The following analysis by David Hungerford is from Fight Back! News:
On April 6 a battle in India’s Dantewada district claimed the lives of 76 government security personnel. A patrol of 80 soldiers was attacked by a 300-person detachment of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA), military wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Eight communists were also killed in the battle.
Most of the government personnel who died were members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF.) 15 were members of the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA.) These forces are organized in battalions, that is, military formations. The distinction between police and soldiers is only technical.
The communists are following the strategy of people’s war in the countryside. The strategy is to surround and eventually capture the cities. The goal is to overthrow the existing government and oppressor classes, bring about a new democratic revolution and the revolutionary transformation of society.
Since October of last year as many as 250,000 troops have been engaged in Operation Green Hunt in communist-held base areas of central India. Dantewada is in the state of Chattisgarh. When Interior Minister P. Chidambaram announced Operation Green Hunt, there was an uproar that the government would declare war on its own people, even going so far as to call it a “hunt,” and conducted by forces called CoBRAs, Greyhounds, Jaguars, and the like. Since then Chidambaram has been pretending there is no such thing as Operation Green Hunt.
Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army, on the other hand, are drawn from and fight for the oppressed masses. About 45% of them are women. Estimates of their numbers range from 90,000 to 150,000.
The authorities are calling their defeat in Dantewada a “massacre,” “murder,” an act of “brutality,” and the like. They are talking nonsense. Their soldiers were on patrol. They were looking for a fight. A fight found them. The Communists had planned their attack for months. In its April 12 issue Time Magazine said it was carried out with “fierce precision”.
The People’s Union for Democratic Rights, a civil liberties and democratic rights organization based in Delhi, said in a statement that, “Since war remains the preferred option of the Indian government they have no one else but themselves to blame if and when combatants die.”
Before the April 6 battle the CRPF and CoBRAs were considered elite units. Now there is a lot of grumbling about poor training, weapons and morale. Now, say the authorities, they will get serious with the Maoists. They have been saying that for years.
The General Secretary of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) is known as Ganapathy. He has been the most wanted man in India for a long time but he is available to the people. In January he gave an interview to Jan Myrdal and Gautam Navlakha. He said, concerning Operation Green Hunt, “This war is meant for destroying the revolution which is gradually emerging as an alternative political power to the existing reactionary political power in the country…They are imposing this war on those who are against this war, i.e. Maoist revolutionaries, Adivasi and local people of the vast forest areas, workers, peasants, urban middle class, small and medium bourgeoisie, Dalit, women, religious minorities and oppressed nationalities, democratic organizations, progressive and patriotic forces who comprise more than 95% of the population…This war is imposed by the Comprador Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie, Feudal forces of this country and imperialists, particularly America. These are real looters, plunderers, corrupters, blackmailers, hoarders, scamsters, murderers, conspirators, oppressors, suppressers, autocrats, fascists, most reactionaries and number one traitors…”
“People will completely oppose this unjust, most cruel, inhumane and treacherous war. It will be defied by all people of our country and people of world. This unjust war is totally against the interest of the people and the interest of the country. People will unite and counter this unjust war by waging a just war. People will never tolerate any kind of unjust war. In the history of entire class society people never tolerated any kind of unjust war for ever but they fought back every unjust war by paying price of their own blood and ultimately won it…If we look at the political developments of the country, this inhumane all-out war is giving a tremendous scope to unite vast masses of people and certainly it will become counter productive to the ruling classes.”
After the battle, Interior Minister Chidambaram said, “I think we should, while we grieve the dead, hold our nerve and continue to do what we are doing.” He will surely only succeed in doing what Ganapathy said: Give a tremendous scope to unite vast masses of people – against himself and the oppressor classes.