16 December 2007

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

Condemn the Genocidal Fascist Attacks going on

in the name of ‘Salwa Judum’ in Bastar

Dear Friends,

In the government action going on in the name of Salwa Judum in Bastar region, not only have hundreds been arrested, tortured, murdered, gang-raped, but their entire economic lifelines have been smashed. Through brutal terror the government’s aim is to extinguish the sparks of revolution taking place in the very heart of India. Over the last 25 years the people of the region have witnessed a great awakening.

Since the past 10 months from June 2005 the Chhattisgarh government under Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Raipur, actively aided by the Congress-led UPA government in Delhi, had unleashed a brutal military campaign under the smokescreen of peace campaign or salwa judum. In this short period, around 670 adivasi (tribal) villages and hamlets were either completely or partially burnt, or their inhabitants completely evacuated in Dantewara district alone. A band of hooligans and gangsters have been propped up by the politicians and officials to carry out most heinous activities on the people particularly adivasis. Over 150 adivasis were murdered in cold blood by the security forces and salwa judum gangsters. Crores of rupees worth of property of the poor adivasis was destroyed.

Over the past 25 years of struggle the revolutionaries awakened these tribals to a life of self-respect, smashing the cruel and brutal authority of the state machinery and establishing the rudimentary form of the new people’s power. It is an epic struggle of sacrifice and determination where hundreds of Maoists and their supporters in this region have given their lives for the birth of the new society. Prior to the entry of the Naxalites thirty years of so-called independence had done nothing for them; in fact their conditions had only worsened, losing their land to mining projects, and regularly hounded and looted by forest and other government officials in league with the local feudal elements. There was no education, no health care, no electricity, no clothing and even very little agricultural development. And what little they earned in forest produce was robbed from them by traders, forest officials, and the village elite.

Now, through these 25 years of revolutionary struggle against the exploiting forces they have got basic education, medicine, agricultural knowledge, etc. — no doubt in rudimentary form — through the organisation of the new power set up under the leadership of the Maoists who live and die with them. The media proclaims from the roof-tops that the Naxalites are preventing development; but the reality is that the only development the tribals have ever seen is after the Naxalites have entered the region. And now the fruits of these small victories are sought to be snatched away from them with the utmost of brutality.

Thousands forcibly displaced, over hundred brutally murdered, 70 villages burnt down, 40 women gang-raped, crops destroyed, cattle and poultry looted — all in the name of ‘Salwa Judum’ or ‘peace campaign’. This has been going on since June 2005, but due to a systematic black-out this has consciously not been reported in the mainline media. Except for a few fact finding reports, what at all has come in the press is only government propaganda.

The brutalities are horrifying. Young boys beheaded. Their severed heads stuck on the posts of their own houses. Women gang-raped, tortured and their breasts severed, pregnant women fetuses ripped open…and then left bleeding to die an agonizing death deep in the forests. Entire villages burnt down, crops destroyed and all the cattle/poultry robbed or killed. The people are herded into concentration camps — along the style of the “strategic hamlets” used by the US forces in Vietnam and other counter-insurgencies. They are living as slaves in these extremely unhygienic concentration camps doing forced labour for the police, Naga battalion and para-military for a pittance.

In an attempt to starve the revolutionary masses to surrender to the State at first they closed down all local weekly markets and then stopped supplying essential commodities, like rice, to the ration shops. As it is well known, the weekly markets are the sole economic lifeline for the Adivasi peasants, as it is in these markets that they sell their produce and purchase all their daily needs. Closing them down amounts to nothing but to cut off their lifeline and starve their families to death. So the State’s intention is very clear — either surrender or starve to death. In addition their crops were destroyed, their cattle looted and their houses and all material and food grain stocks destroyed. Already living a subsistence existence it is estimated that roughly Rs.15 crores of destruction has taken place. A huge mass of population face starvation, including women and children. And with Salwa Judum operations still continuing the situation is becoming hell.

The entire campaign is being led by the Congress Party leader of the Opposition with full support from the local BJP government. Both parties are hand-in-glove in this campaign of brutality and terror where para-military forces, lumpens, feudal elements, government officials and police have all ganged up in a systematic and well-planned campaign. Behind them stand the money-bags of big capital and the imperialists. This region is very rich in iron ore and the Tatas have already signed an MoU for land in this area. The Maoists have been vehemently opposing the displacement that takes place through such projects going under the signboard of ‘development’.

An appeal to the citizens of this country!

Dear friends, the only succour for the people is the support they get from the Naxalites in the forests who share their limited food with the displaced tribals. It is under these conditions that we appeal to you to lend a helping hand to the starving tribals who have faced inhuman brutalities, for the single reason that they have ‘stood up’ and refused to bend to the corrupt, exploitative and oppressive rule of the present system.

We appeal to you to lend a hand of support to this historic struggle going on in the very heart of India. This you can do in varied ways and even small contributions will be appreciated. You can come and lend your expertise by staying in the area for a few months, or contribute money, medicine and any other items that will be of use to the tribals and forces fighting there. We also request you to spread the message of what is taking place in the so-called largest democracy in the world, which is consciously being kept hidden from the public. It is important that the real truth reaches the people of the country and world at large.

We are grateful for your support.

Issued by

Raj Kishore

General Secretary

Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)

Contact: Email:rdfindia@gmail.com

Phones: +91+09417269294, 09416692452.

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