The PW led by CPI (Maoist) in India is having a great impact on the children. They are getting inspired by PW and are becoming part of it. Due to the ‘War on People’ imposed by the Indian ruling classes, even children are forced to take the path of struggle for their existence. At a very young age they have been forced to learn to make war by participating in it. In the name of wiping out revolutionaries, the central and state governments have deployed thousands of mercenary police forces and the lives of Adivasi children were dragged into the war being fought in the strongholds of the revolutionary movement in the mountains.
The reason for this is the imperialist sponsored LPG policies of the Indian ruling classes. It is not possible to separate children from the PW ongoing in movement areas such as BJ, DK, AOB, Paschim Bang and Odisha. It became common place for some with bourgeois ideology or for the intellectuals sponsored by imperialists to portray the facts upside down and to make foul propaganda on revolutionary parties and revolutionary guerilla organizations. Children are inevitably becoming a part of several mass agitations and movements conducted all over the country against these policies. The role of children is increasing in these movements in proportion to the prominent role of women in these.
In the Kalinganagar, Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, Narayanapatna, Niyamgiri, Mali, Deomali, Visakha bauxite, Sompeta, Kakarapalli, Separate statehood for Telangana, Gandhamardan, anti-Posco and other agitations that are going on with the impact of the revolutionary movement, its support and led by it, the participation of children is clearly visible. Children are playing a very active role in many villages inside the revolutionary movement areas. They very much love our party and the PLGA. If a squad enters a village, it is the children who give all kinds of support to it. As they are growing up in a revolutionary atmosphere, they are imbibing revolutionary culture from childhood. Wherever they are present, one can hear them singing revolutionary songs. When they take goats and cattle for grazing the forests and fields reverberate with revolutionary songs. Their games and songs are all getting revolutionized.
It is not at all an exaggeration to say that many comrades in the revolutionary movement and particularly in the PLGA had developed from Revolutionary Children’s Organizations or had been influenced by the revolutionary movement since their childhood. Dozens of children between 8 and 12 years of age in the movement areas are getting consolidated in Revolutionary Children’s Organizations. The students studying in bourgeois schools and in people’s schools run by the RPCs are also joining these organizations. Within every RPC limits, more than a hundred children are joining these organizations. They elect a president and a vice-president for the organization. They conduct their organization’s activities under their leadership. The responsibility of running these organizations is with the village militia units and sometimes the women’s organizational squads look after them.
The duties of the Revolutionary Children’s Organizations are as follows – learning revolutionary songs, dance, street plays, participating in mass meetings, singing revolutionary songs and performing dances in them, propagating against using tobacco, gutka, manjan, arrack, toddy etc so that children do not fall victims to these bad habits, doing sentry duty inside the villages, patrolling, keeping surveillance on enemy activities, secretly finding out about the activities of people’s enemies in the village and handing over that information to militia and PLGA, attending the training camps held by revolutionary cultural activists and attending the primary level military training camps held by People’s Militia.
The meetings of Revolutionary Children’s Organizations are held according to the stipulated time. All the organization members possess traditional weapons like bows, arrows, knives and catapults. Separate children’s cultural teams are being formed to fulfill cultural tasks. It is the specific feature of the cultural organization in Jharkhand that several full-time children’s teams are part of it. Their ‘War Dance’ is one of the most popular art forms. In DK too, such full-time children’s cultural teams are being formed. Children are gathering forest produce or doing labor work to earn money needed for the revolutionary movement and giving that money as funds to the party, thus contributing their part. They’re growing vegetables in collective farms by participating in collective labour and are contributing them to the children’s organization activities or to the movement activities according to the needs.
Under the conditions where the enemy’s massacres have reached their peak, the government school buildings that are used by the mercenary police forces are destroyed; roads and ditches are dug on the roads during bandhs observed for protesting the brutal massacres and atrocities of the police; traditional traps are set up to stop the enemy attacks on the villages and children are participating in all such militant activities. When we look at the history of revolutionary movements of the world too, we find that the role of children is prominent.
Claudie Broyelle wrote thus in her book ‘Women’s Liberation in China” – “There is no fairy-tales, no stories just for children and no wonderful world of childhood, only the right and proper inheritance that the world as it is offers children. This reminds me of a little Vietnamese child we had seen in a report about North Vietnam on television. We saw kids doing military training, learning to take the pin out of a grenade, organizing themselves to move into shelters without panic and so on.
The reporter had asked, ‘But do you think all this military training is a suitable occupation for children?’ The child replied, ‘Do you think American bombs spare children? Do you think children can remain outside the war, when the whole population is being attacked? No! So it’s right that the children should be prepared and should learn to resist the aggressors’. It would be criminal not to teach them what they need to know to survive, to defend them, to resist.”
The brutal offensive of the Indian ruling classes on the PW in our country had a severe impact on children. In the past decade after the formation of PLGA, several Revolutionary Children’s Organization members and ordinary children died in police firings and tortures. In 2004 – Nagendra (Gollapalli, DK), in 2005 – children’s team member in Bihar comrade Guddu Bharati, in 2007 – comrade Manoj (Todka, DK), in 2008 – Revolutionary Children’s Organization member comrade Raju (Kaunde, DK) and in 2010 – Revolutionary Children’s Organization president comrade Maadavi Baman (DK) were martyred at a very young age.
In 2002, during the Godugondla encounter in Nalgonda district (AP), Greyhounds police surrounded the PLGA guerilla squad and fired indiscriminately and a two and half year old girl child named Mounika was killed in that firing. In Lalgarh people’s revolt, Archana Singh and her daughter were martyred in a police attack. In DK, three children died in the Savargaon massacre (Gadchiroli) and a minor girl named Janga (12) died in a fake encounter in Jajpur district (Odisha) on January 2, 2011. There are several instances when the police who attack the villages have arrested children. In several mass agitations that were conducted from Nandigram to Narayanapatna, it became common place to arrest several children, gang rape minor girls and kill them.
For example, in 2006, four children (three girls and a boy) were arrested by the police in Avunar (DK). One girl was let off and another girl and the boy escaped. The remaining girl is still in police/jail custody. Several children who are participating actively in the BJ revolutionary movement are incarcerated in jails without bails. It is in this backdrop that seven child guerillas had escaped from the Rourkela juvenile home in Odisha on June 21, 2011 and joined the PW. Under such circumstances, it is the birth right of children to participate in PW. The Vietnam like incidents mentioned above are becoming common place in Indian PW.
For example, journalists visited Avunar village when some children were taking military training. They were surprised. They naturally questioned the children why they needed military training. The children replied, “Every day the police are attacking our villages. Anybody spotted by them are killed, they are not even sparing the children. They are firing blindly on our fields and villages. The arrival of the police is announced by the firing of mortar shells. So what would happen if children do not know how to escape from them?” The unexpected question of the children left the journalists speechless.
They had no answer. Communist Party of China built children’s brigades in workers bastis and villages. Comrade Mao said the following about them – “Both girls and boys are their members and they should be aged between 8 and 15. This brigade of workers’ children would be present where the Red Guard brigades and youth brigades are present. Every village has one brigade leader. There are no brigade leaders in bastis. Brigade leaders are present at the district level. The tasks of the children’s brigades : 1) They must do sentry duty. 2) They must inquire about drugs and gambling. 3) They must eradicate superstitions and religious oppression. The children’s brigades must inquire about drugs and gambling and without any compassion or sympathy should attack religion severely. They would fulfill their responsibility towards the people properly and with sincerity. They would attend mass meetings. Wooden guns are their primary weapons. Some possess spears” Participation of children in PW is an inevitable phenomenon. Its roots are in the class society. As class struggle continues till the class society comes to an end, so would the children play their role in class struggle definitely. Let us hold aloft this Maoist understanding, hail the heroic participation of children in PW and rally support for their struggles.
From a Decade March of PLGA