Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Macabre Maoist murderers! The Maoist ban exposes the CPM doublespeak

By Ravi Shanker Kapoor

The Maoists, also called Naxalites, have been thundering all along to unleash a Red revolution, to lead a ‘heroic’ people’s struggle; they carved out fiefdoms for themselves, ironically and preposterously called ‘liberated zones’; they wrought havoc and terror as long as the local law-enforcement agencies were weak and vacillating. But soon after New Delhi woke up to their menace and took effective measure to crush them, they started finding ways to avoid the confrontation. This is typical of cowards: strong to the weak, and weak to the strong.

The Lalgarh story is increasingly becoming nastier and weirder. Almost every player in this bloody game—the Maoists, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, intellectuals—is trying to benefit from the grave crisis, thus staking thousands of lives.

The Maoists, also called Naxalites, have been thundering all along to unleash a Red revolution, to lead a ‘heroic’ people’s struggle; they carved out fiefdoms for themselves, ironically and preposterously called ‘liberated zones’; they wrought havoc and terror as long as the local law-enforcement agencies were weak and vacillating. But soon after New Delhi woke up to their menace and took effective measure to crush them, they started finding ways to avoid the confrontation. This is typical of cowards: strong to the weak, and weak to the strong.

First, they hoodwinked poor tribals by using the specious charms of their ideology. They convinced them to form a human shield. When this failed and the security forces captured Lalgarh and began combing operations in the area, the Red terrorists expressed the desire for negotiations. “We are ready for talks with the Centre and West Bengal Government if the intellectuals, who visited the troubled Lalgarh area last Sunday, arrange for a meeting,” CPI (Maoist) leader Sagar said in a statement.

He and his cronies can surely depend on the idiocy and perfidy of intellectuals; the latter are generally a bane of the nation; they have always supported any cause that is antithetical to commonsense and reason, be it socialism or political correctness.

So, renowned writer Mahasweta Devi has asked the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee regime in West Bengal not to arrest Chhatradhar Mahato, leader of the Maoist-promoted People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA). “If Chhatradhar Mahato is arrested, I’ll go and sit on a dharna outside the office of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. This is not the time to send force to Lalgarh,” she said. One doesn’t remember if she ever expressed her dismay at the murder of a large number of people by Naxalites in cold blood; this year alone, they slaughtered 300 people.

The attitude of other intellectuals is no better. Film director Aparna Sen, who visited Lalgarh along with many prominent public figures, made a disgraceful comment: “We have come here for peace. Innocent villagers are getting trapped between the Maoists and the security forces. We would like both sides to drop their arms and come for talks.”

Which “both sides” is she talking about? There are paramilitary forces who are facing landmines and guns so that the people of India—including the Mahasweta Devis and the Aparna Sens—could enjoy life and liberty; and there are bloodthirsty Maoists who threaten all that is precious in civilization, as they did in China and elsewhere. These are not two sides which can be put on an equal moral footing: it is the clash between soldiers and murderers, between civilization and barbarianism: on the one hand, we have brave men defending humanity; on the other, there are the enemies of mankind. Bracketing them together is the most despicable form of moral equivalence.

West Bengal Chief Minister Bhattacharjee is sensible enough to endorse the ban on Maoists by the Central Government, but his party apparatchiks are unwilling to see reason. Opposing the proscription of Maoists, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said that the extremists need to be fought politically and administratively. “It is important because we have to isolate them from people with whom they have been forging relations, Banning them will hardly serve the purpose, as they will come up with a new name.” Such pigheadedness is a manifestation of not only a fanatic belief in the dogmas enunciated by Marx one and a half centuries ago but also of the absolute disregard for human life—even when, as in this case, the lives of their own cadre are involved.

CPM activists in towns and villages have fought vicious battles against the Naxalites and Trinamool; they risked their lives to promote the party. And how does Big Brother Karat treat them? He wants clemency for those who are murdering CPM workers with impunity!

In this grim backdrop, Mamata Banerjee seeks to gain political mileage. She has turned down the appeal of her own Cabinet colleague, Home Minister P Chidambaram, who asked her not to send her representatives to conflict-scarred Lalgarh. Chidambaram had urged politicians and professional radicals, euphemistically called civil society activists, not to go to Lalgarh as security forces were fighting Maoists.

She also came up with a weird theory that it is CPM cadre who are masquerading as Maoists; they are killing Trinamool supporters. Further, she said: “The security forces are carrying out atrocities on villagers.” Is she suggesting that her own Government—for paramilitary forces are under the Centre—is responsible for the “atrocities on villagers”?

Nastiness and weirdness have become endemic.

(The author works with The Political and Business Daily.)

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