INDIA - G.N. Saibaba on the struggle against Imperialism and the environmental question

In the following we want to publish an excerpt of an interview with G.N. Saibaba, the head of the Revolutionary Democratic Front in India, and now one of the most important political prisoners, concerning the question of „land-grabbing“, in the context of the Naxalite Movement, lead by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and the repression of the old Indian state. Professor Saibaba gives a clear view on the nature of the imperialist so called „development“, that is in reality nothing but exploitation and oppression of the peasants and natives and the destruction of the environment, especially on the question of climate. He shows, that this destruction is brought forward by capitalism, and it finds it‘s peak with imperialism, the last stage of capitalism. Only by supporting the struggles of the masses, only through proletarian leadership, there can be an end to the imperialist system of oppression and exploitation. And only in this manner one will be able to stop the destruction of the environment.

G.N. Saibaba on the struggle against Imperialism and the environmental question

Q: What about these accusations that these movements are blocking the economic and overall development of the Indian people?

A: The Maoists don't view these so-called development projects as beneficial to the people. They see this particular kind of development as for the superprofits of the multinational corporations through the superexploitation of the people's labour. They will degrade the land, and lead to the people being thrown off the land. So this is pro-imperialist development which benefits a section of the ruling classes in India and the imperialists, monopoly capital. The Indian government has announced that the movement is blocking these projects and will be harmful to the people of the region and the entire country. But it is development for the corporate sector, and the people are offering an alternative vision of development, and they are doing it practically, on the ground. There is no case of real government development programmes being blocked by the Maoists. For example, if the government tries to build a school or hospital, then the Naxalites will never block it. Or if they are building something for the people's economy – but of course the government has no intention of carrying out development projects for the benefit of the people. In addition to these projects for the benefit of the multinational corporations, the only other kind of development projects the government plans are vast projects for roads in the interior areas, to bring in the army and security forces, which definitely the people stop and block.

The question is, what development model has the Indian government adopted for the past 60 years? It is a pro-imperialist development model, which serves the imperialists by giving resources and raw materials to them.

It is better for the people of India and the whole world if the minerals remain underneath the hills and the forests, for two reasons. One, if you want to mine these minerals you will have to displace the adivasis and you will not have any system where they will be fully rehabilitated. And the ruling class has no right to displace them – it is their natural habitat. Second, another major reason why the minerals should not be exploited is that not only will the people be displaced, but that these are vulnerable fragile forest and hilly areas, and if you exploit them there will be irreparable damage to the countryside. It will cause major upheaval for climate change and warming, and the Indian subcontinent would never recover. It would have a major impact on the entire subcontinent. So for environmental reasons and the reasons of people's lives, these should not be exploited. But there are ways in which these minerals could be mined in minor ways, ways that would not aggravate the situation and displace the people. They could be used in small quantities for the benefit of the people, but that would have to be decided by the people of the region themselves, and not by outsiders.

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