Wednesday, September 3, 2014
India - Interview with Varavara Rao
‘Government Waging War Against Maoists at the Behest of Corporates’
President of the Viplava Rachayitala Sangham and convenor of the Forum for Alternative Politics Varavara Rao, in an interview with Anil Kumar, speaks about the ‘Janata Sarkar’ being implemented in the Dandakaranya region and the Maoist movement in the country.
Q: What was the reason for floating the Forum for Alternative Politics?
A: The Forum for Alternative Politics was formed to unite all forces revolting against the global development model and to solve long-standing problems being faced by various sections of society. The forum will provide an alternative to existing politics.
Q: Is transition from the present political scenario to your proposal possible?
A: Certainly. In fact it is not transition but a revolution. We want to replicate the ‘Janata Sarkar’ concept which had been executed successfully in parts of the Dandakaranya region. The Peoples’ War Group (PWG) are constructing cement and concrete roads, setting up schools and providing medical facilities to tribals in the interior pockets of Bastar district of Chattisgarh. They are promoting ‘self-rule’ in these hamlets.
Q: At a time when the Communist movement is losing its sheen and has become weak in the country, will your proposed alternative gain acceptance?
A: Definitely. Communists have become weak not the revolutionists. In fact, they have emerged stronger in the last ten years. Maoist leadership is approaching the situation with a three-pronged strategy of creating awareness among suppressed sections in tribal belts, enhancing mass participation against the state and intensifying armed attacks. The party is already working towards liberating Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, parts of Orissa, Bihar and West Bengal. We believe that the Communists have been implementing neo-liberal policies. The CPM government in West Bengal had been implementing new economic policies for 30 years. We fought against them too.
Q: With the Modi government at the Centre, are you expecting any change in the Maoist policy?
A: Not at all. In fact, the Modi government is planning to launch a full-scale war against Maoist rebels and the people led by them in different parts of the country. The Centre has deployed large contingents of security personnel in parts of Central and Eastern India, including Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand. The Modi government is building a war-hysteria against Maoist rebels regardless of the fact that the attack would be directed against some of the most deprived people of the country. Indeed, this is turning into a war of the state against its own people.
The government’s impending war to evict tribal people from their villages is actually being fought at the behest of some big corporate bodies who want to control and plunder our resources. It is high time that we recognize this pattern of waging war in which poor fight on both sides and the benefits only reach capitalists and their supporters in the government. We can expect violent conflicts in the coming days between government forces and the Maoists.
Q: The TRS government recently announced that it would allot three acres of land and other benefits to the landless poor. Are these measures sufficient to alleviate poverty?
A: Our perspective is entirely different from what the TRS government is planning to do. They are planning to buy lands from landlords and distribute them among the landless. Whereas, our concept is to take back those lands which were illegally occupied by landlords and corporate bodies and distribute them free of cost to the landless poor. If one buys land and distributes it among the poor, only the landlords will stand to benefit and not the poor. Telanagana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao claims that his government had spent `142 crore to acquire 10,000 acres of land. The government should disclose from where and whom it had purchased the land.
Q: Your opinion on handing over of law and order of Hyderabad to the Governor and Polavaram?
A: We strongly oppose according special powers to the Governor on revenue and law and order of Hyderabad as it would indirectly empower to the Centre to control the common capital. KCR, by inviting big corporate bodies to invest in Telangana, was implementing the World Bank’s agenda. Telangana is a agrarian society and KCR is trying to convert it into Singapore which is neither possible nor advisable. KCR has sacrificed the interest of tribals for the sake of Telangana by allowing the merger of seven mandals of Bhadrachalam division of Khammam district into Andhra Pradesh. We are not in favour of projects which allow large-scale submergence of tribal areas
Q: Are you expecting support from the general public for your new initiative?
A: Certainly. The people are with us. They will definitely welcome our initiative as we are promoting self-rule and more powers to landless and oppressed sections of society.