Indian Vanguard

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    Interview with Aruna Roy

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Archive for March, 2010

Arundhati Roy on Obamas Wars, Indian Maoists, and Why Democracy is The Biggest Scam in the World

Posted by Admin on March 28, 2010

Democracy Now with acclaimed Indian writer and activist Arundhati Roy on President Obama, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, India and Kashmir and much more. Roy also talks about her journey deep into the forests of central India to report on the Maoist Movement.

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Protest against Operation Green Hunt at Indian High Commission, London

Posted by Admin on March 28, 2010

Protest against operation green hunt

Protest against operation green hunt

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Operation Green Hunt – Varavara Rao Speech

Posted by Admin on March 22, 2010

The video of Com.Varavara Rao Speech on operation Green Hunt and photographs of Chennai meeting are given below. To watch other videos of the meeting, please click here.

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War Against Naxals: The War Against People – Public Meeting Updates, Tamil Nadu

Posted by Admin on March 22, 2010

Com.Balan, High Court Lawyer, Bengaluru addressing the meeting.

Com.Varavara Rao, VIRASAM (Revolutionary Writer’s Association), Andhra addressing the meeting.

Com.Marudhaiyan, General Secretary, PALA addressing the meeting.

Musical drama performed by PALA Central Arts Troupe, Tamilnadu

People at the gathering

People at the gathering

Images and Video Courtesy:

March 8, 2010 from Spring Thunder

On Feb 20, 2010, in MGR Nagar, Chennai a huge public meeting was organized by PALA and its revolutionary organizations. The meeting was successful in exposing the actual objective of the Operation Green Hunt; that it is not just a state-declared war against the Maoists, but that it is war by the state and the ruling classes against the common people. PALA and its revolutionary organizations had campaigned about Operation Green Hunt among a large number of people in street corner meetings, factory meetings, and in buses and trains across Tamilnadu. Comrades met hundreds of people and distributed about 1.5 lakh pamphlets; 10,000 booklets of the essay, The Heart of India is Under Attack by Arundathi Roy; a collection of English essays (published in various magazines and newspapers) exposing the Operation Green Hunt; Hall Meetings in various district headquarters; and Hindi and English pamphlets. Evidence of such a concentrated campaign for over 50 days was seen in thousands of people who had come to attend the public meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Convention Against War On People, Kerala

Posted by Admin on March 22, 2010

Campign Against War On People

Defeat Operation Green Hunt

State Convention Against War On People


Trivandrum YMCA Hall
March 30,2010 10AM


Prof. Amit Bhattacharya (Campign Against War On People,W.Bengal),
Adv. P.A. Sebastian ( Campign Against War On People, Mumbai)
Com. A.Vasu (Human Rights Activist),
G.N. Saibaba (Revolutionary Democratic Front, Delhi),
Rona Wilson (Campign Against War On People, Delhi ),
B.R.P Baskar (Journalist)
Adv.P.A.Pouran (PUCL)
Com. A.Vasu (Human Rights Activist),
M.Yusuf (Campign Against War On People,Keralam),
Dr. Sivanandan,
N.Subramunyan(Human Rights Activist),
Adv.Thushar Nirmal Sarathy (Peoples Human Rights Movement,Keralam),
John Peruvanthanam (Environmentalist)

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Arundhati Roy: Walking with the Comrades

Posted by Admin on March 21, 2010

(Click here for a pdf version of the article)

Arundhati Roy finds a quiet moment to herself during a punishing visit to the forest where she became the first journalist/writer to break the taboo of of interviewing Maoist guerrillas in their lair.

Last month, quietly, unannounced, Arundhati Roy decided to visit the forbidding and forbidden precincts of Central India’s Dandakaranya Forests, home to a melange of tribespeople many of whom have taken up arms to protect their people against state-backed marauders and exploiters. She recorded in considerable detail the first face-to-face journalistic “encounter” with armed guerillas, their families and comrades, for which she combed the forests for weeks at personal risk. This essay was published on Friday in Delhi’s Outlook magazine and

Women guerriillas supervise the backstage for the Bhumkal feast. Bhumkal an annual ceremony means Earthquake

The terse, typewritten note slipped under my door in a sealed envelope confirmed my appointment with India’s Gravest Internal Security Threat. I’d been waiting for months to hear from them.

I had to be at the Ma Danteshwari mandir in Dantewara, Chhattisgarh, at any of four given times on two given days. That was to take care of bad weather, punctures, blockades, transport strikes and sheer bad luck. The note said: “Writer should have camera, tika and coconut. Meeter will have cap, Hindi Outlook magazine and bananas. Password: Namashkar Guruji.”

Namashkar Guruji. I wondered whether the Meeter and Greeter would be expecting a man. And whether I should get myself a moustache.

There are many ways to describe Dantewara. It’s an oxymoron. It’s a border town smack in the heart of India. It’s the epicenter of a war. It’s an upside down, inside out town.

PLGA militants are the hardhitters of the Maoist fighting force.

In Dantewara the police wear plain clothes and the rebels wear uniforms. The jail-superintendant is in jail. The prisoners are free (three hundred of them escaped from the old town jail two years ago). Women who have been raped are in police custody. The rapists give speeches in the bazaar.

Across the Indravati river, in the area controlled by the Maoists, is the place the police call ‘Pakistan’. There the villages are empty, but the forest is full of people. Children who ought to be in school, run wild. In the lovely forest villages, the concrete school buildings have either been blown up and lie in a heap, or they’re full of policemen. The deadly war that’s unfolding in the jungle, is a war that the Government of India is both proud and shy of.

Red Shadow: Centenary celebrations of the adivasi uprising in Bastar; Sten gun at hand

Operation Green Hunt has been proclaimed as well as denied. P. Chidambaram, India’s Home Minister (and CEO of the war) says it does not exist, that it’s a media creation. And yet substantial funds have been allocated to it and tens of thousands of troops are being mobilized for it. Though the theatre of war is in the jungles of Central India, it will have serious consequences for us all.

If ghosts are the lingering spirits of someone, or something that has ceased to exist, then perhaps the new four-lane highway crashing through the forest is the opposite of a ghost. Perhaps it is the harbinger of what is still to come.

The Day of the Bhumkal: Face to face with "India's greatest Security Threat"

The antagonists in the forest are disparate and unequal in almost every way. On one side is a massive paramilitary force armed with the money, the firepower, the media, and the hubris of an emerging Superpower.

On the other, ordinary villagers armed with traditional weapons, backed by a superbly organized, hugely motivated Maoist guerilla fighting force with an extraordinary and violent history of armed rebellion. The Maoists and the paramilitary are old adversaries and have fought older avatars of each other several times before: Telengana in the ’50s, West Bengal, Bihar, Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh in the late ’60s and ’70s, and then again in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra from the ’80s all the way through to the present.

Staying Put: People of Kudur village protest the Bodhghat dam, ‘It does not belong to the capitalists, Bastar is OUrs’y

They are familiar with each other’s tactics, and have studied each other’s combat manuals closely. Each time, it seemed as though the Maoists (or their previous avatars) had been not just defeated, but literally, physically exterminated. Each time they have re-emerged, more organized, more determined and more influential than ever. Today once again the insurrection has spread through the mineral-rich forests of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal— homeland to millions of India’s tribal people, dreamland to the corporate world.

The Damned: Villagers from the submergence area of the proposed Bodhghat dam

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, who call elections a sham, Parliament a pigsty and have openly declared their intention to overthrow the Indian State. It’s convenient to forget that tribal people in Central India have a history of resistance that pre-dates Mao by centuries. (That’s a truism of course. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t exist.) The Ho, the Oraon, the Kols, the Santhals, the Mundas and the Gonds have all rebelled several times, against the British, against zamindars and moneylenders. The rebellions were cruelly crushed, many thousands killed, but the people were never conquered. Even after Independence, tribal people were at the heart of the first uprising that could be described as Maoist, in Naxalbari village in West Bengal (where the word Naxalite—now used interchangeably with ‘Maoist’ —originates). Since then Naxalite politics has been inextricably entwined with tribal uprisings, which says as much about the tribals as it does about Naxalites.

Armed Strugglers: A village militia, the ‘base force’ of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army

This legacy of rebellion has left behind a furious people who have been deliberately isolated and marginalized by the Indian Government. The Indian Constitution, the moral underpinning of Indian democracy, was adopted by Parliament in 1950. It was a tragic day for tribal people. The Constitution ratified colonial policy and made the State custodian of tribal homelands. Overnight, it turned the entire tribal population into squatters on their own land. It denied them their traditional rights to forest produce, it criminalized a whole way of life. In exchange for the right to vote it snatched away their right to livelihood and dignity.

Having dispossessed them and pushed them into a downward spiral of indigence, in a cruel sleight of hand, the Government began to use their own penury against them. Each time it needed to displace a large population—for dams, irrigation projects, mines— it talked of “bringing tribals into the mainstream” or of giving them “the fruits of modern development”. Of the tens of millions of internally displaced people (more than 30 million by big dams alone), refugees of India’s ‘progress’, the great majority are tribal people. When the Government begins to talk of tribal welfare, it’s time to worry.

Boy, What A Smile: Comrade Kamla, 17, wearing a pistol on her hip. Also, a miracle.

The most recent expression of concern has come from the Home Minister P. Chidambaram who says he doesn’t want tribal people living in ‘museum cultures’. The well -being of tribal people didn’t seem to be such a priority during his career as a corporate lawyer, representing the interests of several major mining companies. So it might be an idea to enquire into the basis for his new anxiety.

Over the past five years or so, the Governments of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal have signed hundreds of MOUs with corporate houses, worth several billion dollars, all of them secret, for steel plants, sponge-iron factories, power plants, aluminum refineries, dams and mines. In order for the MOUs to translate into real money, tribal people must be moved.

Therefore, this war.

When a country that calls itself a democracy openly declares war within its borders, what does that war look like? Does the resistance stand a chance? Should it? Who are the Maoists? Are they just violent nihilists foisting an out-dated ideology on tribal people, goading them into a hopeless insurrection? What lessons have they learned from their past experience? Is armed struggle intrinsically undemocratic? Is the Sandwich Theory—of ‘ordinary’ tribals being caught in the crossfire between the State and the Maoists—an accurate one? Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge? Have they learned anything from each other? Have they changed each other?

Gathered Storm: Dance troupes of various Janatana Sarkars perform on Bhumkal Day

The day before I left, my mother called sounding sleepy. “I’ve been thinking,” she said, with a mother’s weird instinct, “what this country needs is revolution.”

An article on the internet says that Israel’s Mossad is training 30 high-ranking Indian police officers in the techniques of targeted assassinations, to render the Maoist organization “headless”. There’s talk in the press about the new hardware that has been bought from Israel: Laser range finders, thermal imaging equipment and unmanned drones so popular with the US army. Perfect weapons to use against the poor.

Gathered Storm: Dance troupes of various Janatana Sarkars perform on Bhumkal Day

The drive from Raipur to Dantewara takes about ten hours through areas known to be ‘Maoist-infested.’ These are not careless words. ‘Infest/infestation’ implies disease/pests. Diseases must be cured. Pests must be exterminated. Maoists must be wiped out. In these creeping, innocuous ways the language of genocide has entered our vocabulary.

To protect the highway security forces have ‘secured’ a narrow bandwidth of forest on either side. Further in, it’s the raj of the ‘Dada log.’ The Brothers. The Comrades. Read the rest of this entry »

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Arrest of Ekta Parishad activist

Posted by Admin on March 21, 2010

It is very sad to inform you that Mr Prakash Korram, one of our social activists has been arrested by the police during operation “Green Hunt”.

As you know, operation “Green Hunt” is launched by both the state and central government. Prakash Korram was picked up at Damkasa, Kanker on 12th March 2010. He is missing since the evening of 12th March 2010.

He has been staying at Damkasa since the last five years making his own field office there. Damkasa is in Durgukondal Block of Kanker Dist. Prakash is one of tribal activist working since 1st September, 2003 at Damkasa. His new field office is at Amapara since the last one year. Amapara is only one kilometer from Damkasa.

A villager, who is also our volunteer, informed us of Prakash’s arrest. According to him, Prakash went to village Goodfel for field visit and was back at Amapara by 12.10 pm. On the way to Amapara, he met Mr Dayaram Kallo and some women belong to Goodfel at Dongiripara. Women left for their village. In the mean time some CRPF commandoes came and beat both Prakash and Dayaram and broke the Bi-cycle.

Dayaram could manage to sleep away and reached the village. Prakash’s broken cycle was deposited at a cycle store in Damkasa. Being afraid of police, Dayaram kept silent for two days and phoned us on 14th March 2010.

Mr Agnuram Sahu, Secretary, Ekta Parisad informed Prakash’s wife and other members of Ekta Parisad on the same day. Mrs Ganga Bai Korram, wife of Prakash Korram reached Amapara office by 15th March, 2010. She found the bi-cycle at the store and luggage inside the office head quarter, Amapara but did not find her husband.

To know the truth, our senior activist Mrs Shivrani Goswami and wife of Prakash Korram, Mrs Ganga Bai Korram reached the Damkasa police station and asked about Prakash Korram to the police present there. Police told that no body is arrested here in the name of Prakash Korram. Mrs Goswami and Mrs Korram saw Prakash Korram inside the police camp from the gate of police station. Also they were told by the villagers of Damkasa about Prakash preparing food for the police and collecting Mahua inside the police camp.

We and Prakash Korram’s family are severely worried for this tragic incident, especially the denial by the police of his being in their custody. Being harassed, we have informed the superintendent of police, Kanker.

You know, we are struggling for the tribes, SCs, Dalits, women and all other marginalized communities in democratic and Gandhian way. Therefore we request you to co-operate with us in demanding punishment for the unjust police officers and releasing the innocent tribal social activist from the claws of police. Dictatorial misbehavior with the social activists, voluntary organizations, people’s organizations will cause a greater distance between people, state administration and police. Waiting for your quick action, comments and help.

Yours sincerely
Agnuram Sahu
General Secretary
Ekta Parisad,Bastar
Mob: 094060-01517

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Witnesses allege biggest anti-naxal operation of 2009 was fake

Posted by Admin on March 20, 2010

Aman Sethi, The Hindu

Villagers say that at least 12 of the 30 killed had no links to the Maoists

Gachanpalli: Aftershocks of the “Operation” still reverberate along the 35-km stretch of broken track, bombed-out schools and graves that leads from the Andhra Pradesh border to Gachanpalli, a village deep in the forests of Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

On 19 September, 2009, security forces claimed a major victory in which 30 Maoists and six police personnel were killed in the very same area. But villagers from Gachanpalli and the neighbouring hamlets of Gattapad and Palachalam told The Hindu that at least 12 of the 30 killed were innocents with no links to the Maoists.

Gachanpalli, Gattapad and Palachalam lie along the same axis on the border between A.P. and Chhattisgarh, bookended by two police camps at Kishtraram and Bhejji. In the two-day operation, the ‘Commando Battalion for Resolute Action’ (CoBRA) set out from Bhejji, a day’s march northwest of Gachanpalli, while the Chhattisgarh police came from Kishtaram, 15 km south east of the village.

“None of those killed in the operation was a naxal,” said an eyewitness from Gattapad, “The villagers were killed in cold blood.” The witness said that while six villagers — three of them over the age of 65 — were killed in Gachanpalli and their bodies left where they fell, security forces picked up three men each from Gattapad and Palachalam and subsequently killed them, passing them off as naxals.

“The Gachanpalli force came from Bhejji, we were attacked by policemen from Kistaram Thana and [salwa] judum members from Maraigudam Camp,” said a witness from Palachalam. “They asked us to prepare food.” The men-folk were also ordered to destroy a massive minar the Maoists had built on the remains of the village school. Earlier, the Maoists had blasted the school claiming the security forces would use it for shelter.

While villagers chipped away at the base of the structure, the force moved further towards Gattapad. There, security forces picked up Padam Deva, 25, Dudhi Pojja, 25, and Sodi Massa, 20. “Deva, my son, was herding cattle on the outskirts of the village when the force picked him up,” said Padam Chumri, her eyes filling with tears as she recounted the incident, “They dragged him to Palachalam at gun point.”

The minar was still standing when the force returned to Palachalam. “By now it was afternoon,” said an eyewitness, “The forces apprehended three more men — Sodi Sanyasi, 35, Dudhi Hadma, 35, and Tunki Sinna, 25. They told us they were going to Kistharam Thana from where they would head to Konta.” En route, the force stopped at a shallow gully near Velkanguda where, villagers allege, the six men were stripped and shot in cold blood.

The bodies were loaded onto a tractor and taken to the Andhra Border from where they were transferred to a van and driven to Konta. “We found their shirts and lungis in the gully,” said a Palachalam villager. In Dharmapenta, a village en route, villagers said they saw the tractor but couldn’t say if they saw the bodies.

The Hindu was unable to independently verify these claims. However, circumstantial evidence suggests the September 2009 killings merit further investigation.

The six Gachanpalli victims were buried in the village graveyard. A petition filed in the Supreme Court holds the security forces responsible for their deaths and has asked for a Special Investigative Team to examine the matter.

But questions are now being raised about the six victims from Gattapad and Palachalam.

Director-General of Police Chhattisgarh Viswarajan told The Hindu that the case had been handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department of Chhattsigarh and an investigation was under way.

The police claimed at the time that “seven of the bodies of the slain naxalites were traced and six of them brought from Kistaram to Konta for identification and post mortem.” The September 19, 2009 edition of The Hindu quoted Konta subdivisional police officer Ravi Kumar Khure as saying that six Maoists were killed when they ambushed the Koya Commando unit of the Chhattsigarh armed police force. The police said four of the alleged ‘Maoists’ were wearing olive green uniforms.

Villagers and even some security officials dispute that claim. “Maoists do not wear green camouflage patterns,” said a senior security officer well versed in counter-insurgency operations, “They usually operate in civilian clothes or in an all black uniforms.” The clothes recovered by the villagers also suggest the bodies were stripped and put in uniform as an afterthought.

Speaking on background, sources have confirmed that “there have been instances when uniforms have been put on bodies after an encounter,” but insisted that such incidents were rare and difficult to prove.

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Tale of Rebellion of Lalgarh and Jungalmahal

Posted by Admin on March 7, 2010

The story of adivasi revolt in Lalgarh region of West Bengal. The movement which started in December 2008 under the banner of Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities. This documentary attempts to capture the movement as it began and also tried to fathom the grievances and deprivation of the indigenous population which is continuing since colonial times.The documentary has been made by CANVAS.This version of the documentary is subtitles in English.

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Peoples March January-February 2010

Posted by Admin on March 7, 2010

Peoples march january- february 2010

peoples march january - february 2010

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Ideology can’t be wiped out by attacking tribals: Arundhati Roy

Posted by Admin on March 6, 2010

Dubbing the Centre’s talk of ceasefire and talks with naxals “non-serious,” members of democratic and civil rights organisations on Friday demanded that the state stop the military offensive, Operation Greenhunt, “against its own people” and initiate back-channel talks with the CPI (Maoist).

Addressing a press conference here, writer and human rights activist Arundhati Roy said: “The government’s use of the military to solve political problems is not new. The government has long since followed a policy of extermination against the Maoist movement. But each time the movement has come back stronger and better organised as it is not the people but an ideology under attack and this ideology cannot be wiped out by attacking tribals in the name of defeating Maoism. Moreover, considering the fact that no one has defined the word ‘Maoist’, if the government talks of wiping them out, then it refers to a genocidal language where it could be dispensing with lakhs of people who are anyway fragile and on the brink of survival.”

Ms. Roy said: “We are in a situation wherein corporatisation of natural resources such as coal and iron ore has led to scandals galore and it is this money which can buy governments, elections, courts and media, making our democracy the best democracy that money can buy today. Despite a large number of farmer suicides and a majority of the population living below poverty line, we have the most expensive elections in the world and the money for the same comes from the iron ores of Karnataka and Chhattisgarh and bauxite in Orissa which is then is used to cleverly subvert democracy and wage war against its own people.”

Sumit Chakravartty, Editor, Mainstream magazine, said: “The Union government has undertaken the task of launching a full-scale war against the indigenous tribal population in the vast tribal heartlands. The most important thing for talks to be successful between the CPI (Maoist) and the government is that it has to be a mutual affair of cessation of hostilities. It cannot be one-sided. While asking the Maoists to abjure violence, the Centre should also do the same and initiate back-channel talks, but so far this seriousness and initiative on the part of the government has been lacking.”

Alluding to the treatment meted out to social activists working in naxal-affected areas in Chhattisgarh, he said: “The government’s allegation that the Maoists are not allowing development works to take place is hollow because if that was true, then why would civil society and voluntary organisation representatives working for the uplift of the Maoists be targeted? Since the government is not interested in the development of tribals, a large number of them have joined the Maoists as it is a question of survival for them.”

In a blind alley

By opting to settle the issue militarily, instead of finding a political solution, “the government has already entered a blind alley and there is no win-win situation here as you cannot destroy the tribal’s resolve for survival.”

Keywords: Maoist, naxal, Arundhati Roy

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