Indian Vanguard

  • April-May-June 2011

    Peoples March 2011- April May June 01 copy
  • Who is the problem, the CPI (Maoist) or the Indian State?

  • Democracy’ at its worst !

  • Narayanpatna: Fact Finding Report

  • Interview: Aruna Roy

    The State wiil fail if the army and air force are used against the maoists

    Interview with Aruna Roy

  • The Heart of India is Under attack- Arundhati Roy

    Arundhati roy 22

  • Peoples March, Novemeber

    Pm Nove 2009 Issue 1101 copy

  • Debates on Lalgarh

    Debates on Lalgarh copy

  • Interview: Koteswar Rao

  • Green Hunt: Fact finding Report

    FFR Green Hunt copy1

  • Govt at war with Maoists to aid MNCs: Arundhati

    Arundhati roy 2

  • Stop Green Hunt

    Let us deman copy

  • Interview: Ganapathi

  • Statement against Military offencive

  • Singur to Lalgarh via Nandigram

    Singur to Lalgarh via Nandigram 3

  • Confronting Guns of Peace: Bastar Faces its Worst Crisis

  • Lalgarh: A hopeful spark

    Revolut copy

  • Maoist Images


    Gaddhar in a pro CPI Maoist Rally


  • Lalgarh Images

  • People’s Truth

The Wound from Within

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2009

by Sudeep Chakravarti, The author of Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country, explains the past and present of Maoism, and its inevitable growth, if we don’t look out
RED SIGNAL: A woman naxalite waits before her performance at a protest rally in Kolkata

RED SIGNAL: A woman naxalite waits before her performance at a protest rally in Kolkata

A top economist with a global investment firm asked me recently: “Why would anyone want to follow a mass murderer? Even China has let the chap go.”
He meant Mao Zedong, whose callousness and paranoia cost China several million lives and decades of opportunity. The “anyone” referred to India’s Maoist rebels in 14 states, numbering tens of thousands, from indoctrinated propagandists to armed cadres. When I suggested that it was easy to be blind-sided by India’s economic growth and astounding progress in some areas, he switched off.

Denial is a religion. It is why Left-wing extremism has resurfaced with greater ferocity — thrice since the 1960s — even as India has grown more prosperous. But it continues to be misunderstood. Lalgarh was ‘hot’ in June not because of underlying issues, but because it was only 200 km west of Kolkata, within easy reach of live TV. Last November, in nearby Salboni, where Jindal Steel plans a plant, Maoists attempted to kill Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. (A Marxist, or a Leftwing ‘liberal,’ Bhattacharjee is, ironically, a class enemy for the extreme Left, seen as keen to aggressively remove those reluctant to sell their productive farmlands for the “people’s car” project.)

To some, Maoists appear murderous, anti-development. But it is not that simple. Maoists have evolved from the Naxals of the 1960s, defenders of a land rights movement that exploded in the Naxalbari area of Bengal. That extreme-Left breakaway of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has morphed into the Communist Party of India (Maoist). They employ Mao’s brilliant rebel-era rural to urban politico-military strategy, articulated in the Little Red Book. Generals, both establishment and rebel, study it.
Maoism’s presence extends from areas that are forested, mineral-rich — but dirt-poor — to zones of agrarian crisis, caste turmoil, and urban dissatisfaction.

They will leverage the coming churn on account of population pressures, food insecurity, and dislocation. They live and work in a world where, each year for the past 10, the number of rural suicides on account of indebtedness has outnumbered IIT entrants by five to one. They have even begun moving to urban areas.

Non-governance and bad governance are key factors, aided by corrupt, callous politicians, bureaucrats, law-keepers — and short-sighted businesses. Forest residents are denied rights of livelihood and justice; project-displaced people are shabbily treated. Instead of enlightened best practices, the principle of Eminent Domain is freely abused to expropriate land. All these produce negative energy: Maoist food for thought, recruitment and action. They see themselves as saviours of the trampled.

Take Lalgarh, which I visited. For 32 years, the government had corrupted the civil and police administration by allowing Party thugs to rule — they are among the wealthiest in the area. Maoists and tribal-activists stepped into the vacuum created by near-total non-development. The government was compelled to send in forces to reclaim territory. They did, but they haven’t reclaimed “hearts and minds”.

The no-brainer lies in the carrot: reduce inequity; lessen corruption and increase accountability; provide easier recourse to the criminal justice system; and ensure delivery of fundamental rights as accorded by the Constitution. If this proves impossible, the harvest of frustration and anger will increase.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: