Monday, September 17, 2007

Retail sector, next target of the Maoists in Kerala

Friday, July 13, 2007

Retail sector to ignite MaoistsFriday July 13 2007 13:03 IST
KOZHIKODE: The retail shopping malls, being set up by the multinationals and mammoth Indian companies, will be the next target of the Maoists in Kerala.
There are enough indications that the Maoists in Kerala, particularly the Porattom and the Janakeeya Vimochana Munnani (JVM), will stage some dramatic agitations against these retail giants once they set up the malls in Kerala.
The JVM is suspected to have links with the banned CPI (Maoist), which came into existence after the merger of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and the CPI-ML (People's War).Porattom is the frontal organisation of the CPI-ML (Naxalbari), another Maoist organisation which believes in armed struggle.The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and the retail sector are the two areas identified by the Maoists as the new realms of struggle against imperialism. General secretary of the CPI (Maoist) Ganapathi, in an interview, has called for "converting special economic zones into active war zones.

"The Maoists were actively enagaged in the recent months in organising the people of Nandigram in West Bengal against the Tata.Latest issue of People's March, a magazine being published from Kochi which has leanings towards Maoist outfits, has an article on retail sector. It points out the inherent dangers of opening up of the retain sector to big sharks.The article says the entry of firms like Walmart will shatter the Indian economy and it will result in price hike of products and unemployment. The article also cautions about its cultural impact.

The Maoist outfits in Kerala, unlike their counterparts in the 'red zones' in other parts of the country, have not ventured for a full-scale battle with the authorities. Here the agitations were more of symbolic nature like the attack on the office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) by the activists of Porattam. Sources said such token protest against the big shopping malls are likely to occur in the coming days.In Maoist terminology such agitations are named as 'partial struggles' which is a part of the protracted 'people's war'.

Maoists form cover or frontal outfits to carry out the agitation. Adivasi Samara Sangham, Viplava Sthreevadi Prasthanam and Adivasi Vimochana Munnani are some of such outfits formed by the Maoists in Kerala at various points.The theme of the agitation is selected carefully after much deliberations. The entry of MNCs in retail sector has already evoked protests from various quarters and the Maoists see this as the right moment for their intervention.

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