Mangaluru: The first day of the Mangalore Lit Fest organized by the 'Mangaluru Literary Foundation' at Dr TMA Pai International Convention Centre, saw, among other sessions, a well-attended dialogue on “Urban Naxals” between veteran journalist R Jagannathan, an Indian journalist who serves as the editorial director of Swarajya, an Indian magazine founded by Khasa Subba Rau in 1956, and Vivek Agnihotri, a Bollywood film director, producer and screenwriter. He has worked in numerous genres, including thrillers, sports movies, political drama, erotica, and romance. (Wikipedia) Agnihotri made his directorial debut with Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets (2005). Vivek Agnihotri is also an activist, orator, and author. Along with his wife, actress Pallavi Joshi, Agnihotri runs the NGO #IAmBuddha.
Jagannathan began by asking the question why some people, be they journalists, activists or any other kind abuse themselves, abuse their own culture and their country. “It does not happen anywhere in the world. The disadvantaged are not the property of the left, the right thinks about them too”. It was on this note that the dialogue began.
Here are excerpts from their dialogue session:
RJ: Why do you think the term urban Naxal caught on so well and quickly died out?
VA: Urban Naxal is a term I have been using since 2011 on social media. Recently a lot of people got arrested. The reason I called them urban Naxals is that there was a well thought out strategy behind them. Maoists may have ideology – Maoist ideology – but urban Naxals have no ideology they are the thinkers behind the money making mafia that are the Naxals. Originally the Naxal thought was to take the land from the land-owners and give it to the landless. Today the Naxal objective is to destroy the state of India.
RJ: Why would they want to do it?
VA: We are an ancient Hindu civilization that has survived a 1000-year domination of minorities. The only other old civilization that has survived is the Chinese, but they are a closed civilization. In 1947 when we got independence, we were bankrupt in every way. But today we are a force to reckon with in all spheres of a nation’s development surrounded on the east by communists and on the west by Islamists. Ours is open inclusive and democratic. We are a threat to everyone who has other ideas of civilization.
RJ: Where did it begin?
VA: In 1966 Lal Bhadhur Shastri started moving away from Nehruvian Socialism. Following his death – my upcoming movie is about that incidentally, the Naxal movement started. The Chinese knew 5 days before it broke in Naxalbari. What does that tell you? Basically, they have moved from their own movement ideal – to breaking India through a civil war in Cities – it’s in their strategy document. It’s not anti-BJP alone, it’s anti-Congress too. They are anti-India. It’s in their document They need front organizations, media support and advocacy. All this is funded by the money which is extorted from the poor in Jharkhand and Bastar.
RJ: Do their funds come from abroad?
VA: Last week, Ajit Doval expounded the theory of a 4G warfare. Warfare is a flexible phenomenon and not a static concept. Doval was expounding the salient points of this revolution in warfare in his Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture in New Delhi. He put forth the view that a Second World War-like battle will never happen again, but that India must prepare for fourth generation warfare, including fighting invisible enemies. He also spoke of contactless wars, the importance of acquiring cutting-edge technology, and psychological operations.
India is flanked by communist ideologies on its eastern border and Islamist ideology on its western borders – neither ideology wants a strong India. They are looking to create an Islamic Dalit bloc to break India. Naxals are well equipped and trained. This equipment is funded by extortion in Bastar and Jharkhand. Doctors, local farmers, panchayats are extorted and even govt. servants have to give one month salary – Collection estimates are 2000 crores in Jharkhand and 1100 crores in Bastar.
You will notice that protests are organized at a click of a finger. And they are well represented in the media in courts. All this costs money – Where is it coming from? I would say that it is extortion money. Nobody asks the right questions – who fund the advocacy and the protests. Why would journalists write about Indian fault lines in foreign newspapers? This is funded. Foreign Journalists don’t bash their own countries in foreign publications.
RJ: What is your take on women’s empowerment?
VA: That Indian women are not empowered is another narrative of these urban Naxals. Indian women are empowered. And Indians are trusted around the world, wherever they go. Look at Indian mothers - they manage everything from Inventory to budget to their families. They sacrifice so much. Only empowered people can sacrifice. But the narrative is only women who smoke drink and speak English are empowered. That is sad. The real empowerment lies in sacrifice.
RJ: What about the anti-India rhetoric on Campus?
VA: It starts in the hostels. Students are at a rebellious age, and they are guided towards that by the faculty and the cadre that lives in the hostels there. They are at an impressionable age. We need to change that narrative that is being fed to them. We need them to read about our civilization and our values rather than be fed western ideas of civilization and empowerment.
The Q&A session that followed was lively but mostly covered the same ground. The dialogue threw new light on the narrative of Urban Naxals but did not really offer any solutions to the problems on the ground.
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