Kobad Ghandy: Conversation with a Naxalite

Kobad Ghandy’s recent arrest has made waves. After all, it’s not every day that one encounters a Naxal leader who hails from an affluent Parsi family, has studied in some of India’s best educational institutions and also done a CA from London. Despite his unusual background, he became a leading Naxal ideologue. In an exclusive interview a few days before his arrest, he spoke of the reasons for the recent surge of Naxalism across the country.

The Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is emerging as a Maoist bastion, and you seem to be giving extra emphasis on schools there?

Not schools but education. We are trying to give basic education through Mobile Academic Schools (MAS). Teaching basic sciences, mathematics and indigenous languages. Teams involved in the process are specialising in designing courses for the people who are backward, so that they can learn faster.

We are taking extra care to improve health facilities, as well. For example, wherever we work, we have told the tribals to boil drinking water. It has reduced diseases & death by 50%. Even independent NGOs have said so. Child mortality decreased because we have managed to empower women to an extent. The level of under-development in Bastar and all these areas is worse than, as some indicators suggest, sub-Saharan Africa.

Are you saying, you are not killers but benefactors?

Yes. But we are defined by the Prime Minister as the deadliest virus….(laughs)

Why do you think so?

We have a clear-cut definition of development. We think society is in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial state and there is a need to democratize it. The first step is to distribute land to the tiller. So in plain words, our fight is against land grab and exploitation of poor, especially focussing rural India.

Is that why you have managed to consolidate so strongly in Chhattisgarh?

One important reason we have managed to consolidate is because we talk about dignity of work. For example, villagers in Bastar collect the tendu-patta leafs to make local cigarettes or bidis. This bidi industry runs into billions of dollars. But the daily wage of these tribals …. was less than Rs 10 a day, before we came to Chhattisgarh. That is far less than the daily wage defined by even the government of India. We have forced these contractors to increase this daily wage — we have managed to push it up by three to four times. That is one reason why people like us.

But you have proper military wings?

I can’t tell you much about that. I don’t deal with that and don’t even know their members.

You are talking about development.

Will you be open to the idea — if government extends development to these areas?

Why not? We have not opposed some developmental works in Bastar. For example, we did not oppose building of some schools in Bastar. But if they build schools to convert those to army barracks — which India always did in various places — we will oppose it.

So you will do politics on the basis of guns?

Guns is a non-issue. I can tell you with absolute certainty that some villages of Uttar Pradesh or Bihar have got more guns than the entire Maoist force in the country. What the government or some section fears is the ideology, communism and the society we seek to build up. So we are projected as criminals.

Do you think it is possible to hold on to your bastions in the face of the offensive against you?

It’s a difficult battle. But with capitalism and the government colliding with each other — with American economy going into recession and increase of exploitation — we do hope to consolidate.

So the Naxals will never participate in mainstream politics?

No. Because we believe, a democracy which respects people cannot be established in this country under the given system.

(Transcript of an interview with BBC World Service Radio)

  • J. CHINOY

    Do read Kobad’s side of the story. What is impausible is that he has no idea of what the militant arm is doing. He is a member of the Central Politburo and as such he must know who heads the militant wing and why are they shot a 14 year old girl at point blank range recently.
    Good intentions misdirected?

  • Farzana

    Parsis are like potatoes… they can be found in any corner of the world… than why not in a naxalite infested area!!

    Well, as far as i know, Persia was the birthplace of communism…

  • Yazdy Palia

    Dear Mr. Kobad Gandhi,
    Morality ends where force begins. A moral society is one in which the use of force is banned from human relationship, in which the government may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.
    The action of the Naxalite is not justified whatever be the reasons.

  • Hindustan Times of 25th repeatedly makes a mention that Kobad Gandhy is a Parsee. Is it necessary to make a mention of the Religion/Race a person is born into?
    Will Hindustan Times mention a pickpocket as a Hindu or a Muslim.?
    Those who talk about Tokham Kayani should protest with HT was well as with other Agencies.Any person encouraging violence to meet the ends, however justified, HAS NO RELIGION.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Ghandy comes across as an old style revolutionary, in the mould of Che Guevara. You may not agree with his politics, but you have to admire his commitment to an idealogy. In some respects, I would prefer him to the current crop of politicians who have no idealogy at all; and are only in it for the money.

  • rustom jamasji

    If K Ghandhi is responsible thru his ideology to spread killings AND as In a Tv programe Ghandy was compared to Saeed as a terorist by an ex director of the I.B, then how come

    1) Hurayat leaders like Geelani, Malik etc are free to promote anti India sentiments in India
    Infact how come they get medical treatment at AIMS and others from Pro India tax payer’s money

    2)Did IB,RAW,local infiormants etc all just suddenly find out abut K Ghandhi and his ideologies whilst he has been at it since the last 3 decades. If no, why wasnt he arrested before? If yes, is this a scam by the Home ministry to deflect away from real issues such as soldiers being killed everyday in the border areas and incursions which ultmately will lead to questions to all politicians of all parties in making te Indian armed forces an impotent force due to lack of machinery and lack of personell due to policies of IAS Babus and netas. One such being non implementations of ‘One Rank -One pension’..Another aspect pay packets..A VrC winner gets about a 1000 rs a month in Mumbai!!!( A galantry award for fighting enemy in enemy lands)

    How come such movements developed much before K Ghandhi started working on such fronts.

    4) If Ghandhi alone was responsible thru his preachings then how come the people on the ground talk of realities that define utter negligence,shamefull disregard and rotting corruption in the system even in its basic form. This shows the failure of the IAS Babus in correcting the idiotic neta’s policies. Infact the IAS Babu has carried out implementaion of policies that encourage corruptness and thus enhances local people harbouring feelimgs against the Govts. Instead of correcting such policies the IAS Babus have gone ahead with such so as to get promotions and postings of their choice.

    5) How come a different ideology but the same feeling of helplesness due to corruption in every way, exists in other states like Manipur, Mizoram, Assam,Nagaland..if only Ghandi’s ideology was to be held responsible alone.

    6) Do ground realities not attest to organisation like Bodoland, Gurkhaland, ULFA, Mizo army etc etc..

    7) Whenevr the Home ministry/ I.B wants to show tis strength , it thru its saluting Babus catch a scape goat. As it is becoming clearer everyday of the various Govts inaction to counter cross border problems, lack of army personell, faulty armament or near end of shelf machines, naxal issue was suddenly given coverage. Seperatists problems in eastern sector predated Kashmir and out performed the kashmir problem, yet was never highlighted nor tackled.

    8) I couldnt but reflect on the upcoming ceremony that is performed on every Oct 12th remembering the brave soldiers of the 13 Sikh Infantry due to the I.B intelligence and the episode of Jafna Univ landing.

    9) Every time the state machinery fails, the armed fores and infantry man has been called in making his life more miserable and making the army into a policing force. This due to the inactions or fault actions of the netas and IAS Babus. Every time a scape goat is found whilst ground realities keep worsening. The policies of the neat and IAS Babus force common man to take up to arms as no other option is left.

    10) In any case it is supposed to be illegal to reflect the accused persons religion unless done so by the accusers(In case of lasker e toiba and jehadi groups that do it themselves). We thus never see a remark as ‘Ravi a hindu caught stealing’ or Ismail a muslim caught making bombs; in fact even in riots the communities are never mentioned…i guess it makes headlines if one is born a Parsi

  • Farzana

    Piloo,
    i don’t think Hindustan Times wants to showcase Parsis in a bad light… Its just that this news comes as a shock to them and others who visualize all Parsis in a stereotype – ‘fun loving jovial Bawas’ …

    Anyway, he is a Parsi ethnically as anyone of us… Whether you agree with his cause or not… why shouldn’t he be considered a Zoroastrian? And who are we to decide that anyway??

  • Farzana,
    Marxists/Leninist ideology consider Religion to be the Opium of the Society.They believe in Class Struggle and that religious beliefs make mankind fatalist. So no question of Religion for a Communist. H.T. is in the wrong to mention community of any individulal and that needs condemnation.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    I really fail to comprehend what point Rustom Jamasp is trying to prove with his incoherent rambling; or even what relevance it has to the topic at hand. It’s almost as if he is trying to justify how a “nice Parsi boy” could get involved in such revolutionary activities by making comparisons with other ethnic groups. He sounds suspiciously like our venal politicians who attempt to justify a patent wrongdoing by pointing out that the other guys do it too.

  • Anti- Dhongidox.

    Dear Mr. Hirjikaka,
    There are some individuals who are too eager to read their own Name appearing on this blog irrespective of the fact whether the contents of such ‘contributions’ make any meaning. Aim is to gain free publicity. You are absolutely correct in comparing this individual to a VENAL POLITICIAN.

  • Perhaps Hirjikaka has read the post of Jamasji for the first time. All the earlier posts of this individual (on diffrent topics) are way off the mark and never on the main subject under discussion. They have invariably been ‘ incoherent ramblings’ but this “scholar” thinks he is doing a great favour to the Community by ‘imparting knowledge???

  • Farzana

    True, Piloo,

    its granted that as a commie he might may not even consider himself a Zoroastrian… However inspite of coming from an affluent parsi family, he has devoted his life for the cause of poor marginalized tribals in remote areas who have been denied basic human rights…
    We are conditioned to see Naxals as a menace without realising that its we and our system that has created them … How many of us are even slightest bothered when lands of these tribals are grabbed illegally by the govt in name of developement rendering tribals homeless, jobless in abject poverty at mercy of forces who exploit them further. Their women are raped, they have to sell their children to get a sq meal… With no one to listen to their pain or give them justice… they turn to arms…

    Kobad had all in him to become successful, rich and famous…yet he choose the path of pain to help these marginalized ppl although he had never gone through the same ordeal… I dunno if he is a good Zoroastrians or not… But he is certainly a better human being than most of us.

  • rustom jamasji

    To all those who find my points irrelevant , may I suggest a book called’Enchanted Frontiers’.This books deals with NEFA and talks of an era pre Kobad Ghandy.

    To others reading my post..I did mention n continue to mention the points though It may seem not relevant to the Blogs identity i.e of news relevant to Parsis, yet I do feel that the reason of creation of such organisations, having the locals support and policies implemented that aid in harbouring feelings that threathen the security of the country,… at some point will create such a chaos within the country that will impact all including the Parsis.

    The importance is to be able to comprehend the relevance of the ‘WHY’S of creation of such bodies in India. This due to policies that frustrate locals and hence harbour anti Govt feelings in other parts before Gandhy. The importance of such not being addressed makes it even worse

    This may not make sense to Hirjikaka or Dhongi and they can compare it to something entirely different though my last point earlier stresses on it being of no consequence if he was a Parsi or not and such should not be mentoned in Newspapers

    The relevance of asking

    1)why Huriyat an other seperatist leaders roam about free though their ideoligists spread break up of India and get treated by Pro India tax payer’s money…is that since Ghandhy was arrested on such charges how come seperatists leaders have platforms on streets preaching people to break up India.
    I guess Hirjikaka would have to study the difference between the naxal problem and Kashmir independence issue.

    2) The point of the Root cause of creation of such organisatons and local suport wholeheartedly is completely missed by Hirjikaka. This in fact resounds with the locals voice of judgement passed by people being ignorant of ground realities and thus the feeling of helplessness of the locals increases giving them no other option than to fight the injustice of the Politicans and IAS policies.

    3) Its not difficult to understand the the question as to why such organisations thrive in other parts though Ghandhy’s ideologies not being present. Organisation like the Mizo Army, Naga front, Bodoland,and others in Arunacha Pradesh though being devoid of Ghandy’s ideologies

    4)Maybe Hirjikaka n dhongi are also blissfully unaware of I.B’s and ministeries catching scapegoats, one such example relevant to an ‘ardas’ ceremony performed every october 12th which I mentioned, Other such is the Samba case’ which is a mystery even today and the accused were set free after DECADES of imprisonment. Yes Hirjikaka n dhongi would find that irrelevant too..

    5) Not all are unaware of EX Armed forces trying to form a political party to safe guard the country and the soldiers welfare.The policies that make locals feel frustrated have now started taking toll on one of the most imp aspects of the nation i.e the armed forces. My example of One Rank -one pension, Pay disparity between an Armed forces officer v.s IAS babu etc are live examples of such disgrunt due to ill policies. I also gave the result of such i.e lack of army personell…and these subject to duties that are to be done by a policing force that has already tuned into an effective scape goat hunting force.

    Finding irrelevance is Ok, sme people are not aware of certain facts yet..whats foolish is passing judgement after not finding relevance due to ignorance.

    Dhongi,
    could you get a better line than the same one you use everytime you cannot comprehend or
    academically debate a point OR ar ignarant of the subject or poinmnts put up.

    In any case The points I wrote are my personal inputs from reports and factual points,and I find no harm in someone countering my thinking with academical,factual reports and counter points instead of trying to get a browny point with maligning remarks since your views are not seen eyet to eye on other subjects.

    As i said though It may seem unrelated to Parsi Khabar at the top of it , it has relevance to better Governance that efects everyone

  • Farzana

    Firoze, in short Rustom is
    basically ashamed of the fact that Kobad is being labeled a ‘Parsi or Zoroastrian… or whatever…
    but he is not ashamed of the illegitimate Dubra race produced by his so called ‘puritan parsi’ feudal lords from sexual exploition of tribal labourers

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Farzana,
    I admit I used to derive vicarious pleasure from debunking self styled “defenders of our faith” like Rustom – who, to our eternal shame – have become the majority component in a community once renowned for its tolerance and accomodating opposing points of view, but they do such a good job of tying themselves in knots, that it has ceased to become good sport. Jamasp himeself admits that his dogmatic diatribe is unrelated to the topic, but he insists on inflicting it on us anyway. Perhaps, as someone here has suggested, he longs to see his name in print and Parsi Khabar is the only publication that will oblige him.

    As to your other point, I am certainly no sympathiser of Communist ideology, which thankfully is on its way to a slow death but, as I said earlier, I do admire Ghandy’s selfless commitment to his cause. I definitely hold him in higher regard that opportunistic politicians who pay lip service to democracy, but whose only loyalty is to themselves.

  • Farzana

    Firoze,
    Naxals are not dropped from the sky… As long as our system keeps creating them… they will continue to exist.

    Yazdy Palia,
    is your daily wage lower than Rs.10/-? No? than you will probably not understand why naxalism exist.

  • Anti_Dhongidox

    How much I envy(?) R.J. for all the “Compliments” he receives from different boarders? How ‘frustrated’ I feel for not being able to “comprehend or
    academically debate his points and being ignorant of the subject or points put up.”

  • rustom jamasji

    Ironically Farzana still cannot comprehend that naxals dont fall from the sky n thats exactly the point…she still misses the point that I have mentoned it is of no consequence weather he is a Parsi or not but the broader picture where in bad governance effects everyone….though repetedly stating that Ghandy’s faith is of no relevance she still blames me for such!!

    Farzana’s sort of hint at me thru a message at Palya again shows ignorance. The author of the book quoted was from a well to do family, the authors of other such are again from well to do family and the irony is that Farzana has missed the subject report that Ghandy himself was from a well to do family and thus to assume that problems of naxals, mizo, Bodo, and others in A.P or in genreal that show frustrations at wrong plicies implemented can only be understood by poor is totally corrupt form of thinking….

    Hirkijikaka in his thirst to ‘derive vicarious pleasure from debunking self styled “defenders of our faith’ cannot fathom that there are issues that effect the whole country n us and it should be seen in a different view than to childishly, egoisticly thrive to contradict those who have another view points. I guess Hirjikakaks thirst wuld malign authors of books and reports that suggest the dangers of ignoring the resons for such being created

    Laughable is Hirjikaka debunking the point of why such organisations are created and supported yet then contradicts himself by admiring Ghandy’s selfless commitment to his cause!!
    This may arrise from his necessity to ‘derive vicarious pleasure’…It does show how ego blinds one..

    The thirst of this group would desperatly want to blind others due to seeking such vicarious pleasures…mainly arising from no academic or intellect view points. .

    Infact an interesting point comes to my mind regarding the implementation of ill policies and corruptness of the Neta. During operation Rhino by the army in the mid 80’s, one of the commandents of ther army unit had infact tried and tap a phone of a minister so that the plannings of the neta that was probably anti India and putting the operation in jeopardy could be brought up….
    Red tapism and burocracy dealt with the commandent..yet increased frustrations in another segment of the country…

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Farzana,
    I am well aware of the theory that the Naxalite movement sprang from the oppression and economic degradation of the tribals. While I may applaud their intentions, I do question their use of violence to achieve their goals. I do this not just from a moral viewpoint, but also because their methods are ineffective. As recent events in Sri Lanka have demonstrated, even the much better armed LTTE could not prevail against the state. After decades of waging war on the establishment, the lot of the tribals remains as pathetic and miserable as it was 50 years ago. The era of revolutionary Communism promulgated by Lenin and Mao is long over. It died because it did not work. Even China, the fountainhead of Maoism had to resort to “capitalist” economics to improve the lot of their people.
    In the case of Kobad Ghandy, I believe he was committed to the naxal’s communist ideology; and regarded the violence as a necessary evil. For that, I would give him credit.

  • Mr. Hirjikaka,
    No print media would ever publish such ‘academic’ trash written by R Jamas, even in Cartoon/Comic Section. we must thank him for comic relief that his posts bring.
    Though, I agree with him that Newspapers should not mention Religion of any individual unless the concerned individual has committed a particular act in the name of that religion.

  • Farzana

    Firoze,
    Im sick of hearing the same nauseated rubbish – ‘Violence doesnot work !’

    I think few think this statement makes them look civilize, WELL IN THAT CASE AT THE RISK OF LOOKING UNCIVILIZED I HAVE TO SAY THAT VIOLENCE IS THE ONLY METHOD THAT WORKS IN HUMAN SOCIETY… This is the hard reality !!Face it!……Might is always right…it was so thousands of years ago… and its still the same…Tell me how many issues in this world were resolve using peace? On the contrary, the most successful resolutions were drafted on battle fields…

    So what if LTTE failed at civil war with Srilankan govt.. Mukhti Bandhini won independence for Bangladesh from Pakistanis in the Civil War…, and other successful civil wars of Americans, French, Russian, Italian, Chinese,etc wont that count? Is it?

    Coming to Naxals…Tell me how exactly are they supposed to oppose injustice meted to them in a peaceful way??

  • Farzana

    No offence… but Piloo, since you said- “Any person encouraging violence to meet the ends, however justified, HAS NO RELIGION.” I would like to point out that Mosses and Mohammad were War Lords, Ram and Krishna were Kings who advocated force against so called ‘Adharmic’ forces, most of the Sikh gurus were Hindu Militants…
    All organised religions barring Buddhism and Jainism openly advocates violence.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Piloo,
    In a perfect world, Ghandy’s ethnicity would be irrelevant. However, as far as the newspapers are concerned, it is the novelty of a Parsi joining the Naxalite movement that makes “news”. If he was a “son of the soil”, it would just another routine capture. It’s a reality we have to live with.

    As for the redoubtable Jamasji, silence is indeed golden. When your opponent is doing an excellent job of shooting himself in the foot, the wise man merely stands back and enjoys the show.

  • Farzana

    Rustom, pure common sense will tell you that naxals im refering to are from below poverty line which makes 99% of the force… not 1% of that affluent intellectuals group of which Kobad belongs… Darn!!

  • Farzana

    Rustom, pure common sense will tell you that naxals im refering to are from below poverty line which makes 99% of the force… not 1% of that affluent intellectual group of which Kobad belongs… Darn!!

  • Chinky Nanda

    Dear Farzana,
    Just because the civil wars of the Americans, French, Russian, Italian & Chinese, were successful doesn’t justify the use of force. What happened to the NON VIOLENT movements that were successful???

  • Farzana

    Chinky,
    except velvet revolution where the WHOLE NATION rose against the govt…I can’t recollect any other nonviolent movement that has yield results.

    Well, tell me how is this marginalized minority of Adivasis who live in miserable condition on daily wages of Rs. 10/- suppose to oppose chain of social injustice meted to them in a nonviolent way?

    Have you ever heard the story of Krishna on hunger stike to oppose unjust policies of Kansa? or Ram sending Ravan red roses daily until Ravan finally realises his mistake and decides to give up Sita??

    Listen buddy be real, its easy for an unaffected urbanite to talk about evils of violence and look intellectual… Put yourself in Adivasi’s place… imagine yourself in a place where there is no availability of basic Roti-Kapda or makan..no drinking water, no schools, no hospital only source of income – ie the land you tilted grabbed from you by the govt without any compensation paid…women raped by cops…You and your children are forced to become bonded labourers…who are still not paid the minimum wages because the contractor is corrupt…

    Yes there is a way to resolve this issue in a nonviolent way…not by killing adivasis… but to show more sensitivity to those socially affected by the govt’s action and making attempts to absorb them into the mainstream…But ofcoz there has to be a political will to do so.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Farzana,
    You are entitled to your opinions, just as I am entitled to mine. Your imtemperate response illustrates that you practice what you preach and I have to give you credit for that. To argue that violence is the only means of achieving one’s ends is facile – just as is the argument that wars and violence are justified because they have been around for thousands of years. Isn’t the goal of civilization to evolve down the centuries? It is very easy to give in to our primal instincts, but much more difficult to overcome them and move towards a civilized society. You may believe that the Naxals are not going to achieve their goals by peaceful means – and you may be right. But, conversely, are they going to defeat the state in an armed conflict? So,then, what is the point of all the deaths and maiming.
    As for the argument that only violent revolutions have been effective throughout history, this is a double-edged sword. The French Revolution may have got rid of a corrupt and tyrannical monarchy, but the beheadings and other excesses the “revolutionaries” indulged in were even more brutal and bloodthirsty. And what about our own country? Even a closet revolutionary like you cannot believe that India would have gained its independance by overthrowing the British Empire in an armed conflict. Chest thumping one’s Leftist credentials may provide a degree of self-satisfaction, but the historical reality is that Communism was tried and failed; and it is now in its death throes.

  • Farzana

    Firoze,

    FYI, India is a Socialist country not a Capitalist … nor is anyone trying to convert it to Communism … so you going like a broken record- ‘Communism is dead !! Communism is dead’…is frankly making little sense. I suggest you plz google the definition of Socialism before you break into another ‘Communism is dead’ jig.

    ———————————————————————-

    Quote–>”You may believe that the Naxals are not going to achieve their goals by peaceful means – and you may be right. But, conversely, are they going to defeat the state in an armed conflict?”
    ———————————————————————-
    Well, so you admit, nonviolent method if applied wont yield results… If you remember the ‘nonviolent ‘ protests against the Sardar Sarovar Dam by Meghna Patkar and Amir Khan for the displaced tribal who lost their lands to the state govt without adequate compensation. Did it work?? No.

    Anyway Naxals are not remotely fighting a ‘civil war’ nor are they fighting the state to defeat it in arm conflict …they are too poorly equipped and too small in numbers for any such mission… they don’t aim to create a separate homeland either… Their activities are concentrated in adivasi pockets where they feel they need to defend their hold on the land which the state govt may snatch it away from them and sell it to multinationals for profit.
    Besides they don’t disturb civilians…

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Quote==>>” And what about our own country? Even a closet revolutionary like you cannot believe that India would have gained its independance by overthrowing the British Empire in an armed conflict.”
    ———————————————————————-

    This shows how little you really know… India didn’t get its independence becoz of nonviolence .Facts are deliberately skewed in History textbooks to make Congress and Gandhi look good ….

    Get your facts right-

    If there were no WWII, the British would still be ruling the world and would have been kicking the ass of all browns and blacks. WWII brought the British to their senses and they knew their time in the East was over. The Brits sucked the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, Malaya, Singapore, the Far-East and many other people high and dry.

    Regarding the indepence of the subcontinient…at most we can say that WW2 initiated the process of decolonization. Nothing happened as an immediate consequence. But WW2 had changed the power equations.The UN came in to existence. There was worldwide consciousness against the Imperialism/Colonialism in the second half of last century.Colonial powers became defensive. Earlier there was no one to question their actions. You can even say that imperialists faced their own but more aggressive version in the form of Hitler.

    Freedom could not have been avoided & It was only because of common man became intolerant towards British imperialism ….however it is true that British had nothing left to suck.But that does not mean we got freedom by begging as Gandhians think.NON VIOLENCE GAVE INDIA FREEDOM, IS A LIE

    All regular school texts jump directly to freedom after Quit India movement but not history.

    The final phase of the Indian freedom struggle also saw peasant struggles rising to new heights.Dalits,Adivasis,Farmer (Real india) started rebellion VIOLENT (there was no gandhi for them) against both British & equally oppresive landlords,nizams,nawabs.

    Amongst the significant of these struggles were those of Tebhaga, Punnapra Vayalar, the Worli adivasis and above all the historic Telangana peasants armed struggle.

    British ruled india by using india’s own soldiers they never had man-power.We already outnumbered them but they survived by giving guns in our hands to stop ourselves.So when RIN [royal indian navy] mutiny took place in 1946 it was huge shock to british empire.They already had to face Azad Hind Fauj or INA (who faught along with Japaneese)

    Europeans perceived what lay ahead if they did not negotiate with their colonies fighting for freedom.(Simple words were afraid of Violent outbreak) & they changed their view towards their colonies.Read about decolonisation policy after world war 2.

    We are nation of heros;Common man is real father of my nation…. Gandhi was a religious extremist who sided with islamic fundamentalist Khalifa movement which had little to do with India.

    Well, anyway im done with this topic…And since Firoze, you find my replies too caustic to handle, i will refrain from discussing with you in future. Aur jatey jatey one compliment for you, Mr Firoze, content wise your posts are as interesting as Rustom’s.

  • Farzana

    Chinky,
    except velvet revolution where the WHOLE NATION rose against the govt…I can’t recollect any other nonviolent movement that has yield results.

    Well, tell me how is this marginalized minority of Adivasis who live in miserable condition on daily wages of Rs. 10/- suppose to oppose chain of social injustice meted to them in a nonviolent way?

    Have you ever heard the story of Krishna on hunger stike to oppose unjust policies of Kansa? or Ram sending Ravan red roses daily until Ravan finally realises his mistake and decides to give up Sita??

    Listen buddy be real, its easy for an unaffected urbanite to talk about evils of violence and look intellectual… Put yourself in Adivasi’s place… imagine yourself in a place where there is no availability of basic Roti-Kapda or makan..no drinking water, no schools, no hospital only source of income – ie the land you tilted grabbed from you by the govt without any compensation paid…cops behave like private army of rich multinations and instead of help you, go against you… …You are reduced to become a bonded labourer…who will not get paid the minimum wages settled because the contractor is corrupt…

    Yes there is a way to resolve this issue in a nonviolent way…not by killing adivasis… but to show more sensitivity to those socially affected by the govt’s action and making attempts to absorb them into the mainstream…But ofcoz there has to be a political will to do so.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    “And since Firoze, you find my replies too caustic to handle, i will refrain from discussing with you in future. Aur jatey jatey one compliment for you, Mr Firoze, content wise your posts are as interesting as Rustom’s.”
    Don’t flatter yourself, Mrs.Farzana, I’ve handled far more vituperative comments. Besides, you have made the same argument on half a dozen other forums, so it has long since lost its novelty value. I’m just a little surprised and amused that you don’t see the delicious irony here. I am not the one flying off the handle or flinging near-hysterical accusations. About the Constition, I will just say that is has become a favorite whipping boy to be used or misused as per convenience. I am aware that India is defined as a socilaist republic, but the reality is that Nehru’s socialist policiies left the country at a stage when we had to send our gold reserves abroad to cover our almost non-existent foreign exchange reserves. It was only after we adopted a capitalist model in 1991 that the economy prospered to where it is today. Incidentally, the constitution also defines India as “secular” and we have all seen how “seculrism” is practised in Narendra’s Modi’ Gujarat, for example. Hard as it may for you to comprehend, you are not the final authority on all matters and others are not morons if they disagree with you: and your threat to “refrain from discussing with you in future” is not as devastating as you believe it to be.

    As to your left-handed complement about my posts being in the same category as Rustom’s, I will merely let the facts speak for themselves. If you visit the following URL :http://www.scribd.com/community?full=1&page=1&period=total&sort=reads, you will discover that my “uninteresting” articles have been so far read by 4,783,815 individuals. Any further elaboration would be superfluous.

  • rustom jamasji

    Surprisingly the points proving and aiming at Govts inaction, insensitivness or bad policies that are the root causes were rubbished. Yet it is good to see the end of Judgements without academic backing or intelectual counter points which arent providing food for a healthy debate on root causes but lad a discussion to gaining browny points.

    Indeed it is very easy for people who stay far away from realities to preach non violence when common man’s ire is spent thru his using force. Being adamantly divorced from injustce and implementations of policies aiding in harbouring corruption and thus anti Govt feelings is no excuse. If the naxal problems started in mid 60’s what did the Govt do to ease the pressures from the inhabitants.

    One can see from the fermentaions of demand for a seperate gurkhaland .The situatin in manipur, Assam etc.

    The fight between the dalits and other castes intensifies due to the Govts insistence of dividing people on caste based system..

    The govt inaction and inability to implement the movement from a caste base system into aiding with respect to a class being economically deprived and thus backward .Yet the Govt insistence of continuing the system based on reserving jobs, funding, and admisions based solely on an caste based system.

    In rajasthan we saw the Meena v/s Gujar problem excalate.The Gujars had a leader and voice in the ex army officer Colonel Bainsla who over saw that the problem was addressed by the politicians which was ignored for more than a decade. These did not even have proper drinking water facilities in their villages and Govt jobs were allocated to others as these did not come under a reserved catogary!!!!!

    Its easy to be divorced from such realities sitting in metros and other places where such dispicefull neglegence is not starving people off their very basics. When such feelings give way to agitation and force after more than decades of neglegencr and avoidance by other country men and political parties,and when such force is felt by those who neglected their duty in envisdaging a good governance be it a 1000 miles away…then non violence is preached.

    I am waiting for the talks with Isaak Muivah movement. It seems the naga faction kept its part of the deal , and are showing ire against the Govts maintaining its deal. People who have gained by economic revivals packets and programes, property booms etc yet who have not enforced their Govt to act to solve the problem like that of abject poverty, no drinking water, no sanitisation, no industry , no jobs then can preach non violence to these lovely people, when such are forced to fight the injustice.

  • rustom jamasji

    @ Farzana
    You have mentioned some interesting points of history, yet i feel they remain incomplete if these are missed.

    On the lines of’coloured card’ that has always been picked up against the west and statement of Brits kicking the ass of all browns and blacks..

    Well it was the Royal Navy that undertook anti slavery operations in the 1800’s when Africans and Spanish, Portuguese were slave trading.Their efforts faced opposition in every quarter and they even flexibly changed stratergies to counter slavery and slave boats so that the slave themselves would not be harmed as earlier startegies led to the slaves facing the consequences too.

    It was again in the West, The U.S.A underwent an internal bloody conflict to end slavery of the black people. Whites fought whites to protect the browns and blacks.
    This was a time where slavery was being practised in Africa and India by its own people.

    Yes the Brits divided India on Hindu Muslim basis, but can one close eyes to the fact of multipile divisions based on caste and creed and untouchability that even exists Today in Modern India.

    Infact such has been promoted more so under Indian leadership. Indian Leadership does not want to eliminate caste/creed based reservations. This leadership adamantly sticks to dividing on basis of caste , whilst doing nothing for those who are economically deficient.Thus arrises problems like naxalites, adivasis etc..

    On ‘The Brits sucked the Indian Subcontinent, Africa, Malaya, Singapore, the Far-East and many other people high and dry.’.
    Well Dubai and others got their independence after us…look at where we stand and those countries in terms of infrastructure, road ways, corruption,poverty and reservations…..If you think we have fared worse then these ..well then the question is why..and I think it leads to bad govenance and corrupt policies

    On the British using india’s own soldiers as they never had man-power……This does make one wonder why Indians fought against Indians and supported their colonisers and occupiers. It may also focus on a corrupt mentality of’ as long as my porch is clean’

    As to the mutiny , there was one in the 1800s as well, yet how come the Indian soldiers continued in their services.
    The mutiny of 1946 also brings to my mind the problem in the Indian navy in the 1980’s wherein the ‘Topaz’ class sailors were to be disbanded. It also highlights the problems that the I.A.F had to undergo since a senior Airforce officer and IAS Babu and Netas thought of dividing or making sections into the airforce and thus pay packets.This led to the engineers striking, then the heli pilots etc..just because the govt wantd to save money and not increase eveyones pay.

    In any case my points again emphasise on bad governance,policies that aid corruption, failure of Administration thru the IAS officers and sheer neglect that promote hatred against the organisation.

    On your…… they don’t aim to create a separate homeland either’….makes me revert back to my 1st question and that is if ideologists who have demanded justice and basics of human necesatty are termed as terrorists and imprisoned as one,
    then how come the Huriyat leaders like Gilani, Malik etc who openly promote break up of statehood of India roam about freely?

  • farzana

    Thanx Rustom,
    I would like to add, an average of One farmer commits suicide every 8 hours in Vidarbha…http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_one-suicide-every-8-hours_1049554
    In any country which has a huge population there will be some parts that lag behind like we have- Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa, Vidarabh , North East, etc. In these areas which make up more than 60% of population, people don’t get to enjoy the fruits of growth. These are neglected areas where poverty is an epidemic and by marginalizing these people govt sows seeds of discontentment which eventually becomes a fertile ground for anti-national rebel movements..
    Development which benefits 10% of the population is no real development. India may be having more millionaires than other countries yet India has fallen to 132 in the new rankings of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) for 179 nations. It means, we have been less successful in converting income into human development among other things. Today India lags behind war-ravaged Congo, Botswana, and Bolivia. (The last is often called Latin America’s poorest nation). Even Palestine, Vietnam and Sri Lanka logs 28 rungs ahead of us at 114

    According to Indian Govt’s own report – there are at least 836 million Indians living on less than Rs.20 a day. Over 200 million of those get less than Rs.12 daily. I think its not too hard to understand why so much of discontent exist today in our country.
    We may choose to think of Kobad as a terrorist sympathiser, but the fact is he is much closer to reality than most of us.

  • rustom jamasji

    The following links show that the posts relating to Govt inadequencies, corruption and implementation of wrong policies, subsequent pressures on armed forces, hunting of scapegoats. police force and IAS Babus acring only in self interest to get favoured postings etc that aid in formations and suport of organisations like Borodland, naxalites etc appear in newspapers and think tanks are working on the same lines to solve the root cause of such movements.

    Phiroz will be hurt that though the feelings shared by me appear in newspapers, they are not in comic section as attrubuted by him earlier…

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/platform/Violence-is-a-zero-sum-game/Article1-458092.aspx#

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/imphal/In-this-field-of-war-I-am-crying-for-peace/Article1-461198.aspx

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/imphal/A-state-in-disrepair/Article1-461204.aspx

    @ Farzana..
    Your point of us being worse than Congo et others is really an eye opener.
    Having being to DR of Congo several Times, I have seen the improvement done. The first time I landed in Point Noire, the airport was just more than a cattle shed…the last time I went there an airconditioned airport was operational. With the oil boom, and industry, hotels have shot up and economy was on the rise.
    There are many Indians there in Business and they prefer to be stationed there as the system though suffering, still works towards progress rather than here where one is bogged down from the start.Equitorial Guniea was one such other place

    At the same time having sent my childhod in Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam and other north east places, I also know of the sheer neglect of the administration that increases frustrations amongst the locals.

    A retired armed forces personel that has served there and has been presented with Honoured Gifts from the residents of the north east state Suggests that
    “Media World-Wide requested to make AWARE, Indian Citizen’s fate at the hands of it’s Moronic Rulers – understatement of the Century. All Foreign Govts are requested to consider VISA applications & reject VISAs for Indian neta – babu – police, as America did for an Indian neta earlier as it will lessen the burden on Indian taxpayers & they will bless the foreign Govts for their Good Deed.”

    I point this out not only as it justifies my feelings towards solving the problem by addressing the issue & first acknowledging the root of the problem, but also to highlght that thriving to Seek Personal vicarious pleasures as Hirjikaka does not justify countering points without intellectual or factual refernces nor in attacking a view point/ person just because of not liking the other’s view points on other issues. Closing eyes to the root cause of such that spread chaos and effect everybody just to score a browny point in fact amounts to cutting the nose to spite

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    The Indian government has recently started a scheme which will give a 3 year fixed deposit of Rs. 3 lakhs, plus a monthly stipend, to any Maoist who surrenders to the authorities. This once again demonstrates how the establishment hamhandedly tries to impose a solution witout understanding the problem. I may not agree with the Naxalites’ violent methods, but I have to admire their commitment to the cause and the fact that they are driven by ideology and not my monetary gain. I doubt if this scheme will work.
    What the government fails to realize is that Naxalite activities can only be checked by providing genuine development. Once the people whose cause the Naxalites are espousing realize that they can get the benefits they have been deprived of for so long without violent methods, the Naxalites’ hold on them will weaken. This has actually happened in a tribal village named Gangapur, which was a hotbed of Naxalite activities. The village is located 16 kms from the main road; and 40 km from the nearest market. The villagers had to walk all the way around a hill to sell their produce. Naturally, this gave rise to a lot of antagonism towards the authorities and provided fresh recruits for the Naxalites. Then in 2004, a local police officer named Bhagat met the villagers and encouraged them to air their grievances. He managed to get a road constructed, joining their village to the main road. Now the villagers could sell their produce more easily and also increase their profits by not being restricted to the nearest market. The net result is that the Naxalites have virtually vanished from the area.

  • farzana

    Rustom,
    its really nice to know that we agree on this…Im a left liberal maybe partly due to my upbringing…Partly becoz i was drawn to articles written by leftist intellectuals.
    But its really nice to know that you have first hand info on this…esp since you have lived in these places and interacted with ppl there…Its even nicer to see you relate to the problem unlike many self style intellectuals with impotent pen and ink that we have here…Besides its not only Congo which is ahead of us in HDI, but also a country like Bhutan. And the real tragedy is when India ranked 132 on HDI the Sensex was booming…. it had breached the 14,000-mark for the first time ever…. The Indian economy also grew at 9.6 per cent in 2006-07. Those were the glory days our 132nd rank is rooted in….Also the same period when we churned out 53 dollar billionaires! This shows how imbalance the growth is in this emerging economy…And media keeps telling us how arrest of Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan is so important for us, when under their very nose this country is churning out thousand Hafiz Saeeds daily !!

  • Harry

    Kobad Gandy is crazy…. he thinks that by killing people he can achieve his goal then he is wrong and so are all the Maoists…. ppls who think violence will bring peace are completely wrong…. death to the maoists and naxalites…

  • farzana

    I happen to come across this piece while surfing Dawn, a pakistani newspaper. Since its related to the subject… im posting a relevant part here for those who have been relying only on one side of the story fed by indian mass media.

    Quote”Some members of the civil society have questioned Mr Chidambaram’s motive, accusing him of having represented powerful mining interests in his avatar as their lawyer.

    Whatever be the merit of the questions or allegations against him, the man in charge of the no holds barred strategy to disarm the Maoists should be seen as clean and transparent. One of the as yet unanswered and probing barbs thrown at him came from writer Arundhati Roy.

    She questioned Mr Chidambaram’s notion of progress and development that is often used as a battle cry to evict the poor from their land.

    ‘The battle for land lies at the heart of the ‘development’ debate,’ Ms Roy wrote. ‘Before he became India’s finance minister, P. Chidambaram was Enron’s lawyer and member of the board of directors of Vedanta, a multinational mining corporation that is currently devastating the Niyamgiri hills in Orissa. Perhaps his career graph informed his worldview. Or maybe it’s the other way around.’

    Arundhati Roy recalls an interview a year ago, in which Mr Chidambaram said that his vision was to get 85 per cent of India’s population to live in cities. ‘Realising this ‘vision’ would require social engineering on an unimaginable scale. It would mean inducing, or forcing, about five hundred million people to migrate from the countryside into cities. That process is well under way and is quickly turning India into a police state in which people who refuse to surrender their land are being made to do so at gunpoint. Perhaps this is what makes it so easy for P. Chidambaram to move so seamlessly from being finance minister to being home minister.’

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/jawed-naqvi-my-house-is-on-fire-and-i-am-singing-malhaar

  • I remember hearing this name- which is still little offbeat for me . But I was shocked to know his background and his mission. I was also shocked the manner he lived his life. I also imagined what we all know and what could be real of him.

    I am impressed – as I have also some questions like many of my fellow countrymen…about naxals, about state sponsored drive to crush voice of poor. I know people who do not agree with him- have major reason is o VIOLENCE as he belongs to some HOT group which follows path of gun not of roses.

    It was a shock to know his dedication for his mission- way he married to a girl, lived a underground life with her, planned refusal from parenthood and in last his fight with cancer and then arrest in Delhi.

    I am also in suspense over his visit to Patiala and I fancy if Punjab once again is standing on edges of guns and bullets- may be this time for some better cause.

    1. Naxals : Maoists and Naxals as they are called- we see mostly TV images of them being tribal people from jungles. We do not see highly trained PAK terrorists which India is keen to have friendship with. We do not see naxals- bombing innocent people but still state name them terrorists and kills them in cold blood.

    What we see through media is…images of LAL GARH where bows and arrows were seen on our tubes…we see wooden spears against light machine guns of forces. And still we are expected to believe that naxals are terrorists.

    I do not see reason to believe that naxals are against common man – I think Kobad Ghandy will go down in history not as terrorist but a revolutionary like Lenin. I think that change always comes through hard way- it never comes through pen. If we further go deep into words- terrorist are less dangerous than politicians sitting in Delhi, taking bribes, killing people and running mafias.

    I wish India could realize need of change- which someday will come for sure. Because famous plans of parties DIVIDE AND RULE will someday get evaporated and common man of India will stand up for his value of life. People like KOBAD who gave their lives for uplift of common man, may be misunderstood for some years but coming generations will sure realize, that for their future, some people sacrificed their present.

    If someone said that he is as dangerous as Hafeez Sayeed- I think Delhi is best to answer this because it still is looking for right words for 26/11 [ Hafeez or Headley or Rana or some Indian involvement ]