Arundhati Roy: “GN Saibaba is Being Targeted for Opposing Government’s Anti-Naxal War”

Prof. GN Saibaba

Professor GN Saibaba

GN Saibaba is a joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convenor of several forums against Operation Greenhunt and the persecution of adivasis and tribal people in Central India. He teaches English at a DU college.

September 13, 2013

Click this link to hear the interview: Arundhati Roy – GN Saibaba is Being Targeted

The Maharashtra police, along with the National Investigation Agency () and the Special Cell, made a surprise search at the house of Delhi University professor GN Saibaba. They refused to entertain pleas by the wheelchair-bound professor-cum-activist to contact his lawyer or colleagues. Saibaba is a joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convenor of several forums against Operation Greenhunt and the persecution of adivasis and tribal people in Central India. He teaches English at a DU college.

“Around 20 days ago, former student and activist Hem Mishra was arrested. The police are trying to tie me up to that case. They came in and snatched away the cellular phones of my wife, my daughter and myself and refused to let us call or notify anyone of the search. None of us were allowed to leave, nor was anyone allowed to come in. We were detained in our own house,” Saibaba told TEHELKA. Saibaba claimed that the police told him that the search was in relation to the Hem Mishra case in Gadhchiroli. Mishra was arrested for alleged links. This is not the first time that an activist has been persecuted or arrested for activism in the forests of Central India. Continue reading

India: Maoists Warn of Ruling Class Hysteria, Threats, Attacks, and False Promises

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) — CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release, June 11, 2013

See through the conspiracy of the ruling classes to launch bigger offensives on the people using the 25 May attack as a pretext

Unite, Fight back and Defeat the ‘War on People’

The gangster community that made Indian Parliament its lair is in panic. Terrified. Aflutter. Seething. Fuming. Up in arms. Baying for blood. Baring its fangs. Spitting poison. After all the May 25 Jeeramghati attack struck down one of their best trusted lieutenants in field. Quite Understandable.

Actually speaking, the scamster-gangster bunch does not care much for Mahendra Karma’s death because they knew that this was something waiting to happen even when they were carrying on mayhem and murder under Salwa Judum (SJ) which they all had contributed to create or let pester like senators watching gladiatorial contests in amphi-theaters, with Karma as SJ’s public face and with the support of fascist central and state mercenary armed forces. They are frightened more because in this country where every kind of exploitation, oppression, suppression, corruption and scam is carried on almost unchallenged, as the order of the day and shamelessly under public gaze, the fact that somebody ‘out there’ can bring these fascist scamster-gangsters to book and deliver justice is not so easy to stomach. It is like finding oneself completely naked and vulnerable with all robes of Z plus securities and paraphernalia of security suddenly vanishing into thin air with the fury of the suppressed masses breathing down their necks. Highly explicable. A strong reason to be upset.

Who knows who will be next? More chillingly, what would be in store if people completely vexed with the increasingly unbearable treacherous, undemocratic, slavish and wicked anti-people deeds of the pet-dog politicians choose to consider this as an option to vent their ire to put an end to their habitual comprador performance? Even worse, what if they consider doing away with the whole bunch by overthrowing the parliamentary system as the Maoists vouch to and call upon the people to follow? Very worrying indeed.

And for once it is better that they be. They better understand that not every politician can get away with the kind of neo-fascist suppression of the poorest of the poor of this country that was perpetrated in the name of a Salwa Judum, a Sendra, a Shanti Yatra, a Shanti Sena, a Harmad Bahini, a Bhairav Bahini, a TPC or an Operation Green Hunt, can get away with selling the riches of our country one by one as a daily routine at breakfast, lunch and dinner to fill the insatiable black-hole belly of the imperialist beast, can get away with turning every word that gives meaning to our existence as human beings like freedom, independence, sovereignty, self-reliance and democracy meaningless. They better realize for the umpteenth time (counting all such instances since the days of a Spartacus) that a people crushed so cruelly can never take everything lying down forever. For once it is better that they be alarmed.

Karma, a medieval type land lord, architect of SJ, looter, sadist, rapist and enemy of his own tribe; most of his security men, cannon fodder but undoubtedly deployed to aid in his mayhem and massacre; some SJ leaders; and some top Congress leaders were wiped out in the 25 May incident. Unfortunately a few others who got caught in the initial firing also died in spite of our sincere efforts to minimize the casualties once the main targets were caught and Comrade Gudsa Usendi, the Spokesperson of our Party’s DK unit had already tendered apology for it. The list of brutalities perpetrated by Karma and his ilk could fill many a volume. Though not all, many of them have been documented in detail by the CPI (Maoist), revolutionary and democratic mass organizations, civil and human rights organizations, democrats, journalists and concerned citizens for all those who want to see. There is no purpose to the various conspiracy theories doing their rounds in the media about the reasons for this attack other than diverting the people’s attention from the truth. An unabashed conspiracy by the corporate media to hide the truth about the brutality of the SJ and the role of the Indian Army, big corporate houses, central and state governments, the Congress and BJP parties and slaughterers like Karma in its creation and developing it into a man-eating monster. Such is its impatience to get rid of the Maoists that it did not even take into account that SJ was termed illegal by their own highest institution the Supreme Court. And all of them including Jairam Ramesh have once again repeated the most nonsensical and exhausted argument of ‘sandwich theory’ that Adivasis are being crushed between the armed forces on one side and the Maoists on the other. If they really believe in this then why don’t they demand first that the armed forces deployed in lakhs by the central and state governments be immediately withdrawn when they are agreeing that they suppress Adivasis? Their lies fly in their face with the fact that the overwhelming majority of Maoists are Adivasis in the strong areas of the movement. Our Party reiterates that we never work against the interests of the people. It is solely the ruling classes and their forces that suppress the people and our Party fights it back. Continue reading

Maoist attacks are a counter violence of resistance against the state: Arundhati Roy

 

First Post, May 28, 2013

(First Post) Editors note: This interview was originally run in April 2010 by CNN-IBN. Given the context of the recent attack in Chhattisgarh on a Congress convoy, (First Post) has republished the interview as it resurfaces some interesting points of view. 

In that interview, Arundhati Roy says that the Maoists have no choice but to indulge in ‘counter-violence’. Here is Roy’s interview with CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghosh:

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Sagarika Ghose: You wrote your article ‘Walking with the comrades’ in The Outlook before Dantewada happened. In the aftermath of the Dantewada (incident of 2010), do you still stand by the tone of sympathy that you had with the Maoist cause in that essay?

Arundhati Roy: Well, this is a odd way to frame before and after Dantewada happened, because actually you know this cycle of violence has been building on and on. This is not the first time that a large number of security personnel have been killed by the Maoists. I have written about it and the other attacks that took place between the years 2005-07. The way I look at is, people make it sound that, ‘oh, on this side are people, who are celebrating the killing of CRPF jawans, and that side of the people who are asking for the Maoists to be wiped out.’ This is not the case. I think that you got to look at the every death as a terrible tragedy in a system, in a war that’s been pushed on the people and that unfortunately is becoming a war of the rich against the poor. In which rich put forward the poorest of the poor to fight the poor. CRPF are terrible victims but they are not just victims of the Maoists. They are victims of a system of structural violence that is taking place, that sort to be drowned in this empty condemnation industry that goes on. This is entirely meaningless because most of the time people who condemn them have really no sympathy for them. They are just using them as pawns. 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
—————————————————————

 

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: Brutal state’s war on the people promises new handouts and smiles

We will defeat Maoists design through development: Jairam Ramesh

PTI Mar 3, 2013

(“In the name of forest dwellers,…)

BHAWANIPATNA (ODISHA): The Centre would “fight” Naxals through welfare and empowerment schemes and protect tribals from being used as shields by the ultras, union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said.

“In the name of forest dwellers, Maoists have created an atmosphere of fear (in the society). Our fight against Maoists is continuing. Through schemes for tribal welfare and women empowerment, with a strong political willpower, we will defeat their design,” he told a meeting of Adivasi Adhikar Samavesa at Narla in Odisha’s Kalahandi district.

Stating that Maoists were using tribals as shields, Ramesh said the Naxal issue can be tackled by strengthening Gram Sabhas and accelerating political processes and greater participation among forest dwellers.

As promised, the UPA government had undertaken several developmental schemes for uplift of tribals and many more were in the offing, Ramesh said. Continue reading

The hanging of Afzal Guru is a stain on India’s democracy

Despite gaping holes in the case against Afzal Guru, all India’s institutions played a part in putting a Kashmiri ‘terrorist’ to death

The Guardian, Sunday 10 February 2013

Police bring Afzal Guru to court in Delhi in 2002

Indian police bring Afzal Guru to court in Delhi in 2002. Photograph: Aman Sharma/AP

Spring announced itself in Delhi on Saturday. The sun was out, and the law took its course. Just before breakfast, the government of India secretly hanged Afzal Guru, prime accused in the attack on parliament in December 2001, and interred his body in Delhi’s Tihar jail where he had been in solitary confinement for 12 years. Guru’s wife and son were not informed. “The authorities intimated the family through speed post and registered post,” the home secretary told the press, “the director general of the Jammu and Kashmir [J&K] police has been told to check whether they got it or not”. No big deal, they’re only the family of yet another Kashmiri terrorist.

In a moment of rare unity the Indian nation, or at least its major political parties – Congress, the Bharatiya Janata party and the Communist party of India (Marxist) – came together as one (barring a few squabbles about “delay” and “timing”) to celebrate the triumph of the rule of law. Live broadcasts from TV studios, with their usual cocktail of papal passion and a delicate grip on facts, crowed about the “victory of democracy”. Rightwing Hindu nationalists distributed sweets to celebrate the hanging, and beat up Kashmiris (paying special attention to the girls) who had gathered in Delhi to protest. Even though Guru was dead and gone, the commentators in the studios and the thugs on the streets seemed, like cowards who hunt in packs, to need each other to keep their courage up. Perhaps because, deep inside, themselves they knew they had colluded in doing something terribly wrong. 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