Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Leaving 26 Dead and 6 Injured, the Naxal Encounter with Security Forces in Sukma, Sends Shivers Down the Spine of Bourgeois Political Establishment

- Rajesh Tyagi/ 25.4.2017

26 Jawans of a company of 74th Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been killed in an encounter with Naxalites in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh, last morning. The CRPF Company was deployed to oversee the construction of a road which Maoists had been resisting.

The attack is the second major Naxal attack in Sukma District of Chhattisgarh this year. The Media has put it as worst naxal attack in the last 7 years, drawing parallel with a similar attack 7 years before in which 76 CRPF personnel were killed.

In a separate attack carried out by Naxals at the same time, at least three CRPF jawans have been injured in Jharkhand’s Daltonganj, but the incident has paled in the background in the face of far bigger Sukma violence.

Since 2005, 1911 security personnel have lost lives in Naxal attacks.

The incident happened in the afternoon of Monday, April 24, at Kalapathar area of south Bastar region, which is close to the Chintagufa-Burkapal-Bheji axis, the hotbed of Naxal violence that has seen a number of such attacks in the past, resulting in high casualties.

At around 8.30 am, around 99 Jawans of 74 battalion of CRPF left the Durgpal camp and reached Chintagufa, where they divided themselves into two groups on both sides of the road. Their task was to oversee the sanitization of the road for construction work.

Around 150 Maoists, hiding in the nearby forests encircled the CRPF company and opened fire upon them after an IED blast around 12.25 pm, taking the CRPF personnel by surprise. Sophisticated weapons like AK-47 automatic rifles were used by the Naxalites in this attack. Most of these weapons were looted by Maoists from CRPF Jawans in March 12 attack.

Hidima, the tribal Maoist leader is stated to be the mastermind behind the attack. Women wing of the Naxalites was also part of the attack.

The company commander, Raghubir Singh, an Inspector rank officer, was among those killed. The Naxals have also looted over a dozen weapons from the slain CRPF personnel.

Airforce helicopters were called in and deployed to shift the injured to hospital in Raipur and clear the remains of the dead.

Shamefaced, the CRPF men have also boasted that they had fired upon and killed the Naxals but no trace of any evidence could be found on the spot to support such claim. In real hand to hand combats, the state security forces always remain on receiving end, as they remain habitual only of false encounters, of custodial tortures, and of firing upon the defenceless people from distance.    

The Naxal attack has sent shiver down the spine of Bourgeois political establishment, its leaders and parties.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Raman Singh, who was in Delhi at the time of the attack, forthwith cancelled his engagements in Delhi and rushed for Raipur to a meeting later in the day to take stock of the situation.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir will also visit Raipur today.

Bastar Inspector General, Vivekanand Sinha and DIG Sunder Raj have left for Sukma. Director General of the CRPF and senior officials will go to Raipur and further to Sukma Tuesday morning.

In his tweet message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the death of 26 security-men. Wishing speedy recovery for the injured, Modi condemned the killing of 26 CRPF personnel terming the attack ‘cowardly and deplorable’, and adding that ‘the sacrifice of the slain jawans won't go in vain’.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that, “No one would be spared. The government has taken it as a challenge”. "Extremely pained to know about killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs & condolences to their families. Spoke to MoS Home Hansraj Ahir about attack in Sukma, he is going to Chhattisgarh to take stock of the situation," Singh tweeted.

Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh said "Pray for their speedy recovery and well-being,"

Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India said, "Strongly condemn the attack on CRPF personnel in Chattisgarh; condolences to families of deceased & prayers for injured”.

Resonating similar views, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said “I am deeply pained”, adding that “the slain jawans' sacrifice should not go in vain”. "It is a classic case of mindless killing. There is no place for such things in democracy," he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiu said, “it was a very sad incident”, adding that “it was a big tragedy”.

The Congress Party has described the encounter killing of 12 CRPF personnel by Naxals as extremely unfortunate and called on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government to initiate appropriate counter action.

Addressing the media here, party spokesman Manish Tiwari said, "Extremely unfortunate. Hope government will act with alacrity. Hope government initiates appropriate action against people responsible for attack."

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said, "My sincere condolences to the families of CRPF personnel martyred in the attack in Sukma. We salute the sacrifice & courage of our brave-hearts."

De-hors to all usual rhetoric and rituals, none of the leader or party in power or in opposition has underscored the pathetic living conditions of the tribals dunked in extreme poverty and the day in and day out violence to which the tribals are subjected by the security forces of the state.

Apparently violent character of the recent conflicts between the state and the society in tribal areas, emerges out of the peculiar merger of irreconcilable contradictions of capitalism that had been absent in the past with the old social conflicts existing for decades and even centuries. The intrusion of big industry in the region, has completely eroded the social equilibrium. With new offensive of productive capital on forest lands, the tribals have become outcasts, alienated on the very lands they have lived upon for centuries.

The explosive situation in tribal regions is the outcome of peculiar development of capitalism in the country. Most modern and huge industry that includes large scale mining, hitherto unknown, is being installed right in the midst of the most backward socio-economic relations in tribal regions. The extreme backwardness of the Tribal is confronted overnight with the ultramodern achievements of capitalism, subjecting the tribal to a double yoke of loot and exploitation- of backwardness and of modernity. The consequences are horrendous!

This development is carried out in most merciless and inhuman manner primarily through seizing upon the tribal lands and other natural resources that had been the means of sustenance for the tribal for centuries. Thousands of acres of forest lands are handed out to mines, plants and industries owned by big Corporations. All resistance to this transfer, is met by brute police force.

The more resolutely tribals muster to defend themselves, the more brutal, predatory and ruthless means of repression are applied by the bourgeois state. As the fear of arrests, beatings and even bullets evaporates from the minds of tribals, gang rapes become the weapon of the mercenary forces. Savagery of the security forces knows no limit when it comes to repression of the poor, hapless tribal.

The response of the tribal to this brute force becomes violent when other measures of defence fail. The backwardness of the tribal finds echo of its desperation in the equally backward program of Maoism.

Desperation of the tribal, in its turn, is the direct result of the absence of any initiative or political struggle of the working class in the cities of the country that may hold any promise for the tribal for its liberation from the yoke of capitalism.   

Stalinists, trade-unionists of different shades and other pseudo-leftists, over a period of decades, have failed the working class and had been instrumental in disintegrating it completely as a political force. If Stalinist parties and leaders have done anything it is to bind the working class to the tail of bourgeois political establishment.

On the back of this dismantling of the working class and its struggles has grown the yeast of Maoism that has perpetuated and perfected the defeats of the working class by isolating it from the youth and the toilers, while completely turning their back upon it.

Rejecting the revolutionary potential of the industrial working class, its centrality in the impending revolution and the leading role of the city to lead the village behind it, Maoists propose a peasant based guerilla war in backward periphery. Their peasant perspective is essentially petty-bourgeois and nationalist and thus very limited in its political amplitude.

The narrow and sectarian petty-bourgeois nationalist program of Maoism can present no viable answer to the unlimited and perpetual war that bourgeoisie has unleashed to impose its predatory agenda in peripheries.

A tribal war, to whatever extent it may develop, cannot overturn the bourgeois state. At the most, it can weaken that state making it amenable to a forcible overturn by the revolution.

Unlike the city worker, whom advancing capitalism integrates and organises more and more, the tribal or peasant is hangover of the distant, pre-capitalist past, that gets disintegrated and disorganised with growth of capitalism. With each step forward of capitalism, its social weight gets diminished even more than its numerical strength does. 

Unlike the city worker, who can stop the nerve of capitalism through a strike, the tribal or even the peasant possesses no means to strangulate capitalism. Before capitalism, it is powerless.

Unlike the city worker, a tribal or peasant does not fight for a society of the future based upon modern property forms, i.e. nationalized property. The whole struggle of the tribal is historically and politically reactionary i.e. in defence of the old, archaic forms of property, tribal or peasant whatever.

In this reactionary and desperate struggle of the tribal or of the peasant, the Maoist finds the political ground for his own reactionary program.

We must not forget that this struggle of the tribal is not directed against any landlordism in the first instance, but against the modern bourgeoisie that is intruding upon the old societal and property relations with most modern conquests of capitalism- factory and automatic rifles- at hand.

Having said this, we fully recognise the revolutionary potential of tribal/peasant war but only if it is subordinated to the overall class struggle of the proletariat led by the working class. In the first instance it can create conditions for the victory of revolutionary forces through demoralisation of security forces of bourgeois establishment, secondly it would send revolutionary sparks to the city and can act as detonator to the class struggle in city and thirdly it can act as powerful lever to the city struggle that may catapult the proletariat to power.  

The war of the multi-million toilers against the regime of the capitalists and landlords can succeed only as a war led by the working class in cities and supported by the toiling mass in peripheries.

Tribal or peasant has two faces. If it follows the lead of the worker i.e. towards a revolution, it becomes revolutionary. If it takes to the lead of the bourgeois or petty bourgeois, in defence of the old society, it remains reactionary.

Marxists have no interest in defending the tribal or peasant forms of property and the societal relations based upon them. Marxists tell the tribal and peasant that the reactionary and desperate struggle against capitalism is doomed to fail sooner than later.

Therefore, the tribal or the peasant must support the political struggle of working class, aimed at forcible overthrow of capitalism and the whole society based on it and for establishment of a socialist society. This can be done only through seizure of power at the core cities, the nerve centers of capitalism by the working class, based upon an alliance between the workers, toilers and soldiers. 

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