When the revolution comes, you’ll be first against the wall. Yes, you. You with this newspaper in your grubby capitalist hands, or this article scrolling down a screen made entirely from the underpaid sweat of the masses, I’m talking to you. You’ll be standing against the wall with an array of very unfriendly bits of technology aimed at your exploitative head. And I’m afraid that all I have to say to you is: See you there! I’ll be the one standing right next to you, wishing that I’d spent my tragically curtailed life eating more Nutella, and not even bothered with this running regimen because I swear the shin splints are killing me.
I’m not saying this just because certain people who would kill me at the next family tea party if I named them, spent their twenties clutching Mao’s little red book and attending Marxist-Leninist study circles. I’m saying it because these same people ran into the phone booth of their thirties and came out miraculously transformed into the pillars of bourgeois society they had until recently so deeply reviled, so I think they deserve to be reminded that they’ll be first against the wall too. Maybe they could ask to have a last brief study circle before the shots ring out.
The other day, as I lolled about disgustingly in my greed-soaked private property, a news channel that you could barely see for all the grossly consumerist advertisements broadcast a graphic of Maoist-controlled India. This so-called ‘Red Corridor’ is currently the epicentre of a deadly conflict between Arundhati ‘Silver Doll’ Roy and people who don’t like her writing, and apparently also the site of some kind of to-do between the Maoists and the Indian security forces.
See, this is exactly the kind of crass elitist flippancy that will get me shot first. But perhaps they’ll aim to miss if I point out that I don’t actually own the title deed to this intolerable slap in the face of the proletariat of a house. Not that I would ever reveal to them who does own it, since even in the face of a hideous death I am nothing if not principled—but it doesn’t look good for her that she’s currently on a cruise vacation.
Anyway, I peered at this graphic as the news anchor spoke about the anti-Maoist Operation Green Hunt with an animation that suggests he knows he’ll be up there with you and me against the wall when the revolution comes. I peered at the graphic, and looked hard for the bits of India that aren’t Maoist-controlled. India, in this graphic, looks like a fat lady with a red sari sweeping up her body, leaving her head and shoulders, and the tips of her toes, showing. Well, that’s not good, I thought, having only recently emerged from the phone booth myself. If half the country is in armed revolt, we must be doing something wrong.
It must be admitted that the only real mystery left in India is, why hasn’t the revolution come yet? Well, here it is, maybe. I don’t envy those poor security personnel whom our oppressive state structures have sent into the forest without much training, to fight the righteous. And I can hardly breathe for all the rarified capital-intensive feudal air up here, but I imagine that life isn’t all rosy for the unwashed masses. and the chasms must be galling. I’m not at all certain that I approve of Maoist-Naxal violence, but it’s almost certain that the likes of us, in similar discomfort, would organise some pretty militant Facebook groups.
Chances are that the state will prevail. But I’m off to eat a slice of bread with Nutella, just in case.