June 20, 2010

Romanticising the Criminal: Profile of a Killer

(The following article is from the June 1-15, 2010 issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading communist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to: People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)

In recent months the western media has frequently reported on a so-called "Maoist uprising" against the Left Front government of India's Bengal state, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist). This commentary from our correspondent in India, B. Prasant, rips the lid off this anti-communist myth.

When things become tough, the "tough" is invented, demystified, made into a "romantic, tough-talking, hero", one who kills of Communists with impractical ease. That was the violently anti-Communist "cold war" of yore.

Remember the film character Rambo and the single-handed way he destroyed Soviet columns in Afghanistan? Hark even further back, and recall that the Hitler-jugend (the Nazi youth brigade) called their criminal leader "the God's way out of hell", even when brave and battle-hardened Soviet troops were pouring across the border, and the "leader" was quaking in primal fear in an underground bunker.

Now look at what is happening in Bengal. The "Maoists" are patently losing their grip over people, instilled through the gun culture, extortion, mines, booby traps, and bloody killings.

Fear has a hold that cannot last long. Fear is a temporary phenomenon, especially when applied against the mass of the people by the ruling classes and their political outfits.

One recalls Mao Ze Dong, addressing a massive rally in 1949 in Guangdong province that, just as the imperialist and exploiters sharpened their claws, the masses whetted their unity. Mao's words were "let them sharpen their weaponry, we shall hone ours."

What has happened over the past two months in the red clay zone of Bengal, called "captured terrain" by the likes of Kishanji and the corporate media? The killings of CPI(M) cadres and the rural poor are becoming comparatively rare. The village-based committees keep a sharper and wider lookout. The "Maoists" are on the backfoot. Developmental work is making a discrete, peripheral, but definitive appearance. However, not all is lost for the killers, as long as the forces of reaction with imperialist backing find newer ways to harass the poor and the exploited.

The time has come, the Patrika newspaper has decided, to pose the unconquerable myth of a villain. In writing the story of the Maoist "Kishanji", his life and love, his penchant for alcohol ("revolutionary stuff", you understand), the reporter may (or more probably, may not) have actually met the "Maoist" leader, on a "moonlit night where the faint light slides off the leaves". That is not important. What is important is the reporter's corporate bosses have asked him to write a romantic tale on "Kishanji."

The entire exercise is nauseating when one recalls the same "Kishanji" using his own hands to roughly sew together lips of CPI(M) workers before torturing them in public, killing them by chopping off body parts, and finally leaving them to die in a pool of blood. However, in doing all this, the ruling classes, - and the "Maoists" are the tools of the Indian ruling classes - create conditions that prove their undoing.

Answering a question about the necessity to kill poor villagers, "Kishanji" is supposed to have told our brave reporter that "too many villagers were working for the administration." What the "heroes" do not reveal is that more and more of the rural poor are standing up for their rights under the Red banner of the CPI(M), and protests are leading to resistance.

The story has revealed the contradiction, to the detriment of the task to project "Kishanji" as the all-conquering popular, romantic hero. Thus, one should welcome more such stories in the bourgeois media. Lies piled on lies ultimately produce the burgeoning of class hatred, as the masses become politically conscious of the tasks that lie ahead.

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