Monday, June 22, 2009

Naxals Scout for Techies

This story was given to me by Rituraj Mate who met Govindan Kutty the spokeperson for the Naxals a week before his arrest and asked me if I was interested in speaking to him too. I did a telephone interview with him and asked him to supply the document the naxals had prepared during their annual congress at an undisclosed location. After receiving the full document from Kutty, I asked my co-worker Niranjan Kaggere (who was very interested in doing this story with me), to read the document fully. After he had finished he was planning to do another angle for which I advised him to write that the Naxals are on the look for techies so that they could strengthen their hands and also get world attention on the click of a computer button. This story was discussed with K R Sreenivas the Resident Editor of Bangalore Mirror and then the final text was put to print on December 12, 2007.

Bangalore is one of the cities being targeted by naxals as a recruiting ground for tech-savvy urban comrades

Silicon city had better watch out. Its high tech an glitzy reputation of the country’s own home-grown terror movement. And it won’t be long before the red corridor along eastern India beats a path to Bangalore. Sources within the naxal movement said that a ‘tech’ overhaul of guerilla squads, with a focus on urban areas, is on the anvil.
It is not only techies whom the naxals aspire to rope in; they have ‘plans’ even for the medical fraternity. They party plans to grow networks of sympathizing doctors and hospitals where comrades can be treated. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror Govindan Kutty, a spokesman of the Communist Party (Maoists), said that despite recent setbacks, the movement would be reorganized and intensified.
Buttressing his remark are the ‘guidelines to guerrillas’ adopted at the party’s congress held recently at an undisclosed place, which talk of urban network in cities like Bangalore as a ‘back-up’ for guerrilla squads fighting in remote forest areas across the country.

Govindan Kutty with a friend during his service to the people in these pictures provided by him.

The pictures of the naxal carders during training with sophisticated weapons at undisclosed locations provided to me by Govindan Kutty.

Admitting that there has been a considerable setback in the party’s urbanization plans, Kutty philosophized, ‘setbacks, victories, defeats, up and downs have to be faced by any revolutionary movement.’
Almost echoing his statement the draft guidelines of the party mailed to this newspaper leaves one in no doubt about its urban agenda. ‘In the past 30 years, there has been a disregard towards the tasks of the urban movement. As per the ‘Policies of the Revolutionists’ findings of the ninth congress, the urban areas, with over 60 per cent of the gross domestic product and a huge population, have a growing role to play in the economy as well as in the revolution. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to quickly correct the imbalance.’
The CPI (Maoists) guidelines focus on urban areas with a large working class. The guidelines urge naxal activists to reorient and reorganize urban outfits, and call for urban and working-class ‘specialization’ (read, representation) in high level party committees. Cities in the party’s cross hairs are Bangalore, Ahmedabad-Pune corridor, Delhi, Chennai and the Coimbatore-Erode belt.
In a detailed e-mail, Kutty said, ‘There is a perception that Maoists are against developmental activities. If we were against development. People would not have supported us. Without development, the country cannot progress. But the question is: development for whom? ‘For MNC’s or a handful of traitors who mortgage out country for a song, or for the majority of common people?’
According to the guidelines, ‘Technical help from the cities will in the form of repairs and maintenance of fighting, communication and other equipment of the guerrillas of the PLA, and preparing comrades with technical, electrical, electronic and other engineering skills to take up the challenges in forest and rural areas.’
In other words, the common man’s perception that the naxal movement is restricted to rural and forest areas of the country may no more be relevant. Cities like Bangalore will increasingly be beach-heads for the comrades’ power through the gun’ Agenda.

Urban comrades with good technical skills are the essence of the party and the revolution, according to the guidelines. The idea is to provide working-class leadership an technical support for the people’s war in rural areas and remote places. Unorganized sectors like textile and small scale units – labouring under poor working conditions – are seen as potential recruiting grounds. As the guidelines put it, ‘We must distribute ourselves very well in key industries and set up a strong base.”

Naxals are furthering their agenda in cyber space too. They are banking on urban sympathizers with whose assistance they can track, counter and attack the ‘enemy’(read, the state) via the internet.

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