Seven Years Gone: Remembering Anuradha Ghandy

Anuradha Ghandy: The Rebel

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She was born into privilege and could easily have chosen the easy life. But Anuradha Ghandy chose guns over roses to fight for the dispossessed.

On a muggy April evening in 2008, somewhere in Mumbai, a doctor was trying desperately to get in touch with his patient. The patient happened to be a woman in her early 50s, who had come that morning with high fever. The doctor had advised a few blood tests, and, as he saw the reports, he started making frantic calls to the phone number the patient had scribbled in her nearly illegible handwriting. The number, he soon realised, did not exist. He was restless. The reports indicated the presence of two deadly strains of malaria in the woman’s bloodstream—she had to be admitted to a hospital without delay. Time was racing by and there was no trace of her.

By the time the woman contacted the doctor again, a few days had passed. The doctor wanted her placed under intensive care immediately. But it was too late.

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India: It’s people’s right to boycott elections: Maoist leader

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It's people's right to boycott elections: Maoist leader
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections.
CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya special zonal committee secretary Ramanna speaks on the party’s stand on the Chhattisgarh assembly elections and justifies the May 25 attack on Congress leaders that killed Mahendra Karma and V C Shukla among others.

Q: Why have you appealed for election boycott? A: As usual, we have appealed to people to boycott the elections because they are a farce. Elections only renew five-year tenures of loot and torture by the elected representative in the present system. Our target is to change this system from the root and establish a people-centric society and that is not possible through elections.

Q: Will the poll boycott be violent this time too? A: This does not depend on our saying anything. Like always, this time too, the government has deployed a huge a number of security forces in the name of conducting free and fair elections, which are already exploiting and torturing people. Attacks on villages in the name of search operations, arrests, beating up people, fake encounters are consistently on. It is important to resist such acts. Therefore, I can only say that when the government tries to defuse our poll-boycott movement through crackdown on the people, then there will certainly be a counter to it. Continue reading

The Times of India: “Maoists run parallel govt in Andhra-Orissa border areas”

[An interesting report from the India bourgeois newspaper, The Time of India, on recent developments in the Andhra-Orissa Border region — (as yet unconfirmed by other sources). — Frontlines ed.]

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Siva G, The Times of India (Hyderabad), TNN, August 8, 2012
VISAKHAPATNAM: In what could alarm the state police, Maoists are setting up parallel governments ‘janata sarkars’ in the interior pockets of Andhra-Orissa Border (AOB), buoyed by the success of a similar exercise in the Dandakaranya region of Chhattisgarh.

The Gumma area committee in the neighbouring district of Malkangiri in Odisha set up a janata sarkar in the interior villages of AOB on Sunday when the rebels distributed rice to 800 tribal families. The rice was reportedly collected from contractors and businessmen. They assured the tribals that they would construct cement concrete roads to the interior villages and appoint teachers to the schools with their own funds. They also assured the tribals that medical facilities in PHCs (public health centre) would be provided by them very soon.

Gumma area committee secretary Rukdhar, top leader Golla Ravi alias Madhav alias Sridhar along with five other key leaders were present at the rice distribution programme, sources said. The tribal welfare programmes would be implemented regularly, Maoist leader Rukdhar said. He said that education was a basic necessity to develop the tribal areas and stated that he would appoint doctors to provide necessary medicines to the tribals, who are susceptible to malaria and other water-borne diseases. “All these facilities are provided by us in the forests of Dantewada, Bijapur and Sukma districts in Chhattigarh,” he told the gathering.

Sources said the Maoists are set to take their sarkar concept deep into the tribal hamlets and mandals in the interior Agency areas on both sides of AOB. Senior police officials said the Maoists’ ploy to implement the pro-poor schemes was to win the hearts of the tribals. The Maoists had lost several cadres and sympathizers, besides militia members in arrests, surrenders and encounters in recent times. “They cannot risk more damage to the party and hence are wooing the tribals by distributing rice and other essential commodities,” a senior police official involved in anti-naxal operations told TOI. Continue reading

The Government of Violence : A Massacre In Dandakaranya

By Kamal K.M, Countercurrents.org, 16 July, 2012

‘Dandakaranya’ is a stretch of forest in India that runs through the states of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra , and Andhra Pradesh. Roughly translated in Sanskrit, the word means `Jungle of Punishment’.

When you enter the village of Kottaguda , located in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, the first impression is one of serenity. The vestiges of the Salwa Judum pillage from a few years ago still remain as a burnt scar. The houses have stood starkly against these acts of aggression.

We couldn’t see any trace of massacre from ten days ago.

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We were a group of thirty people from different parts of India , people of different professions and academic backgrounds. There were some people in the group who had been to similar kind of fact finding report missions, like Advocate Tharakam, Prasanth Haldar, V.S Krishna, Advocate Raghunath, C Chandrasekhar, R Shiva Shankar, and Ashish Gupta. Some of them were official members of different human rights organizations under the umbrella of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). We – advocates, teachers, government employees, students, former trade union activists and media professionals – were united by a single objective – to unearth the truth about what had actually happened on the night of June 28 th .

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When we entered the village there was a solemn air about it. The only humans we saw there were some heavily armed paramilitary forces inside the bushes – they might have been from CoBRA force or CRPF.

The men in arms averted our gaze. They couldn’t meet our eye with the shadow of the dastardly act of a few days ago looming large over them.

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8pm on the evening of 28 th June, Kottaguda village in Bijpapur District, Chattisgarh.

There was a meeting being held to discuss the upcoming seed festival – Beeja Pondum. It was a wet monsoon night. Some people from other villages, like Sarkeguda and Rajpenta, were also attending the meeting. A few children loitered around playfully. At 10pm , the CoBRA force and CRPF cordoned off the villages and started firing indiscriminately and without any warning.

The first attack came from the west, and instantly killed three adivasis. This was quickly followed by firing from three other directions. Terrified villagers started running – some tried to take shelter, some ran towards their respective villages. Yet, the bullets continued to spray for another 30 minutes. Then, as if to survey the dead, the CRPF forces fired two flare guns that lit up the area. They languidly ambled through the scene and collected the dead bodies that remained.

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The national Media duly reported the incident following the government version. But by the next morning it slowly emerged that those killed were actually villagers. It was infact a massacre. It was clear that the victims were tribal villagers, who were randomly killed. Some news papers and tv channels corrected their mistake and reported the truth. Some still have not corrected their mistake. Continue reading

RDF statement on massacre of adivasis in Dandakaranya

Rise!                                                                Resist!                                                 Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF) – Press Release,  2 june 2012

  • Condemn the massacre of 20 adivasi villagers and their children in Dandakaranya by the mercenary forces of the fascist Indian state!
  • Expose the white lies of the killer gang of Chidambaram-Raman Singh portraying the massacred adivasis and their children as leaders and cadres of the CPI (Maoist)!
  •  Rise up to oppose the genocide of adivasis under Operation Green Hunt by the Indian state and its War on People!

When the adivasi peasants of Sirkegudem, Kothagudem and Rajupenta – adjacent villages separated by not more than a kilometre in the Bijapur district of south Chhattisgarh – gathered in hundreds on the night of 28 June 2012 to plan the performance of the traditional festival Beej Pandum (seed festival), they least expected to be surrounded by six hundred armed forces personnel of the Indian state. At least 18 adivasis lost their lives in the cold-blooded massacre that followed. Two other villagers were likewise killed near Jagargunda village of Sukma district the same night, and predictably, were shown as casualties of an ‘encounter’ between the Maoists and the armed forces. As the testimonies of the eyewitnesses coming through the media, activists as well as the statements of the CPI (Maoist) now confirm, the killing of the adivasis was a heinous massacre committed by the Cobra battalion of the CRPF and the Chhattisgarh police under the command of top police officials including CRPF Director General Vijay Kumar and Chhattisgarh Inspector General of Police T G Longkumar. It is also clear that this massacre is a part of Indian state’s extermination campaign against the Maoist revolutionary movement and the adivasis of central and eastern India under the rubric of Operation Green Hunt that was launched with a media blitzkrieg in September 2009.

To cover up this massacre of genocidal proportions and to defend this indefensible act, the puppets of the ruling classes, be it the chief architect of Operation Green Hunt, central Home Minister Chidambaram or Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, have tried in vain to colour it as a ‘major military victory’ against the Maoists! Chidambaram even went to the extent of propagating the lie that three important Maoist leaders were killed in this ‘encounter’. The top-brass of the CRPF and police too are shouting from rooftops about gunning down ‘armed Naxalite leaders and cadres’. They are patting themselves on their backs for carrying out a ‘daring night attack’! They have claimed that 6 men belonging to the armed forces have sustained ‘injuries’ during the so-called ‘firing in self-defense’. The cock-and-bull story of terming this gathering as a big ‘Maoist meeting’ attended by ‘senior Maoist cadres’ has also been floated. A section of the corporate media has shamelessly echoed the sadistic celebration of this bloodbath by the ruling classes and their mercenary armies. Continue reading

India: Displacement and repression disguised as “combatting terrorism”, but popular resistance grows

Communist Party of India (Maoist) — Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee:   Press Release (4 May 212)

“Observe ‘Bharat Bandh’ on 16 May against the proposed fascist NCTC, against continued assaults on the people by the government armed forces under Operation Green Hunt and against the deployment of Indian Army in Bastar!”

The Indian state is relentlessly continuing its extremely brutal attacks on the people of the country, particularly the adivasis, in the last two and half years in the name of Operation Green Hunt. The police and paramilitary forces unleashed by the ruling classes are perpetrating acts of ‘encounter’ killings, mass murders, sexual assault, torture, burning of villages, destruction of crops and grains, plunder of peoples’ property, wanton arrests and forced ‘disappearances etc. These forces have carried out the cold-blooded murder of more than 250 adivasis in the last two and half years in Dandakaranya alone. The objective of this war on people is to uproot the ongoing Maoist movement in the country, particularly in its central and eastern regions.

The comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the imperialists are in desperation to loot and plunder our beloved country which is richly endowed with vast mineral, forest and water resources. From 2008 in particular, in the context of the deepening world economic crisis, they are scheming many a conspiracies to cheaply exploit the natural resources and labour power available in underdeveloped countries like India. After concluding MoUs involving investments worth lakhs of crores with the comprador governments and by undertaking the large-scale destruction of jal-jangal-zameen, these forces are displacing a large number of people from their homes and hearths. The people too have risen up against this aggression. CPI (Maoist) is leading the people in this struggle and is standing with them. This is the reason why the Maoist movement has become the biggest hurdle before the exploitative ruling classes and their government led by the Sonia-Maonmohan Singh-Chidambaram-Jairam Ramesh ruling clique. However, the threat felt by the ruling classes from the Maoist movement is being propagated by them as ‘the biggest threat to the internal security of the country’ with an aim to deceive the masses. Continue reading

Remembering Anuradha Gandhy: “People’s War has shattered the hesitations of the women of Dandakaranya!”

[Anuradha Gandhy, a leading member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was both intellectual and activist who wrote about and organized the revolutionary women’s movement in India, developed theory on the relationship of the women’s movement and the movement of Dalits to the overall revolutionary struggle, and many other significant contributions.  Her life was cut short with an untimely death due to disease in 2008.  But her spirit and her words continue to guide the ongoing revolutionary movement. As March 8, International Women’s Day, approaches, we offer this interview with “Anu” from 2001. — Frontlines ed.]

Interview with Com. Janaki (Anuradha Gandhy) from the March 2001 issue of Poru Mahila, the organ of Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sanghatan, DK.

Comrade Janaki (Anuradha Gandhy)

People’s War has shattered the hesitations of the women of Dandakaranya!

(In this issue of Poru Mahila we are introducing to our readers Com. Janaki who had been working in the urban movement and had come to Dandakaranya to observe the adivasi peasant movement and to participate in it. Com. Janaki had led the guerilla squads directly as a divisional committee member of South Bastar from 1997 to 2000. Poru Mahila chatted with her on her experiences in the urban movement and in the adivasi peasant movement. We are here presenting the main features of that conversation – Editor, Poru Mahila).

Po. Ma: Com. Janaki, would you please first explain to us the oppression faced by urban women?

Com. J: Though all women in India are under feudal, capitalist, imperialist and patriarchal oppression, it is seen in various forms in different areas, the urban and the rural areas. The working class and middle class women in urban areas have some specific problems.
Firstly, if we look at the problems inside the family, even in urban areas women are oppressed by the feudal culture.

Though the oppression of this culture may be less severe, still the majority of the young girls and women do not get the right to take important decisions regarding their lives from the family. The unmarried girls are under pressure to marry men from the same caste and same religion according to the decisions of the family. If a girl decides to marry a man of her choice from another caste or religion she will be subjected to a lot of pressure. She would have to face severe opposition from the family. Even if a woman wants to work outside home she will have to take the permission of her father, brother or husband. People of some castes and religions (for e.g. the Muslims and Kshatriyas) do not like their woman to do jobs. So it becomes inevitable for women to fight even for economic independence.

In addition since capitalist values have spread widely man-woman relations have also become commercialized and women are facing severe problems. The dowry and other items which have to be given to the grooms’ family before and after marriage has become a big problem for the parents who gave birth to girls. Added to that, it had become common to all communities to harass women for dowry both physically and mentally. When the wife’s life can be measured in money and gold killing her for their sake is not far behind. This terrible situation can be found in many households in the urban areas now-a-days. Especially since the past 25-30 years may be India is the only country in the world where the new crime of burning brides for dowry has come into vogue. Continue reading