People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIV

No. 17

April 25, 2010

                                                ‘Maoists’ on  the Defensive

                                                in the Jangal Mahal

                                                B Prasant

 

THE indomitable resistance of the rural poor has started to take its toll on the hated criminals who call themselves ‘Maoists.’ Known killers have disappeared. The leader of the predatory pack has to be ‘interviewed,’ even if, pardon us, in long distance, and would not wait to appear on the favourite TV channel. 

There have been repeated confrontations between the village résistance groups and the heavily armed ‘Maoists,’ and it was always, always, a case where the power comes out not from the barrel of the gun but from amidst the people, a bitterly-learnt lesson of the 1960s and 1970s. 

The ‘Maoists’ thought that fear was the key—with the use of which, they would turn open the padlock of defence of the rural poor.  Now that these media-acclaimed villains are on the run, they perhaps know, often literally, what a double-edged sword actually connotes.

It is not war out there -- and we should know having paid visits very frequently of late in the border areas abutting on three ‘Maoist’-riven Jharkhand districts of East and West Singhbhum, and Ranchi – and the border on the other side is hardly patrolled let me assure the readers, making the joint forces operations this side of the state boundary divide that much tougher – and yet, what has been happening of late has the following features:

·        the kangaroo courts are no longer in session; no killings trough these grisly affairs for the past three weeks

·        the indiscriminate general killing for purposes of spreading of terror is gone, at least for the moment

·        the targeted killing of CPI(M) activists are becoming less frequent, but does continue

·        a bulk of the majority of the ‘Maoists’ leadership have fled the border ‘terrain’

·        it follows that ‘training camps’ have been made scarce

·        there are no longer comfy TV appearances, nor the ‘thus spake Kishanji/Vikash’-kind of SMS messages to favoured journos

·        the village-level résistance grows every day, every night, every week, every month

·        the CPI(M) has gradually, painstakingly started to carry on intense, wide political propaganda amongst the people residing in the laal maati area—and this is the most important redoubtable development to have occurred over a period of nearly a year

Yet, ultimate sacrifices to the cause of the poor continue.  The moment the airwaves carried the ill-gotten comments of the Trinamuli minister that ‘there have never been any 'Maoists' in the Lalgarh area,’ a killing took place, and this was a prime example of targeted, planned killing, a heinous murder.

Comrade Swapan Das (36) has been the branch secretary of Domohoni in the Dharampur local committee of the Party. He had to flee his hutment leaving behind his family in the care of the local Party as his presence was posing danger to his dear wife and kids, Comrade Swapan having been a targeted figure of the hated criminals for a year now for his great and good organisational skills.

How long does one stay away from one’s beloved family?  Is not a year enough?  On April 15, Comrade Swapan came back to his dear village, to the hamlet where he was born and where the village community had taken care of his boyhood -- and he was shot down mercilessly at the first opportunity the next day when he was found walking the familiar fields alone. Sources tell us that the planning was done by the Trinamulis of the village. The execution was left to the ‘Maoists’ professional killers from across the border.

Biman Basu, sate secretary of the CPI(M) and Professor Dipak Sarkar who heads the Midnapore west district unit of the CPI(M) as the secretary, have condemned the ghastly murder and deeply mourned the death of Comrade Swapan. They have called for an early apprehension of the guilty and the accomplices.