Lend Support to the ongoing revolutionary movement in Dandakaranya, India!

By | December 20, 2007


Lend Support to the ongoing revolutionary
movement in Dandakaranya, India!

Condemn the Continuing Genocidal Fascist Attacks
on the fighting tribals of Bastar in the name of Salwa Judum!

In the name of Salwa Judum in Bastar region of Chhathisgarh, India, not only have hundreds been arrested, tortured, murdered, gang-raped, but their entire economic lifelines have been smashed by the state. Through brutal terror the government’s aim is to extinguish the sparks of revolution developing day by day in the very heart of India. Over the last 25 years the people of the region have witnessed a great awakening.
Over the past 25 years, the Naxalites, as Maoists in India are known, became one with the tribals of the region in their struggle for a life of self-respect and dignity, smashing the cruel, brutal, exploitative authority of the state machinery while establishing the rudimentary forms of the new people’s power. It is an epic struggle of sacrifice and determination, of daring visions and dreams, where hundreds of Maoists—tribals themselves—and their supporters in this region have given their lives for the birth of a new society. Prior to the entry of the Naxalites, thirty years of so-called independence had done little for these people; in fact their conditions only worsened, their land snatched from them for mining projects, and regularly hounded and looted by forest and other government officials in league with the local feudal elements. There had no education, no health care, no electricity, no clothing and even very little agricultural development. And the little they earned in forest produce was robbed off from them by traders, forest officials, and the village elite.
The 25 years of armed struggle against the government forces have made them educate themselves while organizing into a people of higher consciousness. They have developed the culture of settled agriculture, health care etc. — no doubt with all its shortcomings in rudimentary form — through the organizations of new power set up under the leadership of the Maoists who live and die with them. The media and many of the pro-state policy analysts and academics cry hoarse that the Naxalites are preventing development; but the reality is that the Naxalites have brought the tribals to the centre of their world where they live; they belong; in control of their lives and the world around them. And now the fruits of these small, but certain victories are sought to be snatched away from them with the utmost brutality.
Thousands forcibly displaced; over hundreds brutally murdered; more than 70 villages burnt down, 642 villages vacated, 500 people killed, 51 women gang-raped, crops destroyed, cattle and poultry looted — all in the name of Salwa Judum or ‘peace campaign’ till the end of 2006. In the past 11 months many more people were killed and women raped. This has been on since June 2005, but due to a systematic black-out by the state, the outside world has been ignorant about the murderous campaign of the state in the region. Except for a few fact finding reports, what has come in the press is only government propaganda.
The brutalities are horrifying. The boys being beheaded; their severed heads stuck on the posts of their own houses. Women gang-raped, tortured and their breasts severed; the fetuses of pregnant women ripped open…and then left bleeding to die an agonizing death deep in the forests. Entire villages burnt down, crops destroyed and all the cattle/poultry robbed or destroyed. The people herded into concentration camps — on the lines of the “strategic hamlets” used by the imperialist blood sucking US forces against the heroic people of Vietnam and other counter-insurgencies. The people live as slaves in these extremely unhygienic concentration camps doing forced labour for the police, Naga battalion and para-military for a pittance.
In an attempt to starve the revolutionary masses so as to submit themselves to the status quo state at first closed down all local weekly markets and then stopped supplying essential commodities, like rice, to the ration shops. As it is well known, the weekly markets are the sole economic life line for the Adivasi peasants, as it is in these markets they sell their produce and purchase for their daily needs. Closing the weekly markets amounts to nothing but to cut off their lifeline and starve their families to death. So the State’s intention is very clear — either surrender or starve to death. Already living a subsistence existence it is estimated that roughly Rs.15 crores of destruction has taken place. A huge mass of population face starvation, including women and children. And with Salwa Judum operations still continuing the situation has becoming a virtual hell for the people there.
The entire campaign is being led by the Congress Party leader of the Opposition, Mahendra Karma—a landlord among the tribals—with full support from the local BJP government. Both parties are hand-in-glove in this campaign of brutality and terror where para-military forces, lumpens, feudal elements, government officials and police have all ganged up in a systematic and well-planned campaign. All this dance of death and mayhem is at the behest of the local big monopolies and their imperialist masters. This region is very rich in iron ore and the Tatas have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for land in this area. The Naxalites have been vehemently opposing the displacement wrought by such projects going under the grand slogan of ‘development’.
The only succour for the people is the support they get from the Naxalites in the forests who share their limited food with the displaced tribals. It is under these conditions that we appeal to you to lend a helping hand to the starving tribals who have faced unimaginable brutalities, for the single reason that they have ‘stood up’ and refused to heed to the call of the corrupt, exploitative and oppressive rule of the present system.
Your solidarity and support to this historic struggle going on in the very heart of India can be in very many ways. You can come and lend your expertise by staying in the area for a few months, or contribute money—even small contributions will be appreciated—medicine and any other means that will be of use to the simple people the tribals and their forces fighting there. We also request you to tell the world of what is becoming of the so-called largest democracy in the world, its real murderous, fascist face, which is consciously being kept away from public scrutiny. It is important that the truth reaches the people of the country and masses of the world at large.
We thank you for your support
Raj Kishore,
General Secretary
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)