Indian Vanguard

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Archive for September 23rd, 2009

Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy: The gentle revolutionary

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

Kobad ghandy 33Sheela Bhatt reveals a side of Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy — who the Delhi [ Images ] police arrested on Sunday — that only members of his family know.

“Kobad is extremely determined, tremendously self-disciplined, and a person with simple habits and lifestyle,” says Sunil Shanbag, the well-known theatre personality and Ghandy’s brother-in-law.

Ghandy, a member of the Communist Party of India-Maoist Politburo, was arrested in New Delhi on September 21 and has been sent to 14 days judicial custody.

His arrest has created a sensation, given his affluent origins in Mumbai [ Images ] and his elite Doon School — where he was Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi’s [ Images ] classmate — and London [ Images ] education. Ghandy is an intellectual supporting the Maoists in various ways, and has no criminal record whatsoever.

Shanbag’s sister Anuradha married Ghandy in 1983. Sunil has not met Kobad for many years. His sister and her husband were underground for more than 15 years.

Many years ago, Anuradha — a graduate of Mumbai’s Elphinstone College — had told her family: ‘Don’t ask me about what I do and where I go.’ When she died of malaria last year her family did not even know about it. The Ghandys lived life dangerously and on their own terms. Their commitment to the cause of the deprived classes was total and unshakeable. Read the rest of this entry »

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CPI M set up Salwa Judum model anti maoist squads in Lalgarh Area

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

CPI M office: Fortified arms training centre

CPI M office: Fortified arms training centre

Mystery shrouds body count after Lalgarh encounter

ENAYETPUR (WEST MIDNAPORE): How many were killed in the gunbattle on Monday night is still a mystery. While the firing was on, CPI(Maoist) politburo member and military strategist Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji claimed that they have gunned down at least 10 armed CPM cadres. But on Tuesday morning, CPM leaders rubbished the claim. They did not even mention the three injured cadres whom police “officially” shifted from the CPM office for treatment.

CPM’s defensive tactics resembled the Salwa Judum programme in Chhattisgarh. The fightback came as a boost to CPM cadres, some of whom had severed ties with the party in fear of Maoist terror in Jangalmahal, comprising West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ranchi: Land protest rocks Birsa Munda airport

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

OUR CORREPONDENT 23RanAirport9.jpg

Passengers walk out of Birsa Munda Airport after an hour-long ordeal on Tuesday; (above) a protester throws a brick at a vehicle. Pictures by Prashant Mitra

Ranchi, Sept. 22: Over 100 air passengers who had arrived from New Delhi this afternoon were held up for more than an hour at the newly refurbished airport terminal as a group of farmers blocked the exit to protest against land being acquired for the Birsa Munda Airport’s expansion.

While 90 passengers arrived around 1pm by Air India (IC-809) flight from New Delhi, 30 arrived by an MDLR (No 171) flight half an hour later. But over 800 villagers owing allegiance to the CPM’s farmers’ wing, Kisan Sabha, had gathered there from 1pm blocking the entry and exit points, demanding that notices issued for land acquisition near the airport be withdrawn.23RanAirport5.jpg

Though the district administration had made elaborate arrangements to avoid inconveniencing passengers, deputing Rapid Action Force (RAF) jawans and a good number of district armed policemen, it could not prevent demonstrators from damaging some of the vehicles that had come to pick up the arriving passengers held up for one-and-a-half hours .

“Windows of at least two vehicles were damaged before the police could restrain the demonstrators. I had to walk for a kilometre to board the car that had come to take me,” a passenger who saw the vandalism said, requesting anonymity.

Airport director Raju Raghavendra Kumar admitted the blockade, but added that it did not last long. “The problem was sorted out with the help of the district administration soon,” he claimed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy, an unlikely rebel

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

Kobad ghandyMUMBAI: He was an unlikely rebel — from an affluent Parsi family, alumnus of Doon School and St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and trained in accountancy in England. Kobad Ghandy, 58, could well have been on boards of several companies.However, he went on to become one of the top Naxalite leaders in the country and a politburo member of the banned CPI(Maoist).

Ghandy, who was arrested from Bhikaji Cama Place in south Delhi on Sunday, was among the young urban elite enticed by the romance of classless society and fled his gilt-edged life to join the radical Naxal movement in the late 1960s and 70s. However, unlike most others who ended their dalliance with Naxalism quickly, Ghandy remained committed to the ‘cause’.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, Ghandy’s father was managing director in a multinational company. His brother had an ice-cream factory and Ghandy used to help him in the business. Although not many Mumbai Parsis have heard about him, one old-timer from the community, who vaguely remembers the family, spoke of an incident during Ghandy’s growing up years in a sprawling family bungalow in Worli Sea Face.

Anuradha Gandhi

Anuradha Gandhi

It so happened that one day, an expensive gold watch was missing at the Ghandys’. When they asked young Kobad about it, he casually said he had given it away to a servant. Ghandy became one of the leading figures in the city’s radical Left movement during the mid-70s and in the post-emergency years.

“He was essentially an intellectual and part of various anti-Emergency movements in the city,’’ said an associate from those days. He was a founding member of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights.

“He gave up many creature comforts to be part of the movement. Kobad was in total self-denial then,’’ recollects a former associate. In England, he got involved in Left-wing politics but was soon arrested and deported. By 1982, he had left Mumbai along with wife Anuradha, a sociology professor and fellow Maoist who died last year of cerebral malaria. Read the rest of this entry »

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Left front ally, Forward Bloc demand dialogue with Maoists in Lalgarh

Posted by Admin on September 23, 2009

19june27r copy LalgarhmOUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, Sept. 22: Left Front ally Forward Bloc has asked the state government to hold talks with the Maoists, probably worried by the CPM mobilisation to resist the guerrilla offensive in West Midnapore.

Bloc general secretary Debabrata Biswas said: “Our reservation about the joint security operation continues as it failed to contain the Maoist insurgents. The Left Front must accept the ground reality that the Maoists had gained some local support because of our mistakes and failures. Poor tribals who had no land or right to forest produce or benefits of development have now rallied behind them.’’

“Armed clashes between the CPM and the Maoists will only take more toll on poor people on both sides. The front should call for a political solution through dialogue and the Maoists, too, must come forward to take part in it,’’ he added.

Asked if the Bloc would take the initiative for a dialogue, Biswas lobbed the ball to the CPM. “Being in the leadership of the front, the CPM should take the initiative.’’

Both the CPM and the government had ruled out talks with the Maoists unless they shunned violence while the rebels wanted the withdrawal of the security forces first. TT

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