Revealing Press Report: On the Maoist Revolutionaries of India


Obviously this report is not from our perspective — but it is, nonetheless, revealing of the situation and possibilities.

Transcripts (thanks to D Pugh):

Here is a transcript of Radha’s comments if you don’t have time to watch this 30 minute video.

India’s Battle against Its Maoists
by Nick Clark, Inside Story, Al Jazeera

Full map of the Maoist Red Corridor (note: Nepal is at the northern edge of that corridor)

India says it’s adamant to finish off what it calls “leftist extremism” as its army prepares for an all-out assault on Maoist rebels. . . . The conflict between the two sides has been going on for more than four decades, and now the government hopes an all-out assault would end the insurgency once and for all. It’s expected some troops will be withdrawn from the troubled Kashmir to fight the so-called Naxalites in an operation of more than 100,000 troops. . . . The Maoists have been active since the 1960s. According to the Indian intelligence, up to 22,000 Maoist rebels are active in more than half of the country’s 29 states, creating what’s known as the “Red Corridor” from the country’s northeast to the deep south. The movement is fragmented into several disputing factions: some of them are politically inclined, while others are involved in armed guerrilla fighting. In recent years, they’ve dramatically stepped up their attacks; thousands have died in Maoist campaigns right across the country. They say they are fighting for the rights of the poor, but the Indian government considers them terrorists and recently banned their political wing from Parliament. . . .

Radha D’Souza, Reader in Law, University of Westminster

Yes, the Indian government is throwing resources at it. One only wishes that the resources were thrown at the issues that Maoists are raising. If you look at the national debate on this issue, everybody, across the political spectrum, agrees that there has been a serious failure of social justice, of development, and serious injustices to the poor. On this I think everybody agrees. But the thing is, what are we doing about it? Instead of sending the armed forces there, if the government were to spend that money in actually doing something for the people there, I think they will have less of a problem on hand, but they’re not doing that. They see the military solution as the only option. . . .

This operation, what is called the “Green Hunt,” has been planned for one year now. They were planning to send 20,000 troops. 35,000 troops are already there. This is on top of 75,000 to 100,000 paramilitary forces, like the border security force and others, who have already been deployed there. Plus the state police. Every state police is a pretty large force. . . .

I know that, some years ago, the Andhra Pradesh High Court — I’m not talking about intellectuals here — the High Court said that, increasingly, people are seeing Naxalism as their only political option. In 2006, the Planning Commission set up a special committee — the Planning Commission is an advisory body to the federal government — the Planning Commission said that there is institutionalized violence against the poor. Now, the point is, when these, the government’s own advisory bodies, are saying this, when the judges of the High Court are saying this, what was the government’s response? They set up on a trial basis, they tried to set up, the militia group called Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh, which was financed and trained by the paramilitary forces and the state. Actually, the Supreme Court had to say in a recent judgment that the government can’t arm paramilitary forces. Therefore, having failed in that attempt to privatize terror and to privatize repression, they have now had to directly come into confrontation. The point is that these are the issues that have been raised for a long time, but the government cannot deal with it in any other way, because democratic political spaces in the country have shrunk. We talk about violence and Maoists, with regard to the Maoists, but look at all political parties in India: the BJP engages in violence; we have the memories of Gujarat and all the atrocities against Muslims fresh in our minds; we have Shiv Sena, which engages in violence; we have a large number of Members of Parliaments who engage in violence. . . .

[The Maoist] movement operates within the violent context of India’s political environment, and today the reality is that it is not possible for people, for ordinary people, to engage in the political process if they do not have the support of some armed militia or some armed group somewhere. The BJP, as I said, has a number of MPs in Parliament with criminal record. It has been a longstanding debate. The point is all political processes have been criminalized, they have become violent, and India has become increasingly a violent society. . . .

Mamata Dash, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers:

It is a political issue, and it has to be dealt with politically. Staging or waging a war against whether Maoists or resistances brings no solution.

Radha D’Souza:

You can’t fight your own people. That is a fair point. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a lawyer — my obligation is to defend the Constitution. The Constitution says the institutions of the state are obliged in the first instance to enforce the Constitution, which says that we will strive for justice, social, economic, and political. That’s what the Indian Constitution says. It doesn’t just say Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; it defines what justice means, and justice is social, economic, and political. Now, when, for sixty years, the people have not seen any of that, and when we find that political space is shrinking and that political means for alternate solutions have not worked for whatever reasons, and, on the one hand, the government is sending the military — look at today — the government is sending the military one the one hand, on the other hand, it has enacted the Special Economic Zones Act, which is going to acquire land in 552 Special Economic Zones throughout the country, it has nominated land acquisition for nuclear plants in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and so many other places, and now it has introduced a new bill on the Land Acquisition Act, which is going to redefine the meaning of “public purpose” for land acquisition. . .

As far as social statistics are concerned, we have seen an alarming rise in malnutrition. I think if the government is serious about engaging with this issue politically and serious about its claim to do social justice, first it must demonstrate that it is serious by taking some concrete action. For example, most of the recent struggles are around land and the Special Economic Zones Act. Let them repeal that act, let them withdraw it, let them withdraw the bill on the Land Acquisition Act, and then the nation will know that they are serious about political justice and that they can come forward to engage with the process. But they are not doing anything.

On the one hand, they’re sending the military; on the other hand, they’re having more and more legislation to take more and more land. Why should people believe in that? This is the problem because we talk about economic issues in a separate box and we talk about military issues in a separate box. Simultaneously the government is doing both things. It is saying that they are for social justice, but it is introducing legislation and now the current bill pending. Let them withdraw all these things. Let them demonstrate that they are serious about social justice.

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Pakistan ahead of India in literacy rate: UN


UNITED NATIONS: A United Nations agency UNFPA has said in its report that India lags behind Pakistan in literacy rate as the literacy rate here in Pakistan is much more higher than that of its rival neighbor.

According to report, total 32.3 percent male while 60.4 percent female aged above 15 years are literate in Pakistan,

But however, on the contrary to aforementioned calculation, there are only 23.1 percent male and 45.5 percent female aged over 15 years enjoy education in India.

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Pope says He is more concerned about Christains in Iraq & India


Vatican Pope Benedict XVI called on Sunday, the governments and religious leaders of Iraq and India to protect Christian minorities where they have been ill treated. Addressing the gathered people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly blessing, the pope said Christians were suffering too much because of the minority especially in these two nations and he also said this Christmas is Exacerbated. ” I call the attention of the international community, of religious leaders and of all people of goodwill to the tragedy that is happening in certain countries of the east where Christians are victims of intolerance and cruel violence, killed, threatened and forced to abandon their homes and roam in search of refuge,” he said. At this moment all his thought were about India and Iraq. More than half a people of Iraq were dislocated due to the recent attacks on northern region. In India due to the killing of VHP leader turned attacks on Christians. It wooes him too much He said. “They are not asking for privileges, but desire only to be able to continue to live in their country together with their fellow citizens, as they have always done,” he said.

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Bureaucracy stalls $800m hydel project


By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD: Amid a controversy over expensive rental power projects, a $800 million foreign investment for cheap hydroelectric power generation is unlikely to materialise mainly because of bureaucratic wrangling, despite full support extended by federal and Azad Kashmir governments.

This comes at a time when the federal government is finding it difficult to lure foreign investment to meet growing energy shortfalls and is approaching world capitals to secure supplies of oil, natural gas and liquefied gas for power generation at much higher prices, involving massive outflow of foreign exchange. Background interviews and official documents available with Dawn suggest that after pursuing the 500-MW Mahl power project at home and abroad for almost four years now, the process ‘has been stopped altogether.’

The sources said Korea’s leading public sector investors, after having paid relevant government fees and other expenses, were literally running from federal to AJK governments through direct and diplomatic channels seeking permission to proceed with the construction of 500-MW Mahl Hydropower project for which they had been selected by the government through international competitive bidding. The main hurdle, the sources said, was that a senior official of the federal government, who would be reaching retirement age soon, wanted the $800 million project on the River Jhelum in Azad Kashmir to be developed in the public sector so he could become the project director.

Informed sources said that senior bureaucrats were clearly changing their goal posts and have now informed the Korean investors that the government had failed to finalise relevant procedures under the power policy announced in 2002 and under which they had called international bids and made selections.

The sources said a ceremony for the signing of a memorandum of understanding to allow Kapco, Kompico and Sambu Construction of Korea was cancelled at the eleventh hour, although the chairman of the Board of Investment, the ministry of finance and the prime minister of Azad Kashmir had given their consent. AJK chief secretary Khalid Sultan said: ‘I cannot say anything about the project because there is nothing that could be talked about.’ When asked why was the project being stopped at an advanced stage, he said that some people with vested interest were responsible; misleading (the media) about the project. ‘You better bring them to my office.’

Secretary electricity Azad Kashmir Iqbal Mohiuddin, however, confirmed in writing that the project had been advertised for development under power generation policy of 2002 and six firms, including Korean firms, had been registered.

However, since the approved mechanism for development of hydropower projects under public-private partnership was not available, the project could not be processed further, although the AJK government had instructed to ‘proceed further for the development of the project’ through the assistance of the federal finance ministry. Interestingly, BoI chairman Saleem Mandviwala, briefed the Azad Kashmir prime minister at a meeting that no dam could be constructed in the country despite investment interests shown by many foreign companies, especially by the Koreans.

In the meeting, chairman Wapda told the participants that ‘if companies like Sambu/Kompico are interested to develop and invest in this project on built, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis, Wapda has no objection whatsoever and would rather facilitate them in the light of the Energy Policy.’

Documents suggest that before the signing of an MoU, the AJK prime minister and his technical team and chairman of the Board of Investment visited South Korea for on-ground inspection of the facilities of Kapco, Kompico and Sambu which were producing 84,000 megawatts of hydro, nuclear and thermal electricity.
Subsequently, the Pakistan embassy in Seoul arranged an MoU signing ceremony.

In a communication to the government, representatives of the Korean companies claimed that it had been jointly decided that AJK chief secretary would represent the AJK government at the signing ceremony. But he regretted at the eleventh hour to attend the ceremony that ‘was embarrassing for the chairman BoI and Pakistan’s ambassador in Korea to decline to sign the MoU.’

The AJK electricity secretary said the project had been taken up again before the Hydro Electricity Board (HEB) and it was decided that the project would be developed in collaboration with Wapda and hence it could not be allotted to any investor without completion of procedures laid down in the 2002 policy, although the bids had been invited under the same policy.

‘On the other hand, this project could be implemented in private sector through Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) under the 2002 policy.’

The sources said the Korean companies had written protest letters to the ministry of foreign affairs, the AJK prime minister and other relevant forums and asked for independent investigations into the issue to protect relations between the two countries.

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Failed state? Try Pakistan’s M2 motorway


By Alistair Scrutton

Pakistan's M2 motorway

Pakistan's M2 motorway

For sheer spotlessness, efficiency and emptiness there is nothing like the M2 in the rest of South Asia. –File Photo

If you want a slice of peace and stability in a country with a reputation for violence and chaos, try Pakistan’s M2 motorway. At times foreign reporters need to a give a nation a rest from their instinctive cynicism. I feel like that with Pakistan each time I whizz along the M2 between Islamabad and Lahore, the only motorway I know that inspires me to write.

Now, if the M2 conjures images of bland, spotless tarmac interspersed with gas stations and fast food outlets, you would be right. But this is South Asia, land of potholes, reckless driving and the occasional invasion of livestock.

And this is Pakistan, for many a ‘failed state.’ Here, blandness can inspire almost heady optimism.

Built in the 1990s at a cost of around $1 billion, the 228-mile motorway — which continues to Peshawar as the M1 — is like a six-lane highway to paradise in a country that usually makes headlines for suicide bombers, army offensives and political mayhem.

Indeed, for sheer spotlessness, efficiency and emptiness there is nothing like the M2 in the rest of South Asia.

It puts paid to what’s on offer in Pakistan’s traditional foe and emerging economic giant India, where village culture stubbornly refuses to cede to even the most modern motorways, making them battlegrounds of rickshaws, lorries and cows.

There are many things in Pakistan that don’t get into the news. Daily life, for one. Pakistani hospitality to strangers, foreigners like myself included, is another. The M2 is another sign that all is not what it appears in Pakistan, that much lies hidden behind the bad news.

On a recent M2 trip, my driver whizzed along but kept his speedometer firmly placed on the speed limit. Here in this South Asian Alice’s Wonderland, the special highway police are considered incorruptible. The motorway is so empty one wonders if it really cuts through one of the region’s most populated regions.

‘130, OK, but 131 is a fine,’ said the driver, Noshad Khan.

‘The police have cameras,’ he added, almost proudly. His hand waved around in the car, clenched in the form of a gun.

On one of my first trips to Pakistan. I arrived at the border having just negotiated a one-lane country road in India with cows, rickshaws and donkey-driven carts.

I toted my luggage over to the Pakistan side, and within a short time my Pakistani taxi purred along the tarmac. The driver proudly showed off his English and played US rock on FM radio. The announcer even had an American accent. Pakistan, for a moment, receded, and my M2 trip began.

Built in the 1990s by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, it was part of his dream of a motorway that would unite Pakistan with Afghanistan and central Asia.

For supporters it shows the potential of Pakistan. Its detractors say it was a waste of money, a white elephant that was a grandiose plaything for Sharif.

But while his dreams for the motorway foundered along with many of Pakistan, somehow the Islamabad-Lahore stretch has survived assassinations, coups and bombs.

A relatively expensive toll means it is a motorway for the privileged. Poorer Pakistanis use the older trunk road nearby tracing an ancient route that once ran thousands of miles to eastern India. The road is shorter, busier and takes nearly an hour longer.

On my latest trip, I passed the lonely occasional worker in an orange suit sweeping the edge of the motorway in a seemingly Sisyphean task. A fence keeps out the donkeys and horse-driven carts.

Service centres are almost indistinguishable from any service station in the West, aside perhaps from the spotless mosques.

The real Pakistan can be seen from the car window, but in the distance. Colourful painted lorries still ply those roads. Dirt poor villagers toil in brick factories, farmers on donkey carts go about their business.

Of course, four hours of mundane travel is quite enough.

Arriving in Lahore, the road suddenly turns into South Asia once again. Dust seeps through the open car window, endless honks sound, beggars knock on car windows. The driver begins again his daily, dangerous battle for road supremacy.

As Pakistan unveils itself in all its vibrancy, it is exciting to be back. But you can’t help feel a tinge of regret at having experienced, briefly, a lost dream.

‘Motorway good — but Pakistan,’ Noshad said at the last petrol station before we entered Lahore.

‘Terrorism, Rawalpindi,’ he added, referring to the latest militant attack on a mosque in the garrison town which killed dozens. —Reuters

UK Group Proposes Using Carbon Offsets to Stop Poor From Breeding


Carbon hysteria reaches its logical conclusion

The Optimum Population Trust (OPT), a UK-based “think tank” and registered charity, has launched a new initiative urging wealthy members of the developed world to participate in carbon offsets that fund programs for curbing the population of developing nations. The scheme is being promoted as a more cost-effective way to reduce CO2 emissions than investing in alternative energy sources and offers a way for elitist racists to feel ethical in their quest to exterminate the third world masses.

A BBC News article on the proposal dutifully reports the OPT’s proposal and their justifications for proposing it. They note that the program is designed to fund “contraception” programs in poor nations, a term that helpfully obscures the fact that such programs—including those run by FPA, one of the agencies listed as a supporting organization of this new program—have used bribes to get poor men and women to volunteer for sterilization. The article does, however, allow space for a detractor of the proposal to point out that even if one does accept that limiting carbon emissions is necessary (which it is not), the focus on limiting emissions of people in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is in itself nonsensical: “Carbon emissions from people in much of sub-Saharan Africa are so low that they can barely be counted.”

What this error exposes, however, is not that the OPT has set its sights on the wrong target. In fact, they are simply introducing the idea as a politically expedient precedent which will eventually be expanded to include the developed world as well. Indeed, this is merely the latest such proposal from the group, which has previously said that the world’s population must be cut by as much as half and the UK’s population reduced to as little as 17 million in order to reach “sustainable levels.” The group’s patrons include world renowned environmental campaigners, academics and media figures like Jane Goodall, James Lovelock and Sir David Attenborough.

One patron of the Optimum Population Trust who stands out is Jonathon Porritt, a well-known baronet and a green campaigner who advises the likes of Prince Charles on environmental matters. He has long argued the link between “environmental sustainability” and enforced abortions. He once claimed to be “unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate.” He is also on the board of BBC Wildlife magazine, perhaps explaining why BBC News tends to treat every pronouncement from the OPT as if it were a major policy announcement (see this and this and this for starters).

Another prominent OPT patron is Paul Ehrlich, George W. Bush’s chief science advisor and co-author (with his wife, Anne, and Obama’s science advisor, John P. Holdren) of Ecoscience, a 1977 textbook that outlined in painstaking detail the various measures that the governments of the world could take to confront the “problem” of population, from forced abortions and one-child policies to mass sterilization of the populace through the contamination of the water supply. One representative passage reads:

“The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

With such patrons in its ranks, it is hardly surprising that the group would endose a plan to sterilize the poor in the name of reducing carbon emissions. Of course, the green rhetoric of “sustainability” and “carbon reduction” is only the latest garb for a very old ideology, eugenics, a 19th century junk science which concluded that the human race consisted of genetically “superior” and “inferior” breeds. Unsurprisingly, this long-since discredited hucksterism, invented by an inbred group of British gentlemen scientists concluded that inbred British gentlemen scientists were the master race and everyone else was expendable.

When the Jewish holocaust exposed the eugenics cult for the genocidal ideology that it is, the once-thriving eugenics societies had to go underground. Some did this by merely changing their name: the British Eugenics Society became the Galton Institute in 1989, for example. Others changed their focus. The American Eugenics Society morphed into the Population Council, a group formed by John D. Rockefeller III, and refocused its attention on the problem of overpopulation and sustainability. Under the cloak of “scientific” research into the discredited Matlhusian bunkum of overpopulation. In latter years, this merged quite nicely with the now discredited junk science of “manmade global warming” to provide a perfect front for the eugenicists.

If any further evidence were needed that the green rhetoric of carbon offsets were merely another front for the rabidly racist ideology of eugenics, perhaps the clearest indication can be found on the Galton Institute home page. Here, the group that once openly called itself a eugencis society brags that one of its main functions is to serve as a funding vehicle for Marie Stopes International, an organization whose founder was a rabid racist who advocated sterilization of non-whites and the poor.

And the eugenicist’s agenda rolls on…