Following is the translated (originally in Hindi) text of Hem Mishra’s letter, who is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.
Last month, 20th of August marked the completion of a year of my incarceration by the Maharashtra Police. In spite of being a cultural activist and a student of the well-known Jawaharlal Nehru University, I have been booked under several clauses of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). I have been imprisoned in the High Security Cell (called Anda Cell) of the Nagpur Jail in extreme segregation. On 6th September my bail petition was rejected in the Gadhchiroli sessions court of Maharashtra. Inside the closed doors of the jail, I had hoped that justice will shine through like a ray of light. But the rejection of my plea, has instead put my hopes to rest.
The court order denies my natural right to breathe in open air and live a free life. Today, through the efforts of many democratic and progressive individuals and organisations, it has been ensured that the process of seeking bail from the court should begin as soon as possible. It has become a burning issue in the country today, that how the powers-that-be find it convenient to prey on dissenters and imprison them in thousands, in various jails of the country. It is due to the efforts of democratic and progressive people that even the Supreme Court has come to the conclusion that the right to seek bail has to be ensured to all prisoners-under-law. From time to time, the Supreme Court has given specific directives to lower courts as well to ensure this. Despite all these the Gadhchiroli Sessions has refused to accept my bail petition and enforced further confinement on a cultural activist.
[Increasingly, Indian media reports are little more than repeating a note or memo from the local police. Such reports are clearly not generated by an editor sending out a reporter whose diligent reportorial zeal uncovers something new in the neighborhood, and rushes back with this "breaking news." -- Frontlines ed.]
By Express News Service, 27th October 2014
VADAKARA: Wall posters and notices in the name of banned group CPI (Maoist) appeared at some locations in Vadakara police station limit on Sunday.
The posters also asked the people to join CPI(Maoist) for a new democratic-unexploited India by strengthening the ‘class struggle’.
The posters requested people to be united with the CPI(Maoist) ‘to defeat the imperialist government and its armed forces’. The group also asks the people to reclaim the rights for forest, water and land.
[The Indian state’s war on tribal people (adivasis) and their Maoist champions is guided by the historic colonizer’s strategy book. When they order troops from colonized nations within India to fight people rising against Indian State terror, it is useful to remember …. this has been done, many times, before.
When hostages identify with their captors, it is called the "Stockholm Syndrome." As Malcolm X pointed out, when "House Negroes" see the Master's house is on fire, they run for water to extinguish the flames, while "Field Negroes" get gasoline so the fire will burn more intense. In this sense, as Steve Biko said, "The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." These "mental" weapons for the oppressors become material, when the oppressed take up arms for the oppressor. The rejection of such colonized deployments is a critical part of every liberation and revolution.
When the French colonizers fought the British colonizers in North America, they manipulated indigenous people (“Indians”) to do their fighting for them. When, after the US Civil War, the Northern victors set out to conquer the native “Indians” in lands to the West, they deployed Black soldiers (“Buffalo Soldiers”) to carry through the colonization fight. When Europeans were facing uprisings across colonized Africa, they most commonly sent their native colonial troops to suppress the anti-colonial challengers.
Hundreds of such examples dot the pages of colonial history – and in some cases, like the San Patricio Battalion (Irish migrants who were deployed by the US in the “Mexican War” of the 1840’s), or Black troops deployed against the Filipino independence fighters in early 1900s, or US soldiers in Vietnam who became resisters and fraggers, the deployment of oppressed soldiers against other oppressed peoples was rejected and many refused to fight, and some joined the resistance of the colonized. This struggle to exorcise the influence of the oppressor, to de-colonize the minds of the oppressed, continues today in Nagaland, in Chhattisgargh, and everywhere oppression and resistance is found. -- Frontlines ed.]
MCPM urges Nagas to resist deployment in Maoist areas
Correspondent IMPHAL, Nagaland Post, October 23, 2014
Major General R. K. Sharma, Additional Director General, NCC Directorate North Eastern Region Shillong on his visit to Ist Nagaland Girls Battalion, NCC Kohima on April 9. The ADG highlighted the NCC activities and various opportunities and incentives offered by NCC. He appreciated the state government for its support towards NCC activity in Nagaland. Patkai College has been selected by UGC to take up National Cadet Corps (NCC) as elective subject in the curriculum from the academic year 2013-14.
Maoists have put up posters at Kalimela Policestation area in Malkangiri districts of Orissa asking people to cooperate with them to make the PLGA week observation a success
The Manipur based underground group Maoist Communist Party Manipur (MCPM) has asked Naga Regiments not to allow themselves to be deployed in the Maoist stronghold areas of India, especially in Dandakaranya Revolutionary zone.
Publicity and propaganda secretary Comrade Nonglen Meitei of the outfit, in a statement dispatched to the local media, appealed to the Naga Regiment to oppose the implementation of this decision regarding their deployment.
It further appealed the regiment not to go to Chhattisgarh as “slaves” while urging to raise their voices against the forceful deployment and showed solidarity towards the revolutionary people of that region who are fighting for their very existence. Continue reading →
[In India, 2014 has brought many issues to the fore, not least of which is the rise of Narendra Modi as national leader, after securing his notoriety as the protector and defender of the anti-Moslem Gujarat Massacre over a decade ago. Modi's rise, welcomed by Western imperialism and multi-national corporations, has brought further national centralization of the state's brutal repression against oppressed peoples, tribals, dalits, democratic and revolutionary activists. And the 2014 Modi-India persona further disguises the official national culture -- Hindutva excluvist, caste-ist, and xenophobic -- by hypocritically and pretentiously claiming a humanitarian, peaceful, and moral charm or charisma by further invoking a mythologized Gandhi as the Father of Indian National Identity. In challenging this mythology, Arundhati Roy has provided an important counter-narrative, and has come under vitriolic attack from The Powers That Be. See the following video interview by Laura Flanders, and the magazine interview by Leena Chandran, for details on the struggle for clarity and truth about Mahatma Gandhi. -- Frontlines ed.]
On The Laura Flanders Show: Author/activist Arundhati Roy on the Annihilation of Caste, B.R. Ambedkar and the Western myth of Mahatma Gandhi
Hidden in plain sight
Wednesday 17 September 2014
by Leena Chandran, Manorama Online
In July, Arundhati Roy provoked outrage from many quarters by stating that the generally accepted image of Mahatma Gandhi was a lie. Speaking at the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, she also called for institutions bearing his name to be renamed. The Booker prize winning author’s comments rekindled a long-running historical argument over Gandhi’s views on caste and catapulted hot debate in Kerala media. In this exclusive interview Arundhati Roy tells Leena Chandran why she will not be changing her views on Gandhi. The Gandhi controversy is a belated one, I feel. It should have taken place earlier this year had people closely read ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ soon after its publication. In fact, what you said in the Ayyankali memorial lecture at Department of History, Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram is not as inflammable as the ideas you share in’The Doctor and the Saint’…
I wouldn’t go so far as to call ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ inflammable, though of course it has generated a fair amount of controversy from many quarters, even some unexpected ones. That’s to be expected, because it’s vexed territory. Yes it does question conventional ways of thinking, mostly by quoting from the lesser known writings of Gandhi. It was written as an introduction to Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste. Ambedkar’s views challenge the established order in profound and radical ways. The controversy around Gandhi’s views on race and caste started long before I wrote The Doctor and the Saint. You could say that it started with the Ambedkar-Gandhi debate. It has been debated for years in the world of Dalit politics—but that has been carefully and successfully kept out of the establishment discourse. The mayhem in the Kerala media post my Ayyankali Memorial Lecture is just noisy posturing by some people who couldn’t be bothered to read Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste, or The Doctor and the Saint, or anything much else. Not even the works of Gandhi who they are so keen to defend. There are many vested interests involved in this debate. It may be too much to expect them to change. But the young will change their views. For sure.
[The year 2014 in India has seen an intensification of the class struggle, mass resistance and democratic activism, armed resistance and revolutionary struggle in growing areas throughout India. And the news has often focused on the state repression, mass arrests and police killings, and the increased incidence and prominence of attacks on women. In two articles here, the police acknowledge the ever-growing role of women in Maoist leadership, as women are now a majority of combat fighters in the revolutionary party and armed units. The first article appeared soon after International Women's Day (March 8), and the second appeared this week. It should be said that while the police talk of noticing this trend now, women have long played a significant role in the Maoist organization. -- Frontlines ed.] …………….
Women Maoist commanders play big role in encounters
Written by Vijaita Singh, IndianExpress | New Delhi | March 17, 2014
Women commanders have come to constitute almost half of the armed cadre of Maoists and are playing a major role in encounters, like they had done in the Sukma encounter in Chhattisgarh on March 11, security forces believe.
A Maoist poster pays homage to their women cadre on International Women’s Day
It is difficult to get a headcount but a rough number of women killed in encounters last year was available after security forces stumbled upon Maoist posters and pamphlets to pay them homage on International Women’s Day. One poster in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra paid homage to 17 women commanders killed in encounters over the year.
In the past one year, there has been a significant increase in women joining the armed wing of Maoists. Maoists do not leave behind their dead and take away the bodies. The posters enabled security forces to get a headcount.
Posters recovered from Gadchiroli identified some of the women as Indra, Dhanni, Geeta, Anita, Swarupa, Santila, Pramila, Seema, Reshma, Vasanti, Champa and Mamta. It said, “mahila bina kranti nahin, kranti bina shoshan mukt samaj nahin (no revolution without women and without revolution there can’t be an exploitation-free society).
In the March 11 encounter in Sukma in Chhattisgarh where 15 security personnel were killed, women Maoist commanders played a role, according to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) which lost 11 men. The state police personnel lost four men. In a presentation to the MHA, the CRPF had said Maoists were divided into three groups, and one group comprised mainly of women commanders in black uniform who fired from behind. After a drop in male recruits and desertion, Maoists have started recruiting women on a large scale.
“Female Naxals Get Combat Role”
The Asian Age, October 14, 2014 – Rabindra Nath Choudhury | Raipur
The CPI (Maoist) leadership has of late effected a radical structural change in the outfit by drafting more and more women cadre in combat roles besides ensuring their fast rise in the rebel hierarchy, intelligence sources said on Monday.
The sea change in the organisational structure has been brought on strategic point of view to transform it from a male-dominated outfit to women-centric one, a senior police officer quoting intelligence reports told this newspaper here. “In 2008, Maoists’ top hierarchy comprised barely 25 per cent women. The women representation in Maoist top hierarchy has now grown by leap and bounds to a staggering 60 per cent. This clearly indicates that the CPI (Maoist) is heading towards a women-dominated radical force in coming days”, the police officer said requesting anonymity. Continue reading →
[The arrest of civil rights activists in Andhra Pradesh is a dramatic extension of the state's intensified suppression of rights activists. Eleven were arrested -- for organizing a press conference, and for organizing a protest petition against -- but police claimed this was only to deal with the "Maoist threat." Here, below, is the response of civil liberty organizations, followed by a mainstream (police directed) article which equates Maoism with rights activism. -- Frontlines ed.]
October 10, 2014
Detention of civil rights activists in Vishakhapattanam “a threat to constitutionalism, rule of law”: PUCL
Deccan Chronicle: “The police thwart the committee’s call for a public meeting in protest against operation Green Hunt, an anti-Naxal operation by the security forces in various the states”
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has strongly condemned “arbitrary and illegal” detention of civil liberties activists and human rights defenders in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, on October 9, 2014 when they were trying to hold a press conference at the Civil Library, Vishakhapatnam, to announce a meeting on October 12 to protest against Operation Green Hunt. “The hostile and intimidatory action of the police was supported at the highest level in the state government”, said PUCL, adding, this was clear “when the Vizag police arrested five other human rights activists who had gone to the Camp Office of DIG, Vishakhapatnam Range, to bring to his notice the illegal arrests of their colleagues.”
Signed by Prof Prabhakar Sinha, national president, PUCL, and Dr V Suresh, national general secretary, PUCL, the statement by the influential civil rights group said, “The fact that the Andhra Pradesh police released the activists subsequently does not mitigate from the fact that the government and police’s action constitute a serious threat to constitutionalism, rule of law and fundamental right to free speech and expression, assembly and dissent.”
[During electoral campaigns in India, candidates and parties often post publicity posters ("flex signs") -- a method which Maoists have apparently also adopted to promote their revolutionary program and slogans, to the distress of State police and their electoral masters and bourgeois media. -- Frontlines ed.]
Suspected Maoists put up flex boards in Attappady, Kerala
K. A. SHAJI, The Hindu, PALAKKAD, October 5, 2014
Electioneering on flex boards. Pictures of the Maoist advocate’s posters are not published in the Indian bourgeois press.
The police have stepped up vigil in Attappady region following the appearance of flex boards allegedly installed by the banned Maoist outfit to exhort the working class to prepare for an ‘armed battle’ against ‘ruling elites.’
While most of the flex boards were seen in Kallamala region of western Attappady on Friday morning, a few were installed at Poonchola and Pambbanthode villages close to Mannarkkad. The boards claimed their ownership to a special regional committee of the CPI(Maoist) Western Ghats unit.
The boards said the organisation was observing the 10th anniversary of its armed resistance and sought cooperation of the general public in strengthening the party base in the three southern States. It wanted strong public vigilance against concerted efforts of the ruling class to plunder water, land, forests, and natural resources.