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Inventing Naxalite heroes on web

EVER HEARD the names of Tipu Sultan, Chandrashekhar Azad and Saketh Rajan taken in the same breath? The web world?s red brigade has recently started equating Naxalite leaders killed in encounters with the great revolutionaries of the country.
By Shams Ur Rehman Alavi | None, Bhopal
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2007 02:15 PM IST

EVER HEARD the names of Tipu Sultan, Chandrashekhar Azad and Saketh Rajan taken in the same breath? The web world’s red brigade has recently started equating Naxalite leaders killed in encounters with the great revolutionaries of the country.

It seems the idea is to project local heroes for Naxalism rather than foreign heroes like Che Guevara. There is a complete website dedicated to Saketh Rajan alias Prem at http://sakethrajan.googlepages.com that has his photographs, biography and details about his encounter apart from other information about ultra-leftist ideology.

In fact websites, blogs and groups sympathetic to Naxalites’ cause have sprouted on the net lately. The police officials may be unaware of internal Naxalite hierarchy but websites carry all such details, interviews with ultra-leftist leaders and even converse on strategy. 

The groups like Charu Mazumdar Fans Club and Naxal Revolution on social networking site Orkut not only have discussions about the Naxalite ideology but there are also discussions in form of ‘scraps’ about ‘which politician ought to be killed’.

The sites claim that Naxal leaders like Saketh Rajan were killed because of traitors, just like Tipu Sultan and other great freedom fighters. Satyam (Andhra Pradesh), Ramulu (AP-Orissa) and Vikas (Chhattisgarh) are other slain Naxalites who are being portrayed as ‘martyrs’.

“It seems Naxalites want to tempt recruits with local heroes of their movement rather than foreigners like Che Guevara,” says a senior police officials requesting anonymity. “That’s why in various states, the tales about Naxalite leaders who were killed are being romanticised and termed as martyrs,” he added.

Though the government had cracked down on such sites, they keep shifting their addresses. The monthly magazine People’s March has now shifted from www.peoplesmarch.com to http://peoplesmarch.googlepages.com and the latest issue carries interview of a woman Naxalite platoon commander in Dandakaranya apart from obituaries of Naxalite leaders killed in encounters recently, demand for release of Central Committee leaders allegedly arrested by Orissa and Jharkhand police.

The message on the site says, “We have moved. Our service provider was asked to block our website but we believe than an individual has an unalienable right of speech and expression.” The site also has releases statements of the secretive Coordination Committee of Maoists.

Blogs like Naxal Revolution (http://naxalrevolution.blogspot.com) have links to Naxalite-sympathising blogs and lot of information and news about Naxalites.

The site http://indianmaoism.net claims to be the unofficial website of CPI (Maoist) and tells about the Naxalites and their office-bearers including the current secretary Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathy.

Scores of such blogs listed here give a peep into the world of Naxalites. Besides, there are groups on Yahoo and other websites that may or may not be open to all. There are a few anti-Naxalite blogs as well including the main
Naxalwatch. However, the red brigade far outnumbers such voices on the World Wide Web.

ADG (Intelligence) S K Raut said the police would examine the sites and see if those involved in propaganda on internet could be brought to books as per the provisions of Information Technology Act.
(srehman@hindustantimes.com)

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