“Revoke ban on RDF”: Arundhati Roy

[The recent ban of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) in Andhra Pradesh is but the latest of many fascist moves by the Indian government against democratic and revolutionary activists.  Arundhati Roy has joined a growing protest of this ban, as reported below.

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Noted writer Arundhati Roy with revolutionary writer Varavara Rao at the meeting of the Revolutionary Writers Association in Hyderabad on Sunday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna

Hyderabad, Indian Express News Service, Sept 24, 2012

Writer and social activist Arundhati Roy on Sunday demanded an immediate revoke of the ban imposed on Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) in the state.

Addressing the gathering at a meeting organised by the Viplava Rachaitala Sangham (Revolutionary Writers’ Association) against the ban, Roy termed the ban unconstitutional and urged the members to keep on with their struggle against state-sponsored violence. “RDF is not a armed organisation. It’s activities are in consonance with the Indian constitution. Then why is it banned?,” she questioned.

However, she said that the ban had indirectly helped the RDF in growing strong. “The ban has indirectly benefited the RDF. It has allowed it to grow stronger and the bond among it’s members and with the people grow deeper,” she said. She lauded RDF’s members for fighting for the human rights of the dalits and the adivasis in rural India.

“The ban has forced mass migration of RDF’s members from Hyderabad to either Delhi or to the rural parts of the state but still the organisation has grown stronger in the state capital, she said indicating to it’s swell of ranks during the first national conference of the RDF in Hyderabad on April this year. Continue reading

Internationalism and the revolution of the masses in India: an interview with GN Saibaba

[On 14th of April 2012, the  “Jan Myrdal great award, the Lenin award” was presented in a theatre in Varberg, Sweden. Individuals from different countries and from different parts of of Sweden came for the celebration. Many of participants stayed at Hotell Gästis in central Varberg, where Indiensolidaritet interviewed the secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, G.N.Saibaba.]

Indiensolidaritet, Sweden, August 28, 2012

GN Saibaba

Interview with G.N.Saibaba in Varberg Sweden, 14-15th April 2012

Indiensolidaritet: Can you say something about the political work you do in India?

Saibaba: I work for an organization called Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working among different oppressed classes and sections of Indian society.  Revolutionary students and youth organisations, revolutionary peasants’ organisations, revolutionary workers’ organisations, revolutionary cultural organisations as well revolutionary womens’ organisations from different regions across India are constituents of RDF. Thus RDF is a large network of revolutionary organisations reaching out to all sections and strata of the society.

From the year 2009 onwards Operation Green Hunt began, the Indian state’s genocidal war on the poorest of the poor in India. All of us in our organization RDF work with other parties, groups, democratic organisations and individuals to raise our voice collectively and unitedly against the present military onslaught on the people and the extermination campaign against the people of India. We see this massive military operation as a continuation and the latest addition in the war waged by India’s ruling classes against the people of the subcontinent for last many decades be it in Kashmir, North East, Punjab, and now in central and eastern India. So we are at one level involved in the basic struggles of the people and at another we are working along with a large network of political forces and carrying out a countrywide campaign against Indian state’s anti-people policies, particularly Operation Green Hunt.

Indiensolidaritet: The way we see it, there are two lines regarding solidarity work in Europe. One line is trying to unite people on an anti-imperialist and anti-feudal basis and another one focuses more on Maoism. What do you think about this?

Saibaba: Yes, there is this perception and understanding of how to develop the solidarity movement for the peoples‚ struggles and the particularly the military attack on the people that is going on in India. So what I can see is that there are large sections who think that the large sections of the people of India and the larger confrontation is more important to focus on, to tell the world outside India. There is another section of organizations which hold that the present campaign by the Indian state is targeting the revolutionaries in India and therefore the revolutionaries should be supported directly. What is important today is that the people of India, the poorest of the poor 80 percent of the country who live an extremely perilous existence, are looking forward to a basic change in their lives. The poorest section of humanity in the world therefore is waging a defiant struggle in India under the leadership of the revolutionary Maoists who are from among their own. So if you take the larger picture of what is happening in India, you can see that this is a great resistance against the loot of the land and minerals by the corporate sector. Monopoly capital in its desperation to dominate the world’s resources would like to overcome its crisis by exploiting the cheap raw materials in India and other oppressed countries. It’s an attempt by the imperialists, by monopoly capital on the world scale, to transport their burden of the economic crisis upon the shoulders of the poorest of the poor in India.

Removing the people from their homes and hearths has become pertinent for the corporations backed by the government to capture the valuable mineral resources which are estimated to a value of several trillions of dollars.  So the resistance movement is built up by the indigenous people, the poorest of the poor, the millions and millions of the wretched of the earth. To crush this movement and to silence all the people the Indian government has sent more than 250,000 armed personnel to these regions backed by its air force and navy. You therefore can see the importance of the struggle. Of course the revolutionary forces are involved. They work in these areas and organise the people, but the question is much larger. It is an anti-imperialist struggle of the people, led by the revolutionary Maoists. This is a larger question because this resistance exists not only in the central and eastern parts of India where the Maoist movement has a strong presence, but extends to every part of India even where the Maoists are absent.  Continue reading

A watchful, critical eye on US troops, training, and “war games” in South Asia

Revolutionary Democratic Front:  “Resolution on US troops in South Asian countries including India” – April 2012

The growing military ties of the Indian state with the number one imperialist power in the world, US, has resulted in joint military exercises and ‘war games’ in recent years. One such training, codenamed ‘Exercise Malabar’, has been made a regular event to be held by the armies and navies of the US and India. This year, Exercise Malabar was conducted by Indian and American armed forces from April 9 to 16 in the Bay of Bengal as well as Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is also in common knowledge that US Special Forces have trained Indian army in ‘counter-insurgency’ warfare and ‘counter-terrorism’ in the so-called Jungle Warfare Schools in Kanker, Chhattisgarh and Vairengte, Mizoram.

Of late a number of defence agreements have been signed by the governments of the two countries. More agreements are in the process of finalisation, including the Logistic Supply Agreement (LSA), Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA). The so-called ‘India-Japan-US Strategic Dialogue’ has also been set up with a similar agenda. This shows the growing military alignment of the Indian state with the US and its strategic partner Israel, with multi-billion dollar defense deals with US and Israeli arms manufacturers. India’s defense budget has also been scaled up exponentially in order to satisfy the needs of the imperialist economy spearheaded by the US.

Since 2001, India’s defence spending has risen by more than 60 per cent to $36 billion in 2011 – 2012. Between the years 2007 and 2011, Indian state has signed $35.6 billion worth of defence contracts. The largest share of this spending has gone to the US, the latter now becoming the largest defence supplier to India. American companies have received $12 billion in contracts from India – a 34 per cent share of all defense spending since 2007. Private American companies closely connected to the imperialist ruling class of the US such as Rapischen, Taxtron, BOD, Lockheed Martin, Northcorp, Motorola, GE etc. has benefitted from these contracts. All this is being done in the name of ‘anti-terror cooperation’ and intelligence sharing. Continue reading

“Oppose and Fight Against Ban of RDF in Andhra Pradesh!”

 Rise!   Resist!    Liberate!

REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)
PRESS RELEASE — 11 August 2012

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) has been banned by the Andhra Pradesh government on 9 August 2012 through Government Order No.430 under Andhra Pradesh Public Security Act 1992. This comes as the latest of the anti-people repressive measures that the Andhra Pradesh government have persistently adopted to over the last few decades to crush democratic voices and peoples’ movements under the garb of fighting Maoism. This comes as another glaring example of the hollowness of Indian government’s claim as ‘largest democracy of the world’. We strongly condemn this act of banning and criminalisation of our organisation and demand the immediate withdrawal of this authoritarian ban.

The Government Order brands RDF as “unlawful” and bans it “with immediate effect”. The GO links RDF with the banned CPI(Maoist) by calling it a “frontal organisation” of the Maoist party. Falsely implicating RDF as “part of Tactical United Front”, it dubiously enlists the following as “unlawful activities” of the organisation:

  1. Sub serving the interest and objectives of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) whose avowed objective is to overthrow the lawfully established Government by means of force and violence through terrorist activities involving the use of firearms and explosives;
  2. Urging people to fight against the Police and join the Maoist movement;
  3. Opposing and demanding stoppage of anti extremist combing operations of the police and security forces in the left wing extremism affected area of the States and there by abetting and encouraging the violent activities of Maoist;
  4. Organising dharnas, rallies and other forms of agitations in support of the unlawful activities of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and
  5. Opposing lawful actions of police and criminal justice system and inciting the people to take violence against the democratically elected government established by law.

The arbitrary and knee-jerk reaction of the AP government in banning RDF in the state comes just three months after the organisation successfully held its First All India Conference in Hyderabad on 22-23 April 2012. The indication of the AP government’s response was visible during the conference as well. It banned the Public Rally of 23 April in an arbitrary manner by serving us a letter which alleged that some Maoists were present in the conference and that the Rally would ‘disturb’ the law and order situation of the state. Under instructions from the state government, Andhra Pradesh police also arrested a team of 35 cultural activists from Chhattisgarh on false charges and prevented them from attending the conference.

There is no organisational structure of RDF in Andhra Pradesh at present. It is therefore ridiculous to attribute the so-called unlawful activities to our organisation. Presently only the RDF All India President Varavara Rao (member of Virasam or Revolutionary Writers’ Association) and Vice-President Ganti Prasadam are our members from this state. The only activity conducted under the banner of RDF in Andhra Pradesh after the Conference was a round-table meeting that raised voices of protest against the recent massacre of 20 adivasis in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. This was a well attended meeting with the participation of several prominent intellectuals, writers and representatives of civil rights organisations besides being attended and addressed the meeting by three senior editors of newspapers. Is there any basis or justification for terming such a meeting as ‘unlawful’? Continue reading

India: Intellectuals protest government killings of adivasis

Chhattisgarh killings: RDF demands cases against PC, Central forces

Eminent educationist Chukka Ramaiah speaking at a round table conference on police forces massacre of tribals in Chhattisgarh state held by Revolutionary Democratic Front in Hyderabad on Monday. RDF president Varavara Rao and Prof Haragopal also seen.

Hyderabad, 10 July 2012: Intellectuals, revolutionary and civil society organisations on Monday condemned the cold-blooded massacre of 8 Adivasis and their children in Chhattisgarh on June 28 and demanded that cases against Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the commanders of Central forces be filed under SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities act.

Participating in round table conference, organized by Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Professor G Haragopal alleged that Chidambaram was the brain behind the killing of innocent tribals by deploying central forces in the forest under the guise of attack on Maoists in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh.

He saw a conspiracy behind that attack. The conspiracy is to exploit rich mines and natural resources by displacing tribals from their forests, he said. Haragopal said, time has come to fight against Imperialism and state sponsored violence tooth and nail.

He said it was unfortunate that some national media organisations created an impression that the country’s growth rate will not reach two digits if the mines and resources in the forest areas were not utilized properly in the coming days.

The same media projected Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi as Prime Minister candidate, though he killed many people in his state while the Maoists, were projected as ‘ traitors ‘ , he bemoaned. Continue reading

India: On the Clashes among Peasants in Assom

Resolution of the All India Executive Committee, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) — (approved at meeting in Delhi, 1-2 August 2012)

On communal clashes in Asom

There have been widespread clashes between peasants belonging to the Bodo tribal community and Bengali Muslim peasants. The violence has spread to four western districts of Asom – Kojkrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Gossaigaon – leading to the death of over a hundred people and rendering lakhs of people homeless who are living in government-run refugee camps. Even though on both side of the divide are mostly small peasants and landless people, and is a contradiction among the people, the devious role of the ruling classes have transformed it into an inimical contradiction. The attacks on the Muslim peasants in particular strengthens the Hindu communal forces. And it is not the first time that the rulers have instigated such communal violence between these two communities in this region. On many occasions in the past a large number of people from both sides have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands lost their property. The unresolved land question has been made use of by the ruling classes to instil suspicion, hatred and violence between these two sections of the people, who are both oppressed by the exploitative social relations. All so-called communal clashes are always state-sponsored. In the absence of a progressive or revolutionary force among the people, such incidents are going to be enacted repeatedly by the rulers to consolidate their own rule and to divert the attention of the masses from the real issues. RDF stands by the affected Bodo and Bengali peasants of western Asom.
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India: Report on the Historic 2012 Revolutionary Democratic Front Conference

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) leaders at the concluding session of their first conference in Hyderabad

Report on the first All India Conference of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

The historic first conference of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) was held on 22 and 23 April 2012 in the Sundarayya Vignana Bhavan in Hyderabad. The conference was inaugurated with the hoisting of the RDF flag by Goru Madhava Rao, the veteran fighter of the Srikakulam armed peoples’ uprising, the founding president of All India Peoples’ Resistance Forum (AIPRF) and an untiring revolutionary who recently passed away on 18 July 2012. Slogans hailing ongoing revolutionary movement and condemning the Indian state’s repressive class violence in the form of Operation Green Hunt, Operation Haka and Operation Vijay were raised. The martyr’s memorial was unveiled by Mallamma, the mother of the martyred revolutionary leader G. Shankar, also known as Sheshanna and Shamsher, state committee member of the North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC) of the CPI(Maoist). Resistance songs were performed by members of Jharkhand Abhen of Jharkhand and revolutionary cultural activists of Revolutionary Writers’ Association (Virasam) of AP and Revolutionary Cultural Front of Delhi.

In the inaugural session, B. S. Raju, the Secretary of the Reception Committee of the Conference welcomed the delegates and participants, and declared that the RDF stands resolutely in favour of a democratic and separate Telangana state. M T Khan, chairperson of the Reception Committee, condemned the Chhattisgarh government for preventing the 34-member team of delegates from that state coming to attend the conference.

Professor Jagmohan, noted democratic rights activist and the nephew of shaheed Bhagat Singh, inaugurated the 40th issue of Samkaleen Jan Pratirodh, the magazine of RDF, dedicating it to the people of India and the Indian revolutionary struggle. Pankaj Dutt, the renowned people’s intellectual and academic presented the Keynote address on economic crisis and possibility of revolutionary upsurge in the country. He analysed the confluence of imperialism and feudalism in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial reality like India, which then generates what is usually understood as ‘growth’ and  ‘development’ which is so disastrous for the vast masses of the country. He noted that it is the poor and landless peasantry – so far denied the power to exercise their labour creatively – who holds the key to the change of property relations and thereby turn the present world economic crisis into a revolutionary upsurge for a complete social transformation. Continue reading