What Maoists Say–“Orissa: Imperialist tourism for ‘tribal entertainment’ in War Zones of Repression and Resistance” (Part Six)

CPI (Maoist)–Odisha State Organizing Committee–Statement, 16 March 2012

The government – both at the Centre and the state (Odisha) – has reduced adivasis into mere exhibition items in attempts to lure domestic and foreign tourists. On one hand, the government while inviting multinational capitalists to plunder natural and mineral resources in the adivasi heartland is trying to repress voices of resistance by unleashing Operation Green Hunt on adivasis and the common mass at gun-point, and on the other, it is intensifying its efforts to turn innocent adivasis into exhibition items. Although the government claims to have amended the so-called laws in February 2012 to put certain checks on tourists visiting adivasi areas, it has turned out to be a blatant lie. In the same breath as the power centres in Delhi and Shahid Nagar are implementing the much-debated industrialization and displacement laws at gun-point, they are sending tourists to adivasi areas to click naked pictures of the adivasis, and turning these areas into tourism-friendly commodities. In Ganjam and Kandhamal, such inhuman activities are going on through unwritten permission by the district SPs in corrupt connivance with the said power centres. The same government that is sending police forces to these areas to ablaze forests, to burn down heaps of dry turmeric leaves, and to destroy people’s properties and lives is sending foreign tourists to click barren hills and bare bodies of adivasis: this is an insult to the people.

Because of all these, we have arrested two Italian tourists (one of them is a tourism trader licensed by the state government):

  1. Bosusco Paolo, B, Pralesio 10, Condove (to), Italy
  2. Clavdio Colangelo, via Di Frascati, 215, 00040 Rocca Di Papa, Italy

By doing so, we are exposing the real face of the government bereft any shred of humanism that has taken adivasi areas as some tourism commodity, as though these places are habitats of apes and chimpanzees. We are requesting the common mass to raise voice against turning adivasi areas into tourism commodities. Having arrested these two Italian culprits, we are also releasing two Odia slaves of theirs—Santosh and Kartik.

 

If the government is serious about freeing these two visitors, central and state governments should as primary condition stop all repression and combing operations in Odisha by 18 March 2012, and come forward to discuss our demands with us. If this is not done, we cannot take this government into confidence; and we will not be responsible for the loss of lives of the two visitors, rather the government that is unleashing terror without heeding to our demands and the state machinery that is running an illegal tourism trade will be.

Our demands

  1. Adivasis are not commodities of tourism and adivasi areas are not recreation spots for tourists. Announce this clearly and arrest those who violate it.
  2. Stop repression in the name of Operation Green Hunt. Recall all police camps from remote areas, except from thanas. Create conducive space for dialogues with revolutionaries over people’s problems. Continue reading

Maoists Act–“Orissa: Imperialist tourism for ‘tribal entertainment’ in War Zones of Repression and Resistance” (Part Two)

Undated photograph shows Italian national Bosusco Paolo posing with tribal women at an undisclosed location in India.

Maoists abduct two Italian tourists for taking ‘objectionable’ tribal photos

Sandeep Mishra, TNN Mar 18, 2012

BHUBANESWAR: Efforts to ensure safe release of two Italian tourists abducted by Maoists in Odisha’s Kandhamal district did not yield result till Sunday evening, even as external affairs minister S M Krishna spoke to chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Italy’s consul general in Kolkata Joel Melchiori met state government officers here.

Maoists have claimed responsibility for kidnapping Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo from a forest on the Kandhamal-Ganjam border on March 14 and demanded the state government to fulfill their demands by Sunday evening. The matter came to the fore on Saturday night following the extremists letting off Sontosh Moharana, a cook, and Kartik Parida, a helper, who had accompanied the Italian duo.

“Around 30 Maoists took us hostage on March 14 morning when we were preparing food near a stream in Gazalbadi forests. They took us blindfolded and made us walk for about five kilometres,” Moharana told journalists in Puri. “Maoists did not cause any harm to us and treated us well,” he added.

Kandhamal SP Jayanarayan Pankaj told TOI: “We have information the foreigners are safe. We hope Maoists would release them soon.”

This is the first time Maoists have targeted foreigners in Odisha, sparking hectic deliberations at the Central and state government levels. Naveen condemned the kidnapping and appealed to the abductors to free the foreigners on humanitarian ground. “Odisha government is open to any kind of negotiation with the kidnappers under the law,” he said. “I reiterate my appeal to the Left-wing extremists not to take any drastic step. I also condemn this heinous crime. No one will condone this kind of act in a civil society,” he added. Continue reading

India: Maoists respond to new Indian state offensive

[The Indian mass media dutifully reports the government and police announcements.  Frontlines here posts an Indian TV report, followed by an article from The Times of India, (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-14/india/29656088_1_narayanpur-maoist-hit-states-chhattisgarh-orissa).  Following these, we post a detailed statement from the Communist Party of India (Maoist) responding to the same events. — Frontlines ed.]

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Orissa govt seeks Centre’s help to counter Maoists

New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Orissa Government has sought from Home Ministry additional security personnel to counter Maoist menace in the state. After his meeting with the Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Tuesday, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the state needs additional security force to deal with increasing Maoist attacks.

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Anti-Maoist ops on Chhattisgarh-Orissa border to be intensified

Vishwa Mohan, TNN Jun 14, 2011

NEW DELHI: As naxals intensified their attack in Chhattisgarh killing 18 security personnel in three separate incidents last week, the Centre will hold a special meeting here on Tuesday to discuss ‘counter-offensive’ measures with the state chief minister Raman Singh and his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik.

The meeting, to be chaired by the Union home minister P Chidambaram, will discuss how both the states can further intensify operations against left wing extremists along the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border in a much more coordinated manner.

An official said, “Though we have had instances of naxal attacks in Dantewada and Narayanpur last week, Chhattisgarh has eliminated a number of Maoists in the past couple of months during joint operations. The need of the hour is to further intensify it, taking help from bordering states.”

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COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Press Release

June 15, 2011

Fight back the new state offensive in Chhattisgarh and Odisha
as part of Operation Green Hunt – Phase II!

Any fascist offensive aimed at looting this country is bound to be defeated by the courageous resistance of the self-respecting people of India!

On 14-06-2011 the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had a high level meeting with the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Odisha and announced a new brutal offensive in these two states to contain ‘Left Wing Extremism (LWE)’. In the guise of his oft-repeated two-pronged mantra of ‘development and police action’, the HM promised full support of the centre for these states in their cruel offensive and egged them on to go ahead in full swing. Naveen Patnaik, the blood-thirsty CM of Odisha whose hands are already stained with the blood of hundreds of people of Odisha offered as human sacrifices for this ‘God of development’ right from Kalinga Nagar to Niyamgiri is now asking for helicopters to bomb the hapless adivasis. Raman Singh who would perhaps go down in history as the saffron fascist who sounded the death knell for one of the most ancient inhabitants in the world in Bastar, tried to cover up his growing alarm at the increasing heroic armed resistance of the people in his state with high-sounding rhetoric on how to go about decimating Maoists. A few days back in the first week of June (within a  week of  another meeting with the chief ministers of ‘Maoist affected’ states led by the PM and HM) an announcement had already been made by the AP and Odisha governments that a three-month long big offensive is ready to be launched on Andhra-Odisha Border region (AOB) to decimate the Maoists there. They announced that they would use modern technology and new methods and tactics of attacking utilizing ‘water, air and land’. They said paratroopers may also be used. And now the whole country knows that the army had already been deployed in Chhattisgarh under the pretext of ‘training’. Continue reading

Orissa, India: Villagers erect barriers back at Posco site

Villagers of Dhinkia in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, stand behind the bamboo barricades. Telegraph picture

MANOJ KAR, The Telegraph, Calcutta

Paradip, Feb 2: Makeshift bamboo gates are back in villages that lie on the site for the proposed Posco project. Registering their protest against conditional clearance accorded to the Posco project, villagers today erected barrier gates at six places in Jagatsinghpur district’s Dhinkia gram panchayat, which falls in the steel plant’s area.

Pro-plant activists and government officials, however, said areas where villagers are for the project — in Gadakujang and Nuagaon gram panchayat — there would be little hurdle before the steel plant.

Yesterday, protesters participating in a rally had vowed to stop government officials, police and Posco personnel from gaining access to the villages earmarked for the steel plant.

“This is our final phase of resistance against the South Korean steel project. People here will call off the movement only if the government shifts the project from this fertile land,” said Sisir Kumar Mahapatra, a prominent anti-plant leader and sarpanch of Dhinkia gram panchayat. Continue reading

Orissa, India: 1000’s protest govt approval of POSCO steel plant and displacement of villagers

 

Agitation against Posco in Orissa, last May

May 18, 2010–Shooting at locals to help a foreign multinational set up its plant, that spells disaster.  1500 villagers who have fought the POSCO project for years,  felt the force of the Orissa police  as they staged a protest against the Posco project. It seems like a repeat of Singur.

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The anti-displacement struggle against POSCO gathers new intensity this week.  See the following articles about the protests and resistance.

12 February, 2011-Villagers attend a protest at Balitutha, about 120km from Bhubaneswar yesterday against India’s approval of Posco’s plans to build a steel plant in Orissa

Reuters / Bhubaneshwar February 2, 2011
Posco steel project in Orissa
Nearly 3,000 people held noisy protests on Tuesday against India’s approval of South Korean Posco’s plans to build a steel plant in Orissa, underlying the problems that have delayed the mill for years.

Police said men, women and children marched to the site of the proposed $12 billion plant waving placards saying Posco’s plans would disrupt their betel leaf plantations and forest-based livelihoods.While the protests are not likely to force a reversal of the government approval given on Monday, they could make it difficult for authorities to begin acquiring land for the plant that has been a test case for India’s investment climate.

“Posco go back,” protesters shouted, according to witnesses.

“Shame on Jairam Ramesh, shame on Naveen Patnaik,” they shouted, referring to the environment minister and the state’s chief minister respectively. 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

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.