‘Baying for Blood’

If political activists are of the same mind, their sharpness can cut through the metal. It may not really be the case with the CPI(Maoist) that has been in the news after the recent Chattisgarh incident. Maoists’ pursuit of political assertion in a situation of gloom and isolation from broad masses might have tempted them to launch a daring ambush in which some Salwa Judum leaders and some top Congress leaders of Chattisgarh were wiped out. In truth the Jeeramghati attack was more than a military strategy. As some innocent people who got caught in initial firing also died, the Dandakaranya Committee of CPI (Maoist) tendered apology for it. ‘They failed to minimise casualties despite their sincere efforts’. So said the press release issued by their Central Committee on June 11, 2013. Not that the CPI (Maoist) didn’t apprehend a backlash after the May 25 action. The authorities in league with media, both print and electronic, have been baying for blood, possibly with the objective of pressing the army into service. The hard reality is that no political party on the left, not to speak of the right, will come forward to support them in case of a brutal crackdown on the poor tribals who are left to fend for themselves after every bout of Maoist violence. Barring some human rights groups who are increasingly identified as human shields of the Maoists, no political party is interested in the Maoist idea of new democratic revolution. All parliamentary parties, including official communist parties, are united, to take tough measures, in view of the Jeeramghati gun battle. But what about naxalities who don’t subscribe to violence? They too are opposing the Maoists, albeit their understanding of Mao offers a different perspective. If the CPI (Maoist) thinks they could achieve their goal by making more enemies in their strife-storn path of revolution, they would have to face setbacks. Nowhere in the world revolution follows copy-book course. Vietnam didn’t imitate China and yet they succeeded in defeating the most powerful enemy on the earth. Nor did Cuba execute an insurrection modelling on Bolshevik Russia.

Right from the beginning the naxalite camp has been in political wilderness as far as united front concept is concerned. If Maoists are not opposed to human rights bodies that are exposing the state’s heinous crime against humanity, it is because they are not really their competitors in capturing political power. But the civic society movement cannot offer them a broad platform of masses without which their strategy of going alone cannot succeed. Not that Mao was opposed to form a broad united front even with the revisionist Soviets when America escalated its Vietnam war in Cambodia. They say day in and day out that they are strictly following the Chinese path of revolution. Fine! But they rarely say a word or two about a broad united front against a common enemy. In the late sixties and early seventies the naxalities failed to evolve a broad-based programme to unite the maximum number of the oppressed who could be united and their arrogance and too much reliance on pipe guns and crude bombs alienated them from larger sections of the population. The same tradition continues unabated. Only difference this time lies in shopistication of fire power. Instead of pipe guns, AK-47s, now rule the scenario.

But human rights organisations are not opposed to Indian parliament and democratic institutions which the Maoists want to destroy because they would like to do away with the whole bunch of corrupt politicians by overthrowing the parliamentary system. But they are not opposed to the Supreme Court verdict banning Salwa Judum. And the Supreme Court is an integral part of the parliamentary system.

If more and more political forces go against the Maoists, it will be difficult for them to defend the support base they have built among the tribals through their hard and pain-staking work over the years.

Dogmatism is the root-cause for the failure of the naxalites movement to project itself as a united entity. If people’s interest is their basic interest, they have nothing to lose. All talk in terms of people and all are hell bent on how to divide people on petty issues. Class-alliance which is the bed-rock of Maoist new democracy, cannot develop in vacuum. Muscle power—or for that matter military power—alone cannot win the day. When the CPI(ML) was formed a large number of groups otherwise committed to naxalite cause, were left outside without showing any flexibility in accommodating them even at a later period. They were treated as enemies, rather class enemies. The ML-movement finally splintered into so many factions because it was founded on weak ideological grounds. Most ideological differences among different groups remained unresolved which in turn led to ‘split within split’.

‘War on people’ is the burning issue in today’s India for all political forces that never work against the interests of the people. Unless these forces are united on a common agenda Maoist sacrifices may not produce desired results in coming months. Another round of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ is very much in the offing. They are baying for blood of the Maoists at every level of the society across the country. And a few human rights bodies that have very limited options and limited areas of operation cannot tame an overheated atmosphere.

Vol. 46, No. 1, Jul 14- 20, 2013

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