Saturday, November 29, 2008

Karkare: An officer and a gentleman

Hemant Karkare, Chief, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad
Hemant Karkare, Chief, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad
When Mumbai's former police commissioner Julio Rebeiro hailed Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare as one of the finest officers in the country, he was not exaggerating.

A 1982 batch IPS officer, Karkare was a Bachelor of Engineering from Vishveshvarayya Regional Engineering College in Nagpur. He worked for the National Productivity Council and Hindustan Lever before leaving the high-paying jobs for the glamour of the uniform. Hindustan Lever's loss was the country's gain as Karkare showed bright sparks in the very first year of his training - topping the batch in 1983.

Karkare's first assignment was in Bhusawal as assistant superintendent of police in 1984. He was then posted as additional superintendent of police in Nanded 1986. His next posting came in 1987 in Thane. It is this posting that explains why the Shiv Sena targeted Karkare when terror suspect Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested.

In 1998, Karkare took the bold step of arresting Shiv Sena leader Anand Dighe from Thane. The Shiv Sena was trying to foment communal tensions at Haji Malang in Kalyan, where both Hindus and Muslims went to pray. Dighe was to Thane what Bal Thackeray is to Mumbai, and his arrest frustrated the terror tactics of Shiv Sena.

Karkare took over the investigation of the multi-crore shoe scandal and was also in charge of the narcotics division in Mumbai. He was one of the few Maharashtra cadre IPS officers who remained untouched by corruption scandals and controversies during the Telgi case. That could have helped him get a prestigious posting in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Karkare was posted in Austria for almost seven years in his nine years with RAW. She became the head of ATS in January this year after his return to the state cadre.

Karkare solved the serial bomb blasts in Thane, Vashi and Panvel. He also handled the July 2006 Mumbai local train blasts case. Most recently, he was credited for the stunning revelations in the investigation of the September 29 Malegaon blast. During his posting as superintendent of police in Vidarbha's Chandrapur district, people saw a different side of his personality. He created 150 beautiful wood sculptures in the forested area.

Only a few days ago, his batch-mate and one of his close friends, joint commissioner of police K.L. Prasad described him as an "officer who always took a principled stand whatever the consequences". ATS officials fear that his death will clearly derail investigations, as he was the only one who calmly took all the pressure and let his men do the job.

Courtesy: Krishna Kumar / Mail Today

Vijay Salaskar: Life and death by the gun

He was said to be the last of Mumbai's encounter specialists until a hail of bullets brought him down on Wednesday. He is supposed to have killed nearly 80 alleged gangsters.

A 1983 batch officer, Salaskar started off as a sub-inspector. But his ability to sniff out criminals quickly made him a favourite with the police top brass, who used him and other cops to get rid of many underworld criminals.

His first encounter was in 1983, when he shot dead one Raja Shahabuddin, who had a number of cases against him. Gangsters like Amar Naik, Jaggu Shetty, Sadhu Shetty, Kundan Singh Rawat, Zahoor Makhanda ended up as statistics in Salaskar's growing encounter list.

In 1997, he was accused by underworld don Arun Gawli of trying to eliminate him in a fake encounter after the cop gunned down his aides Sada Pawle and Vijay Tandel. Gawli went to the extent of writing to the government that Salaskar would bump him off in a fake encounter. But Salaskar did not face any departmental proceedings. He, however, was frequently in the news for alleged fake encounters.
Courtesy: Mail Today

Ashok Kamte - A daring officer and excellent negotiator

Mumbai (PTI): Daring, but with an exceptionally cool head made Ashok Kamte an excellent negotiator in crisis situations - a quality for which he was summoned late Thursday night to deal with terrorists holed up in Mumbai buildings.

Kamte, a 1989 batch IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, who died fighting terrorists near Mumbai's Metro cinema, was one of the brightest of his batch, and one of the few officers who dared to take on challenges directly.

Having undergone special training for negotiating hostage situations, Kamte was chosen to tackle one of the worst crisis faced by the financial capital of the country.

Maharashtra Police specially summoned him to undertake the operation at Metro Cinema near Cama Place in the city where he laid down his life fighting with terrorists along with encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mumbai, Kamte was a key officer in the state police. He had also served as the Commissioner of Solapur where he became a hero among locals.

With over 400 fans on his Orkut profile, Kamte enjoyed a lot of respect during his tenure at Solapur.

"A cop that turned Solapur from a wrong city to the right one. The person who every responsible Solapurkar liked and loved. This community has been created to pay the respect and gratitude that he deserves," wrote one of his fans on the social networking web site.

Survived by his wife and two children, Kamte had a panache for body building during his college days. His friends at the IPS academy also remember him as a great athlete and one of the brightest cadets of his batch.

Sandeep Unnikrishnan waged a valiant battle against terrorists

He lost his life while saving an injured colleague

He was commissioned in the Army in 1999

He participated in various operations conducted by the NSG

BANGALORE: Being in the forefront of the National Security Guards operations at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan not only waged a valiant battle against the terrorists but also did his best to save his injured colleagues and in the bargain lost his life. He showed the real warrior in him before laying down his life.

Thirty-one-year-old Major Sandeep is the only son of retired ISRO officer K. Unnikrishnan, who is settled in Bangalore.

His father told presspersons: “I lost my son in Mumbai on Friday. Though I do not like to call him a martyr, I can proudly say that he has done something for this country.”

He was informed of the death of his son by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (National Security Guards).

According to information reaching the family, “Major Sandeep was leading a team and during the operations two of his colleagues sustained bullet injuries. In a bid to save them Sandeep turned back. The bullets fired by the terrorists pierced him. On November 26, he had called us and said that one of his childhood friends is getting married in the city on December 17. He had planned to attend that marriage,” Mr. Unnikrishnan said.

Major Sandeep was ambitious, talented and a brave soul, said his friends and neighbours. He joined the National Defence Academy and was commissioned in the Bihar 7th Regiment in 1999.

He was drafted to the NSG after his gallantry was recognised,” Kiran Srivasthav, a childhood friend of Major Sandeep told The Hindu.

According to Anirudh Uppal, Inspector-General (Headquarters) National Security Guards (NSG), Major Sandeep had exposure to counter insurgency operations after having served in Jammu and Kashmir for two terms.

He was deputed to the NSG on January 20, 2007 and participated in various operations conducted by the elite force.

The gallant officer of the team commander of 51 SAG was deployed to clear Hotel Taj Mahal of extremists on November 27.

He led the team from the front and engaged the terrorists in a fierce gunfight. When one of the NSG commandos was injured in the exchange of fire, he arranged for his evacuation and regardless of personal safety chased the terrorists who, meanwhile, escaped to another floor of the hotel, and while doing so Major Sandeep continuously engaged them. In the encounter that followed, he was seriously injured and succumbed to injuries.


India Shooting

These incidents make me think of my violent pro-naxal ideas. However this article is not about my internal conflicts.

Mobile phones invented to speak. As technology advanced they built a camera in it so that we can capture our lovable memories with our family and friends. Unfortunately the same camera is increasingly used to record porn videos which are easily spread via MMS/bluetooth/ infrared. Whom to blame - THE MOBILE OR MOBILE USERS?

This is the time to stand against terrorism and not against any particular religion. If we stand against a particular religion in the name of antiterrorism for our religious concerns then a day will come in INDIA where the situation will be a replica of Afghan / Pakistan. Both Afghan and Pakistan which supported religious fundamentalism paid and are paying a heavy price when the fundamentalists took the power. If we support fundamentalists of any religion now we will have to pay a price for that in future.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Naxal attack: 5 cops killed in blast in Chattisgarh

Posted: Nov 25, 2008 at 1527 hrs IST
Raipur, November 25: Five policemen from the District Force (DF) were on Tuesday killed in a landmine blast triggered by Naxalites in Bastar district of Chattisgarh, police said.

The blast, that took place near Mardapal and Kondagaon areas of the district, blew up a bridge killing five policemen and injuring two DF personnel from the Chattisgarh Police, A N Upadhya, Inspector General (Bastar) said.

Naxalites triggered the blast when the security personnel were returning after their election duty at polling booths in Tumdibala, Kudhur and Nahakanar under Narayanpur assembly constituency where re-polling was held yesterday, they said.

The security men had made a halt at Mardapal on Monday night after the polls and were returning to Kondagaon, they added.

Meanwhile, senior police officials and additional forces have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation, Upadhya said.

Interview with Com. Janaki (Anuradha) from the March 2001 issue of Poru Mahila, the organ of Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sanghatan, DK.

People's War has shattered the hesitations of the women of Dandakaranya!

(In this issue of Poru Mahila we are introducing to our readers Com. Janaki who had been working in the urban movement and had come to Dandakaranya to observe the adivasi peasant movement and to participate in it. Com. Janaki had led the guerilla squads directly as a divisional committee member of South Bastar from 1997 to 2000. Poru Mahila chatted with her on her experiences in the urban movement and in the adivasi peasant movement. We are here presenting the main features of that conversation – Editor, Poru Mahila. People's Truth is reproducing that interview in the light of her martyrdom).

Po. Ma: Com. Janaki, would you please first explain to us the oppression faced by urban women?

Com. J: Though all women in India are under feudal, capitalist, imperialist and patriarchal oppression, it is seen in various forms in different areas, the urban and the rural areas. The working class and middle class women in urban areas have some specific problems.

Firstly, if we look at the problems inside the family, even in urban areas women are oppressed by the feudal culture. Though the oppression of this culture may be less severe, still the majority of the young girls and women do not get the right in their families to take important decisions regarding their lives. The unmarried girls are under pressure to marry men from the same caste and same religion according to the decisions of the family. If a girl decides to marry a man of her choice from another caste or religion she will be subjected to a lot of pressure. She would have to face severe opposition from the family. Even if a woman wants to work outside home she will have to take the permission of her father, brother or husband. People of some castes and religions (for e.g. the Muslims and Kshatriyas) do not like their woman to do jobs. So it becomes inevitable for women to fight even for economic independence. In addition, since capitalist values have spread widely man-woman relations have also become commercialized and women are facing severe problems. The dowry and other items which have to be given to the grooms' family before and after marriage has become a big problem for the parents who have given birth to girls. Added to that, it has become common to all communities to harass women for dowry both physically and mentally. When the wife's life can be measured in money and gold killing her for their sake is not far behind. This terrible situation can be found in many households in the urban areas now-a-days. Especially since the past 25-30 years, maybe India is the only country in the world, where the new crime of burning brides for dowry has come into vogue.

One thing we have to observe is that a part of women belonging to the working class and the middle classes do not get an opportunity to go out and take up jobs. All their time is spent in house work and working for the family. As a result they depend on others for their living. Socially they depend on their husbands. That's why they don't try to do anything independently. There are so many restrictions on them to venture out or step outside the threshold. And if we look at the women who take care of their children's studies it is almost like a machine. All her work revolves round her husband, the children's studies and sending them to tuitions.

The conditions of the working class in urban areas are pitiable. The main reason is the severity of the problem of not having a place to stay. So the poor are forced to set up house illegally in open places. Many of them build a hut on the sides of the roads, railway tracks and sewers (even on top of sewers). In narrow lanes and the sides of the roads hundreds of families are living by building shacks. There is not even an inch of space to build a bathroom or a place which can be called a verandah. As the towns expand slums keep increasing on the sides of roads, on rocky places and on the small hills inside the town. They do not have toilets or water facilities. Crowded people, polluted environment, and lack of basic amenities – women do their work facing all these problems. Fighting for water is a common sight. In bastis like these goodaism and their harassment is another problem they face. But above all the biggest problem is the demolition of these bastis by the municipal and government authorities on the allegation that they are illegal. Usually it comes upon the women to oppose these demolitions. Because when officers come in the daytime with the police and bull dozers it is usually the women and children who are at home. The urban system in a backward country like India does not recognize the right to have a household as a basic right.

Women in urban areas have many opportunities to step out of home and work. They get jobs in factories, offices, schools, hospitals and shops. But in many jobs they are not paid equally with men. Or the salaries are so low that they cannot run a household with that. Many working class women work in the construction industry under the contractors. Many women work as maids. All these works come under the unorganized sector. These do not have any job guarantee or a guarantee for salary. On top of it they have to face harassment from the contractors and the men under whom they work. This takes place in many forms. Not only the working class women but even educated middle class women are facing such harassment. Women are harassed sexually with such pressurizing tactics as threatening to oust them, not giving them work, transferring them, writing bad remarks in their records etc. Very few women are able to share such things with others.

Now-a-days in big cities electronic industries of the imperialists have come up on a large scale. Girls are employed in many of them. But the problems of more labour, less salaries and a ban on organizing are present in these industries. So they have to fight even for the basic right of forming unions.

In the past some industries like beedi making and agarbatti making were thriving in households. Now even many new companies are giving most of the work to do at home. The poor housewives are taking up these jobs thinking they can earn a bit while being at home. There is lot of exploitation in this work. Even if they work all day long with the help of their family members it is difficult for them to earn even 20 rupees. The labour power of poor women is paid very less. They are being exploited a lot is what I want to say.

Lastly, another point is the influence of imperialist culture is very great on the urban women. They are not only influenced by consumerism but are also victims of it. This is increasing day by day. Instead of human values they are giving more importance to beauty and beauty products. As a result there is an environment of insecurity due to atrocities and harassments in the urban areas. The young women are facing a feeling of insecurity to step out of the house. In an urban life women are suffering from many such problems. But there are very few organizations which fight against them at present.

Po.Ma: Tell us about the various trends in the women's movement.

Com.J: Around 1980s there was a spontaneous outburst of women's movements in many parts of the country, especially in the cities. This movement was an indication of the increasing democratic consciousness and anti patriarchal consciousness among the women. After the Naxalbari movement dealt a severe blow to the semi feudal, semi colonial system in India , there was an outburst of working class and student movements and there was the Emergency and the social, economic and political crises of the ruling classes – the women's movements sprung out of this background. Internationally also there was the influence of the student and women's movements. Mostly the student, middle class and professional women participated actively in these movements. Out of these spontaneous democratic movements many small and big women's organizations also took birth. But in the past 20 years there have been many changes in the women's movement, their political character and in these organizations. Later the women's liberation movement, dependent on the urban middle class women, split into various political and ideological streams. In the nationality movements, especially in the Kashmiri struggle for their self determination the active participation of women has increased considerably. Women are playing a prominent role in exposing the inhuman atrocities of the police and army. Under the leadership of the Maoist Party the revolutionary women's movement has developed well in the rural areas especially in Dandakaranya ,Jharkhand and North Telengana . Even the BJP and RSS have recognized the strength of women and are paying attention to spreading decadent social values and vicious politics among them.

Many women who had spontaneously participated in movements against dowry deaths, sati and harassments, drawing the attention of the nation towards such problems, had withdrawn from the movement in later years. But many out of them have gained a name for themselves as researchers and ideologues on women's issues both in India and abroad. Many of them founded voluntary organizations (NGOs). They are getting funds from international agencies for women studies and emancipation of women. But they have a feminist viewpoint and a feminist ideology. Now they have become propagandists for feminism, saying that patriarchy is the main problem for women, and that we have to fight only against patriarchy. But patriarchy has its roots in class society. In all societies it is perpetuated by the exploiting classes, i.e. feudalism, capitalism and imperialism. So fighting patriarchy means fighting against these exploiting classes. But the feminists are against recognizing this. They believe women's conditions in this society can be changed by politically lobbying with the governments and by propaganda alone. In reality this feminist stream today is representing the class outlook and the class interests of the bourgeois and upper middle class women in the country.

The women organizations of revisionist parties like CPI, CPM and Liberation are working actively in some cities. They run movements on social and political issues of women. Along with issues of women's oppression they even take up processions and do dharnas on problems like price rise etc. They are different from the feminist stream, because they don't give importance only to struggles against patriarchy. But they are also completely reformist organizations. Because of their revisionist politics they are not linking the women's liberation with revolution and are working with the belief that by changing governments they will be able to improve their conditions inside this existing social framework itself. For e.g. for the past 2, 3 years they have concentrated all their activities on gaining the right of 33 percent reservation for women in the parliament. Actually the common people have lost confidence on the corrupt parliamentary system long back. It has also been proven that whoever gets elected to the parliament will always serve the exploiting ruling classes and not work for the rights of women or those of poor people.

There are some organizations in the urban areas which are working actively basing themselves on Marxist analysis, seeing the roots for the exploitation and oppression of women in the class society and recognizing the link between women's liberation and social revolution. Since a decade they have been working among the working class, students and employees among women. They are not only taking up movements against women's oppression and other problems but also doing extensive propaganda among women about their rights and about the exploitation and oppression perpetuated on them.

It is an alarming phenomenon for the democratic and revolutionary women's movements that the Hindutva forces are also working among women. They are reinstating age old feudal values in the name of opposing western culture. In the name of Hindu traditions and Bharat Mata they are diverting the growing consciousness of women. Not only that, they are carrying out vicious propaganda against religious minorities among them. They are even giving them military training in the name of Nari Shakthi.

In brief, the women's movement is divided into various ideological streams all over the country. We have to study them and build up a strong women's movement by fighting against the wrong ideological trends in them.

Po.Ma: How much do the outside people know about the revolutionary women's movement? What is its impact?

Com.J: The adivasi women's movement emerging in the Dandakaranya since the last decade has a lot of prominence in the history of contemporary women's movement in India . The vigor and initiative of Kashmir women is more than in other parts of the country. Thousands of women are coming into the streets opposing the cruel repression of the army and all kinds of atrocities. After the political activeness of Kashmiri women it is the Dandakaranya adivasi peasant women who are playing an active role socially and politically. They are organized on a wide scale in large number of villages. They are opposing the age old patriarchal traditions inside the Gond adivasi society. They are participating in the armed struggle against the exploiting government and its army and in political campaigns. This is a big victory of the Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sanghatan.

But it is very sad that very little is available outside about the extent of the KAMS and about its activities. The CPI (ML) (People's War) members and sympathizers in other states know little about it. The party put in some efforts for this. The paper written for the Patna seminar (it was published in Telugu and Hindi), the book on women martyrs and some stories and short stories helped in propagating it. But information about this revolutionary women's movement is not going out regularly. Even your magazine `Poru Mahila' is seen outside very rarely. It is necessary to plan its distribution outside the movement areas also.

Nevertheless whatever little information they maybe getting but those belonging to democratic and revolutionary organizations are very much enthused about it. They are getting influenced by the determination and courage displayed by adivasi women. Widespread propaganda about KAMS and its activities is much needed. Through that we can give a fitting reply to the government's negative propaganda about the approach of revolutionary parties towards the women's question.

Po.Ma: Tell us about your experience in DK.

Com. J: Before coming to DK I read articles and reports about the women's movement here. But I did not have an assessment that it was so widespread. That's why I was very happy to see the size of this movement. I must tell you something. In the lessons taught about tribal societies in the colleges they say that the Gondi society is very liberal. But after observing the Muria, Madia and Dorla people from close quarters I understood how patriarchal the tribal society was too. I understood how important it is to study the problem of women's oppression deeply. Though the participation of adivasi peasant women in the production process is widespread, patriarchy has curbed much of their basic rights.

While writing about the women's movement during the war for new democratic society in China Jack Beldon, the American writer and journalist had written, `The Chinese Communist Party has got the key to the victory of the revolution. They have won over the most oppressed section of the Chinese society'. When I saw the women's movement in DK it were these words of Beldon which came to my mind. In fact, after the Chinese Revolution it was the revolutionary movement in DK that has proven that where there is a people's war, where there is armed struggle against the feudal, comprador, imperialist system for the victory of New Democratic Revolution, the working class women participate actively on a large scale for the emancipation of the whole society as well as for their own emancipation. People's War had shattered the hesitations of the women. It doubled their strength. It showed the path for the liberation of women. There is a link between the semi feudal semi colonial society and women's oppression. It has been proven once again by this victory of the DK party that the Marxist principle that we can carry forward the fight against patriarchy only along with the fight to end this system is correct.

Wherever the party is working systematically, we can see that the participation of women is more in all political activities and movements. In 1998 due to the severe famine conditions in South Bastar many women had migrated to Andhra Pradesh for daily wage work. There were KAMS range committee members too among them. But when we asked them to come for March 8 meetings, in one place 700 and in another 450 had attended. Before that in rallies against famine conditions thousands of them had participated. When I was there, women got recruited into the PGA on a large scale. In some places the recruitment of young women was more than the young men. The thing which influenced me the most was that the wives of married comrades who were already in the squads are also getting recruited. Many of them had given away even their little children to their relatives and are becoming guerilla warriors in the ongoing great People's War for changing this society. And, I have seen many women comrades who stood steadfast with the People's War without looking back even though within a few months their husbands had died in police encounter or in some other accident. By breaking away from the traditional, dreary, narrow confines of the family they like this new life more, though it is full of dangers. In that manner their life and their existence is becoming meaningful. I have seen many comrades taking training and taking up new responsibilities.

Building up KAMS units in every village, election of their committees, election of Range Committees in range conferences, sending the unit members to villages for propaganda campaigns, participation in bandhs and other protest activities, giving them military training – all these are victories of this movement. But what I have observed in my experience is that since the Area Committee members are engaged without respite in various kinds of responsibilities and due to some routine work style KAMS work is being neglected. We have to think of new methods to involve the elderly women in the villages. Women and their children are facing a number of health problems. By increasing their understanding in these matters and by paying special attention to their welfare we can increase their zest. We have to increase their participation in the village level meetings. Many people call the KAMS as an organization of young women. Widening their narrow knowledge of society is another challenge in front of us.

Likewise there is a need to give special social and political training to women members in the squads and platoons. We have to plan to give them continuous education in scientific knowledge regarding health problems. Though there are discussions on these topics due to lack of time and due to getting immersed in various works they get postponed. We can get rid of their inferiority by giving them scientific knowledge and imbibing wide social thinking among them.

Po.Ma: What is your message to the women working in squads and in KAMS in DK?

Com.J: Our adivasi women comrades in DK are building a new history today. Though it is a most backward area of the country it is in the first place in the ongoing women's movement in the country. They are answering the guns of the police in a fitting manner by fighting equally with the men comrades in the armed struggle to free this country from the vicious clutches of imperialism, feudalism and comprador bourgeoisie. In the villages they are standing up for their rights by facing the threats and pressures of village elders. They are weakening patriarchy in Gondi adivasi culture.

Though they are opposing such big enemies and forces, the shyness and sense of subordination whose remnants are still present, are also their big enemies which are obstructing their development. Inferiority complex comes out of these. Its roots are very deep. What I want to tell my KAMS colleagues is that they should increase their self confidence. They have to fight against the enemy inside them. In the coming days KAMS will be facing many big challenges. The state repression is already there. Apart from that, the government will try to keep the adivasi society and culture in backwardness with the help of village elders and through adivasi leaders. It will become necessary for the KAMS to face them politically. Likewise the KAMS should keep itself ready to put forward its understanding regarding true liberation of women by intervention in the women's movement which is going on in the form of various streams in the country. To face all these challenges our women comrades should attain political and ideological maturity and have self confidence.

(Translated by Nallamma. All emphasis in the original interview)

An Inside Look at Maoist Strategy in India

This is an interview with G.N. Saibaba, the Deputy Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), an All Indian Federation of Revolutionary People's Organisations. He is 40 years old and was born in Andhra Pradesh, a state in southern India. The new Norwegian party Rødt [Red!] conducted this interview.

Posted on the web site of http://southasiarev .wordpress. com/

Red!: If someone said to you that the Maoist movement in India is a marginal movement that is mainly operating in very backward, lowly populated areas, and it has been doing so for over thirty-five years without getting anywhere, what would be your answer?

Saibaba: The Maoist movement in India is not confined to the backward areas. It's a vast movement, and includes the "developed" areas. Maoists work both in the countryside and the cities. The government says that the Maoists are active in 15 out of 28 states. And these include the major states. The Union Home Ministry says that 167 districts out total 600 districts in the country are covered by Maoists. This is a little less than 1/3 of India.

The Maoists in India follow the New Democratic Revolutionary method proved successful in China under the leadership of Mao. This method follows that the revolutionary movement must put priority on working in the areas where the state is weak. The Maoists work in the backward regions to smash the local reactionaries' power and establish people's power. They build revolutionary mass bases in these backward areas. This doesn't mean that they don't also work in the cities. In fact, in the Congress of the CPI (Maoist) held in January/February 2007, they decided to increase their work in the urban areas. They have produced a new document concerning work in the urban areas that analyses the work done in the last thirty years. This document sets out a strategy for developing the work in the urban areas.

The backward regions in the country are essentially semi-feudal and there is not much capitalistic development. The Maoist Party selected these areas for guerrilla warfare. The armed struggle is considered as the main form of struggle. In order to develop the main form of struggle the Maoists concentrate their work in the backward areas. The struggle in urban areas is secondary and complimentary. The work of the party among the working class in the urban areas helps develop proletarian leadership for the struggle in the backward areas.

At the same time the Maoists participate in developing a huge movement in the urban areas among the intelligentsia, students, women and the middle classes. Maoist cadres and leaders who have been working in the urban areas also are arrested, harassed and killed.

Maoists also work among the coal miners in a big way. There are vast coal mines in many regions in India. You can see, the Maoists work in many industrial areas all over the country, though their concentration of work proceeds from the rural areas.

In fact the CPI (Maoist) leads the single largest mass movement in India. The Central and local governments' response is an indicator to the vastness of the movement. The Central Government has formed a Coordination Centre together with 14 state governments. They are cooperating to mobilise security forces and to gather intelligence about the movements of the Maoists. They have armed a huge military network. They have monthly meetings of this Centre. A large number of military forces are engaged against the Maoist movement. This also indicates the strength of the Maoist movement.

The Naxalbari uprising in 1967 that beckoned in the new revolutionary wave ended with splits into many groups. The splitting up of revolutionary communist forces lasted from 1972 to 1997. It is only after 1997 that the revolutionary communists started uniting. Two major parties who were waging armed struggle united in 1998 and the final unity took place in 2004 when the CPI (Maoist) was formed with the merger of MCCI and CPI (People's War). Because of the splits the movement couldn't grow faster before 2004.

(See notes for more on these trends)

Red!: How do the Maoists respond to accusations of being dogmatists, and not being willing to learn from the defeats of socialism in the 20th century?

Saibaba: The Maoists are creatively and in a genuine way implementing the Marxist principles to the concrete conditions of India. They don't blindly copy from China or Russia. At the same time they are aware that the socialist projects in China and Russia were defeated by the capitalist roaders. They apply Marxism-Leninism- Maoism in a practical way for India. If one calls carrying armed struggle dogmatism, then one is moving away from class struggle in an impoverished country like India. Armed peasant struggle is the basic struggle, because 70% of the masses have been forced to remain with and depend on agriculture and backward relations of production. In such a situation where a vast majority don't have a public democratic space, they will not be able to fight the fascistic ruling classes without arms. But armed struggle is also being waged creatively and practically. Armed struggle doesn't mean the annihilation of the class enemy. Armed struggle is a form of class struggle where the oppressed classes assert their power and organise themselves by taking away power from the feudal and pro-imperialist comprador capitalists.

Armed struggle under the leadership of Maoists also means re-appropriation of the sources of livelihood by the wretched of the earth from the dominant and powerful classes. It also means building alternative institutions the people's power. So in this way the armed struggle is redefined and practiced with Bolshevik spirit of giving all power to the soviets. Without armed struggle no resistance can be built in countries like India and the resistance that has been built up in the previous years cannot be retained. The armed actions against the state forces and feudal forces are carried out to protect the movement and in self-defence and self-assertion of the exploited classes.

The Maoists believe that the demise of socialist construction in Russia and China was mainly due to the revisionist line that developed within the respective Communist Parties of those countries. The capitalist-roaders in Russia and China captured power back from the working class because those parties could not guard against the infiltration of the bourgeoisie into the proletarian parties. The failure of the socialist projects have taught important lessons to the international proletariat in carrying forward the class struggle against the bourgeoisie in various countries and the monopoly bourgeoisie at the international level. In no country in the world has class struggle succeeded without armed struggle.

Red!: How many soldiers do the Maoists have approximately?

Saibaba: The Indian Government says 28,000, but the number may be much higher. The areas of their influence look much wider than what the Government estimations indicate. Also there is a vast people's militia working at the village level. The militia is basic and primary in relation to the People's Liberation Army as per the strategy of the CPI (Maoist).

Red!: Have there been any peace talks between the Maoists and the authorities anywhere?

Saibaba: There were peace talks in 2004. The Government of Andhra Pradesh invited the Maoists for peace negotiations. The Maoist Party always maintains that they are never averse to political negotiations with their opponents on the issues of people's struggles, but no negotiations are possible on their central political line in terms of strategy. One round of peace talks were conducted in Hyderabad for about a month. This was facilitated and supported by the prominent intellectuals of the region. The Maoists said in the negotiations that if the government was willing to solve the problems of the people for which they had been fighting in the last thirty five years, they would welcome the change. They discussed the basic problems of the people. A ceasefire agreement was signed by both sides before the political negotiations began. The government said that they wanted to close the first phase of the negotiations and also said that it would implement the agreed upon points. And the Maoist leaders who negotiated went back underground. They waited for the implementation of the agreed points. The Government violated the ceasefire, started hostilities on the Maoists and killed several hundred Maoists, including leading cadres. This process revealed before the eyes the people how the reactionary rulers are not ready to solve the problems of the people.

Red! : Do the Maoists have any base areas?

Saibaba: The People's War has not reached to the level of base areas yet. But it has almost reached this level in several places. In these areas where base areas are under construction, people's governments at local level are functioning. The People's governments are functioning in several hundred villages.

Red!: There is news that the Central and State Governments launched attacks against the Maoist positions in Andhra Pradesh, and that they have been driven out of most of the areas. Doesn't this show that when the ruling classes want to, they can defeat the Maoists militarily, and that it is only a question of tactics from the enemy's part, when it decides to smash the Maoists?

Saibaba: In the last decade more than two thousand Maoist cadres have been brutally murdered in Andhra Pradesh. There was a concentrated attack particularly after the peace negotiations. When the Maoists saw that they were facing larger losses of forces, they retreated from certain areas, and deployed them in other areas. There is a temporary setback in some areas in Andhra Pradesh for the Maoist movement, but they are trying to revive these areas. The Central and State governments use vigilante groups in a huge way to infiltrate the Maoist areas and smash them. The vigilante groups worked more effectively for the governments in breaking the Maoist resistance in some areas of Andhra Pradesh.

The movement is not merely a military movement. It is a political movement involving the masses. So the Maoists are not facing and confronting the Indian military forces just militarily but more politically so they have a vast mass base. It is not possible for the government to smash the movement because of massive popular support. The temporary setbacks are not uncommon in revolutionary movements. But the mature revolutionary movements could recover from such setbacks quickly from time to time.

Red!: Are there any revolutionary forces that are trying another strategy than protracted people's war in India?

Saibaba: Yes, for example CPI (ML) New Democracy and a few other CPI (ML) groups. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections (elections to the Union legislature i.e. the Parliament) in 2004, CPI(ML) Red Flag and a few other CPI (ML) groups took the initiative to form a united front of revolutionary communists basically to fight elections.

The Maoists consider them to be the right deviationists but not revisionist. They are progressive, but not on the right revolutionary path as per the Maoists. But Maoists are not averse to work with them in mass work.

Red!: India is a big country. In some areas there are civil wars, in other areas there is not much unrest. At the same time most parties are regional, not national. Are there revolutionary organisations in all the states of India?

Saibaba: The unrest is everywhere. Take for example Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. These two areas are poverty-stricken areas. But there is not a single revolutionary party exists in these regions. The unrest takes place in these regions many shapes. Sometimes mass militant movements arise. But the major problem is that the revolutionary subjective forces are not working there. These are two large states, but there is no history of revolutionary communist parties in these areas, mostly NGOs work in these areas. They are often foreign funded. But the objective situation is very much ripe for armed struggle in these areas as well. It is simply the question of spread of revolutionary forces to these regions that is awaited.

Red!: What is the percentage of people living in the cities? How many of these have employment?

Saibaba:30 percent of Indian population live in urban and semi-urban areas and 70 percent in the countryside. Overall, about 77% of the people live on less than 20 rupees a day–i.e. half a US dollar a day on an average. Unemployment is rampant in every part of India.

Red!: Officially India is growing at a GDP growth-rate of almost 10%. You contest this figure. Why?

Saibaba: At the moment the growth rate is around 9% as per the Government's declaration. Only 0.5% percent of the workforce, which is engaged in the service-sector, is contributing 55% to the GDP. And 70% of the workforce, which is in the rural agriculture sector, is contributing with only 19% to the GDP. And 3% of the work force is engaged in the manufacturing sector. These figures from the government tell us that the vast majority of the people's share in the GDP is very minute. Right now the growth rate figures are based to a large degree on speculative capital, which includes foreign investment. So the growth rate is both illusive and fragile. The calculations for the growth rate are also based on falsehoods. If these figures indicate anything, we understand that the top 10% is amassing the wealth with crudest exploitative methods.

Red!: In the Philippines there is a combination of People's War and at the same time the party supports people's parties that stand for elections, in Nepal the Maoists stood for elections to parliament in 1993, then they boycotted the elections and started a people's war, and now they are in parliament. Isn't it possible to combine people's war and parliamentary work in such a vast and diverse country as India?

Saibaba: The history of the development of the Communist Movement in India in the last 40 years shows us that those Communist Revolutionary Parties that did not choose the strategy of People's War, but chose the theory of people's resistance first, before the initiation of People's War or that chose to combine people's resistance and parliamentary politics, gradually slipped into either right deviationist or neo-revisionist path.

People's War is the main strategy, whereas standing for elections of the Parliament is a tactical question. The Maoists are not in principle against the elections, but doing this must facilitate the strategy of People's War. The Maoists consider the question of participation in Parliamentary elections as part of the tactics which has a strategic importance. So they don't see any immediate possibility of participating in elections. The Parliamentary institutions are highly discredited ones among the people in India. In the imagination of people at large, if one is participating in elections one is the enemy of the people who comes to rob them. The Maoists boycott elections and concentrate on building alternative people's power and people's institutions. In India the Maoists have no immediate plans of using this tactic.

Red!: Isn't it possible to develop both legal struggle and underground struggle in the cities and larger urban areas, also including working in the Parliamentary organisations?

Saibaba: The Maoists do work in the urban areas among the working classes and the middle classes. This has secondary importance in relation to the main strategy of the revolutionary line. The primary importance is to develop the armed struggle in the villages among the peasants as the main force, and with the working class ideology in the leadership. This means not just the physical workers but those of the people who acquired the proletarian ideology and without property of their own. Maoists do combine legal and the illegal struggles as far as the struggles create space to operate and basically understand that more and more militant struggles create this space. Whatever there is any democratic space, it's being used to the maximum extent possible. But the ruling classes don't allow the use of legal means and different institutions of democracy always. Participating in elections is not the only way to participate in legal and urban spaces. Even boycotting elections is a highly political activity, which is another way of participating politically within the given democratic space that exists in India.

First of all, the Maoists are concentrating on gaining power for the people to build people's democratic revolutionary institutions. When this is achieved in large areas, they will get more space in the urban centres.

Red!: Is employment growing?

Saibaba: The employment rate is not growing, it is standing still. But the real employment rate has declined very much, for several reasons. The economic surveys tell us that one million small industries were closed in the last few years, and this made a huge loss of jobs. Then land being acquired from the farmers is also responsible for unemployment. The small peasants and landless peasants have lost their jobs in a big way.

Only IT-industry and some service industry are growing. But these are sectors where a miniscule number of people are employed. Employment in manufacture sector is on decline. The government doesn't show these figures. The independent intelligentsia produce alternative figures on both the growth rate and unemployment. There is a huge controversy about the official figures about employment situation in India. On the whole, there is a decline in the employment growth rate, side by side there is decline in real wages of workers.

Red!: Is India an imperialist country or a semi-feudal, semi colonial country?

Saibaba: India is not an imperialist country. The reason is that India is under the clutches of the imperialist powers. India's ruling classes exert little amount of power in international politics. To a great extent, it is acting under the dictates of the US imperialists. At the same time India has expansionist designs. Imperialist powers can control other countries, while expansionism is a desire to expand without the ability, to the neighbouring countries and try to exploit them and bully them.

But even these imperialist designs are not according to the wishes of the ruling classes of India, but according to the wishes of the imperialists. India exercises its expansionist desires by becoming an instrument in the hands of the USA at present. The USA is manoeuvring India to get control over the neighbouring smaller countries for an overall control over the geopolitical interests of the USA in South Asia. Examples are Sri Lanka and Nepal. India is being used to suppress the LTTE's just struggle for Tamil national liberation in Sri Lanka. The relationship between the USA and India can be compared with the hegemony of Israel in the Middle East. Now the US wants to use India to suppress the Maoist movement in Nepal though at present clandestinely. India has occupied Kashmir and North-Eastern national territories like Naga and others peoples by brute military force.

Red!: Is the class struggle in India more intense now than 20 years ago?

Saibaba: The poverty levels in India have increased. In 1947 there were no suicide deaths of farmers. From 1990s onwards the suicide deaths of farmers have started in a big way. Why did they start in the 1990s? It's because agriculture, which employs the largest section of the population has been neglected drastically. The poor peasantry is not able survive in this sector largely depending on the highly exploitative private credit system. About 150 000 farmers committed suicide in the last ten years. There are hunger deaths in many areas. People are eating wild roots and leaves in vast areas of deliberately underdeveloped areas. In fact we can see that we have several areas at the same level as the sub-Saharan African countries in India today. All this is happening particularly after the aggressive pro-imperialist globalisation started at a large-scale in India.

The working class is the most beleaguered class in our country. They have lost their rights. The fresh sections of workers emerging from the peasantry classes cannot join the labour aristocratic class. The organised sector very small compared to the unorganised sector, where collective agreements and labour laws are followed to an extent is fast diminishing.

But also ordinary people are more conscious of the already existing struggles in other areas. The class contradictions are sharpened because the resources are going into the hands of fewer and fewer after the globalisation process started around 1990. This process amasses of wealth in a very few hands.

Some welfare reforms introduced by the ruling classes in the decades of sixties and seventies were dropped and the government is leaving everything to the market that is led by the imperialist forces directly allied by the subservient domestic capitalists. This also increases the intensity of the struggles.

Red!: Since the beginning of the 1990s the ruling classes in India have pursued a neo- liberalistic policy of deregulation and privatisation and globalisation. How do these changes effect the situation for women?

Saibaba: There is nothing liberal about the neoliberal policies. These policies have been implanted since the time of Nehru in India. The so-called Nehru socialism is full of pro- imperialist globalisation policies. But then of course there is a marked difference between the earlier phase and the phase started since the 1990s. The difference is that globalisation is the aggressive phase of imperialist onslaught. Globalisation is the globalisation of aggressive monopoly capital in the absence of socialist block in the world, and also because of imperialism' s own in depth crisis. More and more, the burden of this crisis is being shifted on to the shoulders of the third world countries. As a result of the extreme exploitative conditions under the process of globalisation, the first section of the people who are facing severe difficulties are the Adivasis, the landless and poor peasants, the workers, the religious minorities particularly the Muslims an overwhelming majority of whom are among the country's poorest and in all these sections and classes the women are affected first of all.

Women are of course affected hardest. When workers are retrenched the women go first. Second, in the dwindling conditions of employment, women don't get new jobs as the job market is rabidly patriarchal. The extreme patriarchal oppression that exists in India is a result of both deviant capitalism and semi-feudalism. Women are forced to look after the families, particularly the children, when sources of livelihood decline. As a result, women eat less now, feed their children and look after their households. Today, there is more malnutrition among women, working in hard conditions both at home and outside. They get lower wages than men. Though equal wages is the law in the country, nobody follows it.

The sex ratio in the country is fast becoming a gulf, with the actual number of women decreasing in compared the numbers of men. Female foeticide is a growing phenomenon. Hundreds of cases of female foeticide are recorded in the hospitals. So now women are the biggest section joining the struggles, standing at the forefront and joining all struggles. More than 30 percent of the members in the Maoist party are women. Even the biggest bourgeois party in the country will not have such number of women. In some areas like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand the percentage is higher.

Red!: You say that displacement is the major issue in India. That there are six different kinds of displacement: Special Economic Zones, mining, new industry, new big dams, beautification of urban spaces and infrastructural corridor projects and others. You say that the forced displacement is based on expropriating approximately 12% of the land. Most of this land is also very fertile. Can you explain why displacement is the main issue, and not poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and so on?

Saibaba: 70% of the people depend on land or agriculture directly or indirectly. The major source of employment is agriculture. When land is taken away for these projects the people have no other source of income. So, one of the major ways that people are becoming unemployed is through dispossession of land. This in fact renders both the landed people and landless poor jobless. The rehabilitation packages announced by the government for those who lose land, never work. The rehabilitation is never implemented. So all the problems like malnutrition, poverty, unemployment and so on, are rooted in the process of dispossession of people of their sources of livelihood, by displacing them from their land, forests and other habitats.

Red!: Why can't the displaced peasants get new jobs in the modern sector?

Saibaba: The displaced are from those sections that are silently forced to remain illiterate. They don't have the necessary skills for industrial work - - particularly the kind of industry that is being set up with high imperialist technology. On the other hand, even if a small section is eligible for industrial work, they don't get jobs because the industries being set up are technology-intensiv e and they don't employ many people. The machines are brought from the imperialist countries. These machines require highly skilled labour. So there is no space for the disposed to get jobs in the industrial sector that is supposed to be growing. Then there is a small possibility of employment in the IT-sector or services sector, but not the manufacturing industry. In the urban areas there is already a huge section of educated unemployed, who will get a small number of jobs in these industries, but not the rural displaced.

Red!: What do the Maoists in India consider to be the main lessons to be learnt from the defeat of socialism in the last century, when it comes to the question of the relationship between the communist party and the rest of society?

Saibaba: The Indian Maoists feel that what happened in Russia and China still has to be analysed further. They think that in future the international Communist Revolutionaries have to come together and study the failures more concretely. One of the reasons for the failure of the socialist construction projects could be that the parties had not been able to devise mechanisms to check the infiltration of the bourgeoisie into the Communist Parties. But of course in China the Cultural Revolution under the leadership of Mao was developed to check the infiltration of the bourgeoisie into the Communist Parties. But it remained at an experimental level at that time after the death of Mao. More and more devices, political and ideological have to be developed within the revolutionary Communist Parties to check the extraneous class ideologies from creeping into the Communist Parties. Each of the countries of the world today needs to establish firm proletarian parties.

Unfortunately in many of the European countries as well as in some of the third world countries today, extraneous class ideologies have been creeping in, in the name of "21st century democracy," "liberal organising principles" and acceptance of a "multiparty system." Even within the policies of the Communist Parties, the need today is to drive them towards Bolshevisation, Leninist Parties which can lead the proletariat to victories in the process of which lessons can be drawn from the earlier failures which should be understood as temporary setback for the world proletariat in the long historical onward march.

Red!: What is the root-cause for differences among the Communist forces in India?

Saibaba: Within India the differences among the Communist Revolutionaries are not simply differences among their leadership. They reflect the different class bases of these parties, the nature of their petty-bourgeois leadership, their attempts to take their parties into non-proletarian class ideologies by leading mostly legalistic struggles. The sharp class struggles simply cannot depend on legalistic means of struggles and survive in the face of the highly fascistic reactionary classes. In India, some such parties have made their bases among the rich and middle peasantry which mostly has petty-bourgeois and liberal attitudes by which they try to protect their legal space. Some others have built a party simply with urban petty-bourgeois sections. Others who have been building parties with the propertyless poor and landless peasantry including Adivasis and working class are able to go ahead in developing formidable class struggle.

So the differences are based on concrete physical conditions in the classes they root in their struggles. There is a need today for the coming together of all these small sections of such Communist Parties to ally with the Maoists, but unity is only possible if they change their orientation towards genuine proletarian line and base their work among the working class, the poor and the landless peasantry.

Red!: Are there any lessons to be learnt on the question of women's' liberation from the defeat of socialism?

Saibaba: If we look at the present situation of the emancipation of women, the patriarchal structures are to be studied in depth by the practicing Marxists in the movements. Now in India more and more concentration is paid on the patriarchal structures from the women cadres of the Maoist Party. One is the institution of reproduction itself, which is highly discriminating against women. Within the Maoist revolutionary practice this has become a major question along with other specific problems for women. These problems have not been completely grasped. Not enough mechanisms have been found to check the discrimination of women within the revolutionary process. One major thing is that women continue to be under patriarchal structures just because they are women. So the new revolution must pay attention to the specificities of this special oppression. The second important point is that complete emancipation of women is not possible within the capitalist system.

But we should also be aware of the fact that if the proletariat takes over power the patriarchal structures would not automatically disappear. This is a major problem. One must have specific attention to the institutions and structures that remain. Women have to fight a revolution within the revolution. In India there will be many more revolutions within the revolution as we have a peculiar oppressive form called caste. One example we have before us for the revolution within revolution is the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution (GPCR) in China under the leadership of Mao. But India has to tread a more torturous path. Mao called for a thousand revolutions to completely root out the bourgeois ideology. I understand all such attempts of revolution within the revolution are complimentary and patriarchy and caste system or say, racism has to be looked at from this angle. A quick and simple solution is not possible. A revolutionary has to be patient.

But this doesn't mean these revolutions should wait till the proletariat captures power. In India we think that Cultural Revolution has to start now even before the success of the New Democratic Revolution. But such an attempt taken unmindfully will degenerate into a Post-modernist ruse, like most liberal humanist projects relapse into Post-structuralist obscurantism. This task is possible only in the hands of a firm proletariat Party after it acquires confidence of the revolutionary masses in a country. Otherwise, such attempts will end up in mere anarchism.

The women have their own structures and organisations within the CPI (Maoist). They have their own conferences and committees. They are part of the general conferences and have separate meetings in connection with these.

The rule is that if a woman and a man are equally competent then a woman is given priority in leading any particular revolutionary committee. There is also special education for women so that they develop faster, special camps and special trainings are devised. In the Maoist Party most women that are party members do not have children on their own choice, but if particular women want to have, she can have a child and the party will help her. The period her child-bearing not be discriminated against. There are well developed policies about these questions in the Maoist Party of India.

Red!: Is there are revolutionary situation in India today? What about the rest of the world?

Saibaba: There is an extremely favourable revolutionary situation in India and also in all the "third world" countries. In each of these countries, the domestic crisis is growing while international crisis is also growing. The "third world" countries need not wait for any third world war to accomplish their revolutions. There may not be a Third World War in the classical sense, even though Bush promises one. The conditions of war exist in different ways.

The world is already in a type of war, but its shape is different now. For example, the US is fighting a military war against the people of Iraq and an economic war on the people of India, and both varieties of wars kill the people in the same magnitude. So why does the US need to declare war on India when the Indian ruling classes are willing to facilitate everything for the imperialists? The growing contradictions among the imperialist forces can quickly change from collusion to conflicts. The background is already prepared and the revolutionary situation is already ripe. It is the subjective forces of the communists that have to take advantage of the situation and strengthen their forces.

The ruling class hegemony will be crushed in no time if the imperialists don't come to their rescue in each of these countries when the revolutionary masses organise themselves. Similarly, a break in the imperialist chain anywhere will catch like wildfire and the irreversible collapses of the imperialist/ monopoly bourgeois rule in the West will follow the suit. The proletarian parties in Europe and other parts of the West should prepare the ground before for this impending and indispensable eventuality soon.

Revolution in Nepal inspires us

http://www.krishnas enonline. org/theredstar/ issues/issue17/ eugenio.htm

Revolution in Nepal inspires us

– Eugenio Gastiasoro, Central Committee Member,

Communist Revolutionary Party of Argentina

Argentina and Nepal are far from each other. Argentina is in South America, in the South-western Hemisphere, whereas Nepal is in North-Eastern Hemisphere. But both the countries are under developed and dominated by imperialism. The other similarity is Communism and people's struggles against all types of oppression is a fundamental feature of Argentina as well as Nepal, thus demonstrating that Communist culture is really an international culture. The Peoples War in Nepal has been an inspiration to revolutionaries and communists the world over. We have interviewed a central committee member of Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina.

Please tell us about Argentina, its geographical situation, population, class contradictions, problems and people's struggle?

- Argentina is a big country, without a big population, with almost 40 million people, mainly concentrated in the cities, 80% of the population is in the cities; of this population, most are workers, 16 million economic workers, half are salaried laborers: 4 million workers and four million employed, and the others little producers and traders mainly. Argentina is a country dependent on imperialism, and its an underdeveloped country. We have to fight dependency and latifundia (large estates), and so people are fighting against the ruling class, imperialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and the landowners, and there are many popular uprisings inside the country and in the cities also. The peoples uprisings unite with agrarian rebellions against the government because of the large taxes and so forth. In Argentina, from north to south there is a great variety of climate, and the central area has the most important and most concentrated population. Buenos Aires is the largest city, and has twelve million people in the entire metropolitan area.

Can you tell us about your party in Argentina?

- Our party is the Revolutionary Communist Party of Argentina, Marxist Leninist Maoist. For us it was very important to preserve our identity as Maoist because we suffered military dictatorship; the dominant class, when they thought they were losing their power, used the military and used the dictatorship- there were 30,000 disappeared persons, worse than Pinochet in Chile, but not as bad as Indonesia. And we remained in Argentina underground, and we had support because the revisionist party does not show a way to the people for liberation, so the Maoists appealed to the people, to adapt to the Argentinian reality, to help the people and to fight against the dictatorship; we remained mainly because of principles and going to the masses and the lower roots. Argentina is a dependent country, where various imperialists dispute domination like in other countries in Latin America, but historically in Argentina the situation is still semi colonial; we had a war and because we lost this war, the military dictatorship could not form a government and so the bourgeois parties arranged with the military to form a government, and this is the condition that exists until now.

We hear that a leftist party is leading the government in Argentina. How does your party see the government and its policies?

- Its not a leftist party, its a comprador bourgeois party, the party is like a Social Democratic party but in Argentina it is a mixture of something like the Congress party…They want to get close to Russia and China to confront the US but it is not to liberate the people, but to give grab more power in Argentina to balance US power, and so they act for the people; but it is not pro US but more pro Europe, Russia and China; but to some people in the world it may look like a leftist government, but for us, we have more dependence, because we have US and British dependence and now we have to work for Russia, China, and Europe also, where Germany and France have weight also. This is a bad thing but it is also a good thing because when they are united its bad for us because we cannot fight them all together, but when they fight each other, we can find a way between their fights, and raise the peoples revolt, with the agrarian rebellion.. The Peoples uprisings are very important and can overthrow governments, and when they fight between themselves the people can get some space to put forward their own proposals, preparing the army for insurrection for revolutionary democratic power.. Argentina is the birth place of Che Guevara. Che is famous in Nepal. How is he taken in Argentina? How does your party evaluate his work?

- Che is very important in Argentina, also in Latin America, because not only was he was born there, but he fought in the time when the Soviet Union started revisionism, and he was against that, and so he helped the Cuban revolution, and had a dream to make revolution in Latin American. People said it was not possible because it is the back yard of the US, but he showed it was possible in Cuba. And so he, at that time, with many people, asked what happened in the Soviet Union, as it was the first country where the Proletariat was in power; many did not know what happened in the USSR, we didn't know, but the first to say was Mao Zedong in China, but we didn't know too much, we are far from China. Also Che Guevara questioned the method of the Soviet Union; when they said they would help him to start a revolution in Bolivia, but then they didn't help but they helped imperialism. It was so hard for us but it taught us we don't have to believe in the Soviet Union and the false Communists, the revisionists who are working for the bourgeoisie and not for the Proletariat; so then after Czechoslovakia, and during the Vietnam war when they used imperialism at the end of the war, they were kicked out of Vietnam, and the Nixon government collapsed. In 1972 they divided the world at Helsinki, and Soviet social imperialism was working with the Argentinean army, and the US was working with the Pinochet army in Chile; and so we have this dictatorship like Ethiopia. Argentina provided the USSR with grains and food to help the invasion of Afghanistan, and we almost had a war with Chile because of these things. We had a confrontation, with two dictatorships, one from USSR and one from the US, but then they started a war against England and lost the war.

How do you feel to be in Nepal where a Communist Party had waged people's war for more than a decade?

- I am very happy to be here, this is the first time I have come here, our party wants to make a relationship with CPN (Maoist) because we think it is very important for us, because we are an undeveloped country, and it is very important to learn from Nepal, because you are ahead in the revolution against the monarchy, to throw down the monarchy, for a way to get a democratic republic; that could open way to a People Republic, because the Maoists were crucial to overthrow the tyranny, because the bourgeois parties were always thinking about a constitutional monarchy.

When did you hear about the Maoist movement in Nepal?

- We didn't hear much about the Maoist in Nepal. The media do not write much, so we do not hear much, but it became important after the royal massacre, and after that Maoists were fighting to overthrow the monarchy. CPN-M had a peoples army to fight and make a united front against the monarchy, to overthrow the monarchy, so we heard news about the proposal for a constituent assembly to advance to the change you want. The first thing we read that CPN-M organized the peasants to get their rights, and to liberate them. From outside you cannot see how and what are the conditions, and the things that are changing, the only way we can know is to come here. We are too far. The media in Argentina and Latin America don't cover much about Nepal.

Nepal and Argentina are very far from each other. How do you feel to be in Nepal?

- Because we work for the proletarian and the poor people, we have to the same goal, and we have the same ideology, Marxism-Leninism- Maoism, we have the five great teachers, although they had some wrongs because they were also human, but they are our fathers and they teach us and we fight for the same goals, and we can learn, and we can talk to each other and advance to the same goal; because our goal is to finish oppression and exploitation all over the world. Imperialism oppresses everyone. We may not do the same as you have done in Nepal but we can learn from the experiences of the revolution in Nepal. US, Russian, Chinese, European imperialism are the same, the Europeans say they are better capitalists than the US, but they are the same.

The Latin American nations are unifying against US imperialism. Can you briefly tell us about this?

- In Latin America we have a growing mass uprising against domination, principally US domination. Imperialism is unifying us, then we have the other imperialism, and many people fight against this from Maoists to the national bourgeoisie, as well as the comprador bourgeoisie who look to Europe, China, or Russia. There are more advanced processes in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. Bolivia is probably the most important because the aboriginal (Adivasi or indigenous) people are rising, and they have an aboriginal president. Venezuela is also important, but it is like Sukarno in Indonesia, with the national bourgeoisie and some of comprador bourgeoisie who want to go with Russia and China, and so that is the problem we had before. When we pushed the US out of the door, the other comes in from the windows. Its difficult for the revolution, and the weakness of the Maoist now. The Maoist are not strong enough to even forward this process, to stop the national bourgeoisie or the comprador bourgeoisie leading the government. The Argentinean government allows demonstrations against the free trade association, but for the people to get profit from this, it is not easy, they must fight.

Capitalism is in crisis again these days. The capitalist system is facing a grave crisis. How do you analyze this? Do you think the conditions for socialism are favorable?

- Capitalism is a system that exploits and oppresses people, and imperialism discharges the crisis against our peoples, against our economies, and it is a bad thing for our people; but at the same time it is a good thing that the people know what capitalism is. And if the Maoist Communist can show the masses a possibility of another way, another way from capitalism…Capitalis m brings hunger, poverty, exploitation, and the crisis shows what capitalism is; but capitalism will not go down by itself, you have to overthrow it. This will give us a chance to tell the people that we need to overthrow capitalism, to save our nation and people.

Can the experiences of Nepal be useful for revolutionaries in Argentina and Latin America?

- You had to overthrow the monarchy and establish a democratic federal republic, in Argentina we need to advance to a democratic revolution against imperialism and landlords; we think that the experience of Nepal will be very useful for us. We think we have to make our own way in Argentina but the Nepal way can help and be an inspiration for us.

Latin America has a very rich history of struggles and revolution. What is the situation now?

- The papers do not say anything about Nepal, they don't even say anything about Latin American uprisings; mainly in Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, people are fighting. Its like a new wave of mass uprising, not the same as the 70s but in the consciousness of the people there has been an advance against military forces backed by the oligarchies, comprador bourgeoisie; people have learnt from that experience, and the uprisings in the 21st century will be much bigger than before.

In 1982, the Britain had invaded in Argentina's Falkland with the help of Gurkha soldiers. What do you feel when you come to the country of Gurkha soldiers?

Gurka soldiers have been fighting for a long time for the British as employees. They also fought in Malvinas (Falklands) Island. They were there as employees. We don't think that Gurkhas want to dominate us, or are against us. They were sent against us as employees of Great Britain. No people in Argentina have negative feelings against the Gurkhas. We understand that Gurkhas were sent there not for Nepal but for British Imperialism.

Interviewed by- Dipak Sapkota.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Restore the right to life with human dignity Fulfill the demands of Political Prisoners

We, on behalf of Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP)
express our support and solidarity, to the Political Prisoners who are on hunger strike for a day. These Political Prisoners are languishing in jails all over the state and they are demanding the State to accept their just and legal demands.

The Political Prisoners throughout the Andhra Pradesh state have been fighting for the just demands for more than a decade. But the state government is silent on many of their long standing demands. The CRPP strongly condemns the undemocratic attitude of the Government and appeal to all democrats and rights organizations, various people’s organizations and all opposition parties, in the state, to support the struggle of the prisoners. It should be noted that the relentless struggle of the Political Prisoners in the jails of Andhra Pradesh in the 90s had made possible the achievement of many rights. But the state government is—slowly but steadily—nullifying those rights day by day. For example, the state government has issued a G.O facilitating the release of certain class of prisoners like lifers. An advocate had filed a SLP in the Supreme Court against the G.O. The state government had been silent on the SLP till date. As a result many prisoners are languishing in jails even though they come under the purview of the said GO. Similarly, non-lifers also are in thousands. According to the rules in force, many of them should be released if the state government grants them remission of sentence.

According to the rules followed, there must be an advisory board in each jail, but the state government has not yet constituted them. Of late, for want of proper medical assistance prisoners are dying in hundreds in prisons all over Andhra Pradesh. Some prisoners are even committing suicide. There are quite a good number of prisoners in our jails who are 60 or above in age. In addition to these, many prisoners are incarcerated by the arbitrary sentence imposed by jail authorities, without any enquiry or trial what so ever. In this background, the Political Prisoners in the prisons of A.P. have resorted to protest by sitting on hunger strike for a day.

Today, on the 15th November 2008, Political Prisoners in the jails of Andhra Pradesh have taken a decision to observe hunger strike and protest against the anti-people policy of the State. In many cases, there is no nominal enquiry even. The political prisoners are expressing their protest against all these criminal irregularities and negligence like insufficient supply of ration, non-observance of rules in the jail manual. When a prisoner is convicted in more then one case, all the sentences should run concurrently. But this rule grossly violated so as to ensure that the prisoner will never see the light of the day throughout his/her life. Similarly, if a Political Prisoner is accused in cases in two or three states, the P.T. warrants received from those courts are not even informed to the prisoners nor their counsel.

We at the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners once again appeal to all the Democrats, Rights organizations, people’s organizations and all the opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh to stand with the just struggle of the Political Prisoners in the state. CRPP demands:

1. Release the political prisoners unconditionally.
2. Restore right to life with human dignity of prisoners
3. Fulfill the demands of Political Prisoners
4. Political parties should clear their stand on political prisoners, on the state of human rights and these issues must be in their election manifestoes.

Lateef Mohd khan V.V.Bala Krishna BSA.Satya narayana
Secretary CRPP Secretary .CRPP Advocate and E.C member

B.Ravindra Nath Advocate
E.C.member of CRPP


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