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Kishenji: An Indian Patriot And Hero For All Times

By Trevor Selvam

25 November, 2011

Kishenji, the Maoist guerilla commander who was killed two days ago by the Joint Forces of the West Bengal Police Force and the Counter Insurgency Force deployed by Mamata Banerjee, organized the working poor of India’s tribal and Adivasi belt for thirty four years. He was there in the mountains, the villages, the forests of India, building mass organizations, organizing village defense forces, setting up a peoples’ militia and then the rudiments of a liberation army amongst the peasantry of that region. Kishenji, an engineering graduate and longtime communist activist, survived with the support of the local villagers and was able to build the Maoist organization by leaps and bounds, for the past decade. The world needs to know about this man.

The former rulers of Bengal, the CPI(“Marxists”) did not like Kishenji and made every attempt to eliminate him. They came very close to doing so, but each time he was able to evade the security forces. The State Forces of India led by Mr. PC Chidambaran had tried everything in their capacity to murder him, under one pretext or the other. The entire mass media of India, never stopped referring to him as a “terrorist.” Mamata Banerjee, smug as she sounds these days and deliberately provocative, lied and spoke through both sides of her mouth, when she asked for a judicial inquiry into the killing of Azad, the Politburo member of the Maoists. (Azad was arrested by India’s security forces in Nagpur and then taken into the forests of Andhra and shot dead in an “encounter.” The Indian Police Forces have earned worldwide infamy for the way they blatantly lie and kill militants in cold blood after arresting them.) Mamata Banerjee even insisted on the withdrawal of the Joint Forces from Jungle Mahal, in her election Manifesto. Then she went back on her word after she was elected. If there was ever a two timing liar in Bengal politics, Mamata Banerjee wins the award, hands down. Surrounded by a flock of sycophantic grease balls, Mamata Banerjee has exposed her hollow pronouncements about “bringing back democracy” to Bengal, within a short span of six months, by unleashing the Joint Forces on the Maoists and the people of Jungle Mahal.

From organizing the Lalgarh movement alongside his comrades in various mass movements and developing a tremendous savvy with the media, Kishenji was a stalwart Indian revolutionary, who dedicated his entire life to “serving the people.” He was responsible with his comrades, to set up the rudiments of peoples’ court, rural schooling systems, irrigation ditches, mobile hospitals and dispensaries.

Now, he did not have a fierce and handsome visage like Che Guevara, who fought only about fifteen to eighteen years in the jungles of Cuba, Angola and Bolivia, with relatively sophisticated arms including armored carriers and battle tanks at some point. Kishenji’s pictures are sparse, always with his head covered by a shawl to conceal his identity. He will never be known as widely as Che—but here was an Indian hero who fought till the end for his people, AK-47 by his side. He was neither a romantic, nor a demagogue. He simply was a mature revolutionary who needs to be remembered.

In this world, chock full of theories of change, ideological confusion, flawed movements and asinine sanctification of non-violence, (while structural violence is left ignored), Kishenji was a warrior for peace.

Trevor Selvam is a frequent contributor to Countercurrents




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