[Marxism] Indian Maoists
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Aug 18 07:12:11 MDT 2006
A spectre haunting India
Aug 17th 2006 | DANTEWADA DISTRICT, CHHATTISGARH
GANESH UEIKE, secretary of the West Bastar Divisional Committee of the
Communist Party of India (Maoist), seems a gentle, rather academic, man,
who does not suit his green combat fatigues or clenched-fist "red salute".
He shuffles dog-eared bits of paper from a shabby file in his knapsack and
writes down the questions he is asked. He answers them in slogans that he
gives every appearance of believing. He wants to "liberate India from the
clutches of feudalism and imperialism".
A band of merry Naxalites
The rare interview took place last month, in a thatched shelter in a
clearing in the Bastar forest in southern Chhattisgarh. The spot was some
seven hours' walk from the nearest road, and there had been a
day-and-a-half's wait for such a "big leader" to emerge from a hideout even
deeper in the jungle. His party, he said, was facing renewed suppression,
because "the resources of finance capitalism are facing sluggishness in
their development, and are looking for new routes," such as the mineral
riches of this forest.
Mr Ueike did not mention that, just a few hours beforehand, at the edge of
the forest, in a place called Errabore, his comrades had fought back.
Several hundred had mounted a co-ordinated attack on a police station, a
paramilitary base and a relief camp for displaced people. They killed more
than 30 of the camp's residents, mostly by hacking them to death with axes.
The scholarly Mr Ueike did boast that his army relied on "low-tech weapons".
This was the latest battle in a year-long civil war in Dantewada district,
in which more than 350 people have been killed, and nearly 50,000 moved
into camps such as the one at Errabore. It is a remote, sparsely populated,
under-developed region bordering three neighbouring states, and nine hours'
drive from Chhattisgarh's capital, Raipur (see map). It is here that
India's widespread Maoist rebellion is most intense.
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