Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lalgarh is not a Communist Movement: Kanu Sanyal

With heavily armed state forces marching fast to end Maoist dominance at Lalgarh, a major bloodshed could be in the offing in the tribal hinterland. In an exclusive interview with Bappaditya Paul, founder of the Naxalbari uprising, Kanu Sanyal, expresses his views on the Lalgarh turmoil

Excerpts:

Q Do you support the Lalgarh agitation spearheaded by the People's Committee?

A No, we don't. Because the Lalgarh agitation is strictly an ethnic insurrection by the Adivasi community and it is not inclusive of other communities living in there. It is easy to name an organisation as “People’s Committee” but that does not necessary mean it represents all people cutting across the various communities.

Q Given that the Maoists are actively participating in the Lalgarh agitation, do you consider this a Communist struggle?

A I just told you that Lalgarh agitation is confined within the Adivasi community alone. How can an ethic uprising be termed a Communist struggle? Lalgarh is certainly not a Communist uprising. The Maoists are only exploiting the situation by using the Adivasis as stooges to carry forward their agenda of individual terrorism.

Q Activists of the People's Committee are now taking to arms to resist the police and paramilitary foray into Lalgarh. Do you think they are doing the right thing?

A See, the Adivasis hardly have access to sophisticated arms. Whatever arms they might be equipped with now, have been supplied selectively by the Maoists. But the handful of arms and ammunitions can barely resist the march of the state forces. The resistance will be crushed in no time.

Q How do you weigh the Centre and the state's role on the Lalgarh turmoil?

A No one is wiling to take charge of the situation. Rather both the state and the Centre are trying to pass the buck on each other.
The CPI-M-led state government allowed the Lalgarh crisis to escalate by not addressing the genuine grievances of the Adivasis on time.
And now the Congress and Trinamul are on the look out to exploit the situation to dislodge the Left Front from power either immediately or in the 2011 Assembly election in the state.

Q What would be your suggestion to end the siege at Lalgarh?

~ Both the People's Committee and the state government must instantly launch an unconditional dialogue.
The People's Committee should place their demands in clear words and the state will have to address them earnestly.

Q Should they keep the Maoists out of the process?

A It's for the local people to decide.

Q Would you support a ban on the CPI (Maoist) in West Bengal?

A State suppression can never be the answer for tackling any sort of terrorism. You ban one outfit today and another would crop up tomorrow.
Thus, the need is to alienate them by going close to the poor people and address their grievances fast.

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