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UfSO at the public meeting with Arundhati Roy and Jan Myrdal, Friend’s House

June 13, 2011


War is being waged in India. Like most wars, we hear almost nothing about it. And like most wars, the state stands in as a thinly-masked representative of corporate interest. The tribal peoples (Adivasis) of central India inhabit rich, jungled lands, the defense of which these peoples have a long history. Now, a government backed by corporate interest, international aid and the autonomy of a newly industrialised economy profits from these lands through dams, mines and irrigation projects, setting up Special Economic Zones to remove the Adivasis rights to use their own land, criminalising an entire existence and displacing millions of people.

But an insurrection is occurring in the jungles. Adivasis have resisted fiercely, often bringing corporate projects to a halt. Many have been massacred, raped and forced out of their homes and lands, as part of the military offensive: Operation Green Hunt. As a result of dams alone, there are an estimated 30 million displaced people in India. In some areas, and not all, Adivasis have enlisted the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army to help them against the state-army apparatus.

The government wages a war of rhetoric, placating any concern with talk of democracy and inclusion for the tribals, who are being used by Maoists as an excuse for war. But this “sandwich” hypothesis of the Adivasis as pawns caught between old adversaries seems deliberately formulated to reduce them to weak and naïve regressives, allowing them no agency. Who really makes up this guerrilla force? And do they stand a chance? What is the relation between the state/corporate apparatus being deployed in the Dandakaranya Forests and the class-war being declared by the Con-Dems in the UK?

How are we, here in London, implicated or involved in this confrontation between global production and what we eulogize as the rights to dignity and self-determination? As Arundhati Roy said in a recent interview: ‘Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.’

In solidarity,

The UfSO

Further reading:

Walking with the Comrades by Arundhati Roy. Available here:

Nepal: Comrade Gaurav Speaks on Democracy and Cultural Revolution by Stephen Mauldin. Available here:

Event page:

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