The Urban Naxals by Vivek Agnihotri

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Mao Zedong-Former Chairman of the People’s Republic of China

Dissent – the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held- As per google can be simply termed as any argument which is against any popular narrative. India, as per noble prize winner “Amartya sen book-The Argumentative Indian ” is “Land of Argumentative natives” where people do not digest any narrative so easily. Indeed, as a Indian myself I agree with Mr. Sen that Indians have been always argumentative (not skeptic) about any idea. The real power of an Indian lies in his seeking ability towards any narrative. However, the another ability which Indians and Indian culture have is “Giving space” to alternative narrative. But, this book let me question of even my believe in India itself. Are we same Indians, who had hardcore Vedanta along with Charvaka Philosophy? Are we same Indians, who accepted Buddha without any social collapse? Are we same Indians, who accepted Jews, Zoroastrianism, Syrian Christians and early Muslim traders and allow them to practice their religion without discrimination and subjugation of their right of religion? Are we same Indians who had stories where “Criticism” treated as “Guidance”?

No, I don’t think so we are the same Indians? Not atleast, in academia, media, elite class world. Even, while I was planning to read this book, I went to Goodreads, and found that people who claimed themselves Liberal left wing ideologue, is simply calling this book “Urban Naxal” and film “Buddha in Traffic Jam” is outright stupid, right wing propaganda and film influence by Modi (Nationalist Prime Minster of india, 2014). They simply saying it, without even understanding that this book is not third party interpretation and many incident mentioned in this book can be traced in news. The Books explain how writer (Vivek aganihotri – who was few years back, creative director turned out to be right wing activist in Wikipedia) has faced discrimination in prominent universities who supposed to be temple of Freedom of expression and dissent. He was manhandled by two times according the book- In NALSAR and JU. In Jadavpur University, even media news about the angry mob of left leaning student who were stopping his film screening, just because Vivek was Brahman and against Naxal atrocities on tribes.

The Book basically divide into Four part- First, Buddha is born, In search of Buddha, The Making of Buddha & The struggle of Buddha. Each part took you deep inside the mind of director who understand this complex structure of Money laundering for Militant Naxals in India. However, still many so called intellectual term it as dream of Vivek aganihotri while recent reports on Naxal militants has exposed that they have more than 1000 Cr. terror industries. The Movement which was started for equality and justice is now business, run by nexus of powerful political parties-NGO-Local Government officials-intellectuals to instate fears amongst tribes and locals by violent means. However, the same intellectuals has failed to report the hard hitting reality of comrades who been in jungle with barbarian Naxal but they romanticized the tales who left “The Party” out of fear being killed. Here is one example ; How I Joined the Naxals and Why I left. The article no where mentioned that how a small girl who studied in 6th std could be left her home (Mind it she had mother) for the party into the woods who supposed to be harsh. In same articles, she was exposed to brutal murder of Police men, trained to beat them, kill them. But how the so called intellectuals describe them – “Gandhi with Guns“. The Kangaroo courts which supposed to deliver justice in areas are epicenter of threat and fears. They killed 53 people under suspicious of Police informer or not being line with party ideology- Communist ideology.

Video- Kangaroo courts beats adivasi people

Buddha is born

In my collage, I was not very much studious but I had been very active circle of people who wanted to dominant. During my diploma years, I wanted to be powerful, I wanted to change my poor state and I was frustrated and angered by Rich people. I wanted to struck them, I wanted to change the world.

The story of Mr. Aganihotri is not some imagination, but it is the story of every young energetic student who been into deep trouble by social evils such as caste, poverty, discrimination and victim of dominance. The pattern is too much text book kind that if you are Indian, who been involved in politics in your early time will feel that the story of Vivek, is actually your story of collage. The story of every Indian student who have been took active part against social evil.

Vivek Aganihotri, started his books from the day when he been hounded by Jadavpur universities who claimed to be Liberal, new world citizen. They were screaming and hounding him for his caste linking it with genocide and all social problem existed in India. Isn’t Irony of India that, one side we always keep to make India as caste less society but other side we either used caste for flush out social evil problem. Bollywood, which has no caste, no religion and might be most liberal group in India, they been judge by article like this –Bollywood films are all about upper-caste Hindu heroes. Indeed, they have every right to ask question and write but than why do discrimination with dissent voices within society. Why can not Vivek aganihori write, and make movies about Naxals and their atrocities.? How he become fascist Brahmins after exposing the brutality of Naxals who drunk blood of adivasi and money from Industrialist and small vendors. Vivek, gone through in length that how his idea about showing reality of Adivasi atrocities by Naxals lands him in condition where no one supports him. He has been given 2 cr. INR tight money and schedule to work out the picture which actually exposed the Naxal atrocities and design to protect them.

In search of Buddha

I have been introduced by one of my friend to the collage political leader of my diploma collage. He has typical haranavi style belongs to dalit caste and always talk about that how he had been discriminate in his life. Mind it his father was central government servant in MHA. I had sympathy. I was aware of that how much brutal of being poor. You might have everything but money stops you.while money lies with these bloody Capitalist, these modern class weed smokers, car owned rich girls and boys who flirted with them. I was angered, I thought that this is government who is responsible for such divide in wealth as they dont care about poor like me. This friend, told me that we both can change the system. He ask me to meet another day.

In this chapter, Vivek deals with problems and find that its impossible to make movie on such topics. As per his books, Sawra bhaskar (who recently joined Kahniya Kumar for his first MLA fight in Bihar) was not happy with the idea of naxal atrocities while selected for small role. Indeed, she agree for the movie but eventually her strange demand lead her to end the contract. Simultaneously, Vivek started to understand the Naxal structure, their rules and their aim. Yeah, many so called Pseudo-liberals will also called it propaganda. Let’s understand this by the news itself. Mind it, these reports are very rare in English newspaper and only come to national media when something big happened but ironically such incident of killing, rape, child kidnaps and brutality is daily life of a tribal who can not escape the naxal infested areas.

Deaths related to Naxal violence (source-Wikipedia)

PeriodCiviliansSecurity forcesInsurgentsTotal per period
1996N/AN/AN/A156
199720244102348
199811842110270
199950296261859
200045298254804
2001439125182746
2002382100141623
2003410105216731
200446610087653
2005281–524150–153225–286717–902
2006266–521128–157274–343737–952
2007240–460218–236141–192650–837
2008220–490214–231199–214648–920
2009391–591312–317220–294997–1,128
2010626–720277–285172–2771,177–1,180
2011275–469128–14299–199602–710
2012146–301104–11474–117367–489
2013159–282111–115100–151421–497
2014128–22287–8863–99314–373
201593–17157–5889–101251–318
2016123–21365–66222–244433–500
201710974150333
20187122140
Total6,035–8,0512,277–3,4403,402–4,04112,877–14,369

Even after, so many years we failed to confined these rapid virus of violence. But we have seen sharp decline on tribal recruiters and they surrenders number has increased. Vivek, understand that there is no major/major section of intellectual was actually discussing this anywhere. Media [English] houses were hiding and filtering the news related to Maoist violence, while few are romanticizing the killings. slowly he understand that, there is nexus between metro cities and Jungles where naxals exist. Such naxals (Militant Maoist) being shown as victim by Intellectual Maoist, they are been shown as lower caste who took class fight against cities and their governments. Anti-establishment is now become anti-India, while Anti-Naxals has become anti-Dalit, anti-Muslim and anti- Liberal in Intellectual circle/University . Vivek sense it, and termed is “Urban Naxal”

The Making of Buddha

Next day, I was with him and he explain me that why it is important to raise voice against establishment for justice. We had a system where private bus driver allowed us free ticket for collages. We indulge into fight with private bus driver whenever they ask money from my collage student. slowly, this was reach up to breaking public & private properties. I was very active, He understand my potential and once we went to a small seminar leads by some collage student near my collage. In that seminar, people were talking about justice, revolution, breaking the establishment. I find it intruding…I have become one of them..Anti-social,Anti-Establishment or May be Liberal

In this chapter Vivek wrote about his extensive experience of making this film “Buddha in traffic Jam” (available in YT now). He had hurdle and he had luck. But he was wrong, his real hurdle was awaiting after the completion of films. During first screening to investors, they backed off. They been feared that this will indulged them into political controversy, they will be hackle like anything. Vivek was in deep agony after that, he started his another projects but this was in his pocket. He need someone who can help him with distribution but he had been rejected everywhere. This idea which expose the nexus of biggest threat to internal security of India, was avoided by the similar institution who had been cherishing the freedom provided by democracy.

Causalities during Naxal Movement- 2005 to 2017

The struggle of Buddha

During my few months with so called anti establishment liberals, I have understand one thing-something is wrong with this country and only people with power can survive. Than one day, I indulge into a discussion about shiva Linga [I was great devotee of shiva and had read much about the symbolism of Hindus culture], according to so liberal, shiva linga was phallic symbol as mentioned by wendy doniger [one of the torch bearer of Hinduism and casting it into only sexuality]. I confronted this notion, by saying that in many tribal area, pallic symbols are considered as sacred as sex is not taboo but divine in tribal society. They laugh on my argument and said, are you being sanghi…? I said, No I am being what I am. I am not anti-Hindu, I just want to make Hinduism liberal. hindus are not bed but their social evil. I quoted Gandhi, who said “don’t hate criminal but hate crime”. But this not end well, they brush my argument with strange theories. They started more insult to Hindus, I started more confrontation. One fine day, the argument was so heat up that, we broke into the fight. it was about rakhi festival where they said rakhi is regressive like karwa chout while I confronted that than by this logic Kanchaka (the ninth day when small girls regards as nine devis) should be regressive as same men offered prayer to small girls for protection of their wealth. It also didn’t end up well… I understand that they hate Hinduism more than they love socialism, justice, eradication of poverty. it was all pretext to just hating Hinduism….

In this chapter Vivek faced the same thing, which I have faced during my days of being Liberal- Discrimination. Vivek been discriminated by various universities based on the subject he has chosen to show in campus. I have been discriminate because I don’t have Hindus but their social evils. Vivek been manhandled because he has different narrative while I have been hackle because I have different stance. Vivek was been forced to show his films in worst places while I have been circled, grilled and name called for my stance on Hinduism.

Victory of Buddha

I have been ex-communicated to my same group for my views on hinduism because it was not inline with nurrative they are selling. One fine day, when they were grilling me for hinduism with their non-sense question like Women should wear Bindi, why should they have mangal-sutra? I simply asked to listen me. I told that “no one force hindu women to have kumkum nowthese days [my wife never have kumkum out of compulsion but her will]. No one discriminate now these days in urban areas, why we need to hate hindus to create uthopia while we all are hindus mostly be culture.” Suddenly, the person whom I have great regards as Liberal, slapped me..and shouted “We are not Hindus, We can not be part of that filth religion, we will destroy this religion, break its social structure, make whore hindu womens and than we will rule them like they rule over us in almost 2000 years”.

I had tears in my eyes, but I asked “than what will be the difference between you and the oppressor?” They shouted “We dont want anther story from you”.

I got good beating that day, I left that circle…hounded for few months..My dissent was pin down because I am into their narrative.

Unlike my story, Vivek win the battle after getting overwhelming support from students, Social media, public figure and sane media. he win the battle but still his film didn’t earn well in box office. He win the moral battle and change the course of discourse while My hero, he been defeated for showing dissent.

conclusion, I like the book, People should read this with positive mind even if you don’t agree.

Mao says, “the final objective of the revolution is the capture of the cities, the enemy’s main bases, and this objective cannot be achieved without adequate work in the cities.”

(Mao, Selected Works, Vol. II, Pg. 317).