maoists

Assistant constable Somlu Hemla (30) posted at Mirtur police station limits was killed with a bow and arrow in Patliguda village of the region, a police official said.

Raipur: A police constable was killed by suspected Maoists with an arrow in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bijapur district today, the police said.

Assistant constable Somlu Hemla (30) posted at Mirtur police station limits was killed with a bow and arrow in Patliguda village of the region, a police official said.

Threat from Maoists. AFPThreat from Maoists. AFP

Soon after information was received, security forces were rushed to the spot, the official said, adding further details are awaited.

In another incident, Maoists torched a road roller and a motorcycle in Kanker district of North Bastar region.

The incident took place at Sarhandi Sihari village under Tadoki police station limits, the official said.

A group of armed Maoists reached the spot where construction of a road was underway and set ablaze the road roller and the motorbike, he said.

After committing the crime, the Maoists fled deep into the forest.

A combing operation has been launched in the region to nab the insurgents, he said.

We're still here

What ex-Maoists guerrillas taught me one recent afternoon.

The first thing that struck me about the ex-Maoists was how ordinary they looked. What was I expecting? Pirates, probably. Or somebody grizzled and battle-hardened. The Indian Clint Eastwood. But these five guys looked a lot like the small-framed men you see in every Indian town, who smoke beedis by newsstands and possibly drive autorickshaws for a living. Then again, I guess, this is the whole point of a People’s War.

Of course their actual lives were anything but ordinary, even by India’s impossible standards. Not long ago, before officially surrendering to the Indian government, these men were guerrilla warriors for the world’s longest-running revolution. They hid in the forests and had actually killed other (sometimes unarmed) human beings, and now they politely formed a semi-circle around me with their broken bodies.

They met me in the two-room office of a separatist newspaper in a dusty little town a few hours away from Hyderabad. Out of the five men, Sambasha Panjagutta1 was the biggest in size, held the highest rebel rank, had the largest reward on his head,2 and did most of the talking. When he surrendered in 2004, he had been a Maoist3 for 14 years and rose to the rank of District Committee Member, which I think is the guerrilla equivalent to a Major in the U.S. Army.

—But then I developed ulcers in my mouth, he said. We couldn’t get good food anymore. And there was my family, too. The cops terrorized my family, and they ransacked my family home.4

This was more or less the case with the other guys as well, they said.

Panjagutta and the rest may have abandoned their guns and their party memberships, but they held on to the same worldview that first inspired them to join the revolution. We spent hours discussing the perpetual exploitation of India’s poor, how yesterday’s landlords were today’s politicians and business leaders, the impossibility of God and the revolutionary history of India. This last part was a rambling, fascinating diatribe by Kotipalle Bolarum, a lean, high-talking and affectionately friendly guy who said he surrendered in 2004, after the cops jailed his brother and father for six months and he developed “bone issues.”

—They say in the old days, the devathas [gods] were good and the rakshashas [demons] were evil, but who were those rakshashas who were always downtrodden? asked Bolarum. Were they really evil, or were they just the losers? They call us revolutionaries rakshashastoo, but we’re the ones who fight for the oppressed. Think about Spartacus. Think about Jhansi Lakshmi, who as a woman single-handedly made the British shake with fear. Think about Shivaji’s fight against the Mughals. We are carrying on that guerrilla tradition.

Yes, he was speaking in the present tense.

Then I asked, in the most awkward way possible, if they ever killed another person:

—Were you ever involved in incidents that led to somebody’s death?

They had. I was so mesmerized by Panjagutta’s response that I barely took any notes. He is intelligent and articulate, and it isn’t hard to imagine how he could command a force of several hundred rebel fighters. I don’t have the actual interview anymore because I lost my voice recorder, which is a shame because the way he spoke was so memorable. I clearly remember the ambling, casual way he eased into his admission: making careful use of the conditional, not once saying “I” and rationalizing every act, eventually describing how his troops killed not just ‘class enemies’ like the landlords, but also Adivasis – the very oppressed tribal people that Maoists claim to be fighting for.

—We would enter a village and demand the landlord leave with his family, and give his land to the people under his oppression. If he didn’t listen, we would threaten his family. If he still didn’t listen, then he had enough chances. We would wake him up in the middle of the night and kill him. If his family was still around, we’d kill them too. Usually a few security guards would be killed too, and we would bad because they were one of the people, but they had to die.

He paused.

—I never understood why some of the common people were such stooges of the landlord and his money. These were usually the ones that worked for him, his clerks and his goons. We would sit them down and say, ‘Look brother, it’s time for the revolution so join us.’ But they wouldn’t listen. So we killed them, too.

—How did you kill them?

—It varied. Sometimes we hanged them, other times we would behead them.

We were all quiet for a bit, and Panjagutta looked down at his feet and sort of smiled. Then he said something like:

—We hated killing the adivasis (tribals), but sometimes we had to do it. Most adivasis support us, but some of them were anti-social and would report our movements to the police. When we heard that someone was a police informant, we would first warn them never to do it again. Everybody can make mistakes, we understand that, and we are ready to forgive anybody once. But sometimes these brothers lack common sense; they don’t understand that we are fighting for their sake. So we had to kill them. But we would only do it in front of a people’s court, so the village itself chooses justice.

—But how did you know for sure they were voluntarily giving the police information?

—No, we always knew, said a new voice from the back. It was the first time Sitaram Manikonda, an older man who actually did drive an autorickshaw for a living, said anything besides his name.

Maoist strongholds all over the country are notorious for vague, “people’s court” executions of suspected police informants. Usually, the ‘warnings’ involve the removal of a few limbs. Most villagers, moreover, are powerless to deny the police’s demands for information; even I could walk into a village and find out who’s been around, if I was persistent enough. As I listened, I had to struggle to keep my face from betraying any emotion. I kept clearing my throat so that my voice wouldn’t sound so shaky. I tried to smile – I smile easily – but I couldn’t. Panjagutta obviously noticed, because he laid his huge hand on his chest and said:

—We always feel bad for the killing. The ache of taking away a human life will always be there. But sometimes the people’s war demands painful sacrifices to end the greater violence of oppression. Make sure you write that down.

Throughout this discussion, Bolarum, the most amiable one of the bunch, held his head in his hands and said nothing. I imagine the things he did for the revolution must haunt him – and everybody else, but especially affectionate Bolarum – in his uncomely life as an ostracized ex-guerrilla. I wondered if everything these men had said about the righteousness of the Maoist cause was directed, at least in part, towards the speakers themselves, who can at least find solace in the conviction that, if they have lost everything in life, then it was lost for justice.

These five men, and many more like them, had sacrificed everything for the sake of the people, they repeatedly told me, and now were treated like street dogs. Employers won’t hire them, and the police routinely brutalize them for information whenever Maoists strike in the area. They described how, for a long time after they surrendered, the police tortured them for information: beatings, electric shocks, beatings, shackling arms and legs to a well followed by more beatings. They get medals for that work, someone bitterly said. Suddenly they didn’t seem so much like violent revolutionaries anymore; they seemed more like old, weary souls who only crave the respect of the community to which they devoted a lifetime.

—Who’s greater, us or the police? Who gives up their family life for the people’s sake?

—Only as Maoists will brothers and sisters so willingly spend years apart, because only Maoists have given their lives to as pure a cause as the common man’s struggle.

—We left our homes, our families, our every comfort to go live in the jungle, fighting for what the government should have provided all along. We fight for justice for the people and freedom from oppression, we see our friends die and our families suffer, we go hungry, and we don’t even get our five acres!

—But we get beaten by the police for free.

As everyone unloaded their grievances, with genuine frustration, Bolarum said something strikingly revealing about the psychology of the young, poor Indian who signs up as a guerrilla for the people’s revolution:

—Do you think I ever wanted to pick up a gun? We just want the government to work for the sake of people, but how else can we remind it that we exist?

I had been skeptical about the motives of people who joined the Maoist cadres, but found it hard to stay that way, for these guys at least. Say what you will about the misguided Communist revolutionary in the age of globalization – maybe these guys also thought things wouldn’t end this way – but these ones were honest about why they fought.  From where I was sitting, Maoism – India’s single gravest threat, according to the Prime Minister – didn’t seem so grave anymore.

Our discussion was over, but I let the men ask me anything (which is probably strictly discouraged by every journalism textbook ever). By now the cleft in the security with which we regarded our respective lives became abundantly transparent, but as long as we were in the same room, I figured it would be interesting to hear what questions Panjagutta, Bolarum and the rest had about me.

It shouldn’t have surprised me when Panjagutta immediately flashed a menacing smile, leaned forward and started to aggressively interrogate me about my own family, our estates, and the reason I came here. His questions were rapid and direct, delivered with thug-like intonation. I was suddenly, awkwardly aware of how vulnerable I was in that shack of a newspaper office, surrounded by ex-…well, you could call them ex-murderers and criminals.  My family is Brahmin and I’m American, which sort of makes me like an Indian version of the white, land-owning male of the 1800s American South who also ran the slave trade and cheated Native Americans out of their land and ran a baby bear fighting ring for good measure. (I mean, this is how I imagine a Maoist would perceive me.) But I didn’t tell them that. I said we don’t really have much land, and most of our folks were teachers anyways, which isn’t untrue. I said that I didn’t care about money or a fancy job in New York, but I did need to hear the stories of the land I came from.

—Plus I love this country, I added for good measure.

All of this was true, but you have to understand that I was not only nervous but also nervous that my nervousness would make it seem like I was lying. But Panjagutta seemed pleased, because his expression relaxed, and he sat back, looked at me and grinned. I felt the other guys in the room relax, too.

—I can tell you’re not somebody who gives into money or fear. I like that, mitra.

‘Mitra’ is a Hindi word that I think can either mean ‘friend’ or ‘comrade.’ The former, fearsome guerrilla commander was testing me, and I’ll never forget what he said. There’s a twisted satisfaction in winning the approval of someone who lived life in the extremes – Maoist, revolutionary, or otherwise.

1. I changed all the names in this post because…just in case.

2. There’s a reward for every guerrilla, obtainable either by turning another rebel fighter in or, if you’re one too, by turning in yourself.

3. a.k.a. Naxalite, a.k.a. People’s War member, depending on what year you’re talking about. 

4. Maoists cadres often stop for food in the villages in their area of control. This statement probably implies a decline in popular support among these villages for the revolution/Maoists.

Weird banner unfurled by The Cove at Sydney FC’s match against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night. 

It looks sooo much like Maoist imagery to me. It’s like something out of the Cultural Revolution or something! Except…the background is like the Rising Sun - the symbol of Japanese nationalism & militarism (except it’s blue, lol). Just thought it was a really weird juxtaposition of two (supposedly) opposing ideologies…in an Australian football banner. Haha. 

Or, I could be completely mad and am seeing things. If anyone actually sees what I’m seeing here, please tell me, so I feel less crazy =P

Also can someone get me a Maoist Melbourne Victory banner please? Thanks.

Just Like Marriage
  • marls: y brain is stupid
  • marls: my*
  • CSII: it's okay
  • CSII: you're terrified of maoist rebels
  • marls: noo i am not
  • CSII: these aren't bears you're fighting, marls
  • CSII: you can't just act bigger than them
  • marls: i'm just nervous cause it'll be really different and i'll be doing stuff I've never done before and have no real way to prepare for
  • marls: lol
  • CSII: like marriage
  • marls: i hate you
  • CSII: :-)
  • marls: i guess so, lol
  • CSII: how long wil lyou be in Nepal?
youtube

Kishenji’s funeral held in Andhra Pradesh

Mamata Banerjee said the forces had to fire back at Kishenji, else 500 villagers would have lost their lives. 

KATHMANDU, March 15: As part of preparations for the “people´s revolt”, the UCPN (Maoist) on Tuesday announced formation of another combative youth organization called People´s Volunteers. 

Maoist leader Netra Bikram Chand announced formation of the organization amidst a press conference at party headquarters in Paris Danda. 

“It is a broad organization that includes leftists, progressives, patriots, businessmen and professionals. So it is different from the YCL that conducts regular activities of the party,” said Chand who is known as a radical hardliner in the party. 

The existing militant organization YCL would also come under the command of the party´s People´s Volunteers Mobilization Bureau headed by Chand.

According to the bureau, the volunteers would be involved in three different sectors: (re)construction of physical infrastructures, production, and people´s security. 

Chand argued that the volunteers would not infringe on the jurisdiction of the state in security sector.

“Self-defense is a universal thing. As the country is in a transitional phase, the government has not been able to provide security in every nook and cranny. So we will not contradict state function, but collaborate with the state to check criminal activities,” he said.

He also argued that the volunteers would “provide great services” to the people, society, and the state. 

“Today, our national sovereignty and democracy have directly come under the shadow of imperialism, expansionism, feudalism and comprador-bourgeoisie stooges. This has weakened the national economy, democracy and livelihoods of the people. The country may slip into dreadful crisis if the revolutionary parties and powers don´t pay timely attention to this fact,” the reads the statement handed out at the press meet. 

It may be recalled that Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal had told party cadres during closed-door training sessions last January that the party would create an outfit of 500,000-plus youths as a final preparation for the revolt.

Postcards from Hell - Nepal

Images from the world’s most failed states - Day 27 of 30

Two years ago, Nepal’s congress, the first since the country ended a brutal civil war, was given just one task: to draft a new national charter setting out steps to rebuild. Two years later, it hasn’t succeeded, and many Nepalese, such as the protesters seen here on May 26 this year, are growing tired of the political deadlock. Ruling-party figures and former Maoist rebels, incorporated into the government in a peace deal, have yet to find a way to work together.

Unfortunately, that political delay is having material consequences. Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia, according to the United Nations, and that’s unlikely to change until the peace process is implemented and security restored. There are signs that the Maoists may be losing patience – and thinking about going back to the trenches to fight for more.

Global: Schools No Havens in War Zones (via HRW)

I’m almost shocked by this. Almost. You would think that it would be common sense to not bomb schools during war, common sense to abstain from hurting innocent children, common sense not to hurt those who will one day be our future. It’s almost ridiculous that HRW has to actually take the time out to ask that schools be considered safe havens during wartime.

“Children are entitled to go to school in a safe environment, even during times of conflict,” said Bede Sheppard, senior children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Attacks on schools and the military use of schools jeopardize children’s safety and education.”

Since December 2008, schools have been attacked in at least 16 armed conflicts. Opposition armed groups are primarily responsible for such attacks, because they view schools as symbols of the government or oppose educational practices such as schooling for girls. 

Yet, with people like these going out and bombing schools to make a statement, I guess that it’s not all that ridiculous. It’s because of irrational people that statistics such as these exist:

  • 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 percent of them were girls. Sadly enough, these numbers were looked at as an improvement from the years previous.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names
  • Less than one percent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 

Some schools in Bahrain have even displaced the students, in favor of military occupancy. Why is it that war is often looked at as more important than education? Everyone has the right to an education. This means that everyone should have access to this right at all times. Some may say that education is deemed worthless in developing countries, but given that there are about 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea, I would have to argue against this. Millions of people in the developing world are not aware of knowledge that we take for granted, like the need to wash one’s hand after using the bathroom, or before eating. A lack of education on hygienic practice is part of what leads so many to die of what we have the privilege to consider a relatively harmless illness.

Furthermore, I also feel obliged to mention the fact that some of these schools were bombed by the Maoists, which are armed political groups that have wreaked havoc in places like India and Nepal. It is because of the terror that Maoists inflict on their victims and because of the political oppression that is so often their trademark that so many come to our country seeking refuge. The pain and abuse that they suffer is real–in fact, I’ve met/done work for dozens of these inspiring, resilient individuals, and that is part of the reason why this particular New York Times article really infuriated me. It suggests that many refugees lie, based on a few cases of these instances. In fact, given instances like the one detailed in the HRW article, it should not be surprising that most of the asylum cases are in fact real. The trials and tribulations that they undergo are real. Their need to seek asylum and start their life anew is real. Sure, a few people lie here and there, but these are few and far between, considering how difficult it is to navigate immigration here, especially in cases of asylum. 

You can read more from the HRW article here, and from the NYT article here.

Speaking to the other Comrades.

On November 9th, 2011 the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center held partial readings of “Walking with the Comrades” by Arundhati Roy. The quotes listed in this article are based on those limited readings.
For more read:
http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?264738-0

 

  
image: outlook india.


“Never in history has violence been initiated by the oppressed. How could they be the initiators, if they themselves are the result of violence? How could they be sponsors of something whose objective inauguration called for their existence as oppressed? There would be no oppressed had there been no prior situation of violence to establish their subjugation”. – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
 

Arundhati Roy’s essays on “Walking with the Comrades” reiterates similar insightful truth presented by Freire, that is conceived only when one physically submerge themselves at the epicenter of struggles, establishing relationships at the grounds. In 2009, Roy spent weeks with the Maoist rebels in their “liberated area” of the Chhattisgarh State in Central India, where she lived and interviewed many insurgents, in an effort to put humanity to the poster-perfect nameless dark faces notably clad in olive-green uniforms and low strung heavy weapons. They have been dubbed as “the most serious internal threat to India’s national security” by PM Manmohan Singh.

The Naxalites, who are the far-left militant Maoists in India, root their origins to Naxalbari, a village in West Bengal.  They now operate in different parts of the country and have organized the Adhivasis (tribal people) of Chhattisgarh since 1970s.  While the Indian government strategically labeled the Adhivasi insurgents in Chhattisgarh and publicly proclaimed them as the “most serious internal threat”, they have also niftily taken custody of the Adhivasi homelands, making them illegal squatters in their own lands, ever since the adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1950. 

Roy’s intervention to this internal war as a writer and as an activist comes as valiant and unapologetic in times when the corporate media had the country swayed to believe that the rebels are perilous gun-holders impeding country’s development and killers of innocent state personnel.  Through her writings, she complicates the soothing narratives of much-prided popular Indian morality: non-violence, under the mask of Gandhism. She notes in the beginning, “It’s easier on the liberal conscience to believe that the war in the forests is a war between the Government of India and the Maoists… It’s convenient to forget that tribal people in Central India have a history of resistance that predates Mao by centuries”. For Roy, the Maoist insurgencies and Adhivasi uprisings are inter-exchangeable apparatus that aims at overthrowing of the state to reclaim their lost livelihoods and their right to live with dignity. She does that cautiously, however, as she asks some pressing questions, “Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge?”

How could their interests not converge? The Adhivasis have been historically displaced multiple times at the interests of the ruling capitalist class. While every national and state policy favored the corporations, the state government also organized illegal militia Salwa Judum, who would rape women, kill men and burn entire villages. This wouldn’t stop there. The central government orchestrated Operation Green Hunt to kill every rebel to render the Maoists headless, which has backfired and resulted into palpable yet dismal violence. The crime of the Chhattisgarh Adhivasis: living above some of the country’s richest minerals, which was and is their home. Their resistance, in such, has been key to radical Maoist organizing, which is impossible to find in the cosmopolitan urban centers of India. At the same time, most of the Adhivasi rebels may not have read Mao’s ‘little red book’ or discussed Marx’s Manifesto, they are attracted to the possibilities of what a just and egalitarian society could bring- comfort, harmony, life of dignity- ones they have never experienced in their lifetime.

“Walking with the Comrades” is not the first time Arundhati Roy has delivered to the public the vicarious plight of the most oppressed peoples of India. As an anti-imperialist and anti-globalization activist, she has spoken out and written against the US invasion of Afghanistan, India’s nuclear policies, the Israeli state, the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, amongst others. On a home scale, she has actively participated in Narmada Bachao Andolan, a movement resisting a dam project that would displace countless people. She has openly stated her support for the people of Kashmir demanding separation from India for which, she was also charged with sedition. But it was her more recent remarks about the Mumbai bombings and unequivocal criticisms of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, which has led to the squealing of the liberals and death threats from the right wing.

Much of Roy’s readers from her first international bestseller “The God of Small Things” (1997) disjoint the work from her more current political writings and ceaselessly question her about her next work of fiction. However, the work, although fictional is also a literary intervention to post-colonial India still tainted with internalized caste system, class hierarchies, and hollow political forces. If her enthusiasts had caught those social and political underpinnings in her writing then, her writings that followed after this seminal work come as no surprise.

-r.r. 

 

The Communist Party of the Philippines has recognized the right of persons “to choose one’s gender”, just as it aims to help deal with misconceptions against LGBT people because, as the party states, the acceptance, recognition and defense of LGBT rights are dependent on the level of political consciousness of the revolutionary forces and the people.

youtube

Sid the Sloth is a Maoist? Who knew?

Find out what the “Occupy” movements are all about in this video. Both deny that Stalin killed millions, and they can’t really describe why they are out in force against Capitalism.

This video was filmed at Temple because Occupy Philly came up to protest the board of trustees today.

youtube

A rare interview with fuckyeahdegeneracy.

Okay,  seriously fuck Kasama Project and maoists in general. Bunch of privileged, opportunistic, pseudo-intellectual shitheads.

Look at this little gem:

“ 32. If you’re an anarchist, keep pointing out the ‘failure’ of Marxism while ignoring the fact that your ideology has a 100% failure rate throughout its entire history. Blame those failures on Communists, or stronger military powers. Ignore the fact that the most wonderful society is worthless if it can’t defend itself from reaction.”

Here’s a real reason to hate commies: you’re oppressive dicks who coopt other people’s struggles to advance your own lame ass political agenda.