A reading in “Walking with the Comrades” by Arundhati Roy
Walking with the Comrades, by Arundhati Roy, is a symbol of progressive journalist writer, very realist, not ridden by ideology and critical even to those whom she relatively supports.
The story of receiving the book goes back to 2013 when comrades Christoph and Barbara Krämer and Dr. Ibrahim Lad’a visited me in my home. In the long discussion, he promised to post to me the book of Arundhati Roy. Two months later Christoph told Lad’a that the book was returned to him by mail. So, I had to wait until 2018 to receive the book personally from Lada’a after his visit to Germany. The truth is that all aspects of life in occupied Palestine are captive by “Israel”, the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR) including the postal services.
The book was devoted for Indian Maoist guerillas struggle against:
- The repression of the internal capitalist ruling class repression on behalf of the state especially the poor peasantry and
- The external policies of the state in the service of multinational corporations (MNC), but on a trickle-down economics.
The ruling class shares with MNCs repression and exploitation of the Indian peasants.
What comes on my mind is: Since this the case of India, not to mention the corruption of the regimes in South Africa and Brazil, will BRICS be able to offer the world different pole, even a capitalist one, vs. the western capitalist global domination/exploitation of the globe.
From the first few pages of the book till its end I did not forget three important issues:
First: A false sentence that I heard in course of Third World Development in Birkbeck College University of London, “India is the largest democratic state in the world”. However, as a documented work, the book proves that India is the largest totalitarian repressive and colonial regime in the world.
Second: An impressive self-criticism by comrade B.T. Ranadive about his role in the Communist Party of India’s leadership vis-à-vis the Chinese revolution and Mao would be evident from this “self-Criticism” published in Janashakti organ of CC of CPI (ML) Janashakti, Vol-7. No.-5 September-October 99 Rs. 5 pp 34-48. (See also, Atis Sen an Approach to Naxalbari: Historical Perspective, Janashakti, vol-8, No.-1 January-February 2000 Rs.5, p.p. 20-47. The content of that self-criticism is about the failure of the CPI in adopting guerilla war to seize power in India in the years 1948 and after. While it is not a historical materialism analysis to say “if” Indian Communist party adopted Moist guerilla warfare since that time, the face of Asia and the world might be different today.
Third: The false media by Arab progressive Naser’s Egypt Regime which drew a rosy picture about Indian regime of Congress party under Jawaharlal Nehru, especially his role in the non-aligned movement: a false image that hide the ugly face of India’s regime on local and outside levels.
However, the promised guerilla struggle of Indian revolutionaries had to wait from 1940s until the Communist Party of India (Moist)-CPI (Maoist)- one of the several descendants of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) was able to separate from the CPI and led the 1969 Naxalite uprising in West Bengal.
Roy produced her book through her journey with the Maoists inside the forests, living, discussing, and suffering with and like them. That is why her work is really live and genuine.
From her side, Roy did not hide her pleasure of the humble and polite treatment by Maoists:
“…Comrade Madhav, upset and extremely apologetic: We made you wait, we made you walk so much.” p. 61.
According to Roy, “the Maoists believe that the innate, structural inequality of Indian society can only be redressed by the violent overthrow of the Indian state.” p. 6.
This is the continuous thread which led the writer’s work on Maoists strategy throughout the entire book. Despite the writer’s courage and sympathy with the Maoists, she reached a different attitude and conclusion regarding the future of India and the world:
“… Judging from what is happening in Russia and China and even Vietnam, eventually Communist and capitalist societies seem to have one thing in common-the DNA of their dreams. After their revolutions, after building societies that millions of workers and peasants paid for with their lives, these countries now have began to reverse some of the gains of their revolutions and have turned into unbridled capitalist economies. The alternative, if there is one, will emerge from the places and the people who have resisted the hegemonic impulses of capitalism and imperialism instead of being co-opted by it. … We have a living tradition of those who have struggled for Ghandi’s vision of sustainability and self-reliance, for socialist ideas of egalitarianism and social justice. ..We have the most spectacular coalition of resistance movements, with their experience, understanding and vision. pp. 211-13
The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination- an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as Communism. p. 214.
But without arguing with the writer’s Ghandian humanity, she lost the most important and sensitive dimension which covered all her work: it is the class dimension. In other words, I am not arguing with Roy from an ideological as a communist and close to Maoism, but from what she bravely explains as the antagonistic conflict between the suppressed and exploited hundreds of millions of peasants by few millions of Indian capitalist class and it’s masters of the western MNCs.
Relations with People
“…The journey back to a semblance of dignity is due in large part to the Maoist cadre who have lived and worked and fought by their side for decades”. p. 7.
This might explain better who are the Maoists and why they insist on the “sole” path “violent overthrow of the Indian state”.
The importance of this path is that it reflects the insistence and continuity of the Maoists Guerilla struggles as a non-temporary phenomenon on the one hand, and their success in gaining the peasants’ support which enables them to recruit peasants fighters inside their organization on the other.
“… Whether it’s the security forces or the Maoists or non-combatant civilians, the poorest people will die in this Rich People’s War.” p. 16.
That is why the poorest people support and many of them are organized with the Maoists.
Roy’s offers an interpretation of peasant’s inclination in favor of the Maoists is the their need for justice which is absent from in States courts:
“… out of the reach of ordinary people and that the armed struggle that has broken out in the heartland is not the first, but the very last option of a desperate people pushed to the very brink of existence… the police seemed to take orders directly from the officials who worked for the mining companies. People described the dubious, malign role being played by certain NGOs funded by aid agencies wholly devoted to furthering corporate prospects. ” pp. 18-19.
To hide its ugly face during the Cold War era, imperialism designed NGOs, whose main role is in the service of its God “capital”. But it is a sneaky phenomenon. In some places and events NGOs try to play a humanitarian role or may be ordered to do so to cover the larger dirty role of the dirty capital’s tool.
Devotion to revolution might be a decisive factor in gaining peasants’ sympathy who always repeat:
“…We’ll give away our lives, but never our land” p. 22.
The same is for Maoists simple austerity and sacrifice:
“… A comrade from the People’s Liberation Army (PLGA), the (PLGA) was formally constituted in December 2000. It is an entirely voluntary army. Nobody is paid a salary. Women constitute 45 per cent of its cadre. p. 66.
They apply/adopt Mao concept: the guerrillas are the fish and people being the water they swim in”
“… The commands are haru Mazumdar the founder and chief theorition of the Naxalite movement said: China’s chairman is our chairman China’s path is our path”.
Accordingly, no wonder peasants MUST stand with the part that protects them and their land and confiscate the occupied land by feudalists and MNCs and distribute it to the peasants.
The following might support my estimation:
“…They are shadow people… They sleep in streets, eat on streets, make love in streets, give birth on the streets, are raped on the streets, cut their vegetables, wash their clothes, and raise their children. Live and die on the streets” p. 153
“…killing, steeling jeweler, chickens, pigs, pots and pans, bows and arrows, Chemists have instructions not to let people buy medicines except in very small quantities”. P 137.
Describing how police torture a Maoist militant, Roy wrote:
“… In January 2007 more than 700 policemen surrounded Inner village because they heard she was there.
Comrade Niti is considered so dangerous, and is being hunted with such desperation”
“…When they cracked her knees, the police explained helpfully that it was to make sure ‘she would never walk in the jungle again’”.
This reminds us of the statement by Zionist former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin against Palestinian youths during the 1987 Intifada: “We must crash their bones”.
“…They were talking about how many hundreds of thousands of rupees in bribes it takes for a man to get a job in the paramilitary forces, and how much most families incur huge debts to pay that bribe. ...the only way to repay it is to do what policemen in India do _blackmail and threaten people, run protection rackets, demand pay-offs, do dirty deals. p. 90.
Even the children in the villages know that the police works for the ‘companies’ and that Operation Green Hunt isn’t a war against Maoist’s. It’s war against the poor. P. 192
The peasants responded with violence by revenge even without being Maoists:
“… On a few occasions, officials were captured, tied to trees and beaten by villagers. It was chthartic revenge for generation of exploitation. Eventually the forest Department fled. Between 1986 and 2000, the party redistributed 300,000 acres (1214 square kilometers) of the forest land. Today, comrade Venu says, there are no landless peasants in Dandakaranya. p. 74.”
Whether because of State repression or because Maoist defense and protection of the people, Maoists never terminated:
“… Each time, they have re-emerged, more organized, more determined and more influential than ever.” p. 42.
A Counter Revolution Front of “Left” State and MNC!
“… Enter Mahendra Karma, one of the biggest landlords in the region and at the time a member of the Communist Party of India ( CPI). In 1990 …was to form a hunting party of about 300 men on comb the forest, killing people, burning houses and molesting women”. p. 79
“…This, of course, is the charge of “adventurism” that several currents of the left have always leveled at the Maoists”. p. 32
“… In January 2007 more than 700 policemen surrounded Inner village because they heard she was there. Comrade Niti is considered so dangerous, and is being hunted with such desperation”
“… For the regime to recruit people against Maoists its machine motivates the antagonist’s fundamentalisms of Muslims and Hindu!”. p. 34.
Using religion is an international bourgeois phenomenon. It started by Zionism even before the creation the Zionist Ashkenazi Regime (ZAR) in 1948. The false name of this phenomenon is “political”: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hindu…etc. It is in fact the Politicizing of Religion, using religion as a political tool.
Indian example is Hindu party Bahartia Ganata which accepts the secular Indian constitution but try to apply Hindu’s religion’s directions. The Sikh Akali Dal party is doing the same.
One India, Various Indias!
" … The trouble is that India lives in several centuries simultaneously” p. 195.
India is a very mixed case in social political and international levels. On the one hand, there is a feudal mode of production with it peasants in a terrible situation, on the other there is bourgeois class deeply indulged into global capitalism including MNCs. This reminds us of Lenin’s contribution of “Articulation of Modes of Production” in Russia before 1917 were five modes of production co-existed in the form of articulation-contradiction.
“… Protest against bodhghat dam, dadakaranya, 2010 more than 60 million people has been displaced by rural destitution, by slow starvation, by floods and drought, by mines, steel factories and aluminumsmelters , by highways and expressways, by the 3300 big dams built since independence and now by special economic zones”. p. 157.
Here, the exploitation is mixed where Feudal, State police and MNCs jointly participate, i.e. local parasitic capitalists and international capital.
“… 650 million engaged in and living off agriculture as farmers and farm labour, but 18 per cent of our GDP. Look at our IT sector. It employs 0.2 percent of the population and earns us 5 percent of our national income. ..Sixty per cent of our workforce is self-employed. Ninety per cent of our labour force is self employed by the unorganized sector”. p.160
At the same time, India which is as large as a continent with more than billion people pray on her knees for the IMF :
“… P.V.Narashima approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an emergency loan. The IMF agreed on two conditions. The first was structural adjustment and economic reform.”
But the same feudal, dependent India is a colonial power:
“ … Almost from the moment India became a sovereign nation it turned into a colonial power, annexing territory, waging war. It has never hesitated to use military interventions to address political problems - Kashmir, Hyderabad, Gao, Nagaland, Maiipur, Telangana, Assam, Pungab…”. p123.
Ironically, The World Bank and IMF reports praise India’s growth as one of the highest.
Zionism is there
In the eyes of the popular classes of Arab Homeland, the image of India as a friendly country. The reality is different especially when it comes to the interests of the ruling classes against joint enemy. The ZAR plays a role against national liberation movements in a global manner, but this role is still unknown to many Arabs and others due to the lies of official media machine which is controlled and directed by the ruling capitalist classes on a global level as well.
“… An article on the internet says that Israel’s Mossad is training thirty high-ranking Indian police officers in the techniques of targeted assassinations, to render the Maoist organization ‘headless’. There’s talk in the press about the new hardware that has been bought for Israel: laser range finders, thermal imaging equipment and unnamed drones so popular with the US army perfect weapons to use against the poor”. p. 45
Roy’s final evaluation for Maoists
“… However, their doctrinal inflexibility, their reputed inability to countenance dissent, or work with other political formations, and most of all their single-minded, grim, military imagination make them too small to fill the giant pair of boots that is currently on offer.” p. 208
“… In her interview with comrade Roopi: “… He asked about an interview I did soon after Maoists had attacked Rani Bodili, a girls’ school in Dantewada that it had been turned into a police camp. More than fifty policemen and SPOs were killed in the attack. We were glad that you refused to condemn our Rani Bodili attack, but then in the same interview you said that is the Maoists ever come to power the first person we would hang would probably be you. .. I would probably have started with Stalin’s purges-in which millions of ordinary people and almost half of the 750,000 Red Army officers were either jailed or shot, and 98 out of 139 Central Committee members were arrested; gone on to huge price people paid for China’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution ; and might have ended with the Padamallapuran incident in Andhra Pradesh, when the Maoists, in their previous avatar of People’s War Group , killed the village sarpanch and assaulted women activities for refusing to obey their call to boycott elections”. p. 209.
Unfortunately, Roy falls into Counter-Revolution ideologically false information, especially numbers of those who were punished by Stalin and Mao. It is really strange that she did not mention uncounted numbers of victim by western capitalism in its’ colonial, imperial and global eras. She did not even mention the Soviet victims due to imperial invasion of USSR 1918. This is without counting the Triad’s victim now in Syria, Iraq Afghanistan, Yemen…etc.
She also wrote:
“… Maoists do not believe that the present system can deliver justice”.
“… Their view on what is going on involved neither grief or patriotism, it was a simple accounting a balance sheet”. p. 90.
Finally, Maoists still fight against their various enemies. Their too long and permanent Guerilla warfare proves that this form of struggle is still possible despite the imperialist sophisticated weapons. Rifle and ideology are able to challenge Counter- Revolution.
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