Indian Vanguard

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Posts Tagged ‘CPI Maoist’


Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Kobad GandhiMediaWhistle , JYOTI PUNWANI


“How did he dress?” “How did he talk to all of you?” “When you met, what did you talk about?” These were some of the questions asked of me by journalists assigned to write on Kobad Ghandy, the Maoist arrested in Delhi last week, following the piece I wrote on him that appeared on Sept 23. Since these interviews were conducted over the phone, I could only guess that the interviewers were very young. One of them herself told me she was just 22, and couldn’t understand what had made me, Kobad and others, who were then the same age as she was now, sit on the lawns of Bombay University every week and discuss human rights and politics.

One can understand that today’s young reporters know nothing about the atmosphere in Mumbai 30 years ago. But when they are sent to gather information about a “prize Naxalite catch”, surely their chief reporters should brief them a bit about the Naxalite movement? Had they been told that Kobad Ghandy was just one of hundreds of well-off, educated youth who gave up everything to plunge into the radical Left movement that started in 1967, they may not have regarded him as a freak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who is Kobad Ghandy?

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

28 September 2009 by satark,

I didn’t know the name leave alone the person Kobad Ghandy until yesterday. Indian express carried an item that a very high ranking Maoist, a catch prized by the police, has been arrested in Delhi. I guess that his Doon school back ground -he was classmate of Sanjay Gandhi -, his British education and the fact that he belongs to a wealthy family from Mumbai made it newsworthy. The man who would have been a flourishing chartered accountant or a corporate honcho was instead found to be concerned for poor people & even devoting his entire life time to them. A sense of disbelief pervaded at how one of us made the poor choice of joining the utterly forgotten tribals & others from the ultra under developed areas. It wasn’t without precedent. T Nagi Reddy, an elected legislator at state & national levels, first with CPI and later after the split with CPI(M), finally chose to forge militant mass movement to assert & claim the rights of poor people although he himself came from a rich & landed family. Incidentally, he was brother in law of Dr. Nilam Sanjiva Reddy, the first chief minister of Andhra & President of India in 1977. Some 24×7 news channels had reportedly likened Ghandy to Al Qaeda terrorists. Not surprising when our news anchors suffer from HAS (hyper newsy syndrome), while the spectators are displaying ADD (attention deficit disorder), may be due to sensory overload. So much so only few noticed the irony. Bibek Debroy chose to name it “The Insurgent’s mind” in his article. It was mentioned Ghandy was in his early sixties. That made him less than a decade older than me. Since I was a keen student of politics in college days – remember asphyxiation, mercifully short, of democracy in 1975-77 – and I got interested. This is what I found his late wife’s brother, Sunil Shanbag, has to say as told by Sheela Bhatt. Some others say this about him in India’s unlikely Maoist revolutionary. Ghandy’s story as it unfolds hereafter may become interesting, but I will return to it shortly after a detour – albeit a very instructive one. Read the rest of this entry »

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In jail, Ghandy plans book on late wife

Posted by Admin on September 28, 2009

Anuradha Gandhy

Anuradha Gandhy


New Delhi, Sept. 27: Khobad Ghandy, the suspected Maoist leader now in solitary confinement in Tihar jail, is planning his “memoirs”, which will focus on his late wife and their two decades of “struggle” together, sources said.

Ghandy’s book on his wife Anuradha, who was the lone woman member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) central committee, will be in the form of a memoir, the sources indicated. She died on April 12 last year of cerebral malaria. Ghandy had married Anuradha in 1983.

The book, if it materialises, will perhaps be the first in Ghandy’s own name.

The Doon School alumnus has been writing about political economy in economic journals and newspapers under the pseudonym Arvind. However, he will not use his other pseudonym Azad, which he had adopted as an underground spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist), the sources said.

Ghandy, who is suffering from cancer and cardiac problems, has requested officials for writing and reference material from the jail library, the sources added.

Officials at Tihar jail said Ghandy was also keen to write a book on political economy and has requested material on the subject. The alleged Maoist, who is yet to be officially informed under what charges he has been booked, has asked for a copy of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to study its sections, the sources said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Admin on September 27, 2009


CHATTISGARH: Eighteen-year-old Radha looks too young to be called a comrade. But there’s no mistaking the gun she swings over her shoulder. Radha’s desire to be a part of the ongoing festivities in Dandakarnya forest’s Bhumkal divas is almost infectious. But it is a measure of her guerrilla discipline that she skips the festivities until her sentry duty is over.

For all her teenager-enthusiasm, Radha carries the significant mantle of being a third-generation Naxal fighter. Her grandfather joined the rebels and his two sons followed suit. Radha, her older brother and a sister are gun-toting comrades, familiar with the terrain, comfortable with their way of life. There are several young girl comrades in this group. On the one hand innocent, on the other trained to shoot and debilitate, these girls are a strange mix of girly behaviour and warrior grit. Comrade Soni, 18, transforms from soldier in olive fatigues to a dancer in a red-and-white sari, her gun resting on the ground as she takes to the stage, with the intensity of a focused soldier.

Not everyone is in fatigues here, although all the women are trained fighters. Comrade Sanjini for one doesn’t wear the olive uniform and could pass off as any other tribal woman if it weren’t for the black plastic holster she casually slings over her right shoulder. Sanjini heads the chetna natya manch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Move to neutralise Maoists’ top leadership

Posted by Admin on September 27, 2009

A file photograph shows a Maoist training drill

A file photograph shows a Maoist training drill

Manan Kumar
First Published : 25 Sep 2009 02:49:00 AM IST

RAIPUR: The recent arrest of CPI (Maoist) politburo member Kobad Ghandy in New Delhi wasn’t any fluke. It matured after a long hunt by the security forces, aided by the Andhra Pradesh police special cell on Naxals, and key support by others, including the Intelligence Bureau.Effecting a course correction in its strategy against the Naxals, besides taking them on in jungles, the Union Government has decided to pluck out the top leadership to render the Maoists rudderless and a disjointed lot. Yet it has a long way to go _ as even after neutralising or arresting eight top leaders and 22 central committee members in recent years,the politburo still remains at large.After Kobad Ghandy, agencies are on hot trail of nine PB members _ Ganpati alias Mupalla Laxman Rao, Mallojula Koteshwar Rao alias Prahlad, Prashant Bose alias Kishan Da, Nambala Keshav Rao aloas Gangana, Cherkuri Rajkumar alias Uday, Mullojula Venugopal alias Vivek, Rajesh Da, Balraj alias Arvind and Katakam Sudarshan alias Anand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ready to face any offensive: Maoist leader Kishanji

Posted by Admin on September 26, 2009

2005080204331201Raktima Bose Share · print

“The Centre and the West Bengal government willing, our movement in Lalgarh on people’s behalf will continue for another three years or maybe even 30 years. The onus is on the government to choose what it wants,” said the top Maoist leader Koteswar Molajella Rao, alias Kishanji.

He was responding to the State government’s decision to seek additional Central forces to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh region.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone from an undisclosed spot in the Lalgarh area on Friday, Kishanji, who is a member of the Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), said: “Let the State government send as many contingents of Central forces as they want to to Lalgarh, I can assure them that none in the force will go back home.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering the Maoist leader Anuradha Ghandy

Posted by Admin on September 25, 2009

Kumud Shanbag at her Mumbai flat, with a picture of Anuradha on her wedding day (Photo: RITESH UTTAMCHANDANI)She was born into privilege and could easily have chosen the easy life. But Anuradha Ghandy chose guns over roses to fight for the dispossessed.
BY Rahul Pandita EMAIL AUTHOR(S)

Kumud Shanbag at her Mumbai flat, with a picture of Anuradha on her wedding day (Photo: RITESH UTTAMCHANDANI)

On a muggy April evening in 2008, somewhere in Mumbai, a doctor was trying desperately to get in touch with his patient. The patient happened to be a woman in her early 50s, who had come that morning with high fever. The doctor had advised a few blood tests, and, as he saw the reports, he started making frantic calls to the phone number the patient had scribbled in her nearly illegible handwriting. The number, he soon realised, did not exist. He was restless. The reports indicated the presence of two deadly strains of malaria in the woman’s bloodstream—she had to be admitted to a hospital without delay. Time was racing by and there was no trace of her.A female Naxal leader addressing a public meeting in Dandakaranya. Anuradha had also worked hard to create awareness about the rights of female cadres who were part of the Naxalite movement (Photo: AP)

A female Naxal leader addressing a public meeting in Dandakaranya. Anuradha had also worked hard to create awareness about the rights of female cadres who were part of the Naxalite movement (Photo: AP) wicked-dots-active.gif

By the time the woman contacted the doctor again, a few days had passed. The doctor wanted her placed under intensive care immediately. But it was too late.

The next morning, on April 12, Anuradha Ghandy was dead. She had suffered multiple organ failure, her immune system already weakened by systemic sclerosis, an auto-immune disease responsible for, among other things, her bad handwriting.

The news spread quickly among friends and followers of Anu, as she was fondly called. Before long news had reached Indora, a Dalit basti in Nagpur where Anu had lived for seven years. This was before her name appeared in the Home Ministry dossiers as Janaki alias Narmada alias Varsha – the only woman in the CPI(Maoist)’s Central Committee, the highest decision-making body of the Naxalites. Read the rest of this entry »

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Weapons Of Mass Desperation, An article on Anti- Maoist ops

Posted by Admin on September 25, 2009

From Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 39, Dated October 03, 2009

Operation Green Hunt, the offensive against Naxals, might blow up in our faces. SHOMA CHAUDHURY examines the tricky and dangerous terrain

image Enemy worthy? Naxals in Abujmarh. Women suckle babies. The poverty shows Photo: AP

ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2009, India woke up to the news that the Delhi Police had captured a top Naxal ideologue, 58-year-old Kobad Ghandy – a South Bombay Parsi who had grown up in a giant sea-facing house in Worli, had gone to Doon School, and had studied for a CA in London before returning to India to work with the most destitute of Indian citizens in Maharashtra, before going underground in the 1970s. His wife Anuradha, a sociologist, went underground with him and died of cerebral malaria last year. (Malaria, particularly the lethal falciparium malaria, is a common affliction in the neglected heartland of central India.) Home Minister P Chidambaram called Ghandy the State’s “most important Naxal catch.”

On the night of September 22, Times Now had a prime time debate on the significance of Ghandy’s arrest. The aggressive rhetoric of anchor Arnab Goswami epitomised typical high urban attitudes to Naxal issues. If you happened to watch him anchor the show, several terrifying things would have become evident. Over this past year, the Home Ministry has been planning a major armed offensive against the Naxals, particularly in Chhattisgarh. According to reports, the plan involves stationing around 75,000 troops in the heartland of India — including special CRPF commandos, the ITBP and the BSF. Scattered newspaper accounts have spoken of forces being withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast; there is also talk of bringing in the feared Rashtriya Rifles — a battalion created specially for counter-insurgency work — and the purchase of bomb trucks, bomb blankets, bomb baskets, and sophisticated new weaponry. Minister Chidambaram has also said that if necessity dictates, he will bring in the special forces of the army. Read the rest of this entry »

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Army reluctant to spare special units for Maoist fight

Posted by Admin on September 25, 2009


25army.jpg A soldier during a gun battle with militants near Srinagar on Wednesday. (AP)

New Delhi, Sept. 24: The army has expressed its reluctance to let its special forces be dragged into the Centre’s anti-Maoist offensive after Union home minister P. Chidambaram suggested that the units may be used.

The army’s reluctance is couched in advisories that the top brass have conveyed to the planners of the offensive.

A brigadier is attached to the anti-Naxalite cell of the Union home ministry and the army itself has been engaged in studying the Maoists.

In successive meetings of its commanders, the top brass have mapped the growth and spread of Left-wing extremists. “We do not have adequate special forces. We are in the process of expanding them,” said a senior officer at army headquarters.

All the six para-commando battalions of the army have been categorised as “special forces”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Arrest won’t end Naxal movement’: Varavara Rao

Posted by Admin on September 24, 2009

Varavara raoDaipayan Halder Date: 2009-09-24 Place: Delhi

Poet, professor and Marxist critic, Varavara Rao has been the face of the Naxalite movement in Andhra Pradesh for almost four decades now. In an exclusive interview with Daipayan Halder, he spoke on Kobad Ghandy’s arrest and the future of the Naxal movement

Kobad Ghandy is a prize catch for security agencies. Is it a body blow to the movement?
Kobad is a central committee member of the CPI (Maoist) and a top ideologue. It is undoubtedly a huge loss for the movement. But one leader getting arrested won’t affect naxalism. But it is a loss to the ideological debate within the party.

Hard Talk: Varavara RaoAre you saying it is more an ideological loss than a strategic loss? The police seem confident of getting vital information out of him.
In our party, it is the same thing. Ideology and strategy are not watertight compartments. And as I said, the police won’t be able to end naxalism by arresting one leader. Read the rest of this entry »

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The new face of Naxalism

Posted by Admin on September 24, 2009

CMAS OrissaThe arrest of Kobad Ghandy has sent a shock wave nationwide. What was the London- educated son of an ice-cream magnate doing in the top echelons of the Communist Party of India ( Maoist)? Indeed, a look at the leadership of the Naxalite movement today does make Ghandy appear a little out of place.

But that is not how the revolution began. Many of Ghandy’s comrades in the 1970s – the time he joined the still nascent uprising – were intellectuals born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

Like Ghandy, they were the alumni of premier institutes such as Kolkata’s Presidency College and Jadavpur University.

Like Ghandy, they left their affluent backgrounds to pour into the villages and arouse the destitute to join a Maoist struggle.

Unlike Ghandy, however, most of them drifted away from the hard life of a revolutionary once the police crackdown began. Read the rest of this entry »

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Centre for new war on Maoists,

Posted by Admin on September 24, 2009

The Hindu

Riding high on the recent arrest of senior Maoist leader Kopad Ghandy, the Manmohan Singh government is considering a major escalation of its war against Maoist insurgents across the country.

In an interaction with reporters accompanying the Prime Minister to the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, official sources said the Home Ministry’s proposal for the use of special forces, including air power, was being considered by the appropriate committees and no decision had been taken as yet. While a strong case had been made out for the greater use of force against the naxalites, the government was evaluating the downsides of such a strategy. “The question is whether we can calibrate the government’s use of violence,” the sources said.

“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs… [But] if we end up killing many more tribals in the process, there will be problems.”

By way of illustration, the sources drew attention to the recent report by General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the United States forces in Afghanistan, which linked mounting civilian casualties in the war against the Taliban to the use of air power by the U.S. and its allies.

The sources criticised what they said was the media’s unwillingness to focus on the violence perpetrated by the Maoists. “Despite the fact that naxalites have been carrying out the worst atrocities, there is very little public outcry. When Kopad Ghandy is arrested, we see intellectuals are protecting him. But when tribals are killed by the Maoists, the intellectuals and NGOs [are silent.]”

Asked about the need for dialogue with the Maoists, the sources said this had been experimented with between 2004 and 2006. “Today, there are no offers from their side and I am not sure any purpose will be served either.” Read the rest of this entry »

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