[The recent announcement that the Indian Army is deploying troops, ostensibly for “training,” into indigenous areas deemed “rebel” or “extremist” has drawn much attention and growing opposition from various sectors. (see the prior news report at https://revolutionaryfrontlines.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/army-moves-into-maoist-area-in-chhattisgarh/). Here is the statement released by Indian Maoists. — Frontlines ed.]
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST), CENTRAL COMMITTEE: Press Release (4 June, 2011)
- Deployment Of Army In The Name Of Training Schools Puts The Very Existence Of The Aborigines and Inhabitants Of Bastar In Peril!
- Forest Belongs To The Indigenous People (Mulvasis) – The Government Doesn’t Have Any Right Over Even An Inch Of It!
- Indian Army GO BACK – Do Not Kill Your Own Citizens!
While the Bastar adivasi peasants are readying themselves for the monsoons to till their lands so that they can feed their children and families throughout the year – unknown to them, silently and stealthily the central and state governments have completed the preparations for another kind of monsoons. These ‘monsoons’ do not rain droplets of water but bullets and shells, rockets and cannon balls and would irrigate their lands with the blood of children, women and men – young and old. These ‘monsoons’ promise a lifelong peace and prosperity. Peace it would – as peaceful as a graveyard could be and lifelong as their longing for life would come to an end. Of course, prosperity it would be – for the imperialists, their running dogs – the ruling classes of India, the corporate vultures, the MNC sharks, the great Indian extended family of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie i.e., the chief ministers, ministers, MLAs, MPs, IAS, IPS, IFS, bureaucrats etc as now they could lay their greedy hands on the immense wealth buried under this graveyard.
The home ministry says it wants to ‘clear, hold and build’ in the ‘Maoist areas.’ In our country words have long ago ceased to have their original meaning, for which they were created in the first place. Here is the new lexicon– ‘clear’ means massacres, mopping up or complete destruction of everything, ‘hold’ means a war of occupation and ‘build’ means absolute loot of people’s resources. All this ultimately results in reducing the people to a slave like existence complete with absolute surrender to the imperialist slave-owners and this has got its own word – ‘development’. And it is not just words, even institutions have changed their ‘supposed duties’ in our country (into their ‘actual duties’ for which they were created, in fact) – the government doesn’t look after the welfare of the people – it bends over backwards and crawls on its fours to protect the interests of those who exploit them; the judiciary doesn’t protect the rights of the people – it shows admirable adroitness in finding ways to deny them; the police think they are the ‘law’ and that ‘ordering around’ restores it; and the Indian Army with impeccable acumen finds ‘enemies’ in the dilapidated huts of poor adivasis, in the empty granaries of the bankrupt peasants or in the stench-filled bastis of workers and of course in every nook corner of Kashmir and North-East.
In the first week of June, a thousand-men strong iron heeled column marched its way to Bastar – physically that is. Because the Indian Army has been breathing down the necks of Bastar people in many more indirect ways since almost a decade. It has been an integral part of all the counter-insurgency operation plans formulated against the Maoists and has been training the mercenaries who do that job in hundreds. In just Narayanpur the land to be allotted for the Army (training school) amounts to 750 sq.kms while the talk is about three training schools and in three districts (Narayanpur, Bastar and Bilaspur). This is not counting the previous allotments to army and air-force.
‘Oh, no, don’t mistake us, all this is just for the training school, the army won’t enter into operations against Maoists, it is just to gain a psychological advantage over the Maoists, to tell them – ‘see a lion is sitting at your door!’ says the army. And pray – may the humble citizens ask His Excellency Herr Manmohan what this ‘training’ is for as it is he who with great insight discovered that Maoists were the biggest internal security threat? Who are you trying to fool? Only a fool would believe that this lion just sits there and roars instead of pouncing on us. Don’t forget, this is a man-eater on the prowl which has tasted human blood in Kashmir and North-East. Let us be very clear – this training is nothing else but counter-insurgency training ‘to fight the guerilla like a guerilla.’ Unable to contain the armed resistance of the most deprived people of Central and Eastern India through their police and paramilitary, the ruling classes of our country have now turned to the army whom they have been ‘grooming’ exactly for such purposes (read for wars on people). What is the need for another ‘training school’ when there are already so many? And more importantly, why in Central India?
It is as clear as daylight – it is no doubt a training school but it doesn’t stop with training, as soon as a batch finishes training it would be ready with its boots and helmets, guns and grenades on to be sent off to its destination to fight the Maoists, and it doesn’t cater just to Chhattisgarh but also to Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Western Ghats, West Bengal, Odisha and last but not least Andhra Pradesh. That explains the location of it.
Following the policy of ‘draining the water to catch the fish’, the central and state governments, with the close guidance of their mentors – the US imperialists – are implementing the ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ (LIC) strategy, applying it ‘creatively’ to the concrete conditions in India. This can be in such ‘indigenous forms’ like – in preparation for the deployment of army and ‘draining water’ – now Maad adivasis do not get to buy rice anywhere nearby their dwellings. They get them only from towns (and only in such quantities so that the Maoists do not take some rice from them) from shops which are actually police camps. Even the namesake schools from the hamlets are being shifted to pucca buildings on the road-side and would exist in the name of that hamlet which would be at least 60 to 100 kms away. Next the army would step in and ‘clear’ the forest of all inhabitants and herd them off to strategic hamlets which are a euphemism for concentration camps. At the higher level, the recent hobnobbing exercises of Indian and US ruling classes for ‘helping each other’ in Homeland Security were done in preparation for the crueler phase of this War on People – the Phase Two of the Operation Green Hunt as it is being called.
No people in this world without a land to claim as their own could wage battles against their enemies. The ruling classes know this truth more than anybody else and this is exactly what it is planning to do. In the name of training schools it is occupying thousands of square kilometers of land and in the name of strategic hamlets it is rendering the adivasis and forest dwellers homeless and everybody knows that forest IS their home. So, revolutionaries, democrats, civil rights activists and particularly the adivasi organizations must realize the whole conspiracy behind the smokescreen of army training schools. It is the need of the hour to assert loudly that Jal, Jungle and Jameen belongs to the indigenous people (Mulvasis) of Bastar, who represent one of the most ancient inhabitants of the world and to the Mulvasis of Central and Eastern India.
True, the government must be questioned about land acquisition, throwing to wind all laws and regulations it has promulgated for adivasi areas (5th schedule, PESA, Forest Rights act etc). Though posing a direct question about its not following its own rules is necessary, one must be careful not to give it legitimacy to occupy the forest ‘if it follows its rules’. In fact, a conspiracy is under way in the name of land acquisition act to hand over the land of the peasants in a ‘legal’ manner to the corporates. It would not result in any peaceful transfer of land from one hand to another but would remain a naked land-grabbing act which would never be implemented without shedding the blood of the peasants and without destroying their livelihoods. The first and foremost thing to be done is to declare that forest belongs to the Mulvasis and that they do not have any ‘elder brother’ named ‘government’ with whom they should share it!
As our party has been consistently saying and as even all genuine democrats have been expounding – all these operation green hunts and clear-hold-build policies are meant to loot the immense mineral wealth and other natural resources in Central and Eastern India. And for this they do not care if a whole community or a civilization is wiped out; it would just be a ‘collateral damage’ as taught by their ex-boss ‘Bush’ or their current master ‘Obama’.
The Central Committee of CPI (Maoist) calls upon the people of Bastar and Chhattisgarh to fight back the Indian Army as they had been fighting back the police, paramilitary and vigilante gangs like Salwa Judum to protect their lives and livelihoods, to secure the future of their children and to save their mother forest and one of the most ancient cultures of this world of which they are the proud inheritors.
Let the slogans – Forest belongs to the Mulvasis – Not an inch of it to the Sonias-Manmohans-Chidambarams and Raman Singhs, not to blood-sucking land grabbers masquerading as chief ministers and ministers, not to MNCs, not to Indian corporate sharks, not to mining mafias – reverberate in every corner of Central and Eastern India. Mobilize to the very last member in the family – children and elders, young and old, women and men with the slogan – Indian Army Go Back, do not kill your own citizens.
We have seen many offensives, but this new offensive using the army puts the very existence of the aborigines and inhabitants of the forests in Central and Eastern India in peril. It is a question of life and death. If we let them prevail, the consequences would be very bleak and may lead to many decades of dark years. Sacrifices and acts of bravery are not new to us. It is a specific characteristic of our history of struggle against colonial rule that the most consistent, continuous, militant armed struggles against the British colonialists were waged by the adivasis of this country. And some of the most glorious chapters in it belong to the Santhals and Bastar adivasis during the Santhal rebellions and Mahan Bhumkal of 1910 respectively. It is this struggle legacy from our fore fathers and mothers which we have to evoke now if we have to save everything that is precious to us, everything that is dear to our heart – everything that makes us breathe free. So let us fight the enemies of the people to the end. Let us fight back everything which seeks to reduce us to a slave-like existence in the name of ‘development’.
We appeal to all the revolutionary, democratic and patriotic organizations and particularly the adivasi organizations in India and abroad to raise your voice against the deployment of army in Central and Eastern India and do everything in your means to expose, to fight back and stop this war of the Indian government on its own citizens.