People's Democracy

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


No. 37

September 12, 2010

Growing People's Resistance

to 'Maoists' in Jangal Mahal

B Prasant


FOR some time now, nearly three months, the heinous criminals who go under the banner of so-called ‘Maoism,’ have been forced on the backfoot by the mass of the people. The people's resistance comprises, as we were very recent witness to the mass movements in Midnapore West, and indeed elsewhere in the red clay rural belt, three distinct phases.


First, in places like Pirakata and Dharampur, the degenerated ultra left contingent and their somewhat loosely weaved, amorphous, and, Trinamul-financed ‘front’ of armed goons called the PCAPA (‘people’s committee against police atrocities’ is the full nomenclature), are initially with politeness, and then with vigour asked by the rural people, who have had enough of the blood-letting of the poor by these villains, to let them alone.


Second, where this is heeded, the mass of the people put up the Red flag, organise rallies, house-to-house campaign on the truth behind the ‘Maoist’ phenomenon, and then go about the good and great business of bringing rural tranquillity back in place.


In due course, democratic activities resume, shops and stalls open, the tea stall is a vital sign of normalcy, the smoking chullah sending out the signals of the right kind to the early morning toilers as they trudge across unploughed fields, lying barren both from disuse and from the pitiless sun pouring heat from the frighteningly, unseasonably, bright blue above.  Life resumes its hum and rhythm.


Third, there is splintering of 'Maoists' both vertically and horizontally, a classical example per se of the crumbling of those who mistake crime for rebelliousness, with everyone ‘inside,’ suspecting everyone else. These splinter groups are in pockets that are situated deep into the dark grey-green foliage of whatever forestry is left behind by the electric chain-saw wielding illegal fellers of trees, ‘Maoists’ featuring prominent among their ranks.


In one area after another, thousands of people finally marched forward with courage and the growing peoples’ mobilisation forced the 'Maoists' to retreat from their areas of influence. Here what the rural masses did is an interesting example of the people’s idea of resistance -- in words and deeds.




The corporate media may be running away with lies and half-truths that the reactionaries always adhere to, and the left deviationists thrive on, but the facts speak for themselves. Let us here and now pose a question that begs for an answer, and it is this: ‘how many ‘Maoists’, and for the record armed Trinamulis have been killed, now and ever in the past, except in police actions? Would the proponents of the much-vaunted armed camps theory that they shamelessly go sickeningly ga-ga over, kindly stand up and be counted, even if once? In the circumstances, we confess they had better pay heed to what we saw, and what made us joyous and proud.


The place of occurrence is Dharampur, some miles away into the deep of the jangal mahal.  The date is 2 September 2010. The time is day break and into the morning hours of sun and sweat. Hundreds of people with Red flag in their hands marched towards the CPI(M) office there, reopened it and hoisted the Red flag. At an impromptu meeting, the Party leaders addressed the villagers and appealed for ending all violence.




Readers will no doubt recall what has been reported in these columns in the arid summer of 2009. It was the 15th day of June. For close to three days, the 'Maoists' surrounded and cut off Dharampur from the rest of the forest sub-division.


Then the killing of the helpless and the innocent started. Initially the Trinamul-identified leading cadres of the CPI(M) were beaten up, hacked away with sharp weapons and then left mangled, bleeding heaps, and in the intensity of agony to die the most horrible death imaginable. The peasants were next. Anybody with links, even the remotest of links to the CPI(M), the Kisan Sabha, the SFI, and the DYFI, and the AIDWA were singled out and beaten up – some were to succumb to their injuries, days afterwards, as the cries of help for medical attention went unheeded.


Women were systematically raped and left disfigured, some, unable to withstand the agony, mental and physical, were later to take their own lives. The houses were looted and put to the torch. In the year that followed, close to 270 CPI(M) leaders and cadres were murdered in the contiguous areas of the jangal mahal around Dharampur and Lalgarh, in particular.  Villages after villages of the area were made bereft of activities, even of the most basic kind. Kisans left their home-and-hearth -- and took shelter in the district wherever they could, the helpless and innocent fugitive, and the refugee was born again.





Would the corporate media report a line of this, oh, no, and who ran armed camps then, and under whose patronage -- could this be explained by those same members of the media corps who today protest mightily about they having been ‘attacked,’ during their recent approach into Pirakata, not far away from Dharampur?


May we venture an educated guess for their recent brand of protestations? They, quite frankly, do miss their fond linkages with the now-fled ‘Maoists.’ They fly into a rage when they see the Red flag aflutter from fearfully large number of hutments and establishments, and not just in Dharampur, for the welcome scene is repeated along large tracts of the jangal mahal now where the people have torn apart the veil of fear-- and have spoken, loud and clear. Those that are the soil of the earth, those that were driven away from the red clay zone, have now returned. Life is tough. The tea stall chullah, however, smokes again, the aroma of tea and of oven-fresh succulence of soft bread loaves spread, the bright Red flag alert and a-flutter from the shambled top of what is now effectively a shanty, among many shanties that are in a serious need of repair. Life has picked up its age-old cycle of normalcy in the better part of the forest areas of Midnapore west.