The alleged ban by the government on
world-renowned Swedish writer Jan Myrdal to visit India is
shocking. The official version is that Myrdal is a Maoist
supporter and he had indulged in anti-state activity and that is
the reason a ban on his future visit is being contemplated.
The 85 year old writer denied this allegation saying he is not so
stupid, and has called the move against him as anti-Indian. The
extreme left see this as India’s attempt to toe the US line that
has imposed a stringent regulations on Myrdal to enter America.
Jan Myrdal is son of Nobel Laureates Gunnar Myrdal of ‘Asian
Drama’ fame. Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi very often used to
quote the books of Gunnar Myrdal, specially his famous
observations on corruption in India. Jan’s mother Alva Myrdal was
Sweden’s Ambassador to India from 1955 to 1961. The Indian
government had felicitated the couple with the Jawaharlal Nehru
International Understanding Award.
Jan Myrdal has authored several books that include 'Report from a
Chinese village', 'China: The Revolution Continued', 'Confessions
of a Disloyal European' and 'India Waits.' The last one is based
on his tour of Andhra Pradesh in the early 1980s, where he
mentions that a Marxian-inspired peoples' movement, emanating from
rural India, parallel to the Chinese Communist revolution is
awaiting in India.
His book “Red Star over India” has been widely received in India.
This book has now reached its second English language edition and
is being published in Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu.
In Europe it has been translated to German, Italian, Norwegian and
Swedish. It is available as an e-book and on the net.
The Sweden-based author was in India in January-February, 2012 for
the promotion of his book “Red Star over India” and had visited
Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and Delhi and shared his views with
writers, democrats, students and journalists.
The Home Ministry however has found that Myrdal had attended pro-Naxal
conventions and allegedly expressed support to the CPI (Maoist)
ideology of armed struggle against the state, a charge vehemently
denied by the author.
Myrdal has reportedly rebutted the allegation saying he was on a
one month conference visa to re launch his book "Red Star Over
India - Impressions, Reflexions and Discussions when the Wretched
of the Earth are Rising." The government was well informed about
his movements and his speeches are in public domain either printed
or is available on the net.
The author said he did not do anything stupid like giving
political "advice" to the Indian friends and the decision to ban
him from entering in the country was an anti-Indian act. He
requested the official to withdraw the decision if it’s already
It is well known that Jan Myrdal is a follower of MoaSaTung’s
ideology. In India the CPI (Moaist) are inspired by his writings.
He has visited India several times and has extensively toured the
country. He knows the Indian reality at the grassroots. But, then
that’s it, there are so many foreign intellectual, too may have
similar understanding. What does it really mean?
There are certain questions that seek answers? Will the ban on
Myrdal solve the Maoist problem in India? Will his visit intensify
the Maoist struggle in the country? Can’t his visit be converted
as an exercise in exchange of ideas and the government has benefit
from his advice? In fact after 'India Waits,' Indira Gandhi has
asked him to come and discuss the issue of left rebellion with her
but the ‘mother India’ met an untimely death.
Now the ‘Sons of India’ who are killing its own people, under
operation ‘Green Hunt’ think they can solve the problem by doing
so and anyone who opposes such brutal designs has to be kept off.
It is in this connection that a person of the stature of Jan
Myrdal is being ban from visiting the country. This is a clear
indication how much Indian has changed in its character and
ideology over a period of time.
The Indian government that is giving red carpet welcome, to MNCs
and big bourgeoisie to indiscriminately loot the most valuable
riches of the country and is being intolerant towards those who
are opposing them with genuine democratic and progressive views.
The Indian government is inviting international big corporate like
Enron, Dow Chemicals, POSCO, Monsanto, Vedanta and Areva and so
many others. It is hugely supporting Jindal, Mittal, Esssar, Tata
and Ambani that are colluding with these MNCs and serving them.
On the other hand the Adivasis who are fighting a life and death
struggle to preserve the most valuable lands, forests, hills,
waters, minerals and all kinds of other natural resources in the
vast areas of the country from their exploitation are being hunted
down under the operation ‘Green Hunt’. It shows how far Indian
state that rest on the word ‘socialism’ enshrined in our
constitution is moving away from its own code of commandments.
It is not new for the ruling classes of this country to deal with
artistes, writers, journalists, film producers and directors in
such a manner. There are several writers and democrats who have
been implicated in countless conspiracy cases in our country.
On July 1, 2010 a Delhi based journalist Hem Chandra Pandey was
shot dead in a fake encounter by the Andhra Pradesh police.
Artiste Jeeten Marandi was sentenced to death by a court of law
but later the judgment was withdrawn due to popular pressure.
Well-known writer Arundhati Roy was sentenced to jail for
supporting the cause of the Kashmir people.
Recently the Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee got Professor
Abhishek Mahapatra arrested with the ire that he drew a cartoon on
her. The Jadavpur University students, who questioned this, were
harassed in the name of being Maoists.
The stand taken by the Indian government to stop Jan Myrdal from
coming to our country is shameful indeed. All democrats, writers,
artistes, students, journalists and people from all walks of life
should condemn such tyrannical decision. The need is to build a
broad and strong solidarity movement that would make the
government revoke its proposal to ban Jan Myrdal from visiting to
Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He cam be
contacted at email@example.com