Democratic Illusions Infect Judiciary in India’s Repressive State

[The Indian state, thoroughly repressive toward over 90% of the people in India, has often claimed, since being “granted” independence by the British Empire, that it is democratic, even “the world’s largest democracy.”  This claim is belied by the brutal displacement and oppression of the majority of the people–the adivasis, dalits, the peasantry, the women of the oppressed castes and classes, Muslims, political opponents of the neo-colonial, semi-feudal state and their imperialist masters, and the Maoists (and all other opponents loosely, and falsely, labelled “Maoists”).  As the opposition continues to grow against the oppressive police state, the contradiction with the democratic myth has grown sharply, infecting even the ranks of the repressive judiary.  The rebellious people will carefully study how these “democratic dissidents in high places” will be dealt with by the repressive “powers-that-be”.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules

Person can’t be taken into custody just because he is a Maoist, Kerala HC rules

Justice AM Muhammed Mushtaq said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind the bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.

KOCHI: In a significant development, the Kerala high court made it clear that a Maoist cannot be taken into police custody just because of his political leanings.  Justice A M Muhammed Mushtaq, in his order on Friday, said that a Maoist can be arrested and put behind bars only if he or she indulges in unlawful or anti-national activities.  “Being a Maoist is no crime, though the political ideology of Maoists would not synchronise with our constitutional polity. It is a basic human right to think in terms of human aspirations,” Justice Mushtaq said in his order.The court was hearing a petition filed by Shyam Balakrishnan of Wayanad stating that he was arrested and harassed by the Thunderbolt team — a special police unit – for alleged Maoist links. The court ordered a compensation of Rs one lakh for the petitioner and also asked to state to pay litigation costs of Rs 10, 000. Continue reading

India: “Protracted People’s War at Hand,” Warns Top Maoist CPI

By Express News Service17th March 2015

HYDERABAD: The CPI (Maoist) sees new opportunities to advance ‘protracted people’s war’ with the Central Government  allegedly pursuing pro-imperialist and ‘country-selling’ policies at a faster pace and also advancing a Hindu-fascist agenda in various forms.

CPI (Maoist) general secretary Ganapathy, in an interview to Maoist Information Bulletin (MIB), a copy of which is with Express, spoke of the challenges his party has to overcome and on a host of other issues.

CPI(Maoist) Gen’l Secretary Ganapathy

“After coming to power, the BJP is implementing pro-imperialist, country-selling policies at a break-neck pace catering to the needs of foreign and Indian big capitalists and big landlords while, at the same time, advancing the Hindu-fascist agenda in various forms. Thus, there is need for uniting all democratic, progressive, secular and patriotic forces. Newer and more numerous classes, social sections, forces of society will be brought into the arena of struggle, and new opportunities for advancing the PPW will open up.“The situation around the world is becoming increasingly favourable for a revolution. “The imperialist world economy is still reeling under a serious crisis and all  fundamental contradictions in the world are sharpening. Consequently, the revolutionary, democratic and national liberation forces all over the world are gaining strength against imperialism and its domestic props. Maoist forces too are consolidating.”

Continue reading

Modi Taking Operation Green Hunt to the Western Ghats: Bulldozer Development and Displacement

 As Operation Green Hunt Extends To Engulf The Western Ghats, What Do We Stand To Lose?

By JNU Forum Against War on People

06 December, 2014
Countercurrents.org

Unite to stop the state-backed corporate-sponsored war on people

As is obvious today, the Modi-Rajnath combine is desperate to carry forward the Manmohan-Chidambaram model of ‘development’ albeit with much more ferocity and single-mindedness. As the new “iron man”, Modi is expected to deliver to the expectations of the MNCs & big business by way of ironing out all possible dissent or “road blocks” in the path of ‘development’. This of course entails more death, destruction & displacement for the people and irreversible devastation for the environment. Taking it on from where the UPA left it, the present government has already embarked upon the vicious design to bypass, flout, dilute or do away with all safeguards pertaining to the grant of forest/environment/wildlife clearances and the acquisition of land for mining/industrial/SEZ projects. And to ensure that all possible resistance to this profit/loot-oriented anti-people and environmentally unsustainable model of ‘development’ can be quelled by force, the present government is not just willing to add more teeth to the ongoing Operation Green Hunt in the central & eastern parts of the country, but also expand this fascist corporate-sponsored war on people to newer areas.

Continue reading

Hundreds of Farmer Suicides: Saddled With Debts Without Relief

On an average, at least two farmers have been committing suicide a day in Telangana State just this Kharif (harvested during the monsoon) season that is set to come to a close in the next 2-3 weeks. Trapped with insurmountable debts, In the last four months, nearly 250 have died.

The Times of India, November 2 2014, HYDERABAD: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) announced its return to action in Telangana on Saturday by calling for a one-day bandh on November 8 to protest the ‘inept policies’ of the TRS government that is resulting in farmer suicides. 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

India: three girls raped and murdered, aged 5, 9 and 11

Outrage over sexual violence given new fuel after police recorded deaths as ‘accidental’ after bodies were found in a well
in Delhi, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 February 2013
Women in Delhi

[Women arrive near Indian parliament in Dehli to protest against sexual violence. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP]

India has been hit by another case of sexual violence after three sisters aged five, nine and 11 were raped and murdered in a remote village.

The three girls, who lived with their mother in Lakhni village in Maharashtra state, disappeared on 14 February, on their way home from school. Their widowed mother is a poor labourer, and when the grandfather went to the police to report their disappearance there was no attempt to search for them.

The police found the bodies of the three girls in an old well two days later, and recorded the deaths as “accidental”. But it was only after people from the village blocked a national highway on Wednesday in protest against the police inaction that the state home minister finally took notice.

A preliminary medical examination showed that all the girls had been raped before being killed. 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

INDIA: Yet another human rights defender attacked in Odisha

4 April 2011
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Badrama Abhyaranya Vikas Parisad and SPREAD, two human rights organisations working in Odisha state, India, concerning the attack upon the life of a human rights defender in Sambalpur district of the state. It is reported that the attack was premeditated and suspected to be carried out with the assistance of some officers working in the State Forest Department. The persons who attacked the victim in the case, Mr. Dusmant Pradhan a human rights defender working with the indigenous communities of the district, returned to the place of incident in a vehicle belonging to the forest department on the same day, looking for Dusmant since they could not murder him at the first instance. Despite having made complaints, the suspects have not been arrested or any form of protection provided to the injured human rights defender. Continue reading

INDIA: Caste-based discrimination and corruption pushing 83 families to death in Orissa

1 April 2011
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received the information that 83 Dalit families of Ranapada village have been deprived of their food security by non-Dalits from about 54 neighboring villages. It is reported that the reason for the aggressive discrimination against the Bauri families (Dalits) is because three women from Bauri community tried to enter the Hindu temple on August 28, 2010. The temple priest and non-Dalit villagers refused to allow the Dalit women to worship in the temple and even charged INR 50,000 as a penalty from the women. When the Dalits refused to pay the penalty, non-Dalit villagers who had leased their farmland to the Dalit families for sharecropping promptly took the land back. Furthermore, non-Dalit villagers from 54 villages collectively went to Dalit hamlet of Ranapada village and threatened to kill and assault the residents. The police have failed not only to take any affirmative actions in the case, but also were assaulted by non-Dalit villagers. The police have arrested only four of the accused, allowing other accused to freely threaten the victims. 83 Dalit families who depended on the farmland of the non-Dalit villagers have lost their only source for food and face hunger. Continue reading

India: Women’s social and economic conditions, struggles for land and women’s resistance

Armed with traditional weapons, adivasi (tribal) women march in Lalgarh, West Bengal

 

From International Campaign against the War on People in India  www.icawpi.org

Contemporary Anti-Displacement Struggles and Women’s Resistance

By Shoma Sen, Associate Professor, RTM Nagpur University

Women’s exclusion in the present model of development needs to be understood as inherent to a system that benefits from patriarchy. Seen as a reserve force of labour, women, excluded from economic activity are valued for their unrecognized role in social reproduction. The capitalist, patriarchal system that keeps the majority of women confined to domestic work and child rearing uses this as a way of keeping the wage rates low.

The limited participation of women in economic activity is also an extension of their traditional gender roles (nursing, teaching,or labour intensive jobs requiring patience and delicate skills) with wages based on gender discrimination. Largely part of the unorganized sector, deprived of the benefits of labour legislation, insecurity leads to sexual exploitation at the workplace. In the paradigm of globalization, these forms of exploitation, in export oriented industries, SEZs and service sector have greatly increased.

In spite of 63 years of so-called independence, women’s presence is negligible in political bodies and reservations for the same have been strongly resisted in a patriarchal political system. Though at the lower levels, reservations have made a limited entry possible, the success stories are more exceptions than the rule. Social institutions, thriving on feudal patriarchal notions are disapproving of women’s participation in production and laud her reproductive roles; violence against women at the familial and societal level is given social sanction and women are confined to a dependent life within the domestic space.

Therefore, women’s access to economic and political activity itself is a first step to their participation in decision making processes rather than the symbolic steps towards their “empowerment” that are seen in this system. Women’s resistance to this imperialist backed model of development, therefore, must be seen as their attempt to find space and voice in a system which has not only neglected their communities but even their gender within it. Continue reading

From Field to Fork: Obama’s agribusiness recipe for India

US corporate officials explain the "benefits" (to US agri companies) of American agricultural exports, seeds and technology to their Indian counterparts

By Rahul Goswami, Sanhati

November 20, 2010

The government of the USA has planned for India to become an important consumer of its agricultural exports and crop science. India has also been planned as a host country for an agricultural research agenda directed by American crop-seed biotech corporations.

This is to be achieved through a variety of programmes in India, some of which began their preparation two years ago. This agenda, labelled as US-India cooperation by India’s current UPA-2 government and by the USA’s current Barack Obama administration, has the support of the American farm sector, but not that of India’s farmers and cultivators. The clear and blunt objective is to increase US agricultural exports and to widen as quickly as possible the trade surplus of the US agricultural sector.

This agenda has become clear following the three business and industry meetings held during the visit of US President Barack Obama-’US-India Business and Entrepreneurship Summit’ in Mumbai on 6 November, ‘India-US: An Agenda for Co-Creation’ with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on 8 November, and ‘US-India Conclave: Partnership for Innovation, Imperative for Growth and Employment in both Economies’ with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi on 9 November.

The US agri-business view has been projected in India by the US-India Business Council, a business advocacy group representing American companies investing in India together with Indian companies, with a shared aim to deepen trade and strengthen commercial ties. Continue reading

Delhi, India: Call for Week of National Action against Land Acquisition Act and Forced Displacement

Demonstration against proposed Tata Steel plant in the Kalinganagar industrial area. In 2006, Orissa police killed 12 adivasis protesting the beginning of construction of the Tata plant. Since then, they have stopped any further construction.

Sansad Gherao ! Delhi Chalo !

A Week of National Action (Sangharsh) Against Land Acquisition (Act) & Displacement For Right to Life & Livelihood

November 22 – 26, 2010, Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Dear Friends/Comrades,

Many of you participated in the National Consultation on the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill that was held on 23rd September 2010 at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi. The consultation was attended by several peoples’ movements, mass organisations, Trade unions, advocacy groups and members from research and academic community.

The consultation was unanimous in its demand:

– for the repeal of the current colonial Land Acquisition Act and complete rejection of the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bills in their current form

– to enact a comprehensive National Development, No Enforced Displacement and Rehabilitation Bill instead of two separate legislations

– for a moratorium on all acquisitions until the process for a new comprehensive legislation is complete

– that a white paper on all the Land acquired since independence and its current status and the situation of the displaced be presented before the people of India Continue reading

India: Tribals rally against anti-Maoist operations in Orissa

CMAS marches in Narayanpatna, Orissa

DNA India, November 24, 2010

Tribals opposing ongoing anti-Maoist operation in Koraput district, where most wanted rebel Ramakrishna is suspected to be in hiding, staged a demonstration at Narayanpatna, about 70km from here, today.

The rally was organised by the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), which had recently forcibly grabbed money lenders’ lands and attacked a police station at Narayanpatna. The demonstrators also demanded immediate release of tribal men and women who were lodged in jail on charge of being rebels and attacking the police station.

About 100 tribals allegedly involved in the two counts are lodged in Koraput jail. Two of them have died in prison. The demonstrators submitted a memorandum addressed to chief minister Naveen Patnaik to local block development officer.

Meanwhile, the police have launched a manhunt for Ramakrishna, who is suspected to have taken shelter in Narayanpatna jungle along with his son Prithvi. The search operation has been stepped up since the arrest of Ramakrishna’s wife Padma on November 14 from an area near Koraput, bordering Andhra Pradesh.

 

Fact sheet on Operation Green Hunt–India’s massive military assault on the adivasis (tribal peoples)

 

Some of 200,000 paramilitary forces mobilized by the Indian government to attack the adivasis

Fact Sheet on Operation Green Hunt

By Campaign against War on People

The following document is a compilation of information gathered through news reports in the mainstream media, government reports, and reports of independent fact-finding teams. It aims to offer as objective and non-partisan a view of the situation in the affected states, as is possible.

The Status of the Current Offensive

  • The offensive will be spread over the next five years.
  • A special forces school, a special forces unit and an army brigade HQ will be set up near Bilaspur. The brigade HQ will participate in anti-Maoist ops in the future. The army is looking for 1,800 acres of land to set up the infrastructure.
  • The IAF is looking for 300 acres for its base
  • Home Ministry is sitting on a plan to redeploy the Rashtriya Rifles [from Kashmir to the Naxal affected areas]. RR and BSF unlike other paramilitary forces, have heavy weaponry like medium-range machine guns, mortars and rocket launchers.
  • For now, 27 battalions of the Border Security Force and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police will be moved into Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra.
  • The paramilitary forces will be supported by six Mi-17 IAF choppers.
  • The helicopters will have on board the IAF’s special force, the GARUDS, to secure the chopper and conduct combat search and rescue operations.
  • The offensive will be in seven phases. Each phase has been marked area-wise as Operating Areas (OAsOA-1) involves moving along a north-south axis from Kanker, Chhattisgarh, and on an east-west axis from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra and span the Abuj Marh forests used by the Maoists as a training centre and logistics base. (All points above from Outlook, 26 Oct 2009) Continue reading

India: Conference in Odisha to target Indian state’s war on the people

Adivasis (tribal people) protest state repression in Naraypatna, Odisha

Cultural Resistance: War on People in Corporate Resistance, Bhubaneswar, Odisha (Orissa)

 

21st November 2010.

Today, the mineral resources, the earth, the water, the forest of Odisha- the source of livelihood of the common men- are being taken over by the corporate with the naked support of the state. Rather, the state has raised its gun to defend the interest of the corporate against the poor.

So, we witness the blue water of Chilika turning red with the blood of fisher folks; the spill of adivasi blood unto the earth of Kashipur and Kalinganagar for Birals and Tatas; the destruction of Niyamgiri mountain of Dongria Kondh for Vedanta; attacks on the peasants in the plains of Jagatsihgpur for POSCO; threat to the jungle land of adivasis in Keonjher for Arcelor Mittal; diversion of Hirakud dam water to a number of companies leaving the peasants high and dry.

And, when people are trying to defend their only source of livelihood, resisting not to be eaten up by the corporate greed, they are being brutally suppressed, jailed, implicated in false cases, even `encountered and raped. The entire South Odisha, -from Mandrabaju to Narayanpatna- is reeling under state terror. Again, communal riots (like Kandhamal) are being engineered to break the unity of the people. Continue reading