Resistance

This blog is a mirrior site of resistanceindia.blogspot.com

Archive for the ‘Varava Rao’ Category

‘The movement will continue’: Varavara Rao

Posted by Indian Vanguard on October 29, 2007

Poet, professor and Marxist critic, Varavara Rao has been the face of the Naxalite movement in AP for almost four decades now. In an exclusive interview to Daipayan Halder, he spoke on ‘State terrorism’ and the status of the Naxalite movement in Andhra Pradesh

vv picture

Varavara Rao

Is the State becoming intolerant?
It is. The State has become the biggest terrorist. But in Andhra Pradesh, more than in any other state, atrocities have been the worst. If you are a Naxalite, a naxal sympathiser, an ideologue, or simply a civil rights activist, you can be put behind bars or killed in a fake encounter any time.

In 1992, for example, journalist Gulam Rasul wrote about a land scam in an Urdu daily. An additional DSP killed him in a fake encounter and branded him a Naxalite. His friend who was traveling with him in a scooter was also killed. Doctors working for the underprivileged, lawyers taking up the causes of the marginalised are being put behind bars. Civil liberties are being curbed like never before. Laxmi, a women’s rights activist, was killed in a fake encounter in 2005. Since 1969, more than 2,000 people have been killed in fake encounters.

But didn’t the previous Andhra Pradesh government want to negotiate with the Naxalites?
The peace talks between the government and the Naxalites broke down and the ban against them was re-imposed on August 17, 2005. This has led the cadre to look for alternative operational zones in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The repression started in the previous Telugu Desam regime and has been continued by the Congress government in pursuance of World Bank conditions.

he police launched a crackdown on Maoists on January 6, 2005, when it became clear that there was no meeting ground between the state government and the outfit. Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy was interested in going ahead with the second round of talks, slated for November 16, 2004, with the CPI (Maoist) and the CPI-ML (Janashakti), but senior police officers advised him against it.

Why did the talks fail?
Mainly because the government wanted Naxalites to lay down arms, while carrying on their political programmes and their propagating ideology. The Naxalites rejected this. Following a series of encounters, in which 10 Naxalites were killed in a week, the CPI (Maoist) and CPI-ML (Janashakti) announced on January 16, 2005 that they were pulling out of the peace process.

Is it hard to get the youth interested in Naxalism?
It is only the petty, bourgeoisie youth who are taking to the market economy. The marginalised youth, i.e. the Muslims, the Dalits and the tribals, are not swayed by the market forces because they can see that inequality is rising. They are attracted to the movement. But there is no campus culture today. You can get a degree through distance education without ever walking into a university campus. In a campus, there is scope for healthy political debates. That culture is dying.

But the Centre now says that Naxalism is a developmental issue and plans to address it as such
These are academic talks. (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh says it is a developmental issue, but he is also supporting SEZs. SEZs will displace people, take away their livelihoods. So the problems will persist. Look at what is happening at Nandigram, at Singur, at all other places.

Finally, what is the future of the Naxalite movement? Will it continue in the face of prosperity?
The movement will continue. The forces of liberalisation and globalisation have widened the gap between the haves and the have-nots. This has to be redressed.

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1130315&pageid=2

Advertisements

Posted in Interviews, Varava Rao | Leave a Comment »

All parties pursue our agenda: Varava Rao

Posted by Indian Vanguard on September 13, 2007


N. RAHUL

Interview with Varavara Rao, member of Revolutionary Writers’ Association.

P.V. Sivakumar

Varavara Rao raises anti-government slogans after being taken into custody on August 19, 2005.

Varavara Rao has been the face of the Marxist-Leninist movement and the revolutionary writers in Andhra Pradesh for nearly four decades. He has served several terms in jail in his political career beginning with the tribal struggle that took root in the State in Srikakulam following the Naxalbari movement. He was an emissary of the Maoists in the peace talks with the State government in 2004. In this interview, he spoke on naxalite activity in Andhra Pradesh. Excerpts:

What has led the Maoists to operate from outside Andhra Pradesh?

The State has resorted to repression against them just as it had always done in the past when a movement gained in strength. The breakdown of peace talks and the re-imposition of the ban on the CPI(Maoist) on August 17, 2005, led to the cadre looking for alternative operational zones in Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The party has made the thick forests of the two States and Jharkhand its base to carry on its activities.

Why, in your view, did the government tread the path of repression after choosing to negotiate with the naxalites?

The repression started in the previous Telugu Desam regime and has been continued by the Congress government in pursuance of World Bank conditions. The police launched a crackdown on Maoists on January 6, 2005, when it became clear that there was no meeting ground between the State government and the outfit. Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was interested in going ahead with the second round of talks, slated for November 16, 2004, with the CPI (Maoist) and the CPI-ML (Janashakti), but senior police officers advised him against it. He had even acknowledged that the talks were a good sign as they would help a section of the extremists join the mainstream.

Why did the talks fail?

Mainly, the government wanted naxalites to lay down arms while carrying on their political programmes and their propagating ideology. They [the naxalites] rejected this. Following a series of encounters, in which 10 naxalites were killed in a week, the CPI (Maoist) and CPI-ML (Janashakti) announced on January 16 [2005] that they were pulling out of the peace process, which was initiated following a ceasefire that both sides had agreed upon six months earlier.

The hostilities between the government and the naxalites touched a peak with the killing of Congress MLA C. Narsi Reddy at Narayanpet in Mahbubnagar district on August 15 [2005] at an Independence Day programme. The government clamped a ban on the Maoists on August 17 and two days later arrested me and my colleague G. Kalyan Rao. We were picked up because we were members of the Revolutionary Writers’ Association, which was also banned as a frontal organisation of the Maoists.

We were in jail until April 2006, though the ban on the association was relaxed within three months of its imposition. Our release was delayed because the government had, in the meantime, booked six cases against us.

What have been the successes, if any, of the talks?

There was a detailed discussion on 1.02 crore acres of surplus land in the State [to be distributed to the poor]. The land was divided into 35 categories. The CPI (Maoist) occupied five lakh acres, including two lakh acres in the plains. Now, the identified land is in everybody’s list, including the Chief Minister’s and the Left parties’. The CPI (Maoist) demanded distribution of three acres of land to each landless family and the setting up of a land commission with retired bureaucrat K.R. Venugopal as its chairman.

How strong is the naxalite movement in the State now?

The CPI (Maoist) planned a mass militant programme but could not succeed. It succeeded to a certain extent in the Andhra-Orissa Border area. Moreover, all political parties are now pursing the agenda fixed by the naxalites, at least for vote bank politics. It is a great victory for the naxal movement.

Posted in Interviews, Varava Rao | Leave a Comment »