India: Why Maoists targeted Congress Leaders

[See two articles from India's bourgeois media, below. --  Frontlines ed.]

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists
“Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.
RAIPUR: Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Tuesday strongly defended killing of senior tribal leader Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CGPCC) president Nand Kumar Patel for their role in SalwaJudum and operation Green Hunt but expressed regrets over the death of other “innocent” Congressmen.”Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.

Dandakaranya special zonal committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi claimed that the attack was to avenge “Salwa Judum” – the controversial anti-Maoist movement of June 2005 that led to large scale violence and displacement of thousands of villagers in Bastar.

“Both the BJP and the Congress are equally responsible for repression in tribal areas,” the Maoist spokesman said adding that Salwa Judum had become a curse for the people of Bastar. Continue reading

Documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak talks about his new film, Red Ant Dream, and the architecture of revolutionary desire

 


Red Ant DreamTrailer Published on May 1, 2013
A documentary about those who live the revolutionary ideal in India
Director: Sanjay Kak
Synopsis:  ‘Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist’, the revolutionary patriot had said almost a hundred years ago, and that forewarning travels into India’s present, as armed insurrection simmers in Bastar, in the troubled heart of central India. But to the east too, beleaguered adivasis from the mineral-rich hills of Odisha come forth bearing their axes, and their songs. And in the north the swelling protests by Punjabi peasants sees hope coagulate–once more–around that iconic figure of Bhagat Singh, revolutionary martyr of the anti-colonial struggle. But are revolutions even possible anymore? Or have those dreams been ground down into our nightmares? This is a chronicle of those who live the revolutionary ideal in India, a rare encounter with the invisible domain of those whose everyday is a fight for another ideal of the world.
Gondi, Odiya, Punjabi with English Subtitles
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Talking about a revolution…

Sanjay Kak. Photo: Apal Singhby BUDHADITYA BHATTACHARYA, The Hindu,

 

  • [Sanjay Kak. Photo: Apal Singh]
  • The third in a cycle of films that interrogate the workings of Indian democracy, Red Ant Dream by Sanjay Kak looks at the revolutionary ideal as it exists in India today. Moving between Punjab, Bastar and Niyamgiri, the film documents the songs, histories and struggles of people who try to imagine a different world into being. The director responded to questions in an e-mail interview:

 

Can you talk about the beginnings of Red Ant Dream? When and why did you get interested in making this film?

 

A still from the film.

[Photo:  A Still From the Film]

It’s always difficult to say where the beginnings of a film lie, because in a sense what you put into a documentary could be the summation of many years of thinking about an idea, your whole life even! For more than a decade all my films have been about resistance – Words on Water was about the movement against big dams in the Narmada valley, Jashn-e-Azadi about Kashmir, and now with this new film we look at the stirrings in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, the Niyamgiri hills in Odisha, and briefly Punjab. More specifically, I think Red Ant Dream was a reaction to the way in which the rebellion led by the Maoists in central India was being depicted in the media and in public discourse – as an isolated, autonomous outbreak of something like a pestilence, something alien called Maoism. Continue reading

India: 4,500 anti-nuclear farmers walk out of public hearing

Villagers shout slogans after boycotting a public hearing for a proposed nuclear plant, near Bhavnagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Villagers shout slogans after boycotting a public hearing for a proposed nuclear plant, near Bhavnagar, Gujarat, on Tuesday. Photo: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

[The proposed nuclear power plant is slated to be constructed by Westinghouse Corporation of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by contract with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India.  To prevent yet another Bhopal and another Chernobyl and Fukishima, farmers whose lands are in the path of the proposed nuclear plant are acting to stop the project, its nuclear poison and its mass displacement. -- Frontlines ed.]

The Times of India, March 5, 2013

RAJKOT: Thousands of farmers walked out from a public hearing in Nana Navagam organized by Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) for the proposed 6000 MW nuclear power plant at Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district.  The hearing was held on behalf of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) that will build the plant. The public hearing was held to discuss the environment impact assessment of the proposed plant prepared by Engineers India Limited (EIL).  The nuclear plant is expected to have six light-water reactors. The public hearing was attended by Bhavnagar collector V P Patel along with officials of GPCB and NPCIL.As soon as the NPCIL officials started their project presentation, about 4,500 farmers from around 28 villages started protesting and demanded they be heard first. “When they refused to address our queries first, all the farmers walked out in protest,” a resident of Jasapara village Khengarsinh Gohil said. The farmers said they will not allow the nuclear power plant to come up here in the area.Environment activist Krishnakant said the hearing was conducted in an illegal manner and the issues raised by farmers were not heard. Continue reading

Attack on Dalit colonies pre-planned, says commission

A Dalit woman grieves over the property damage at her house in Natham colony in Naikkankottai on Friday. Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

PTI, November 12, 2012 — Taking a serious view of the recent violence in which 268 huts at three Dalit colonies in the district were set on fire, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, which visited the violence-hit areas, on Monday said the attack was “out and out pre-planned.”

The Commission inferred from the visit that the attack was “out and out pre-planned and organised crime” against the Dalit community, NCSC Chairman P.L. Punia told reporters.

The violence was triggered after a man committed suicide on November 7 over his daughter’s marriage to a Dalit.

Mr. Punia said the mob had attacked a Dalit family in Kondampatti village where an inter-caste marriage had happened, revealing that they were taking revenge.

Petrol bombs were hurled at four-wheelers, two-wheelers, and valuables looted from houses revealing that it was not a sudden attack but a pre-planned one, the NCSC chairman said.

No casualty was reported. But all the houses in the colonies suffered damaged, Mr. Punia said, adding that the villagers were in a state of shock. Continue reading

India: Maoists attack Iron ore mine’s plunder and paramilitary

Maoists kill two CISF men in Chhattisgarh

Monday, 05 November 2012
The Pioneer, Staff Reporter | Dantewada

Two paramilitary personnel from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were killed on Sunday when heavily-armed Maoists opened fire at an iron ore mining area.

According to the police, the attack was carried out at a checkpost on a hilltop at Akash Nagar, which is close to iron ore deposit number 5 in Bailadila hills of Dantewada district.

Chhatisgarh: Iron ore extraction from state-owned iron ore mine NMDC

NMDC Ltd, India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter in the public sector, has several massive mines in Bailadila hills, made up of Bacheli and Kirandul areas. “It was a well-planned attack on a hilltop. Maoists perfectly exploited foggy weather in the morning period and fired several rounds at the checkpost. CISF Head Constable PN Chatterjee was killed on the spot, while Constable KR Arjun succumbed to his injuries at the hospital,” a source at police headquarters told The Pioneer.

Chatterjee belonged to West Bengal while Arjun from Maharashtra.

The rebels, estimated to be up to two dozen in number, also took away an AK-47 and a self-loading rifle (SLR) which belonged to the killed jawans.

Police claimed that within 20 minutes of the attack, the CISF had deployed roughly 50 jawans from its nearby barracks to apprehend the attackers, but ultras managed to climb down from their hilltop position and move to safer and forested areas.

NMDC officials admitted that the Maoist attack triggered panic and fear among the morning shift staff but mining work remained unaffected.

Dantewada district is part of sprawling and restive Bastar region where Maoists run a parallel Government in the interiors since late 1980s. The outlawed Maoists have carried out a string of deadly attacks on CISF jawans since early 2008 at both the Bacheli and Kirandul mines, and have also damaged tracks on a number of occasions in a bid to stop NMDC carrying away iron ore from Bailadila hills to Andhra Pradesh’s port city Vishakhapatnam.

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The Hindu, Raipur, November 4, 2012

Two CISF men killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

Two Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) troopers were on Sunday killed when a group of heavily armed Naxals attacked a security post in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

The attack took place early Sunday morning in the Bacheli complex of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) mines which is guarded by the paramilitary force. Continue reading

April Conference in India: “Turn the Prevailing Economic Crisis into Revolutionary Upsurge!”

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

 Friends,

The first Conference of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) is going to take place at a time when the imperialist forces and their props – the ruling classes of various colonial and semi-colonial countries – are going through an unprecedented economic depression resulting in a worldwide economic crisis, a condition which is of their own making. The reactionary Indian ruling classes, being agents of imperialism, have transferred the burden of the world economic crisis to the people of this country – the masses of the people who are already grappling with acute exploitation, poverty, unemployment and deprivation of the basic necessities of life. Their purchasing power has come down drastically. They have been denied the right over jal-jangal-zameen (water, forest and land resources) and other resources. Such conditions have generated disaffection amongst vast sections of people of the subcontinent manifested as a multitude of peoples’ struggles.

Despite every effort of the Indian state to hide the gravity of the crisis in which it is, the Indian economy has been severely shaken by the worldwide economic crisis due to its increasing dependence on the imperialist economy. The exploitative ruling classes, who never tire of making tall claims about outstanding ‘growth’ and ‘development’ riding on the fortunes of an export-oriented economy aided by imperialist globalisation, have lost their sleep over the present crisis. Those who used to wax eloquently of ‘development’ citing the speculative growth in the sectors of information technology, outsourcing, real estate, etc. has now been put on the dock. Due to the imperialist domination and dependence prevalent in the Indian economy, lakhs of workers have been rendered jobless and thrown out of sphere of production. Workers in hundreds of thousands have been at the receiving end of lay-offs and pay-cuts as a result of the closure of a large number of firms in the real estate industry, export-based industries, textiles, brass industry, jewellery and metal industry, mining, and so on. Now, the introduction of Foreign Direct Investment in retail trade will render more than 50 lakh people jobless by bringing Wal-mart and other imperialist players in retail business. Students particularly in the professional courses like engineering are finding little avenues of employment even through placement agencies. At the same time, however, imperialist forces such as foreign institutional investors are siphoning off the hard-earned wealth of the working people through speculative trading in the share market which are completely cut off from the real economy.

The impact of the economic crisis is evident in each and every sector of the Indian economy. The worst ever economic depression since the Great Depression in the 1930s has further deepened the agrarian crisis. As the demand of ‘Land to the Tiller’ remain yet as a tall promise with the ruling class bereft of any political will to fulfil the demand, the impact of the economic crisis on the working people engaged in agriculture has been very severe. The growing dependence of the rural masses on the agrarian sector has strengthened the landowners and moneylenders in the countryside, and has given them the opportunity to continue their exploitation and oppression. This exploitation and oppression takes the concrete form of caste-atrocities and caste-violence, the number of which is on the rise all over the country. Khairlanji, Lathor, Mirchpur incidents provide glaring evidence of this fact. More than 2.5 lakh peasants and agricultural workers have been forced to commit suicide in the last fifteen years due to the anti-peasant policies of the Indian state. In spite of this devastation, the imperialist stranglehold over Indian agriculture is being further tightened in the name of Second Generation Reforms and the Second Green revolution. Continue reading

November 9: Arundhati Roy’s reading in NYC

THE CENTER FOR PLACE, CULTURE AND POLITICS PRESENTS

** Walking with the Comrades **

Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist guerillas,
the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own
citizens—a war undocumented by a weak domestic press and fostered by
corporations eager to exploit the rare minerals buried in tribal
lands. Chronicling her months spent living with the rebel guerillas in
the forests, Roy addresses the much larger question of whether global
capitalism will tolerate any societies existing outside of its
colossal control.

Arundhati Roy

David Harvey

A reading by Arundhati Roy
Followed by a discussion with David Harvey
Wednesday November 9th 2011, 7.00 PM – 9.00 PM
The Proshansky Auditorium,  Cuny Graduate Center
365 Fifth Ave at 34th Street

Free and open to the public

Arundhati Roy was born in 1959 in Shillong, India. She studied architecture in New Delhi, where she now lives. She has worked as a
film designer and screenplay writer in India. Roy is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, for which she received the 1997 Booker Prize. The novel has been translated into dozens of languages worldwide.

She has written several non-fiction books, including The Cost of Living, Power Politics, War Talk, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to
Empire, and Public Power in the Age of Empire. Roy was featured in the BBC television documentary Dam/age, which is about the struggle against big dams in India. A collection of interviews with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian was published as The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. Her recent work includes Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, and a contribution to the forthcoming anthology Kashmir: The Case for Freedom. Her latest book, Walking with the Comrades was just published by Penguin Books. Roy is the recipient of the 2002 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Prize.

David Harvey, a leading theorist in the field of urban studies whom Library Journal called “one of the most influential geographers of the later twentieth century,” earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University, was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His reflections on the importance of space and place (and more recently “nature”) have attracted considerable attention across the humanities and social sciences. His highly influential books include The New Imperialism; Paris, Capital of Modernity; Social Justice and the City; Limits to Capital; The Urbanization of Capital;The Condition of Postmodernity; Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference;Spaces of Hope; and Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography. His numerous awards include the Outstanding Contributor Award of the Association of American Geographers and the 2002 Centenary Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his “outstanding contribution to the field of geographical enquiry and to anthropology.” He holds honorary degrees from the universities of Buenos Aires, Roskilde in Denmark, Uppsala in Sweden, and Ohio State University.

Co-sponsored by the CUNY Committee on Globalization and Social Change and the Center for Humanities

• Link to the post: http://pcp.gc.cuny.edu/arundhati-roy-walking-with-the-comrades-followed-by-a-discussion-with-david-harvey/
• Link to The Center for Place, Culture and Politics: http://pcp.gc.cuny.edu