General secretary of the outlawed CPI (Maoist), Ganapathy, has been elusive, wanted in several cases across states. In his first interview since taking over as party chief, the "Naxal commander-in-chief" dealt with questions on a host of issues — from his party’s plans for armed struggle to its opposition to SEZs. He justified the killing of JMM MP Sunil Mahto by his comrades and endorsed the much talked about thesis of Hezbollah chief Nasrallah that Left should join hands with "Islamists" to fight globalisation.
TOI had approached him just after his re-election as the Maoist party's boss at the outfit’s January congress — the first since the death of the legendary Charu Majumdar in September 1971.
Where was the congress held?
Let intelligence agencies keep guessing on that. As for the media, we can take you people to the place sometime later. These places will assume great historical importance for future generations. Everyone will come to know.
What were the major decisions at the congress?
The general direction: to intensify people’s war, taking it to all fronts. In particular, the congress decided to take guerrilla war to a higher level of mobile war in areas where it is in an advanced stage and expand it to more states. Destruction of enemy forces is on the immediate agenda. Likewise, there is an immediate need to transform a vast area into war zone so that there is enough room for manoeuverability for our guerrilla forces. Police and central forces will be taught how dangerous it is to enter our areas.
What about issues like Singur and Nandigram? Are your people involved in inciting violence in Nandigram as claimed by CPM? What’s your view on SEZs?
One should only be surprised if we are not involved in such life-and-death issues of the masses. We intend to mobilise masses against conspiracies and treacherous policies of the rulers to snatch land from people and hand it over to MNCs and big business houses in the name of development through creation of hundreds of SEZs.
SEZs are aimed at creating neo-colonial enclaves within our country where no laws of the land can be applied.
Struggles against SEZs acquiring fertile farmland and huge projects are turning more and more militant as witnessed in Kalinga Nagar, Singur, Nandigram, Lohandiguda or Polavaram. These will go on.
As for Maoists inciting violence in Nandigram, the world will laugh at the temerity of these "Left" Front rulers.
Even Goebbels would turn in his grave seeing how much his art of lying has been improved by "Marxists" like the Buddhas, Karats and Yechurys.
JMM MP from Jamshedpur, Sunil Mahto, was gunned down by your guerrillas along with five others. According to reports, deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto was also warned. What do have to say?
We do not kill just because he/she is an MP or a minister. Though all legislators are responsible for government policies, it is mainly a coterie of leaders that plays a crucial role in finalising policies. Such leaders are singled out for attacks. We had to eliminate Mahto since he was involved in unleashing repression on the revolutionary movement in Jharkhand. He was associated with the Nagrik Suraksha Samiti, involved in the murder of 11 of our party cadres in Longo village in East Singhbhum district in 2001. Of late, he was organising armed campaign against the Maoist movement, to divide and pit a section of adivasis against the revolutionary movement, in the name of Salwa Judum.
But annihilation of Mahto should not be interpreted as our antagonism towards JMM. We are not against JMM as long as it desists from anti-people activities and attacks against the revolutionary movement.
What is your opinion about the Islamic upsurge?
There is a people’s upsurge against globalisation all over the world and Islamic upsurge is an integral part of the worldwide people’s upsurge against imperialism, imperialist globalisation and war. In essence, we see the Islamic upsurge as a progressive anti-imperialist force in the contemporary world. It is wrong to describe the struggle that is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestinian territory, Kashmir, Chechnya as a struggle by Islamic fundamentalists or as a "clash of civilisations".
Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has said Left should come close to Islamists. What is your view?
I basically agree with what Nasrallah has said. One must understand that he is referring to the struggles for national liberation from imperialism in Islamic countries.