing the ‘development’ part of the two-pronged strategy and this development leads to nothing but the impoverishment and displacement of the hundreds of thousands of Adivasis and is nothing but the other side of the coin that has repression on one side. And the foreigners he is speaking of were taking objectionable photos of Adivasi women as part of tourism that the Indian state wants to promote at the cost of the dignity of the Adivasi people. There is no need to write much about the ‘elected representatives’ that are part of the rotten parliamentary system reeking of corruption, nepotism and is implementing nothing but anti-people policies as dictated by their imperialist masters. These representatives have done nothing to get the poor Adivasis released from the jails and deliver justice to them in all the years of their tenure. In fact, they are very much part of the implementation of OGH in their areas.
So we appeal to all democrats and citizens of this country to truly distinguish who the real ‘terrorists’ are – is it the poor Adivasis led by their party the CPI (Maoist) resorting to some struggle forms for their genuine demands or the Indian State that is unleashing ‘terror’ day in and day out on the disadvantaged destitute of our country? We appeal to the Indian masses to support the genuine demands put forward by the people during such arrests and fight for their fulfillment by joining hands with them. Our party firmly believes that a broad united struggle of the Indian masses is compulsory and necessary for getting the indisputable democratic rights of the deprived to be realized in practice.
It is the democratic right of the people to take up various struggle forms for fulfilling their genuine demands or even to propagate them when every inch of democratic space is being gradually but rapidly occupied by the giant octopus that is the Indian State. When this space is getting shrunk with each passing day due to the marching of the security forces in their hamlets and villages and now with the formation of a fascist institution like the NCTC, it is the inalienable right of the people to resort to various struggle forms including arrests of this kind. No struggle form is anathema to the fighting people as long as they adhere to mass line and class line as taught by our Marxist Teachers.
Chidambaram is saying that formation of NCTC is the ‘need of the hour’. Through this fascist institution modeled on the NCTC of US, the Indian ruling classes and the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists backing them wish to crush every democratic aspiration and genuine demand of the people. The ‘need of the hour’ is to fight back such fascist attempts by the Indian State to crush every political struggle and struggle form in the name of so-called ‘terrorism’. The Indian people would definitely defeat the two-pronged strategy of ‘development’ and repression (two sides of the same coin) of the central and state governments by creatively inaugurating a rainbow of myriad struggle forms. Yes, of course, Mr. Chidambaram! The people led by the CPI (Maoist) definitely wish to put a stop to your anti-people, pro-imperialist, undemocratic and repressive ‘development’ model. They categorically reject it and are very clear about it. They would prove with their uncompromising struggle for New Democratic Revolution that true ‘development’ is what they aspire for while having the interests of their children and their ecology at heart and not what the ruling classes want to impose on them while having the interests of the MNCs and the big land lords at heart.