Maoism at Its Nadir: The Killings in Bengal
Vijay Prashad, Counterpunch, 28 January, 2010
Violence in West Bengal’s western districts has reached crisis proportions. Each day, one or more cadre member or sympathizer of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM] is killed either by Maoists or the Trinamul Congress (TMC). The Maoists have found common cause with the TMC, a breakaway from the Congress Party in Bengal. Mamata Banerjee, whose authoritarian populism draws from both Juan and Evita Peron, leads the TMC. Backed by the dominant class, Banerjee nonetheless drapes herself in mystical radicalism (didi, or sister, as she is known, becomes durga, the embodiment of shakti, female power). In October 2009, the Maoists declared that they would rather have Banerjee’s right-wing TMC rule Bengal than the Left Front.
The Maoists-TMC has now killed over two hundred people since late 2007 (most are members and supporters of the CPM, with just a few being members of other political parties that are either in the Left Front or else affiliated with it). Ordinary political workers are beheaded and burnt, shot in the head and raped. In early January, Maoists entered the village of Joynagar and killed four CPM supporters; they beheaded two of them, Anath Singh and Hiteshwar Singh, sons of Gopal Singh who the Maoists killed in 2007. Ten days later, TMC members attacked a group of CPM supporters who had just filed their nomination papers for a local election. Dinesh Haldar, Khairul Jamadar, Biswanath Gayen and Salim Jamadar were killed, two of them with revolvers fired into their mouths. These monstrous acts are ongoing, and systematic.