Maoist land reform in India

[The Times of India looks into Maoist land reform, and describes it  in contrast to the practice of the CPM, a bourgeois party that still uses, disingenuously, the name of “Communist Party of India (Marxist)”.-ed]

MIDNAPORE: It was land distribution under Operation Barga that brought CPM to power in 1977. Thirty-three years later, the Maoists in Jangalmahal are treading a similar route to consolidate their support base in 200 villages from Goaltore to Midnapore town. The 60-kilometre stretch forms the ” Maoist core zone”, where men most wanted by the police like Manoj Mahato, Asit Mahato and Gopal Pratihar have a free run.

But this new avatar of Operation Barga is different from the one implemented by the CPM. Maoists have set their own parameters for land reform here. Family income and connections with the ruling party get maximum weightage in this reform process.

The jotedars close to mainstream political parties CPM and Jharkhand Party are the targets, and the beneficiaries are the landless farmers. The Maoists have begun this process in two villages Chandabila and Malkuri under the Midnapore Sadar block, six kilometres from Midnapore town.

First, they drove out Toton Singh and Naru Singh jotedars of Malkuri village, who have 150 bighas [about 50 acres] of land and own a huge ancestral house. Like CPM zonal secretary Anuj Pandey’s house, this building too was pulled down by Maoist-led labourers of around a month and a half ago. Then the guerrillas took possession of the entire land and distributed it among 53 local landless labourers. Naru Singh’s son Ajit, who is known for his proximity to CPM minister Sushanta Ghosh, could do little to prevent it. Continue reading

Review/Interview about New Book on India’s Maoist Movement

PLGA (People's Liberation Guerilla Army) in training

‘ddddReviewed by M.R. Narayan Swamy

This is undoubtedly India’s answer to ‘Red Star Over China’, the epoch-making story of what the then obscure Mao was up to in China’s rural areas at the head of a nascent Communist party that eventually took power in 1949. When American Edgar Snow came out with the classic of a book, the world sat up and took notice.

The Indian Maoists of Bastar are of course not an unknown commodity. Yet there has been no account of what they are doing in the huge, forested land of poverty amid plenty known as Bastar, a story as exhaustive and moving as this racy eye-opener of a book.

Unlike most books on Indian Maoism, this one does not dabble in ideology, party documents and polemics. Like Snow did decades ago, Satnam, a committed Leftwing writer-activist from Punjab, focuses on the impoverished people and the revolutionaries he meets in Bastar. He spent two months in the forests, living with his subjects to study why Maoists are on the ascendency in the mineral-rich region where governments have existed only in the form of greedy contractors and corrupt policemen, leaving the mass of tribals to wallow in poverty, disease and illiteracy while outsiders strip away Bastar’s minerals.

The book was originally published in Punjabi early this decade . What has been published now is an excellent English translation by Vishav Bharti. But readers need not worry. The story that unfolds may have been written yesterday, so vivid is the harshness of jungle life; and those jungles are still the same. If anything, some of what the guerrillas said about their plans for the future seems to be coming true. Continue reading

Maoists Celebrate Charu Mazumdar Anniversary

charu_mazumdar_india_maoism

This article was posted on Ajahind.

THE 36TH death anniversary of Naxalite leader Charu Mazumdar ended after a week-long commemoration on August 3. CPI (Maoists) leaders encouraged tribals at a public meeting close to Chhatishgarh (bordering Malkangiri district of Orrisa) to work hard in the fields for better paddy production, to maintain cleanness in their villages and to always drink boiled water.

Opposing the Government Policy of introducing country liquor, the Naxal leaders urged the tribals who attended the meeting to stop consumption and sale of liquor for the better cause. As many as 70 permanent pillars were erected to remember their comrades in Malkangiri district and 500 temporary pillars were erected by their followers and sympathisers. They even gave a call to people join its Liberation Guerrilla Arm to fight for the better society.

Posters were pasted on important junctions in remote villages under Mathili block urging the village heads, ward members, block and zilla parishad chairmen to ensure that the CRPF would not enter tribal villages for a combing operation. They also warned the elected representatives that if they failed to do so, they would be eliminated. The Maoists even decided to blow up the bridge on river Kolab at Kiang inaugurated by the then chief minister of Orrisa, Biju Patnaik. This bridge strengthens the communication facilities for about seven panchayats including Tentuligumma, the residential village of a great tribal freedom fighter Laxman Nayak who was hanged to death in 1942. They also barred construction of a school building at Chitrakopa under Kamarapalli Gram Panchayat of Mathili Block under DPEP Funds as they suspected that the building would house police camps and not school children.

In a separate incident, the Maoists also condemned the brutal killing of three tribal youth from one family due to their suspected affiliation with a rebel faction.

Rough Notes on the Indian Communist Movement

redindia.jpgThese are notes from a presentation by G.N. Saibaba on the history and current lines of different trends among communists in India. Saibaba is the Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an All Indian Federation of Revolutionary People’s Organisations. Thanks to the Fire on the Mountain blog for making these notes available.

1. The communist movement in India today

There are three different main streams in the revolutionary movement:

a. CPI (Maoist) – follows the line of People’s War steadfastly and surging forward.

b. CPI (ML) Naxalbari, CT, PCC (ML) and others like CPCRML who are close to the Maoist party in terms of line to a greater or lesser extent.

Also Red Flag – Communist Revolutionary Platform, CPI (ML) Central Team, and CPM (ML) New Democracy — these are all small, but they have a small mass base. They partake in mass struggles but do not conduct armed struggle at present. They are right deviationist in the understanding of the Maoists.

CPI (ML) Liberation is now fast turning revisionist, a fairly large party mainly in Bihar. Continue reading