Monday, December 10, 2007

Himal South Asian cover story on Naxalite Movement

Guns vs mobilisation

The Naxalite Maoists are a symptom of the deep inequities prevalent in all Southasian societies, but that is about as far as it goes. As the economic boom brings the Indian middle class into its embrace, and the gap between the rich and poor increasingly becomes a chasm, the future surely will deliver more Naxalite-type rebellions in the deprived corners of India. The cover feature of this issue has writer Prashant Jha travelling through Chhattisgarh, Andhra, Bihar and Jharkhand, seeking understanding of the separate evolutionary paths of current Naxalite movements. We also present the opinions of key observers of Naxalism, as well as interviews with the wizened progenitors of the original action at Naxalbari. While the state authorities are uniformly craven in their attempts to crush the Maobaadi of India, we also confirm that the Maoist reliance on the gun – and the gun alone – is a sure-fire formula to further penalise the people they seek to uplift. Much better would be for the radical left to pursue the path of social revolution through mass mobilisation, rather than the shortcut of armed revolution.

Cover illustration by Jessica Schnabel

Conflict of narratives

Naxalite be not proud
by | Prashant Jha

'Naxalbari and the continuous rebellion
by | Sumanta Banerjee

Echoes of Naxalbari
by | Aditi Bhaduri

Chhattisgarh's purification hunt
by | Shubhranshu Choudhary

The limits of violence
by | K Balagopal

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