Interpreting Maoist Violence

September 27, 2009

An op-ed by a leading political commentator points out that Maoist idealogues and the government in fact, interpret the appeal of insurgency in similar ways.


Bibek Debroy, The insurgent’s mind, The Indian Express, September 25, 2009.

On September 20, 2009, Kobad Ghandy, a senior Maoist idealogue and social activist, was arrested in New Delhi. His arrest has spurred interest in the whys and wherefores of Maoist movements, and much reminiscing by those who know him and have worked with him in a variety of political contexts. Ghandy’s urban, elite background is in sharp contrast to the setting in which Maoists work, and his arrest is now drawing attention to governance failures as well as civil rights issues that every society witness to insurgency and counter-insurgency activity must think about.

Shoma Chaudhury, Weapons of Mass Desperation, Tehelka, October 3, 2009.
Daipaiyan Haldar, ‘Arrest won’t end Naxal movement’: Interview with Varavara Rao, Mid-day, Delhi, September 24, 2009.
Pratik Kanjilal, Violence is a zero-sum game, Hindustan Times, September 25, 2009.

The following article provides perspective on a generation of Indians who were responsive at some point in their lives to the social and political realities around them, some of them continuing to remain active in the civil rights movement and in Ghandy’s case, working with the Maoists.
Sidharth Bhatia, A posh rebel in India’s heart of darkness, Daily News and Analysis, September 26, 2009.

Every now and then, in fact as often as possible, in a democratic society, as the state battles its many challengers, opinion-leaders and public intellectuals should raise questions about the causes for the challenge, the legitimacy of the response and the nature of good citizenship.

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