‘Kobad’s interest never waned’: Adv. P A Sebastian
Posted by Admin on September 24, 2009
COMRADE: Human Rights Advocate P A Sebastian, a friend of Kobad Ghandy.
By: Alisha Coelho Date: 2009-09-24 Place: Mumbai
A friend of Ghandy arrested on Sunday for ‘waging war against the nation’ says he was pushed to the point of no return
It was just a few years ago, that Mumbai-based human rights advocate P A Sebastian had sat down with a couple, ‘old friends’ for chai at Resham Bhavan in Churchgate.
“They were happy doing what they were doing. I never got the feeling that they regretted taking the road less travelled,” said Sebastian.
The friends were the Ghandys, Kobad and his late wife Anuradha. Kobad hit the headlines yesterday after he was arrested in New Delhi on Sunday.
Sebastian, one of the founding members of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights in 1977, a human rights group, remembers a different Kobad, though one, he admits was, ‘pushed to the point of no return’.
“He was very involved with intellectual discussions, debates and work among the poor in slums.
During the seventies there were many young men and women who were passionate about Marxism, but they slowly slipped away or lost interest.
Kobad’s interest never waned, it only got stronger,” said Sebastian, who added that he was not shocked that Kobad chose such a path or that he was eventually arrested.
“When I saw him on TV, he just looked a little aged, that’s all,” he said.
Sebastian said that Maoist violence was often retaliation for injustice inflicted upon Maoists.
“The government-funded Salwa Judum goes to tribal communities, burning down their houses, killing their men and raping their women and they are the ‘innocent’ ones.
Kobad is a good person, I’m convinced of it even today. He was always working for someone else and never for himself.”
People’s War Group
In 1980, the People’s War Group was founded in Andhra Pradesh. The group considers themselves to be champions of the peasants and landless and adheres to the ideology of Mao Zedon’s organised peasant rebellion.
Since its founding, the group has participated in an armed struggle against the government, landowners, and those the group believes to conspire with the government.
The Left Movement
The Left movement in India grew out of the politico-economic conditions prevailing in India owing to the evil effects of the First World War.
Gradually the leftist trend intertwined in the mainstream nationalist movement in India. Left Movement in India developed into two main streams.
However the Communist Party introduced the Leftist movement in India.
Towards the end of 1920,M N Roy and other Indian emigrants at Tashkent announced the formation of the communist party of India.
Itwas the Communist Party, which induced the leftist trend in the nationalist struggle of India.
An anti-Naxal movement started in Chattisgarh in 2005 that acts as a counter-insurgency group to control India Maoist activity.
The group has come under the scanner by human rights groups for being a state funded militancy group, though the Supreme Court said that the group was a spontaneous reaction by the tribals to defend themselves against the reign of terror unleashed by the Naxalites.
However the state government had admitted in a report that the group had burnt houses and looted property and the SC had asked the state government to stop support and encouragement of the group