I just received terrible news. On the heels of Dr. Binayak Sen’s life sentence for sedition (which in his case was simply providing medical care to Naxal prisoners in jail, exposing the Indian government’s funding of anti-Naxal death squads which had been terrorizing the general population, and exposing the fabrication of ‘encounters’ between police and ‘Naxals’), a Raipur court has just found Com. Asit Sengupta guilty of two counts of sedition as well and has been given a 11-year sentence for the publication of Maoist magazines and books! What is Com. Asit Sengupta’s crime? He published books and magazines which were legally-recognized activities by the Indian government as they had been registered! What we are witnessing is the criminalization of dissent and the repeated violation of the freedom of speech for those who are on the side of the peasants, working-class and oppressed peoples in the civil war that the Indian government has started against its own people on behalf of the MNC’s. Com. Asit Sengupta was responsible for publishing ‘A World To Win’ magazine, the defunct theoretical magazine of the defunct RIM, amongst many other books like the first edition of Com. Hisila Yami’s “People’s War and Women’s Liberation in Nepal”. He has done nothing wrong but provide some of us a few books and magazines to read!
I have to say it – and this relates directly to the events of the last 2 weeks – I am sick and tired of some North American ‘leftists’ braying on and on about how unsafe it is to be a ‘revolutionary’ and how others need to appreciate their situation (as if it is any safer to be a revolutionary in the Philippines, Nepal, India, Turkey), whilst everyone around the world – whether it be POW’s of the people’s war in Nepal (now released) and India languish in prisons! Or how they complain about police brutality when ‘false’ encounters are being staged every day in India! Or how they refuse to take risks but then spend hours and hours reading over the very magazines and books that their Third World comrades are having to spend multi-year sentences to produce so that they can read them safely in their homes, smug about their ‘revolutionary’ politics and confident that they are part of some larger ‘revolutionary ‘ movement (which they then parasitically use to recruit new members). I am not saying that one should not create structures so that one cannot mitigate risks and that one should evaluate the risks of any given action – whether it be direct action or just publishing a pamphlet – before making a decision about a given project, however, it is no longer tenable to me that these people get to claim the title ‘comrade’ or ‘revolutionary’ for consistently and constantly not being willing to take risks to push the revolution ahead. And to all of those North American comrades who get to calmly state that they don’t believe a revolution will happen in their lifetimes and so their social democratic activities, which masquerade as revolutionary activities, are the only option – all I have to say is get out of the way and stop sullying the name of the revolution. There are real revolutionaries out there being jailed and dying for making the revolution.
Free Dr. Binayak Sen! Free Com. Asit Sengupta! Free all the POW’s!
CPI(M-L) Naxalbari Press Statement
The Conviction of Comrade Asit is a Brazen Violation of Justice
A court in Raipur (Chattisgarh) has convicted comrade: Asit Kumar Sengupta on two charges including sedition and sentenced him to three and eight years imprisonment. This comes after the three years he has already been forced to be in jail after being arrested on trumped up charges, denied the right of bail. He was the President of Struggle India, an all-India forum of struggling mass organisations, at the time of his arrest. Comrade Asit was active in the publishing and propagation of Maoist literature through Poorvaiya Publications. He had been legally responsible for the publication of the revolutionary internationalist journal A World To Win. All of these activities were perfectly legal, registered activities. Not a single one of these publications were banned. Yet the court has declared that he was involved in illegal activities despite the flimsiness of the evidence paraded by the state prosecutor, including published books seized from his house, were cooked up.
Such brazen violation of justice is the truth of the legal system in India. Recently, some factions of the ruling classes have themselves been forced to express disagreement publicly through their media. This was done in relation to the life sentence given to the noted human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen by another Raipur court on the same day as comrade Asit was convicted. Evidently, it is not concern for justice but fear that motivates them, the fear that their trumpeting of India as the largest democracy in the world will be severely exposed by such openly biased functioning of its judiciary.
The arrest and trumped up charges against comrade Asit, Dr. Binayak Sen and many other public figures were opening moves, preparations, for the assault launched by the Indian state on the revolutionary masses, the so-called Operation Green Hunt. It was essential for the ruling classes that all public protest, all people who could give voice openly against this inhuman war of the Indian state against the people, are silenced. But despite the killings, rapes, arrests, torture, intimidations and detentions of many, the opposition to Operation Green Hunt has only strengthened. The polarisation of pro-people forces against the reactionaries has deepened. The peoples war led by the CPI (Maoist) and the preparations of other Maoist parties to open new fronts forges on. The people will triumph!