Government and Media Disinformation about
the CPI(Maoist) and the Indian Revolution
India is a land of tremendous poverty, and tremendous exploitation and oppression of workers, peasants (small-scale farmers), women, minority nationalities, the lower castes, minority religious groups, and other sections of the people. When the people resist and fight back against this exploitation and oppression, they and their organizations are regularly vilified in campaigns of lies and disinformation by the ruling class and its government and media. This is particularly the case against those who seek to overthrow this system of exploitation and oppression entirely, the revolutionaries and their parties, and especially against the Maoists and the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
While such government and media campaigns of lies and disinformation have existed all along, recently they have been greatly expanded and intensified, as part of a new ruling class effort to wipe out the Maoists and revolutionary movement. While this new effort is primarily a military campaign directed at the Maoists and the masses, the government knows that it cannot be successful unless it also stops the growing levels of mass support for the Maoists and the revolution. It can’t possibly accomplish this by telling the truth about how Maoist revolutionaries arise from and work among the masses and support their interests, big and small, short-term and long-term. Thus the only thing left for the government and ruling class media to do is to spread lies about the revolutionaries.
The lies are many and varied. Individual revolutionaries and leaders of the masses are falsely accused of venal motives, crimes, and pursuit of their own private interests. Chhatradhar Mahato, for example, a leader of the adivasis in the Lalgarh village area of West Bengal, a mass movement which has been supported by the Maoists, has been falsely accused of being a rich absentee landlord himself in another locality. (See Mahato section below.) And all sorts of criminal activities including murders and rapes which occur, including many carried out by fascist gangs organized by the big landlords, or even by the “security forces” themselves, are falsely blamed on the CPI(Maoist). One recent case in point is the Amousi Massacre (see below).
There have in fact been a small number of incidents where the CPI(Maoist) or other revolutionary forces have inadvertently harmed or killed people who were actually part of the masses and not the enemy. One case occurred during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when some election poll workers were mistaken for paramilitary troops and killed in a bomb blast in the Lalgarh area. But when these very infrequent and unfortunate events do occur the CPI(Maoist) always accepts the blame, publicly admits its error, criticizes itself, and takes steps to try to prevent similar things from happening again. (See “On the Election Boycott Tactic of the Maoists: A Response by a Spokesperson of the CPI(Maoist)” for a discussion of this particular event.) It seems to us that the CPI(Maoist) party has already well demonstrated that part of what they understand to mean their responsibility to the people also means accepting full responsibility for their mistakes.
Consequently, when some new claim of outrageous behavior against the people is ascribed to the Maoists, and the Maoists themselves do not accept responsibility for it, it is reasonable to conclude that this is simply another episode in the continuing disinformation campaign of the government and ruling class media. We at BANNEDTHOUGHT.NET will do our best to investigate these claims and bring out the actual truth of the matter, whatever that may be. In each section below, the newest items are at the top.
General Articles on Disinformation About the Indian Revolution and the Maoists
- “PC [P. Chidambaram] Becomes the Flaming Arrowhead [against the Maoists], The Telegraph Oct. 11, 2009. This article speaks openly about the orchestration of a “gathering storm” of propaganda and psychological warfare in preparation for the launching of the military war against the Maoists. PDF Version (190 KB) MS Word Version (160 KB)
Operation Green Hunt — The new massive and long-term military campaign against the adivasi uprising and the Maoists. Such campaigns designed to suppress the masses always include all sorts of lies and distortions, starting with—in this case—a denial that the campaign even exists (!), even though everyone already knows better.
- “Cops in the Soup over Maoist Arrest”, Times of India, Jan. 22, 2010. About police lies in claiming that arrested girls were “Maoists”, and other fabrications. PDF format (85 KB); MS Word format (31 KB)
- “Maoists Threaten to Kill Politicians’ Kin”, The Times of India, Nov. 19, 2009. The title and first sentence of this article claim that the Maoists have threatened to kill the kin of officers, ministers and politicians. An attempt is made to support this claim by quoting what they consider to be the most alarming sentences from a recent statement by Gopal of the CPI(Maoist). But none of these sentences say anything whatsoever about attacking anyone’s families. This is clearly just another attempt to whip up war hysteria against the Maoists and the tribal peoples in support of the “Operation Green Hunt” military assault. PDF Version (136 KB) MS Word Version (29 KB)
- “Operation Green Hunt: CoBRA Forces Being Flown In”, The Times of India, Nov. 7, 2009. Refutes the government claim that Operation Green Hunt “does not exist”. PDF format (97 KB); MS Word format (29 KB)
- “Indian government denies the existence of Operation Green Hunt”, TV5 MetroNews [Hyderabad] short video news clip, Nov. 8, 2009. This is apparently a bit of disinformation on the part of the Central government designed to deflect criticisms from intellectuals and human rights groups alarmed at the prospect of a military attack against India’s own citizens, and possibly also an attempt to hold down any expectations that any great success can be expected in the campaign early on. Available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7Rx-wWc33U
Gyaneshwari Express Derailment — On Friday, May 28, 2010, the Gyaneshwari (or Jnaneswari) Express, a high-speed passenger train derailed and collided with a freight train going the opposite direction on a parallel track. This disaster occurred near the Sardiha railway station in West Bengal. This derailment and collision was apparently caused by sabotage to the rails, and led to the deaths of around 150 people and the injury to at least a couple hundred more people. The reactionary political forces and media in India immediately claimed that this was the work of the CPI(Maoist) and/or the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPC). These claims were picked up and repeated over and over all around the world by anti-communist news media. There was no real evidence presented in these hundreds of accusatory articles, and many of them even had some of the basic facts about the incident wrong. (Many of the initial reports claimed that the “Maoists” had “blown up” the rail line, but there was no evidence of any explosion let alone Maoist involvement.)
- “Condemn the Conspiracy of the Ruling Classes and the Media Hysteria to Implicate Maoists in the Jnaneswari Express Tragedy”, a press statement by Azad for the Central Committee of the CPI(Maoist), June 1, 2010, 2 pages. PDF format (118 KB); MS Word format (32 KB)
- “Both the CPI(Maoist) and PCAPA have denied their involvement in the Friday train derailment”, a statement on May 29, 2010, by G. N. Saibaba of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), which also includes the English translations of a denial statement by Prasum Acharyya of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(Maoist), and a newspaper report with several other denials by Maoist and PCAPA leaders. PDF Version (80 KB) MS Word Version (37 KB)
The Amousi Massacre — On or about Sept. 29, 2009, a criminal gang killed 16 people, including 5 children, in the village of Amousi (or Amausi, or Icharwa-Amousi) in Bihar’s Khagaria District. This massacre was immediately blamed on the “Maoists” by the government and media. The articles below include just a few of the barrage of false accusations, and then a few articles with grudging admissions that later appeared which showed that the whole attribution of the crime to the CPI(Maoist) was a complete fabrication. Of course these eventual admissions received far less publicity than the initial lies, and moreover they also include new unsupported or false accusations!
- “Carnage is Work of Goons, says Naxalite”, The Times of India, Oct. 6, 2009. PDF Version (66 KB) MS Word Version (30 KB)
- Police Now Admit that Bihar Killers were Criminals, Not Maoists, Hindustan Times, Oct. 4, 2009. PDF Version (116 KB) MS Word Version (32 KB)
- “Doesn’t Look Like Our Op, Says Top Maoist”, The Times of India, Oct. 4, 2009. PDF Version (49 KB) MS Word Version (29 KB)
- “Land Row Sparks Maoist Carnage in Bihar”, Hindustan Times, Oct. 2, 2009. PDF Version (194 KB) MS Word Version (37 KB)
- “Maoist Rebels Kill 16 Villagers in Eastern India”, AFP, Oct. 2, 2009. PDF Version (180 KB) MS Word Version (33 KB)
- “India Must Check Maoist Menace”, an editorial from the Gulf News, Oct. 2, 2009. PDF Version (91 KB) MS Word Version (29 KB)
Chhatradhar Mahato (tribal leader in the Lalgarh area). Shortly after he was arrested by the police for being a “Maoist leader” [which itself was a lie] the police claimed that Mahato had a huge insurance policy and owned large amounts of land as an absentee landowner (supposedly showing that he was rich and not the poor adivasi he said he was), and that he possessed illegal weapons. It turns out that all these claims were outright blatant lies. The articles of Oct. 18 and Nov. 14, 2009 below clearly demonstrate how the police were lying in this case.
- “Chhatradhar Mahato Responds to Mamata Banerjee”, Sanhati.com, Jan. 24, 2010. Refutes the attempt to blacken his character by the Trinamool Congress leader. PDF format (169 KB); MS Word format (130 KB)
- “Police Hyped Top Maoist’s Insurance Coverage”, IndianExpress.com, Nov. 14, 2009. [Note that even while exposing numerous other lies about Mahato, this ruling-class media article perpetuates the more basic lie that this adivasi leader is a “top Maoist”!] PDF Version (188 KB) MS Word Version (31 KB)
- “Answering the Lies about Chhatradhar Mahato”, statement by the CRPP, circa Oct. 18, 2009. PDF Version (134 KB); MS Word Version (49 KB)
People’s March. There has also been considerable government/media disinformation with regard to the publication People’s March, which reports on the revolutionary struggle in India. The magazine was officially banned in December 2007, and P. Govindan Kutty, the editor of its English edition was arrested. After several months he was released, and after a difficult and expensive 9-month struggle the ban on the magazine was officially lifted in August 2008. The bourgeois press dutifully reported that the magazine was no longer banned, and was free to publish again. However, they did not report on many obstacles that still remained for Kutty in trying to publish the magazine again, including the difficulty in finding a printer willing to take a risk and print it. Moreover, the media also took the opportunity to try to blacken Kutty’s name by falsely claiming he had murdered his wife (even though she was still alive and well). Worse yet, in October 2009—after the ban on the magazine had been lifted, the West Bengal the police arrested Swapan Dasgupta, the editor of the Bengali version of People’s March, and Sadananda Singh, its publisher, for publishing a “banned magazine”. As of late December 2009 these two people are still in jail, as the article below finally admitted!
- “After Lift of Ban on Maoist ‘Mouthpiece’, Editor, Publisher Held in Jail”, IndianExpress.com, Dec. 16, 2009. PDF Version (187 KB) MS Word Version (31 KB)
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