Monday, September 25, 2006

Nagesh Anna - How he killed the Indian maoist movement!!

I don't know Nagesh Anna. I have never met him or seen him, I have never seen his photograph, nor heard his voice. I don't know his real name, nor am I sure whether he is a real person or not. For all it matters, Nagesh anna might not exist at all, he might be a figment of imagination, he might be one of those poplar legends in the villages. But for me he is the epitome of everything that is wrong with the naxalites.

During my recent travel to Bastar, I came across this sad story at three different places. The people me the story of one lakmu, from the Padekarma village. Lakmu once went to Khammam in Andhra Pradesh, and on his return told his fellow villagers that Nagesh Anna owns 15 trucks and large amount of land in a village near Khammam. Now, Nagesh anna is one of the dalam commanders (kind of naxalite batallion) working in that area. Not surprisingly, Lakmu was murdered within a week.

Since 1980s when the maoists first came to Bastar, they were able to gain the trust of the local adivasis, were successful in building a strong cadre-based support for the party and for all practical purposes, have established a liberated zone in the heart of India. Even a senior official admitted that "10km this side of the road and 10 km that side, that's where India ends and you are in alien territory". Maoist literature glorifies their success in Bastar, it tells us that they were able to apply the principles of marxism-leninism-maoism (MLM) to society, and that the people living in those liberated zones have deep respect for the maoists for the good that is done to them. The Indian maoists have created a maoist utopia and Abujhmarh is to India what Hunan was to China. The "long march ahead" is just round the corner.

Let them continue with the propaganda, but in reality the social dynamics of Bastar more closely resembles dystopian lands of Orwell or Huxley's literature. That might be being too harsh to the maoists, and to give credit where it is due, they have actually discharged the duties of the state. They gave the adivasis self confidence while dealing with police and forest guards, were instrumental in raising the prices for tendu leaf collection (a major source of livelihood), helped them in agriculture and pisciculture. The list of (real) achievements is a long one. Till the likes of Nagesh Anna destroyed it.

The first question that comes to mind is, why was Lakmu killed and was he allowed to explain his views? The answer is obvious. Because he dared to criticise a dalam commander or think about it. That was an offence big enough to command death sentence. One more aspect is that the maoists usually have public trials before they execute their punishments (usually death of disabling a healthy man/woman). Though the trials are attended by gondi-speaking adivasis, its the telugu speaking people who do most of the talking. Nothing like a summary trial happenned in Lakmu's case. He was considered a man too dangerous for the revolution. He had committed a thoughtcrime.

The next question is, what happenned to Nagesh Anna after that? The answer is once again obvious. Nothing. If he is not the dalam commander now, he has probably moved up in hierarchy and become a member of zonal committee, have accumulated more wealth back home in Khammam and is happy to be a part of the 'glorious red revolution'.

The third question is, when adivasis are kiled left, right and center, by corporates, PSUs, politicians, insurgents, counter-insurgents, and local thekedaars, why am I writing an article on the death of one adivasi, who I didn't know existed till a month back. I have explained the reason above. Lakmu's killing represents a deadly symptom. It explains te reason, why the so called proletariat war against the the semi-feudal and semi-colonial Indian state will never succeed. Lakmu was killed with the permission from the Dandakaranya region zonal commander, and in all probablity, the maoist don't regret the loss of one more life in their hands.

So what does the grandly stated terms by like "Self criticism" mean in the real context? Self-criticism is suppossed to be widely practised among the maoist parties to analyse their mistakes in the past and admit their failings. Self-criticism is important as a proof of concept of their version of democracy. In reality self-criticism rarely works, how much sincere have been their intention. It is not suppossed to work as well. It is a politician's term, everybody knows that it means nothing.

But the maoists, and Indian maoists in particular, call for constructive criticism from a much wider section of society. This wider section are typically academicians, students, journalists, artists, scientists, in short, the intellectual class. Why is this unfortunate? It is because the best people who can criticise the naxal movement in parts or in whole, are those tribals whose lives the revolution has touched. They are the best judge. People like Lakmu can tell them where they are going wrong without referring to any documented source. Instead the naxals kill Lakmu and be proud of it. And that is the reason why the Indian maoists will never be successful in capturing power.

Not only do they consider themselves superior to the adivasis in Dandakaranya just because they are aware of life and times of Mao, people like Nagesh Anna are considered infallible. The fact that the worst cobra gangs in AP are formed by ex-maoists, and it is the ex-moists again who are running a virtual parallel extortion and illegal mining industry in neighouring Karnataka. The greatest threat to CPI(maoist) is not from the state, or from the people, it is from the people like Nagesh Anna. Unless the central committee takes heed of this, and do something urgently, we are seeing the last brave bunch of extrimist left in our country.


At 10:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NSU - 4efer, 5210 - rulez


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