On Regret and Control
As I get ready to mail this piece, I read the news of the killing of four CRPF men who were out on a patrol in an IED blast in Begal. I know that these deaths do not qualify as deaths of the ‘people’ since all the dead were ‘combatants’. I therefore do not expect any expression of regret from the CPI( Maoist). But the sheer lack of remorse with which the CPI( Maoist) has owned the land mine blast which killed more than 40 people travelling in a bus in Chhatigarh shows that the lives of the tribal people matter little for them. Their central committee member Azad told the reporters that it could not be helped. He said that since they had informed the villagers through circulars that they should refrain from travelling with the security persons, the Maoists cannot be blamed for these deaths. They paid the price with their lives for ignoring this warning. The circular issued by the ‘Janadhan Sarkar’ very clear forbids them from mixing with Jawans or police, inviting them to village for any event , providing them food or shelter, giving any service to the security persons , or travelling with them, including the police, CRPF , SPOs or the CRPF . They have also been asked to keep track of the number of policemen in their area and also the arms they carry and report to the ‘Janadhan Sarkar’ their movement and destination.
How could have the tribals dared to violate the regime put in place for them by their revolutionary masters? Azad’s statement reminds one of a statement in the columns of Tehelka by Varvara Rao, who, when asked about the civilian deaths, retorted , “those are details.”
We felt offended by the term ‘collateral damage’ introduced by the Americans to justify civilian deaths in their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Are we going to tolerate the collateral damage which results from a revolutionary violence?
These killings have to be seen along with the killing of a Congress leader Hemant Bege in Jharkhand, four villagers in Bengal as they were CPM supporters, two Gramrakhis in a village in Orissa and of six villagers in the Rajnadgaon district of Chhatisgarh. This list does not include those six CRPF men who were killed in a land mine blast , set up by the CPI( Maoist) and four other CRPF men killed today in Begal in a blast .
It is very clear that the it is not the government which the Maoists are targeting; it is the people of the areas which they claim are under their control who are being told to abide by the diktat of the revolutionary party. This is no longer the land of the tribals. Azad, justifying the killings , said , “we are in a war with government forces who have swarmed our forests.” Who is this we?
The tribals or theCPI( Maoist)?
Is it surprising that for none of these murders do we ever demand that the perpetrators be arrested, that they be brought to justice? Are these killings not murders simply because their source is a political party which swears by the name of people? Why is it that we never call these killers by their true names?
Have we accepted the myth of the ‘people’s war’ which the CPI( Maoist) say is not new, that it is going on for more than forty years and cannot be not be halted till the dream of Revolution realized? It is high time we rejected this myth of war and insurrection and stopped sublimating the criminal acts of the CPI( Maoist) . The archives of the Leninist and Stalinist Soviet union have a lot to tell us about the true face of revolution. We know about Mao’s China. Do we still want to go back to that Crimson dawn of Revolution ?