It may seem incongruous for Kobad Ghandy, the jailed Maoist ideologue, to oppose violence. He does, but only excessive violence, which he believes cost the Reds their bastion in Andhra Pradesh.
<b1>In conversations with jail officials at the Tihar jail, where he has been since his arrest late August — barring a brief period in police custody — he is believed to have discussed violence and other subjects.
“A few in the Party, including me, believe that it was our excessive reliance on violence instead of organising peaceful struggles that led to our eventual failure, Ghandy is believed to have told Tihar officials.
“But there were others who contested our view, saying it was impractical,” he added.
The Communist Party of India (Maoists) is all but gone from Andhra, an erstwhile stronghold. It is stronger now in West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, with pockets of influence in Maharashtra.
But Ghandy refused to condemn the killing — and beheading — of the Jharkhand intelligence officer Francis Induwar. How are you certain he was killed by the Maoists, he asked.