DATE: 30 May 2013
Radical Socialist calls for a halt to the spiral of violence and counter-violence between the Indian state, political forces of the ruling class, and the CPI (Maoist).
This violence is caused by two forces, not one. Following the murder of Mahendra Karma and others in Chhattisgarh, the bourgeois propaganda has gone into a hyper-drive, claiming that this is a great blow to democracy. This attitude shows clearly that for the bourgeoisie, as well as for the reformist and parliamentarist left parties like the CPI (M), democracy does not place equal value for all lives. In June 2012, 17 adivasis were murdered in cold blood by the CRPF. Two fact finding teams, one consisting of members of several civil liberties organizations and the other including responsible academicians like Nandini Sundar, indicted the CRPF. The national print and electronic media did not turn the incident or even the reports into huge front page information. The Telegraph, which has editorially claimed the recent incident as a great attack on democracy, did not feel the same way on the previous occasion.
The entire ruling class, and all its minions, are thus complicit in the recurrent violence on adivasis across a vast part of India. Those adivasis are sitting on high quality real estate that the rulers want to exploit. And those same adivasis are expected to provide the supere-xploited proletariat who will produce surplus value at a high level.
It is for this reason that a notorious figure like Mahendra Karma, who set up the Salwa Judum, was not merely a Congress backed gangster, but actually a principal leader of the Congress. The Salwa Judum set up private, but state backed, terror on adivasis. It set up villages akin to the notorious “strategic hamlets” of Vietnam created by US imperialism, herding villagers there like cattle. Though eventually, in 2011, after a petition by Nandini Sundar, Ramchandra Guha and E.A.S. Sharma, the Supreme Court ordered its disbandment, karma continued to be a principal figure of the Congress.
The killing of Karma, as reported, was brutal, and deserves no support. But it cannot be isolated and condemned, while the massive violence on adivasis and the loot of their property continues to be justified by Chidambaram, by the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, and others.
At the same time, we oppose the political and military strategy of the CPI (Maoist).
1. Even if this is seen as a war, then if people surrender they should be seen as prisoners and should not be killed.
2. The strategy of guerilla war using sophisticated weapons, and exposing adivasis to further and extreme state violence, betrays a political mindset that is all about getting or seeking power and not about mass mobilization and power for the exploited.
The CPI (Maoist) outlook is evidently one that if the state kills more adivasis the middle ground will be eliminated and hopefully more people will turn to their line.
At the time of the Dantewada violence Radical Socialist had already expressed its views in clear terms. (http://www.radicalsocialist.in/articles/statement-radical-socialist/183-oppose-green-hunt-condemn-maoist-politics-of-glorifying-violence) We reiterate our stand, and declare that we deny equating the violent Maoists practices, entirely by a self-proclaimed vanguard, carried on for decades, with revolutionary violence by the people in moments of mass upsurge. Maoist violence is not based on any mass politics. Even in the few cases where so-called mass involvement is claimed, especially by urban intellectual supporters of the Maoists, the reality is that gun wielding Maoist cadres dictated the violence. We strongly feel that this sordid violence would fail to bring any radical change even in remote future.
We are very clear that big corporates want free access to the forests and mineral rich areas to exploit resources for capitalist expansion. This ruthless capitalist abuse is the root cause for the present crisis that India and its people are facing. We strongly believe that the only force that can lead the struggle against capitalism in India and globally is the organized working class. However, with their current strategy, the Maoists are failing to make any impact on the class.
No matter what they say about “encirclement of the cities from the countryside” the bulk of rural India has remained totally out of their reach; forget about the cities where the bulk of the principal revolutionary force – the working class – is concentrated. Hence, the question of encircling the cities with liberated villages shall not apply with the current strategy of the Maoists.
Meanwhile, gruesome violence cannot enhance their politics. We call upon their leaders, who claim to be Marxists, to understand the meaning of working class self emancipation, and end their current strategy in the interests of far wider working class revolutionary struggles that have to be built up.
Soma Marik Sushovan Dhar Kunal Chattopadhyay
Trupti Shah Amrish Brahmbhatt Rohit Prajapati