The "Invisible" Civil War

217 Comments

We have been in the middle of an invisible civil war for many years now. Civil war because it is an armed struggle by a section of the people against the democratic administration of the country, a war that has spiraled so out of control that representatives of law enforcement accept that there are large swathes of country where they cannot enter. Invisible because it rarely captures national attention, confined as it is to largely rural backward areas for which it is pushed to the rear of the news by other things more important to our national life—like IPL, Shoaib-Sania and Kites.

That is unless more than seventy-six CRPF personnel are brutally massacred at which point of time we are forced to deal with the issue. At least for a few news cycles.

For those of us who do care, at least perfunctorily, and who havent drunk the “It’s all India’s fault” cool-aid it is tempting to angrily shout out “Ms Roy, happy now?” , in the context of her frothing diatribe against the Indian government, Hindutva, corporations (basically all of her enemies) and her rapturous glorification of the violence of Maoists in the execrable piece of garbage recently published in Outlook.  But analyzing or rebutting a fanatic fundamentalist like Ms. Roy is as futile as deconstructing a Payal Rohatgi movie and once you realize that she is essentially a Rakhi Sawant with a laptop and a Booker, with the only difference that she uses Maoists instead of Mika to get attention, the uselessness of the exercise is even more evident.

What however is worth looking at are her rhetorical tools, principally because they are re-used by many people who share Ms. Roy’s agenda, from your unshaven friend at JNU to the slacker cousin of yours who leaves cigarette ash on your carpet. One of it is in presenting random pictures of Maoist rebels, women or young men, and saying “India’s Biggest Threats” as if the incongruity between their innocent visages and the phrase “India’s Biggest Threat” should show how ridiculous a liar the Indian government is. Of course, Ms. Roy the point is not the bholi soorat that you so lovingly present but that AK47 slung on her shoulder. That is the problem. Villains rarely look like Dr. Dong and do a Shaam-O-Sasha dance and even Osama would look like a poet had not we known his other activities.

The second is in humanizing terrorist organizations by saying “Look at the kind of development work they have done.”  Well even the Mujahideen in Kashmir did earthquake relief and it is well known that terrorists do public outreach programs to win hearts and minds. Just like big industrial houses. However people like Ms. Roy will sneer at the altruism of big business and glorify that of terrorists. Not surprising.

The third is of course making wild accusations of government excesses and then obviating the necessity of providing supporting evidence by saying “The corporate press suppressed the news.” This is an old game, a game played by radicals across the political spectrum. Get some wild bit of news, either from “alternative media” or from unimpeachable sources like Maoists with a gun and say “There is no proof for this assertion of mine because there can never be.” This is not to say that government excesses do not take place (italicized for the benefit of those rushing to comment with a “On so-and-so day the government did this and this was reported in Newspaper so-and-so) but much of the accusations are just that. Accusations with nothing to back them up. Accusations so often repeated that they become fact.

And what is worth touching upon is the Big Lie that people like Ms. Roy perpetuate. That somehow we are seeing another Santhal Rebellion with the oppressive British being replaced by the oppressive Indian (Hindu) state. During the British era, Santhals using bows and arrows went up against British guns and cannons. Today’s Maoist “tribals” have AK47s and ultra-modern weaponry and commando-like training, which obviously some agency has supplied to them. In that respect this is not a “spontaneous” rising of the dispossessed but a carefully engineered insurrection with the fighting fuel being supplied by our “good neighbors”  and the propaganda lungs (since propaganda is a vital part of Communist struggle) being supplied by “We know who”.

However what is true is that fighting footsoldiers of the Maoist movement are coming from the ranks of tribals and it is important we try to understand, even imperfectly since a full understanding of such a difficult problem requires much study which we are unable to do between two KKR matches, what is going on. What our Maoists in the press would tell us is a very simple story. One one side are the good people—the tribals, monstrously poor, sitting on minerals, being exploited and taken advantage of. On on the other side are the bad people—-big industrial houses, the Indian government, police, army and Hindutva (Yes the last word people like Ms. Roy put in every piece almost as if padding a piece for Google Adwords purpose). And that the tribals, the good guys, are launching a justified armed struggle against the bad guys.

The truth is slightly different. The tribals are not a monlithic entity. A few of them have, over the generations, taken advantage of quotas and the other special privileges provided to them by the Constitution as well as economic liberalization to improve their lot. Some of them have become middlemen, some of them small businessmen like brick kiln owners. A few of them, over generations, have risen in ranks even further becoming powerhouses like a Madhu Koda or Shibu Soren. But there are others who have stayed behind rolling kendu leaves and essentially doing the same things that their ancestors did. Now when big mining companies moved in, it was those “advanced” tribals who saw an opportunity to make more money by becoming land-brokers. Needless to say, they were coming up against their socially immobile brethren who naturally resented the comparative wealth and influence of their fellow-tribals. And then “people” started putting AK47s in the hands of those pissed off telling them “Grab what you dont have. We can make our own laws.”

Soon government-supported, pro-development “tribals” (Salwa Judum—–Mahendra Karma the founder of Salwa Judum is an ethnic Adivasi himself who had made it “big”) and the dispossessed but armed tribals were fighting each other,  in an increasing spiral of violence. And despite what the “liberals” would have you believe,  these “dispossessed” tribals forming the Maoists are not Robin Hoods. They go about terrorizing villages, collecting extortion and protection money and organizing people’s courts for punishing “informers” i.e. those who were trying to get into the gang of the “advanced” tribals. So yes this isnt a battle between good and evil but a massive gang war being played out in the backwoods with no heroes and no villains. Only victims.

A solution is difficult to find here. And I wont be presumptuous to say I have any idea what should be done. However I feel that part of the solution would be to have tribals brought into the mainstream. For too long I have seen people, usually city folks and academics, glorifying tribal life as the last surviving vestige of a simple, ancient way of living. But a tribal life, of subsisting on hunting and rolling kendu leaves, is a life that is medieval and there is a reason why people in most parts of the country abandoned this lifestyle many centuries ago (After all we all were tribals once). As mentioned before, the tension underlying the Maoist struggle is between those who have forsaken their old life for “capitalist pleasures” which in turn has led to an understanding of how they can leverage their possession of natural reserves for their own benefit,  and those who have not.

While glorying Maoists, Ms. Roy says that they have gotten tribals organized and have won victories like getting a better price for kendu leaves. However it should be noted that poor and exploited people in other parts of the country did not need guns and terrorists to get organized. They formed cooperatives like Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (Amul) and changed their futures peacefully. So community organization, as Ms. Roy hints, does not need Maoists. As a matter of fact, Maoists prevent aid and assistance from reaching those that need it (being a kind of mafia themselves) and the perpetuation of the Maoist movement, as strategized by its handlers who are anything but tribals, depends critically on people being angry at the government. Hence lack of real development, as done by the government, serves them well because then they can show themselves to be an alternative.

In conclusion, I sometimes wonder what would happen to people like Ms. Roy should the Maoists actually succeed in overthrowing the Indian state in a few decades, a publicly stated aim. Well based on the glorious example of Chairman Mao and his attitude towards “intellectuals” during the Cultural Revolution and of his disciple Pol Pot, who made them work in the fields till they died, the fate of champagne liberals like Ms. Roy would not be all that great. But somehow I think she wouldnt stay around in the country to find out.

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217 thoughts on “The "Invisible" Civil War

  1. Arundhuti Roy’s rants have become way too shrill now a days. Her ‘victims of state terror’ just wiped out a company of CRPF. How long will she continue to glorify & romanticize these bandits? I wonder what kick does she get out of such repulsive writing. And now, when it is the time for the state to go all out to finish this menace off we would have a Bevvy of Roy inspired ‘human rights!!! activists’ jumping onto the bandwagon to save their ‘comrades-in-arms’. The CRPF/BSF & paramilitary forces top level should actually refuse to send their men to Maoist ‘infested’ areas unless a mandate is given to them to fire & strike at will. How long will soldiers be cannon fodder at the altar of a society’s collective pacifism?

  2. A well written piece… The problem not only lies with the unshaved guy from JNU, our alma mater , i.e. JU has perhaps the largest plethora of maoist sympathizers in the country. Presidency & other colleges are no exception.

  3. The tribal Naxal who shoots the rifle is not the culprit.

    Naxal movement thrives on intellectual masturbation in places like JNU and host of “humanities departments” around the country, which are hotbeds of the ultra-left regressive ideology.

    And there are internation front organizationbs like AID, and ASHA which channel money to Naxal supported projects in India.

    Sniff them out, and Naxalism will die on its own.

  4. I think its time the Indian Government decided ‘its now or never’! A crack down and a use of deadly force is warrented not only against the maoists but also against their handlers, sympathizers, informants and anyone who even has an inclination towards supporting them. Its no more a political problem but has definitely become a cancerous lesion which needs to be amputated at the earliest before it spreads and kills the other state organs. let the likes of Arundhati bark (like we allow all our street dogs to)because people like Arundhati is least of anyone’s problems and one should not bother too much about her histrionics because she like her brethren Shobha De, Medha Patkar and the likes are just attention mongers who make their living out of talking against the state enemies (corporates, government, Modi, RSS, Hindutva etc etc… :-P)

  5. Arnab, you’ve hit a bull’s eye. Right on the spot, post.

    The massacre at Dantewada was really disturbing.

    Noone can justify (how much rhetoric they sound) the coward killing.

    It’s a high time – our Politicians MUST wake-up now.

    It’s just the matter of time before the Maoists stuck again (next time probably with drones).

    A strong political willingness is required to go to the root of this problem. Such relentless killings would not stop until then.

    Nilesh

  6. Generations will be lost….the ones who are suffering would continue to suffer. The urban well to do would move on…OR…write intellectual hedonistic pieces in magazines & get called to conferences…OR …sympathizing with these causes will continue to be the in-thing in college campuses(albeit to be dropped & forgotten after the final year)

    Once upon a time the poor adivasis had been exploited physically & economically by certain sections. And now they are being exploited emotionally & ideologically by a few people whose distorted world views have already brought enough sorrow to the world.

  7. Excellent piece. I wish all people with brain and all people in power would look at this problem not through the tints of ‘isms’ or through the glint of greed. Sensible solutions are still possible….Hope we don’t let time slip through our own hands before wringing them when it’s too late.

    My salute and a tear for the men who died doing the job of defending us, even though they were ill-equipped for it in every sense of the word. I wish I could spit as easily on the faceless power-brokers and all those who didn’t do their job well when sending these unsuspecting men to certain death.

  8. Maoism really seems to be a problem that have no answers, at least now. Your article is actually a refreshing view on the issue, quite different from the shrillery, on one end or the other, being propagated by the main stream media. As with any kind of oppressed people who resort to armed struggle, like Muslims and tribals, the key is to bring them in to the mainstream and not to isolate them further into the abyss. Even in counter-insurgency operations, knowledge of local conditions is very important and in this respect, the AP model of Greyhounds is worth emulating.

  9. The current brand of Maoist struggle is quite different from the Naxalite struggles that originated in Naxalbari in AP. Evidence suggests that the Naxalite struggles were essentially for development while the present model is Maoism is actually shunning development. They just seem to be another brand of terrorists brainwashed by our “Friendly, Bhai-bhai” neighbours, who play upon the emotions of tribal people to wage war against Indian state. India is really an odd one out in this region – ideologically, culturally and economically. Dunno how long we can hold on to our unique identity.

  10. (Twisting a tagore song)….”Shokhi Brainwash kahare koy”

    “http://news.rediff.com/interview/2010/apr/07/tribal-activist-himanshu-kumar-on-the-dantewada-massacre.htm”

    Couple of Maoists? :O
    Logic anyone?

  11. @ Arbit
    It is part of the propaganda process of the ultra-lefts.
    It is very easy to predict Naxal strategy.
    Just follow what happened in Cambodia a few decades back.

    The strategy workbooks they used are being used by the Naxals here since the early 70s. Even the tactics of individual ooperations are often copied.

  12. Expecting a bunch of “they are victims of state terror..” kind of jazz….surprised…that they have not jumped on in as yet.

    Maoists are nothing but bandits….plain & simple.
    Being guided & led by perverse intellectuals(most of them urban)…who have convinced the adivasis that their emancipation is possible only through guns. Once the movement fizzles out..& scores of ground level maoists & adivasis are killed in this protracted battle…this section would move on & complete their theses from Universities & take up fellowships abroad or would become social analysts appearing on news channels to air their views. A very very predictable path. Ms Roy could do a little research on the supply of guns & ammunition to the Maoists. They are not getting cultivated in the ‘liberated zones’..I suppose

  13. Agreed on all counts. Really a pity that there are almost no articles in the newspapers exposing the intellectual vacuity of all these pro Maoist intellectuals.

  14. Dear Arnab
    Good post brother, sad to see that the youth is too busy with the number of sixes in IPL or the Barca-MU tie up. The day the massacre took place, I have seen people(so called youth of my country) discussing the goals by some arbit player of some team in Champions league over the news of massacre being highlighted.

  15. Hi Arnab, Have been reading your blog for quite a while, but never felt the need to comment. But your last two posts rocked. the one on kolkata and this one on the ‘mao-roy’ists…both outline the problem wonderfully.

    i took a lot of trouble and time to read the booker woman’s article in outlook, because i wanted to hear the other side’s story. 5-6 pages into it, i realised that it wasnt their story, but another piece of literary fiction that would do wonders to roy’s literary aspirations. especially, where she calls a couple of cadres ‘beautiful / with a beautful smile’. now, those very beautiful people who are ‘india’s biggest security threat’ have killed 73 people. and in that, 73 families as well. but would ms roy care? nah, she’s already (probably) got a commission from some international human rights organisation to do more ‘research’ work, on the strength of that smelly prose.
    but in one thing, she’s damn right – she says ‘india needs a revolution’ (or was it her mother?), and with this, india’s got it. i hope PC gets cracking on this mafia sooner than later. but more importantly, i hope that people don’t get taken in by roy’s flowery prose. more than the maoists, it is idiots like roy who are more dangerous. she, i would say, is india’s gravest security threat.

  16. @Actually; Naxalbari is in Bengal that gave rise to Naxalites. The next state to which naxalism protruded is AP, especially Telangana region. Now with their specialised police forces coupled with developmental programs, AP has almost driven Naxals out of their state. These expelled Naxals took refuge in dense forests of Central and East India and gave birth to Maoist movements in the guise of fighting for tribals. Many top leaders of present Maoists including Kishenji are erstwhile Naxals from AP. Try out the AP example instead of just relying on Salwa Judum (failed experiment) and Operation Green Hunt, etc.

  17. I wouldn’t mind as much if some of those corrupt politicians were killed. Aren’t the poor CRPF jawans innocent? Why do they have to get killed? 😦

  18. With what authority does the author present his arguments? Is the sole basis of the Author’s arguments the reports published in the mainstream media and the statements of the Mr. Chidambaram and the likes?
    Arundhati Roy,before she penned down that article, spent a considerable amount of time in the jungles of Chhatisgarh in the “maoist infested” areas. Has the Author carried out a similar exercise? It is very easy to write a cogent and convincing essay within the secure confines of you drawing room, Mr. Author.

    I am not going to agree or disagree with what you have said. All i urge you to do is to pay a visit to Chhatisgarh before you add to the already existent and large body of oversimplified literature on this issue.

  19. Hey Arnab, you have a funny man reputation, but I find your serious blog posts much more interesting than your funny ones. I think you are fantastic when you write about serious issues. Want to see more of the same from you.

    As for Arundhati Roy… its an understatement to say that I hate her. As somebody said, people like her and the psuedo-intellectual human rights activits types are a bigger danger to India than even the Maoists. Our security forces are very capable of dealing with Maoists, who will deal with Roy and friends ?

  20. Preetish in that case on what authority does anybody base their opinion that Hitler and his Nazi gang were wrong to kill Jews ? Going by your reasoning we would need to actually live in Germany amongst the Nazis in order to qualify to comment…

    Anyway, I dont need to know you or spend a day or two with you to say without the slightest doubt that you are an idiot. Your last comment on this blog is sufficient evidence.

    Have a nice day.

  21. Yeah..we should all visit Chattisgarh & then come back & write up motivated hedonistic pieces. As I was expecting…the Roy Fan club is back…

  22. Great blog. Great counter arguments.

    However, I believe we do need our Arundhatis. After all, she is not coming with a gun and mowing down people. I found many of her writings logically incoherent but beautifully worded.

    Coming back to this week’s Maoist carnage, I felt relieved when Mr. Chidambaram talked about ‘no kneejerk reaction’. Storming the jungle and smoking them out is not going to work. The punishment has to be hard, but it should come through surgical/targetted operations. As of today, my trust in our honourable home minister stands rock-solid, these carnages notwithstanding.

  23. Dear Arnab,

    I enjoy reading your blog, I consistently follow any updates on your blog. I also bought your book (actually ordered online not yet receive) However, I have one small request, Please desist from writing on topics, especially a complex, nebulous and sensitive one like this, when you dont have the correct versions from both the sides or have seen things with your own eyes .

    You ain’t a tribal and u can’t think like a tribal hence you wont understand the feelings unless you have lived with them. And as a fellow human being don’t try to rub it in to the tribals by simply using the cliche’ “the solution would be to have tribals brought into the mainstream”, this we have used on the chinese/Nepali Indians (read NE people) and other marginalised (especially socially) . They are just humane like you and me but with a different way of living. You cant force your way of living on them. Their way of living isnt ugly or violent either, its as pristine and “natural”, if not better than us. Taking JEE, CAT, GRE GMAT, dog eat dog competition, PhD writing blogs, judging people/commenting others based on their races/colour/slint eyes may not be their way of life. But that doesnt make them less of a human being incapable of understanding peace, love and their rights. Its just that even the most humane people behave like aggresive animal when pushed to a corner. Just imagine “teased for different looks, poverty, their women leched and harasssed and finally grabing their land, for which they dont have the legal documents as entailed by more superior and humane people like us, houses submerged, harassed by cops (incidentlly as u move higher up their representaion decrease or non-existent) for complaining any wrongdoings against them. We invent or copied all the rules and regulation from others and then upon mastering themselves are trying to stuff it up their “ar**”

    Just one thought, have you ever spared a thought that had those region not been mineral rich, would Indian Government have cared much whether these tribal’s women are raped or their childrend died in starvation. the answer is NO. Why we suddenly waking up to bringing them to mainstream? Why these weren’t thought out when thy were dying of hunger, their houses were drowned/submerged because of huge Dam construction (which btw would have benefited the country i.e. hungry greed barking and burgeoning “mainstream” like you and me). If this is about India’s sovereignty and democracy, that India is only for people that are heard and listened, those whose people are running the country, lobbying for them. e Mamata dido or her bugbear both lobbying for WB, Karunanidhi or Amma for TN, Gowda or Yedurappa for Karnataka, Mulayam/Congress/CPIM for Muslims. WHich pwerful lobbies (minister/blood thirsty netas) are lobbying for them. Do you think that we are that inhuman or phoney human that we are willing to sacrifice this minority for betterment of people like you and me (whose population re groing exponentially) Just providing them quotas isnt enough, showing a little respect and empathy for them, the poor Muted human beings, should be bare minimum for a start

    My heart bleeds for the 75 Jawans, they are the suffering lots not u me or the bloody netas and their cronnies. But that doesnt give us the rights to insinuate that the tribals themselves are responsible for their miseries.

    You want quick fix solution, drop napalm bombs and missiles on them , it will have two major benefits for the country :

    There will be no more tribals, hence less mouth to feed (as if they are having healthy meals daily), we the more humane superior and thinking people with finer taste of life can use those resources and this will also negate the incremental population explosion primarily caused by us

    Secondly the napalm bombs and misssiles of Indian Armed Forces were never been used in real war time (napalm bombs I believe had last been used in 1971/Kargil so we dont know whether they are still working). Since we are not willing to use it on other not so real threats (like Pakistanis, Intruders who are challenging the soverignity of the country, Chinese intruders who are changing our borders, Bangladeshis intruders both civilians and millitants who have infiltrated the entire NE and WB and now Mumbai) lets use them on these tribals. Na rahega Baaj na bajega Banssori

    Bottomline : Don’t Make it Us Vs Them. At this juncture we dont need these. One thing I share with you (pertainignto this article, otherwise I have so far enjoyed all of your writings) is the utter contempt of Arundhati Roy. Someone please give her some life or some work just to keep her busy

  24. Dear Arnab,

    I enjoy reading your blog, I consistently follow any updates on your blog. I also bought your book (actually ordered online not yet receive) However, I have one small request, Please desist from writing on topics, especially a complex, nebulous and sensitive one like this, when you dont have the correct versions from both the sides or have seen things with your own eyes .

    You ain’t a tribal and u can’t think like a tribal hence you wont understand the feelings unless you have lived with them. And as a fellow human being don’t try to rub it in to the tribals by simply using the cliche’ “the solution would be to have tribals brought into the mainstream”, this we have used on the chinese/Nepali Indians (read NE people) and other marginalised (especially socially) . They are just humane like you and me but with a different way of living. You cant force your way of living on them. Their way of living isnt ugly or violent either, its as pristine and “natural”, if not better than us. Taking JEE, CAT, GRE GMAT, dog eat dog competition, PhD writing blogs, judging people/commenting others based on their races/colour/slint eyes may not be their way of life. But that doesnt make them less of a human being incapable of understanding peace, love and their rights. Its just that even the most humane people behave like aggresive animal when pushed to a corner. Just imagine “teased for different looks, poverty, their women leched and harasssed and finally grabing their land, for which they dont have the legal documents as entailed by more superior and humane people like us, houses submerged, harassed by cops (incidentlly as u move higher up their representaion decrease or non-existent) for complaining any wrongdoings against them. We invent or copied all the rules and regulation from others and then upon mastering themselves are trying to stuff it up their “ar**”

    Just one thought, have you ever spared a thought that had those region not been mineral rich, would Indian Government have cared much whether these tribal’s women are raped or their childrend died in starvation. the answer is NO. Why we suddenly waking up to bringing them to mainstream? Why these weren’t thought out when thy were dying of hunger, their houses were drowned/submerged because of huge Dam construction (which btw would have benefited the country i.e. hungry greed barking and burgeoning “mainstream” like you and me). If this is about India’s sovereignty and democracy, that India is only for people that are heard and listened, those whose people are running the country, lobbying for them. e Mamata dido or her bugbear both lobbying for WB, Karunanidhi or Amma for TN, Gowda or Yedurappa for Karnataka, Mulayam/Congress/CPIM for Muslims. WHich pwerful lobbies (minister/blood thirsty netas) are lobbying for them. Do you think that we are that inhuman or phoney human that we are willing to sacrifice this minority for betterment of people like you and me (whose population re groing exponentially) Just providing them quotas isnt enough, showing a little respect and empathy for them, the poor Muted human beings, should be bare minimum for a start

    My heart bleeds for the 75 Jawans, they are the suffering lots not u me or the bloody netas and their cronnies. But that doesnt give us the rights to insinuate that the tribals themselves are responsible for their miseries.

    You want quick fix solution, drop napalm bombs and missiles on them , it will have two major benefits for the country :

    There will be no more tribals, hence less mouth to feed (as if they are having healthy meals daily), we the more humane superior and thinking people with finer taste of life can use those resources and this will also negate the incremental population explosion primarily caused by us

    Secondly the napalm bombs and misssiles of Indian Armed Forces were never been used in real war time (napalm bombs I believe had last been used in 1971/Kargil so we dont know whether they are still working). Since we are not willing to use it on other not so real threats (like Pakistanis, Intruders who are challenging the soverignity of the country, Chinese intruders who are changing our borders, Bangladeshis intruders both civilians and millitants who have infiltrated the entire NE and WB and now Mumbai) lets use them on these tribals. Na rahega Baaj na bajega Banssori

    Bottomline : Don’t Make it Us Vs Them. At this juncture we dont need these. One thing I share with you (pertainignto this article, otherwise I have so far enjoyed all of your writings) is the utter contempt of Arundhati Roy. Someone please give her some life or some work just to keep her busy

    Regards

    Fellow Indian

  25. there is one more angle to this civil war … esp in places like bihar and AP – caste. it is not necessarily a “tribal issue” everywhere.

  26. @Preetish

    Right that the author, for all we know, might not have taken the pains to construct the motive behind the attacks. But that apart, would you not term the incident as a brutal, barbaric attack at the heart of human civilization? What is with the obsession to experience one’s pain (a publicized one mind you) first hand to take a stand on a black and white issue as the attack we witnessed the other day.

    And I do not believe that expressing views from the secure confines (of let’s say my office) devalue the impact of what is being expressed. If Arnab does not risk his life through the jungles of Chattisgarh to come out with a white paper and deconstruct the ‘Maoist’ way of life, I would rather hand him the ‘Booker of Sane Minds’ than have him classified in the same ‘not so august’ company of Miss Roy (I won’t be surprized if she becomes a gun – toting writer some day – demanding awards at gun – point!)

  27. a very well written post GB..and the reality is so tragic , i can only laugh at quite a few people here trying to counter you by imagining “The ground situation”.how it all started doesn’t matter anymore cuz the naxal movt is now no more than a quest for money and shadow political power.and it has been that for quite some time.the ideology and the “struggle for tribals and the marginalised” crap is used only in TV studios for telecasting absolute turd into plush living rooms and bringing pressure on the goverment(and actually handing it excuses) to sit pretty.

  28. @ mere mortal

    Let them stop the violence. Then it automatically becomes ‘our’ problem.
    Till then…it is ‘us versus them’.
    Its difficult to empathize or appreciate ones’s problem when he is pointing a gun at me. Once he drops the gun & decides to talk…we can share concerns from both sides & work out some amicable solution. As long as the gun is pointed my primary focus would be on saving my ass which incidentally is possible by attacking the person with the gun…with my own gun.
    & BTW….I have been born & brought up in the North-East. Lets reserve that debate for some other day. My understanding is that your perspective of the NE problem primarily originates from Roy like articles. There is absolutely no recognition of the racism that the so called mainlanders have had to face in the NE. balanced views anyone?

  29. I’m rather ambivalent on this one. I’m forced to admit that a completely non-military solution looks far from possible. And it’s hard to take sides when neutral information is not available (condolences to the many who have lost so much to this issue, notwithstanding). But I’m deeply, deeply suspicious of this idea of “integrating tribals into mainstream”. It reeks of majoritarianism and you can only afford to make it because you’re a part of the majority in this society.

  30. Very well-written piece as usual.

    While I would be the last person to support the way Naxals/Maoists go about their cause, we still can not run away from the fact that Government did ignore the lot of the people of these areas.

    Maoist movement is a symptom and it needs to be cured immediately, but what about the disease of under-development and rural/tribal poverty? Will there be any change of attitude towards this and other such regions?

  31. Well put. We don’t get to read these views often. Yesterday, barely a day after 74 CRPF jawans died in the ambush, I could not see the news come up on a SINGLE ‘news’ channel except DD from 8-10:30pm. All that I saw was extended ‘debates’ led by the likes of Sagarika Ghosh and Arnab Goswami on whether Shoaib Malik’s ‘confession’ would result in the ‘vindication’ of Maha Apa. What the fuck.
    People like Arundhati Roy are not much different from Arindam Ponytail. Both have a dedicated following of weak minded dumbasses who think that the likes of Roy/Ponytail are God’s gift to humanity for their boldness.
    And as usual – our home ministry made those blood curdling noises of ‘fitting responses’ that you wrote about in your book.
    India shining.

  32. And yes would love any feedback that you would have on it..Its not my article and I came across it a couple of days before reading your blog.
    Thanks!

  33. @ Arbit

    Buddy My point is simple. Lets for the sak of peace stop witch hunting. My point is its the Maoists (whoever they are) that are using brutal inhuman force. When we do “us vs them”, we are equating the tribals (in general majority of them)as Maoists and primary perpetrators of the violence. In the process we will use military option where collateral damage will be extremely high (unfrtunately its true and thats why we have civilian, paramilitary and military forces). Maoists violence may stop for a whilebut the long term scar will remain forever. When u say he is pointing the gun at us who is this he, do you thing those tribals who cant even understand the nuances of law and the way of “mainstream” want violence. NO they just want to “LIVE” like as they were “LIVING” for the past thousand years or so. I beleive MAOISM is post independence phenomenon, why? No, Not beacuse they dont accept India (the concept of country state sovereignity itself is vague to them) as a country but they dont want their rights (whatever limited unwritten rights , like rights of living as homo sapiens, they have)to be usurped manifested in the whole community’s villages submerged in water (btw these happened before Arundhti ROy or Ms Patkar or for that matter you an me were born), their woman raped by COPS nd High COurt acquitting the COPS saying these tribal women have loose morals, Forest which is the main source of livelihood for thousand years being exploited illegally and they getting kicked (recent example Reddy brothers of Karnataka Govt).

    Now after saying all these I dnt mean that we dont use “our” (GoI) right to strike back, but it should be for the sole reason to contain (in the short term) the damage and not for vengeance, which will b the case if we see this as “Us Vs Them”. Remember Violencebegets violence , whether the violence is perpetrated by the state (Germany, Cambodia, other African contries and esp Pakistan)or by Maoist. At the same time look for a long term solution earnestly with the believe that they are fellow human bein and Indian first and “bloody miserabes” tribals later. This is onlypossible if it isnt “Us Vs Them”. “We” are contmeplating or rather endorsing the etalitory and brutal use of force to anhilate Maoists, which could have been recommended if ther is minimal colateral damage, but collateral damage wont be minimal as we ourselve (as told by MoD) dont have human intelligence, which means we dont know who is Maoist and who isnt? Its like treating only the symptoms not the real cause and then amputate the organ/limb. Instead of focussing Ms Ror and giving her too much importance and wasting precious air time and writing space let the Govt concentrate on the long term solution because short term is easy use more efficient milary and contain the menace. AGAIN PLEASE LETS NOT DO US VS THEM. The menace in such large scale wouldn’t had spread without some social cause, blaming it on ome corrupt incompetent tribal leaders (like KOda ad his ilks or mere politicians) wont help. Using brutal force may stunt or quarantine th problem momenarily but will relapse again in future.
    BTW just on a different note, China who is threatening us with our sovereignity (arunachal, J&K, Sikkim), why not use the same tone with them, they are definiely not “Us”, use brutal military option against them, why not?? They have killed and maimed many Indians in 1962, taken our land and still threatening us wtht the same by helping Pakistan and transgressing to our land. Is the logic of brutal force applies only against fellow countrymen, who preindepndence never (mostly) had any history of law and order problem, and because they cant defend the brutl force?

  34. I agree with you that Arundhati Roy is biased with as far as the Maoist’s are concerned and her article clearly shows her prejudice. What you have to agree though is just by bringing tribals into the ‘mainstream’ is not the solution. They have a way of life and in a democratic setup they have a right to that way of life.
    In the end though it is the tribals who are forced to pick sides depending on can help them get on with their lives , a decision that is fraught with danger for them

  35. All that I saw was extended ‘debates’ led by the likes of Sagarika Ghosh and Arnab Goswami

    sagarika,arnab,barkha .. these are our primary agents of info. which is real sad. they have sold their souls to the highest bidder already. they define the agenda completely and we all (well, most) follow them pretty much like a herd. wish we had atleast one tim russert amongst these morons.

  36. Agreed with 99% of the article. However, I don’t think it’s OK to put blame on our neighbours for any part of this problem. This is a completely homegrown issue. We can’t PROVE that these people get help (of any form) from the Govt. of our neighbours. It’s not right blame them for everything that’s wrong in India.

  37. Just imagine, just when we were losing our war with the chinese, the chinese population was eating sparrows and worms. That is what maoism means- take from the poor to feed the army. If the people dont have food let them fire guns..

  38. @Actually, You claimed that “And there are internation front organizationbs like AID, and ASHA which channel money to Naxal supported projects in India.”

    Do you have any examples or proof of this? What kinds of projects exactly are you talking about?

  39. It’s intriguing how the author accuses someone else of passing off hearsay as facts – even lying, but includes no credible facts in his own piece, which ripe in rhetoric, but nothing else. Whatever your personal animosity is with Roy takes nothing away from the fact that it’s too much of a “coincidence” that a state-backed militia – Salwa Judam – starts operating in a mineral-rich region around the same time potent MNCs eye it. I thought we were “intellectuals” who could read between such lines in a heartbeat.

    Now before I am branded a communist for simply exercising my brain, here’s another fact. I don’t endorse the violent meas of Maoists nor their ultimate political aim, but there’s no denying that scores of landless poor were put out of the clutches of exploitative state agents and landlords. Moreover, not one school teacher or health worker has been assassinated by Maoists, as per an RTI application. Now, you could conveniently brush this aside by labeling me someone who “romanticizes Naxalism” or just have the stomach to look the truth in the eye.

    To sum up, the solution is development, not the kind that obsesses with building roads and mining factories, but the kind that is centered truly around tribals, with due respect to their culture which can not change overnight. More importantly, this will have to be preceded by an assurance (in word and deed) that their lands/homes will not be seized/demolished by the police.

  40. Excellent posts, this and the previous one. There was just one jarring note the ‘have to be brought into the mainstream’ part. This is very vague statement. Ideally suited for netas. ‘Bring’ or ‘brought’ has that air of superiority and coercion to it.

    While we watch replays of run outs and sixes, somewhere in the jungle some people will be watching a video of an ambush where 75 policemen died. Will they send a copy to Ms Roy as well? How did she feel when she heard the news?

  41. “yes this isn’t a battle between good and evil but a massive gang war being played out in the backwoods with no heroes and no villains. Only victims.” – Agreed (though I’d have preferred no heroes, only villains and victims, instead of no heroes, no villains)

    “As a matter of fact, Maoists prevent aid and assistance from reaching those that need it (being a kind of mafia themselves) and the perpetuation of the Maoist movement” – Agreed.

    This apart, the post had little to offer, as it masqueraded as a political essay, while betraying its diatribe essence against Miss Roy.

    In response to Roy’s dumbed down elucidation, I found the author’s fulminations to be as baseless as the charges they were making. To mark a few, the Salwa Judum is anything but “pro development”. They are state sponsored terrorists, hardly different from the Maoists who butchered those CRPFs.

    The para preceding it is a shining example of misrepresentation of facts – “it was those “advanced” tribals who saw an opportunity to make more money by becoming land-brokers. Needless to say, they were coming up against their socially immobile brethren who naturally resented the comparative wealth and influence of their fellow-tribals. And then “people” started putting AK47s in the hands of those pissed off telling them “Grab what you don’t have. We can make our own laws.” Its like showing the tail of an elephant and claiming that the whole entity is wiry. Its a foregone conclusion that the govt. has forgotten the geographic terrain being debated upon. It is true that horrific excesses have been perpetrated upon innocents for the sake of astronomical sums of money. To say, it was the advanced tribals who were resented by their less privileged brethren is dumbing it down (much like Miss Roy claiming good vs. bad). Fact is that those tribals, to start off with, didn’t resent the wealth of others, as much as they did their own ouster from their lands without any reason or compensation being doled out. They resented the attitude by the powers to be – “Screw it, anything goes, for that treasure…”. And then we had the Maoists, no sorry, terrorists, who leveraged this bitterness to secure their stronghold and grow within these shadows (and eliminate those who opposed them by branding them as anti people).

    The last bit of ” suggested solution” was the classical superciliousness that I’ve so often encountered during my sojourns in this blog – ” I feel that part of the solution would be to have tribals brought into the mainstream. For too long I have seen people, usually city folks and academics, glorifying tribal life as the last surviving vestige of a simple, ancient way of living. But a tribal life, of subsisting on hunting and rolling kendu leaves, is a life that is medieval and there is a reason why people in most parts of the country abandoned this lifestyle many centuries ago…”

    Reading this, I wondered, just what gave us the assumed suzerainty to comment on the lifestyle of a certain class of people? Since when did a solution assume that the tribal way of life is medieval and demands a change to our alleged improved urban lifestyle. A lifestyle, that many, within its own ranks have started to question as being superficial.

    It reminds me of that classic debate between Dhritiman and Utpal Dutt in Agantuk over the definition and meaning of civilization. (“NASA, aar taar pasheyi Nesha”…). Now that was profound.

    Give me a Kendu leaf roller anyday over a mainstream someone who gets an orgasmic high over the idea of writing a review for Prince Its Showtime…

  42. @Pulkit – I do disagree with the statement that “…not one school teacher or health worker has been assassinated by Maoists”! This is factually incorrect. Maoists have beheaded teachers under the garb of being state informers.

    That apart, I agree to everything that you wrote therein…

  43. People criticizing Ms. Roy are missing the point. She is a fearless, ethical & brings a certain intelligence to the debate. The fact is that the poor in our country are completely ignored. Most of the current generation of upper middle class youth in our country would jump at the opportunity to migrate abroad and do nothing while they are here, not even their electoral duties. It’s shameful that people with the wealth of Anil Ambani, Lakshmi Mitall etc. who we are so beholden to, have done absolutely nothing for India’s poor. Just recently this Mital fellow contributed $40m for construction of an Olympic tower in London, which disgusted even native British people because there are a lot of problems in this world. Contrast this with what Bill Gates is doing. The last thing we should be doing is criticizing people who dedicate themselves to nobel causes.

  44. Long back, VHP started thousands of “1 teacher schools” in remote areas, under the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram Project.
    That later blossomed into the Ekal Vidhyalaya Project.

    Surprisingly, the places where Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram schools are most prevelen,t are also the least Naxal infected areas.

    Wonder why?

  45. You are back in form, thank god!
    Rakhi Sawant with a laptop and Booker, Google Adwords made my day!
    No one can quite put it like you can.

  46. Welcome Kabali.
    Yes a certain intelligence is being brought to the debate….just that it is way too hedonistic. We could do without it.

  47. Govts are so rotten that even in a city ..under media glare.. Ministers and officers do nothing, despite loss of lives and property. Think of unjustice towards the uneducated people.

  48. @KABALI

    re: People who dedicate themselves to noble causes

    And pray tell what “noble cause”, in particular, does Ms. Roy support? Do you see anyone here grumbling or bad mouthing someone like Medha Patkar?

    Patkar has fearlessly stood up for what she believes in and has done that without AK-47’s or blowing people up (or for that matter inciting civil war / tacitly condoning murder).

    Even if one doesn’t agree with her ideology, one must bow down in respect to the courage of her conviction. That is the point, imho, that Ms. Roy misses and as Arnab points out in his earlier post she basically gets on the high horse and blames her favorite gallery of rogues (‘capitalist west and their cronies’) for everything — even justifying murder/carnage.

  49. Pulkit : “Moreover, not one school teacher or health worker has been assassinated by Maoists, as per an RTI application. Now, you could conveniently brush this aside by labeling me someone who “romanticizes Naxalism” or just have the stomach to look the truth in the eye.”

    What nonsense !!! First of all, its totally false. Naxalites have a history of killing government officials, whether they are school teachers or health workers. It is true that not many school teachers or health workers have died in Naxal prone areas – but thats because hardly a handful of school teachers or health workers are brave enough to work in those areas… most schools and hospitals have been razed to the ground by Naxalites as they see them as agents of the state….

    Further you say : ” but there’s no denying that scores of landless poor were put out of the clutches of exploitative state agents and landlords”

    Thats great… its just that they are now under the clutches of the much more exploitative and brutal Maoists…. and if they protest even a little they get beheaded for being ‘informants’….. and yes, they remain as poor and hungry as ever.

  50. Kabali : “People criticizing Ms. Roy are missing the point. She is a fearless, ethical & brings a certain intelligence to the debate”

    Okay here we go.

    ‘Fearless’ ? Why does one need to be fearless to abuse India and Indians ? Its the easiest way to wealth and fame, without any risk or any downside.

    ‘ethical’ ? How is dehumanizing security forces and glorifying Maoist killers ‘ethical’ ? How is abusing a large section of India’s population (upper caste hindus) for no reason but for the fact they exist ethical ?

    ‘intelligent’ ? I will grant you that one. She is very intelligent. She knows how to get noticed. She even knows what she has to do to get worshipped by idiots like you.

  51. Yes… the Tribals should understand their place in India. They should understand that we want what’s best for India.. Who cares if they like that or not.. We have the power and we will sell the land that they subside on to whoever can grease our ministers’ palms. They should just bend over and enjoy it like we do…

    JR

  52. Yes JR
    I fully support you as long as you are willing to shoot yourself in the head for wearing glasses and being able to express your opinion.

    Its all for the revolution.

  53. Before you go on to write such a piece of phenomenal garbage, please read a book titled ‘Everybody loves a good drought’ by P.Sainath, and a book titled ‘Red sun’ by sudeep chaudhuri. I am sure you will be more enlightened on the issue post the read.

    And Btw, it is Tendu leaves.

  54. All Maoist sympathisers need to learn more about the destruction wrought by Maoism on non-combatants in India’s interior villages …. Innocent Vanvasi villagers have been beheaded, gunned down and burned alive by Suzanna Arundhati Roy’s heroes.

    Please scroll through the archives from 2004-2010 of this well-documented website “Naxal Watch”:

    http://naxalwatch.blogspot.com/

    .

  55. Source: http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/apr/05/slide-show-1-how-i-joined-the-naxals-and-why-i-left.htm

    In the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, one of the India’s worst Naxalite-affected regions, Rediff meets Madhuri, a teenaged girl who was a Maoist terrorist but got disillusioned after she found that the well-educated Andhra Maoists exploited, sexually abused, looted and killed Bastar tribals with gay abandon.

    Some relevant quotes from this penitent teenager brainwashed by the Maoists into a killing machine:

    I have been part of Naxal attacks on the police. We once killed a Special Police Officer and now I am one (laughs). I beat him with a danda ten times and then a commander slit his throat. He has since fled.

    In the camp they give orders and tell you that today you have to kill. If they order you to kill, you have to do so.

    I was scared that the [Maoist] men would do wrong deed with me. It never happened to me but it had happened to other girls. Not so much by the Bastar people, but these acts were done more by the Andhra people. It happened to one of my friends Meena by a man from Andhra.

    In the dalam (squad), even if they are married, they go with other women also. They tell villagers that bigamy is not right and there was this commander who himself ran away with two wives. This is wrong.

    They don’t even give any money for the work they make you do. The commanders keep all the money and sometimes run away with it. Even if you ask they give you no money. They get crores of rupees. The leaders don’t fight on the ground as we do. They don’t do guard duty, their job is to go to villages and make sangathan (organisations) and hold meetings.

    When I saw that big leaders also leave the party themselves I realised that I shouldn’t stay. Their ideology is wrong. Villagers work for them because they fear them, they fear for their lives.

    The Naxalites say they have no desire for money, then why do they run away with the money? What are they struggling for then?

    They say this struggle is for establishing their own government. They say they will wipe out the police and set up their own government. That our lives will improve, but I know that is untrue. It won’t happen. Those who work with them will also realise this sooner or later.

    I left because what was the point of staying there when big leaders weren’t themselves committed about staying in the movement. On one day they say they are struggling for the party, on the next day they are leaving. They tell us that we shouldn’t leave the party, the consequences of leaving being death — why don’t they kill those big leaders who leave? They don’t leave empty-handed, unlike us they take the money and run. In south Bastar there were two commanders who left, while I came from the lower rungs.

    ‘We don’t like the Andhrawallahs. They loot the Bastarwallahs’

    We were from Bastar who did not know the ways of the big [Naxal] leaders from Andhra Pradesh.

    The Andhrawallahs are more educated than the Bastarwallahs.

    The Andhrawale teach party politics to villagers and they themselves leave the party and run away. Why do these leaders leave the party? There has to be some reason, some weakness in the party.

    We, especially the girls, don’t like the Andhrawale. They pressurise girls to get married (to them). Some of these commanders extort money from their areas, get married and then run away with the money of Bastar to build a life in the city. They make fools of villagers here (in Bastar) who support them out of helplessness. The villagers wouldn’t support them otherwise.

    There was this senior area commander who left them. They caught and killed her. She was not an enemy of theirs but they killed her. If the Andhrawale leave they don’t kill them, they only kill the Bastarwale.

    The Andhrawale put our people on the frontlines and it is our people who get killed.

    Andhrawale come and loot the Bastarwale. They extort money from villagers and tendu patta [used for making bidi] contractors and take the money away to Andhra. They haven’t killed anyone from Andhra for doing this, they take no action against them. They would have killed anyone from Bastar for doing the same thing. They forcefully make villagers to work with them.

    I came to know all this after I joined them. I wouldn’t have gone to them had I known this.

    The Naxals don’t allow schools to be built. Why should schools be their enemy?

    They tell the villagers that the police exploit them and rape their women. Naxalites also do wrong deeds.

  56. @ Raj
    P sainath, another AID mascot probably benefits the most from a good drought.
    Bring on the Proletariat revolution buddy.
    Lets bring the killing fields of Cambodia here.
    Oh wait there are already here.

  57. With every new blog ,you sound more like your namesake Arnab Goswami. Lets brand Moaist as evil and anti-national ,lets use the term terrorist instead of Maoist , lets dig a few more punches at Ms.Roy and her likes.Anybody who opposes your wouldview should be termed as pseudo-intelluctual.Infact pseudo must be prefixed everytime we use the term intellectual.Who needs intellectuals anyway.Wipe them out in Tianmen square style, all these left-leaning so called intellectuals.About tribals..hmmm..they need a facelift..they need to upgrade their skills..rolling Kendu leaves is passe.They must learn to move on or else face extinction. Greatbong you have perfectly captured the voice of the urban youth.The ones who fill rediff messageboards with hate messages.Sadly I am one of those totally outdated types who still believe in a balanced view.I should learn to move on too.

  58. It is said that all revolutions are brought forth by otherwise bored scions of privileged class (one could start with Moses to Castro to…naxalites). The Maoist leadership mostly consists mostly of Reddys(privileged land owners) and Brahmins from Andhra. A letter written by Gaddar, an ex-naxalite leader belonging a Scheduled Tribe, was intercepted and subsequently released by Andhra police, rued the fact that caste based discrimination/marginalisation is rampant within the naxalite movement.
    Charu Mazumdar, one of the founders of the naxalite movement is often given an aura of a great visionary. But if any one goes through his selected documents(http://cm-works.blogspot.com/), one wonders how he is any different from any run of the mill hate mongers like the Hitler we get to see in Mein Kampf or the rabid taliban mullas. Most striking aspect is his total lack of coherent logical thought in promoting “scientific socialism” and a dogmatic belief in the infallibility of the almighty Karl Marx.
    Another founding member of the movement, Kanu Sanyal, eventually(after spending nearly six years in a jail in Vishakhapatnam) gave up armed struggle as a means of establishing social equality.
    Most of the naxalite leaders simply spent the productive period of their lives (where a normal human being acquires the necessary skills that benefit him and the society) in learning mindless destruction. “We have to destroy the present dispensation in order to bring forth a better one”, they would claim. But, as it happens always, people find more enjoyment in destruction than the construction. After all, it’s an easier choice.
    Now, even if they realize that their path was delusional and futile, they can’t go back to the society. They are useless to the society. After spending decades accepting salutes from “ordinary” cadres from a privileged position, they can’t digest the thought of themselves as being an unimportant/ unremarkable member of the society. With an annual budget of around Rs.1400crores(http://naxalwatch.blogspot.com/2010/03/maoists-offering-salary-to-cadres.html) and as long as they can find people who could believe in their ideology, they could enjoy their own inflated egos forever.
    That said, the naxalites are exploiting real problems in the society to strengthen themselves….for their own ends. As long as the problems exist, there will always someone to exploit them. If not the naxals, it would be someone else.

  59. @Polka
    Did you see the irony in your comment.
    “Wipe them out in Tianmen square style, all these left-leaning so called intellectuals.”

    Hahaha!
    In case you need more light, Tianenmen Square was perpetrated by the Ultra-lefts in China. The very people Maoists consider their God.

  60. When I read about any kind of terrorism or violent struggle in India, after brainstorming over it when I am about to surrender in my mind, why does the name of Narendra Modi come to my mind. I mean there is this stigma of Godhra attached to his resume but somehow I feel as if Modi is probably the only leader in India who is capabble of dimantling and disrupting such legions.

  61. Boy, you are one judgmental person…. a person who self-admittedly was no great shakes in gully cricket derides cricketers, a research assistant working in the suburbs of DC passing judgement on an issue he only knows about from reading reports in the electronic media, and who only visits metropolitan cities to promote his book. Wow, where do you get off?

  62. I don’t think Ms Arundhati Roy has EVER claimed that killing of innocents on either side is okay. Let’s not even go there. There are no two ways to look at violence and killings.
    What Roy does repeatedly is bring up ‘the other side’ which is unsavoury to the majority of the reading junta. That there are issues – serious, deep rooted, popular issues – in the certain areas that rile most Indians, cannot be argued. That most of the people shooting criticism and opinions don’t know the first thing about the ground reality is also a given. Internet trolls and wiseacres abound, as any YouTube triviality will tell us.
    For all the hate and venom directed at Roy (and other JNU-types as you have generalised them into), the point to remember is that she has been there, lived with the people and knows maybe a thing or two about where they are coming from.
    Just because someone says the State has done wrong, horrible wrongs, many times over, you cannot discard him/her as a traitor, an extremist or whatever else it is easy to slot such people into. Arundhati has used her fame time and again to bring up the unappetising, uncomfortable truth about a seemingly perfect democratic set-up that mainstream citizens are lured into believing they live in. Can we please get real? India is a great country, far greater in entirety than most other nations – Accepted. But that it has its failings – failings of a terrible, inhuman and incredible nature cannot be brushed under the carpet.
    With all due respect, opinions may differ, but conditions in many parts of India speak for themselves. Esp the fringes.
    I am a certified Arundhati fan, if for nothing else, her courage to repeatedly invite the ire of lacs of city-slickers and urban readers by talking about the unheard of… But let’s leave her aside. I also know of real people in the real world – non-JNU types, would you believe it – who HAVE been to Kashmir (err, I live here), Jharkand, Andhra and other ‘RED’ areas, the North East, villages in the interior where farmers die, kids don’t eat because Anganwadi teachers truck the rations to their homes etc. and basically real people who have seen a lot of shit up front. The difference being, we are inarticulate, have no platform to voice sane arguments about what we see and know, that the mainstream media is unabashedly uninterested and non-supportive of real stories that will displease viewers etc. The real India is in her villages. Get up, live in the villages for a few months, then come back and let’s throw bricks at Arundhati Roy and her school of thinkers.

  63. @ Phata Keshto

    Apparently GreatBong is not atleast geting off on the pile of hallucinatory garbage that Ms Roy has put together.
    Whatever he is doing…he is not pointing a gun at u.

  64. Just to clarify… Not personally directed at the GreatBong (because I am a fan, duh). But to everyone who takes the ‘HATE DISSENTERS’ view, without having the knowledge to back it up. If Roy takes one extreme, more often than not, someone take the other.

  65. “With every new blog, you sound more like your namesake Arnab Goswami”.

    Polka, you were spot on. I am having doubts on why did i purchase a book of someone who dares to compare Ms. Roy with rakhi sawant. Plain India TV side of yours GB!!!

  66. @Sabbah Haji

    Now, why would you call yourself a “certified Arundhati fan”?

    After all, Suzanna Arundhati Roy has openly expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir from India. Her exact words are: “Kashmir needs Azadi from India.”

    Whenever Roy speaks or writes about “The Indian military occupation of Kashmir”(as she often does), I am sure that must really warm the cockles of others …But I don’t understand why YOU would idolise her.

    After all, you are Indian too, aren’t you?

  67. @ Arbit(Shuvadeep)

    See, the very fact that i’m on this site reading this blog means I follow it regularly. I quite like the way GB writes, (that’s why i read him), but come on, there is a difference between writing a balanced post and launching into a diatribe against Arundhati (whatever her views are…she has the freedom of speech and expression). Calling it an ‘execrable piece of garbage’is tasteless.

  68. @Phata Keshto

    GB has the “same freedom (sic) of speech and expression” to call SAR’s article an ‘execrable piece of garbage’.

    Or did you assume that only the Inhuman Rights activists deserve to get the freedom(s) of speech and expression?

  69. Her majesty’s writing triggers the worst cognitive dissonance ever – syntax makes you go “wow”, and semantics “wtf”.

  70. @Hardick Mehta

    Blackmailing GB never works, beta. You purchased GB’s book because you liked his writings. Did the book come with a clause that GB would not “dare to compare Ms. Roy with Rakhi Sawant”?

    Actually, GB is doing the skanky Ms.Roy a favour by comparing her with Rakhi Sawant.

    Ms.Roy supports mass-murders of Indians as she lacks a heart, but surely, [edited]

  71. Looks like most of us here (including the author) have missed the point… is this about the Maoist problem or Arundhati Roy? Seems to me that y’all are more interested in her than the actual issue.

  72. @ all
    How about launching a awareness campaign to raise funds for the families of the slain jawans. Lets see how many Naxal sympathisers participate.

  73. One point that’s worth remembering is her majesty’s global appeal. She is the glamorous queen bee of global left. Her target audience is the guardian/democracy now/z magazine/nation clientele who are so invested in the enemy(Anglo-American capitalist democratic state)’s-enemy(Communist/anarchist/nihilist/jihadist)-is-my-friend theory that even the worst global communist or jihadist offenses never registered in their sensitive and liberal souls. Sympathy to India maoists is simplay a corollary. This explains a lot of semantic “garbage” or “wtfs” which otherwise do not make any sense in the context of Indian culture, history and politics.

  74. @Phata Keshto

    The Maoist terrorists massacre innocents, while their Ms.Roy romanticises terrorists and writes propaganda pieces that justify their bloodthirsty cause. And you still don’t see the link here?

    Reminds me of the Nazis and Goebbels’ propaganda. Guess what happened to Goebbels when his murderous ideology finally met the fate it deserved?

  75. Typo in my previous comment..

    The Maoist terrorists massacre innocents, while their “intellectual cheerleader” Ms.Roy romanticises terrorists and writes propaganda pieces that justify their bloodthirsty cause. And you still don’t see the link here?

  76. A lot of you have problems with a fictitious version of Ms. Roy. It’s amusing to even have to clarify this, but: She has never glorified anybody killing or being killed by Maoists or anyone, she is 100% against it, which is why she is prominently trying to get peace talks started. As the majority of India is the rural poor how can she ever be anti-Indian?

    “How is abusing a large section of India’s population (upper caste hindus) for no reason but for the fact they exist ethical ?” What a load of crap. Point me the quote where she has abused upper caste hindus for the fact they exist.

  77. One Roy cries hoarse while the other Roy reports. I am talking about her cousin Prannoy. At least they haven’t sent Ms Dutt to cover the news in the Mukrana forest.

    But Ms Roy never supported killings, all she has been trying to do is be a peace messenger.

    Btw did someone notice that this attack and the India-China hotline between respective PMs coincided? Strange.

  78. I can almost visualize ‘intellectual’ cheerleaders with their Pom-Poms ..shaking a leg as the Maoists butchered the 76 CRPF martyrs.

  79. At the risk if repeating what ppl might already have written – we need to take a deep breath and separate the issue from the people. Arundhati Roy might be a publicity-hungry “intellectual” but it does not necessarily mean that all the issues she raises are total rot. I hated the piece on the Naxals because it presented a romanticised picture of a “revolution” besides being grotesquely fetishistic of weaponry. It was just a stupid piece to write. However, there have been cases where I agree with her e.g. Narmada, and we have discussed those issues on this blog earlier.

    We also need to make another distinction – between the Maoist ideologues who hold the reins, and the tribals they use as weapons or as cannon fodder as required. The ideologues must be killed, the tribals need to be seen with greater sympathy.

    I also agree with another fact mentioned here – we can NEVER even imagine how it is to be a tribal, and how it is to be really, really oppressed, insulted, raped, ignored, exploited, and made invisible. And this knowledge cannot come by either reading articles or trekking with them for a week and writing an article.

    However what we can do is see the situation from our pov. From our perspective, the naxalites have declared war on the nation and we must fight back. Whenever we have agreed to a ceasefire – the Naxals have restocked on arms and killed more people. We cannot keep talking and allow them to grow stronger or hold us to ransom. The temptation is to use the army, and helicopters – anything short of napalm to end this menace. Yes, innocent people will die, as will kids. And before we blithely call that ‘collateral damage’, we will have to pause and agree that if it’s a war, we should be prepared to accept collateral damage on our sides also – our kids, our innocents. But of the Naxals want war – then war it is.
    _________________________
    On a side note: It’s amusing to see some people repeatedly use the ‘Suzannah’ in Arundhati Roy’s name, when no one else does. They do something similar with Sonia ‘Maino” Gandhi too. I was wondering where else I had seen this phenomena, when I remembered Reilley, Beck, Bachmann and co. always using Barack “Hussein” Obama. Birds of a feather…. Ha!

  80. Dude, most of what you’ve written is true. But some points are laughable. If city life (mainstream what you call) is so good, then why does a green mountain glad our hearts or a gurgling stream soothe our senses. We shouldn’t be needing them at all if we simply love our materialistic world. Let individuals decide what kind of life they want, without me or you deciding it for them. If certain tribals as opposed to the pro-development ones don’t want to give up their way of life, should they be forced to? Even if they are making an error, who are we to take them to task/uproot them? Isn’t this guaranteed by our constitution?

    Another thing, if you have the time, please watch this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQKw3Tfz3to&feature=player_embedded

    You write exceedingly well, but I’m sure so you’ve been told before. Keep writing.

  81. Nice article. Thankfully, at least to my satisfaction you looked at the other side and did not restrict your article to anti-Roy sentiments. Sometimes, people have the tendency to stick to one sided view even though they may be correct. I believe before reaching any conclusion one should look at the problem from all possible angles.

    As far as the so called Civil War is concerned, we need to agree on one thing that fault lies on both the sides i.e. the government for ignoring these people and maoists for taking the violent route and the strife b/w pro-development tribals and the rest. The ideology of Naxalites has changed over a period of time…definitely the current ideology was not the one with which this movement started in Naxalbari

  82. @Indisch: True, that we are nobody to decide for someone if he/she wishes to lead an old style of life. But don’t you think man has come a long way from an being a stone aged man to what we are today. I am not sure whether we can call it good or bad but I feel to a large extent, the evolution has been for better. Here, we are talking about a collective good and the way we are advancing there is bound to be an increasing gap between pro-development people and the others. Now, that decision has been taken by these anti-development people (I am taking the liberty to call them so just to distinguish) to lead a life their way then why this resentment, why this anger, why this frustration against pro-development people.

  83. Its very interesting. There are some very sane voices making themselves heard in the comments section. Some of these comments make for better reading than the original post itself.

  84. With power comes responsibility.

    I am not a fan of Arundhati Roy, but I am sure she would never dismiss you as a frustrated Bong with the same bag of Gunda jokes and a penchant for petty publicity masked as self-depricating wit.

    You are a popular blogger and an opinion-maker but that has a lot more to do with the intellectual bankruptcy that besets us – the same which throws Chetan Bhagat as one of the top 100 influencers in the world.

    Be responsible. You don’t even have the wherewithal to take a moral high ground on Rakhi Sawant, let alone Ms. Roy.

  85. @ Angshuman: :)) Spot on!
    @GB: Well, firstly, not sure if your diatribe is more against the Maoists or Ms. Roy. You seem to be getting the two mixed up.

    ‘Join the mainstream’- you mean the urban poor? And while access to education, health care are necessary-and largely unavailable to them, it looks like-if the tribals want to roll tendu/kendu leaves for the next seven generations, even if it seems stupid to you and me, it is their fundamental right to do that. I think the tribals are looking to be heard. Unless we can convince them that the alternative (joining a peaceful political process) will better their lives,if they find that the gun speaks louder, they will choose that option.
    The larger issue is how you define progress/development. And contrary to what you seem to imply- that is STILL an issue for debate. And this country NEEDS that debate; if we deny people the right to that debate, then we will end up looking at the wrong side of a gun.

  86. Somewhat good article and some excellent comments. Preetish, Mere Mortal et al.

    Upper caste, urban educated, /optionally hindu/ individuals might need a lot of conditioning to follow thought patterns of those born ‘out of the mainstream’

    Arundhati Roy is perhaps exploiting misery of others for her own sense of self worth, but thats not the not the point.
    If she dissappears from the planet today, someone else will take her place. Bit like the drug dealers in ‘The Wire’ 😉

    Also a bit of unsolicited advice after reading your piece on Calcutta.
    Please dont get frustrated or sad at the state of affairs. You are happy where you are and you chose to be where you are. (similar to me)
    High tech company in US of A which brings with it a Systematic lifestyle. Recognition. Transparency etc etc..

    Similarly, if the city of Calcutta is not in flames right now, is because the majority of residents are comfortable with the state they are in.
    Whether the state they are in is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or suboptimal is a matter of conjecture.

  87. what would happen if highly armed 1000 naxals come to any metro city and take politicians in parliament/vidhan sabha/rajya sabha as hostage ?!

  88. I have an arbit observation- Arnab (RTDM) & Arnab Goswami look pretty similar to me (in appearance), I also have a friend called Arnab who looks like these 2- are all Arnabs similar looking? Arnabs of the world, please stand up and answer!!

  89. Another random bit of literature (directed at no-one in particular, just an arbit para designed by me)-You represent the pinnacle of hopelessness, the microcosmic evolution of hapless individuals thoroughly inept at anything remotely resembling intellectual stimulation, thereby further propounding the theory of incremental stupidity among human beings that is so deeply immersed in a mire of inert grey matter that it fails monumentally to grasp the subtle nuances of pathetic human existence and propagation of itself on the face of this planet.

  90. GB,very well you have pointed out the real faces behind these Roy,Patekar,De,….sometimes it feels like they are on government and maoists payroll….both want to suck the blood out of common ,innocent people in the name of ideology,tax,….Its ppl like Roy who not only betray the common men who have immense trust on these leeches but also on the way they get their name forwarded for some small awards like “Booker,…..”…i know here i might sound ill-informed but whats wrong in thinking….

  91. They are living a charmed life the Maoists, every second they spend on planet earth is the governments gift to them.

    @GB,

    Great Post. Just that, it is a pretty visible civil war.

  92. dang! looks like ms. roy unleashed a whole new batch of loonies lefties on this forum. something tells me, this one is a well planned ambush on this blog too 😉 …
    and i thought only one madam in india was powerful.

    my thoughts and prayers for families/kids of the 78 policemen (who btw, did not even have the basic ammenities to fight it out, courtesy GOI). they din’t deserve this brutal death under the garb of roy’s “class struggle”.

  93. Armed war against state is not violence/ terror. Killing innocent civilian in name of anything is terrorism. But, CRPF is not innocent civilians, they are the part of state machinery, whom were sent to chattisgarh to make armed battle against ‘Maoists’. And if they got killed in that war, that’s the part of it. After all, neither the state nor the Maoists are in Gandhi’s way!!

    Someone argued that the tribal should give up ‘violence’, otherwise until then it will be ‘us vrs. them’. But when the state decide to take away their homes at gun-point to make dams/factories/mines that does not become violence ?

  94. @Shan,
    Great observation about the “Suzanna” point.There is also somehwere else I have seen it.Narendra Modi referring to the then election commissioner J.M Lyngdoh as James Michael Lyngdhoh and suggesting that Sonia Gandhi and him must be meeting each other at the sunday mass.Always a pleasure to see the closet right-wing fanatic coming out in public!
    I am no Arundhati Roy fan , but the kind of vitriolic used by GB and some others here shows a complete disregard for any viewpoint other than their own.Also the diatribe against Roy actually trivilaizes the argument cause the argument is neither about Roy’s penchant for publicity nor is it really about tennets of communism.The poor , marginalised , oppressed tribals need a voice and needs to be heard. Its obvious the current political system has no place for them.The Maoist only fills this void.If it was not Maoism , it might have been some other “ism” which promises to empower them.The issue is of empowerment , the ability to decide your own future.I am sure they want development as much as anybody else.The desire to lead a better a life is basic human nature , but deciding what that better life should be is not the prerogative of the previleged class.The condescending “we know what’s good for you” attitude is something I strongly resent.
    Also for those who might think that the war against Maoism can be won by using more force , let me tell you the IAF was used to bomb Aizawl in 1966 during the peak of Mizo Insurgency. Mizo National Front carried on tis struggle for another 2 decades till it attained statehood in 1987.MNF came to power and today Mizoram is the most peaceful NE state , with over 90% literacy rate.The simple point is everyone has a right to decide his own future.You cannot use ideas like modern nation state , democracy or anything else to deprive people of this basic right.The “coolness quotient” of ideologies keep shifting from one pole to another.A person with leftist thinking would be considered super cool if he lived in the hippie era. Today you will be a misfit if you call yourself a communist.Communism may not be the flavor of the season but need not be the case always.

  95. @ KP
    “Armed war against state is not violence/ terror. Killing innocent civilian in name of anything is terrorism. But, CRPF is not innocent civilians, they are the part of state machinery, whom were sent to chattisgarh to make armed battle against ‘Maoists’.”

    So if I am reading this correctly, the police is not expected to maintain the law and order and internal peace within the country? So you support the existance of armed militias (Maoists), with a publicly declared agenda of overthrowing democracy and establishing their militia dictatorship.

    “But when the state decide to take away their homes at gun-point to make dams/factories/mines that does not become violence ?”

    There are ways, and quite successful legal ways to deal with them, and to recieve approriate compensation.

    I have to say KP that you have no understanding of what the Maoist ideology has hitorically done to countries like Cambodia. Millions killed and the country thrown back to stone age.

  96. dear gr8bong.
    u r a writer now.
    nt a just a blogger, a writer.
    wat r d steps u have taken 2 get a solution to all this.
    see this isnt the 1st time some1 is ranting against roy’s rants!
    ppl frm ramachandra guha to my local grocer have.
    but how many of u can stand up and say, look as much she has done 4 nba and the ‘seemingly victims’, i have done 4 xyz, lyk she has given away lucrative offers from the star publishers for a follow up and spend most of her booker money on her causes, i have too written a ‘first’book and chose to apply myself unselfishly to my causes…
    while she visits some areas of India and researches, u go n visit ur alma mater..
    look she has openly criticised the violence in her book “shape of the beast”.
    the nly thing she never stops short of saying is dat maoists are a product of the state..
    and she has even acknowledged that they r bad enuf, that if they come in2 power and rule with iron fist 1st person 2 get hung from a tree will be herself!
    this is what she said, “people in these areas[tribal], have no good choices..they go with the lesser bad one.and there r freeloaders in these maoists too..who r there 4 d heck of it..”

  97. @Hardick Mehta

    Unfortunately, your real name is Hardick Mehta. Fortunately, my real name is not Chutzpah. Ha Ha !!

  98. just look at d glaring distance between posters here.
    but i must say dis is d real downfall.
    people r good at commenting.
    people read greatbong for their share of fun n laughter and chance upon a civil war post and launch..
    http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/21/stories/2010022154981000.htm

    i am no supporter of maoists, and all those guys who were the perpetrators shud never see d world again, but unfortunately the coin has two sides to it.
    and both the sides are grotesque, horrible n barbaric to say the least.

    any1 who isnt a casual reader, just hv d patience to read that link.

  99. One of countermeasure against the ultra-left Maoist/naxalite movement is for the concerned people to highlight what happened under Pol Pot in Cambodia. The amount of horror that the Maoists unleashed in the name of a “Proletariat revolution” on its own people, is unthinkable.
    The Naxal movement was NEVER a positive movement (unlike what many people here pointed it out to be in the past).

    As someone who was privy to Naxalite literature from a early age in Midnapore in the 80s, I can say that Naxal movement in India borrowed (And still borrows) all its strategic and tactical guidance from the Cambodian “agrarian/rural revolution” model. Its creates a lose-lose situation for all sides concerned, with the only constant being, mindless violence.

    I say it as a “lose-lose scenario” for everyone because, if any efforts are made for allowing, sustainable resource management in the underpreviledged areas, the Maoists will scuttle it from fear of losing support. They have done it many times in the past.

    The Naxal/Maoist movement is not a “people’s movement” as their propaganda calls it out to be. It is a ideologues movement, where the ideologues use people’s dissatisfaction to achieve a 18th century failed ideological goal, which in the past has always resulted in millions of death.

    Ultimately, this movement will NOT succeed in India, but the amount of internecine bleeding it will cause, will leave us extremely vulnerable to Jihadi expansionism, something that makes this Maoist movement even more pernicious than it proved for Cambodia.

    One more thing that I would like to point out, is that the Maoist movement in India has little support from China, ideologically or logistically. And it is important for us to understand that.
    Like ULFA though, this movement has direct links with Pakistan’s ISI, which is more than happy to bring about a major ideological faultline within the Hindu majority, by supporting this movement.

  100. Savita Bhabhi, where art thou ?

    Please help reform these Maoist and their pom-pom cheerleaders.

    Please help them become Bra salesman or tell them to play cricket in your mohalla.

    I am sure they will give up there guns and leave the innocent prople alone.

  101. We only hear about violence in the media but never about the success stories.

    Across 21 Indian states (including Assam, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur), there are 27,000 villages which are free from violence of such sorts.

    The credit for bringing about this silent, peaceful revolution and preventing Maoism, Jihadism and Separatism from taking root in 27,000 villages goes to an empowering, grassroots movement called “One Teacher Schools” that benefits children, parents, women and farmers alike.

    Violence has never achieved anything. Love is All !!!

  102. When was the last time you met a tribal (Naxal or otherwise)? There is no need to shy away from parading facts, if you can at all. After all, if a reader like me needs to form an “unbiased” opinion, facts are all I can use. Not the adjectives and labels you have used in this article.

    Just as an exercise for the weekend, I suggest you do two things:

    1. Post this same article once again, without a single adjective or adverb. You can use numbers (if you have any) and let the reader decide what qualifier to use. For every place where you cannot replace (for there are many!) please give yourself -1 for not using fact but stating opinion.
    (I did HW #1 for myself, and the results come out poorly. Your article hardly has any original research, and accumulates far too many negative points. So I though you should get another chance, thus HW #2.)

    2. Choose one tribal (Salwa Judum, Naxal, undecided, or both). Got meet the person, I mean. Record his/her story as has unfolded in the last 10 years (just the important points will do). And post it here, enumerating the number of facts you have discovered. Compare with the number in A Roy’s article (the one you call execrable).

    And then, only then, dear friend, come back with your adjectives and adverbs.

    I call you a friend, because over the last 4-5 years I have read, enjoyed and identified with so many of your posts that have had to do with IPL, Shoaib-Sania Kites, and the like. There is so much in your posts that I identify with! And for this very reason, I think in this particular post, you were singing out of your repertoire.

  103. See photo-slideshow: http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/apr/07/slide-show-1-when-crpf-team-was-ambushed-at-dantewada.htm

    You never hear these Inhuman Rights Activists condemn massacres of policemen, CRPF, BSF or Army men.

    So, I think these 76 murdered warriors and their poor, grieving families mean nothing to Arundirty Roy and other crypto-Maoist cheerleaders who have crawled out of the woodwork. These &#$%% cheerleaders are reckoning gleefully, “These 76 people asked for it. They got what they deserved. ”

    • No.0635183583 Constable Satender Singh s/ (son of) Shri Jising Yadav; village Nagala Birbal; Farukhabad (UP)
    • No.0725267475 Constable Navneet Kumar s/ Suresh Kumar; village Raipur Phoonea; p. Aurangabad, dist Bunoor (UP)
    • No.035023602 Constable Manoj Kumar Pandey s/ Tribhuwan Pandey; vill Janinkataghar, P.S. Nizamabad, district Azamgarh (UP)
    • 085180388 Constable Rajesh Kumar s/ Ram Saran Singh vill Birahimpur, PO Bibiya Jalalpur, P.S. Gursahai Garhi, dist Kannauj (UP)
    • 040080271 Constable Sachin Kumar; P.S. Khaskhounda, dist Meerut (UP)
    • 045023007 Constable Udaiveer Singh, vill Nagla Bansarabad, dist Mathura
    • 031231182 Constable Anant Kumar Singh s/ Rajeshwar Singh, vill Dugawan, P.S. Asmoli, dist Moradabad (UP)
    • Constable Nahar Singh from village Nagla Bhura in Hathras district.
    • Constable Amit Kumar Singh (031231182), son of Shri Rajeshwar Singh, village Dugawar, PS Asmoli, Moradabad district.
    • Constable Dharam Pal Singh (no 045264959), village Bodha, PS Sikandrabad, district Bulandshahr.
    • Constable Ranjit Kumar Yadav from Prayag (Allahabad).

    The blood-soaked list goes on and on at: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_naxal-attack-maximum-brunt-borne-by-crpf-men-from-uttar-pradesh_1368594

  104. Arnab vs Arundhati
    Hardick vs Chootzpah
    Right vs Left
    State vs Maoist

    Its always been Us vs Them and will always be like that. The fight among humans is the fight over resources, fight for control which will continue forever……

  105. ho hum….seem to be going around in circles…as usual with pro left folks who will absolutely defend marxism/socialism blindly even though it has miserably & horribly failed in each and every country/state it was tried in…

    As for Ms Roy…let us for a few minutes imagine that it was actually us (us being indian + middle class + mostly hindu folks = basically everyone Ms Roy hates) who were fighting a gurella war against them ( them being anti indian+kashmiri muslim+maoists+all & sundry )…..

    How mercifully would they treat us ?

  106. Chootzpah. dhille naade….dekhega mera nada kitana tight hai ?? – Quoted from loha….

    And btw, the name is not unfortunately!
    demented blog pe sab demented sochte hain, sane world ki galti nahi hai. i dont know to which civilization u belong, but in mine, ‘hardik’ means tahhe dil se…from the bottom of one’s heart….haven’t u heard hardik swagat karte hain?

    and since u want to remain hidden by a pseudonym, take this Gunda line: Tu chahe badshah ki begum ho ya fakir ki beti, ek din aayega/aayegi marad ke neeche bajaane seeti… till then keep using pseudonym and derive pleasure out of it. 🙂 🙂

  107. Arnab, u write well. But i feel this is a armchair rebuttal of Roy’s articles in the Guardian and Outlook. Now one thing is we have to give some kind of trust to some one who has been on ground zero. On the other hand, your article seems to be of a forward-thinking witty guy who is looking for discrepancies in her pieces – ( things that you can prove dont add up, somehow by sitting in Washington ) and writing oft-mentioned cliches as rebuttals. WHen you blast the media for showing stupid ads on tv, I am surprised you dont buy the theory of stories being planted and of stories deliberately not being reported. When you say the tribals have to be brought to the mainstream, well well well, thats exactly what Govt has been sayin and failing to do last few decades. This observation of yours is like Laxman Sivaramakrishnan’s commentary. Its unfair to be an armchair ‘intellect’ in such complicated matters of Indian security.

  108. I pity these pseudo-intellects..but sadly our govt seems to play into their hands. And its not just Naxalite areas… Kashmir, North-east. Everywhere the Govt has got its policies wrong. Pander only to intelelcts and let forces n innocents die… Awesum

  109. “Almost from the moment India became a sovereign nation, it turned into a colonial power, annexing territory, waging war.”
    One of the many gems you can find in A Roy’s wonderful write-up !!!
    No wonder with people like these getting public space most Indians grow with a self-hating, deluded version on India’s history.

  110. I read Arundhati Roy’s column. Calling her ‘fanatic fundamentalist’ and her writing ‘execrable piece of garbage’ is shooting the messenger. If you disagree with her, disagree on facts…not by calling names. Plus this is not gentlemanly conduct.

    It is easy to whip up passions with your style of writing. Bal Thackeray does a wonderful job on Saamna editorials.

    You will have short term gains…the book you published with help from the ‘multinational publisher’ might sell more copies.

  111. @ AK47
    What a brainwashed murdermonger.

    Have you ever felt the AK47s, 7.62 round biting through your rear end.
    The day you feel it, you will change your ID to Vedanta.

  112. I really love spring. This is a time when the snow is gone, the leaves are back on the trees and the birds are buzzing. On a sunny day, my town looks pretty as a postcard. Of course, the sex siren that I am, I start to progressively shed clothes as the mercury soars. I like it when people go out and have fun in the sun. I like it when guys get turned on by my tantalizing display of flesh. I like to tease and taunt them and watch the growing tents in their shorts. I like it when the boys come out on the beach under the sun. Just like I like it when the boys come out in force to comment on issues of this nature on GB’s blog, especially Rishi and his buddies. Ah summer! Shan reminds me of the dreary cold, snowy winters!!!

  113. Why hasn’t anyone commented on my arbit writings? Why? I am arbit and random at the same time, so why oh why is noone responding to me? Why? Is there no place for arbitness or have we evolved so much that we don’t respond to arbit comments? I am inspired by the holy trinity of L Sivaramakrishnan, Arun Lala & Navjot Singh Chiddu, and will not rest easy till Bharat Ratna is conferred on them! I want Mandira Body to get the Nobel peace prize, and Ravi Shastri to get Padma Bhushan! Neone has any problems? And I want Danny Morrison to be conferred honorary Indian citizenship!!

  114. I have to say Arnabda, this naxalite issue has taken up so much of my time, reading and listening. Have read sympathiser pieces, and many like the one above. From the last few months, yet i am not sure what stand I should take. Just feel that a lot is still unknown to the general public. Having said that, Naxals obv do not deserve the Robin Hood kinda tag coz yes, many of them have erred too.. This is soooo complex, unbelievably complex.

  115. @Perplexed:
    “Now, why would you call yourself a “certified Arundhati fan”?
    After all, Suzanna Arundhati Roy has openly expressed her support for the independence of Kashmir from India. Her exact words are: “Kashmir needs Azadi from India.””

    Sorry, sir. ALL your sarcasm is wasted on me in this instance. I haven’t read/heard Ms Roy’s views on Kashmir so I can’t comment on that, and it has made no impact on my appreciation of the fact that she can point out flaws where they are. Also, this Suzanna angle is new to me. What a day of learning. 🙂

    No Arundhati ‘supporter’, or for that matter Arundhati herself, has said it was great or okay to kill the jawans. That it isn’t.
    Additionally, on the hot-fave topic of Kashmir. I am from here, live here and work in the villages. Ergo I have a better idea of what the common man thinks of and lives through. Both with abuses from terrorists, and abuses from the forces. I’ll stop right here. Peace.

  116. @ Anirban
    I see the “complexity” in using the poverty of poor people, and ignorance of educated middle class people, and the sadistic romaticism of a few elites, for unleashing a retrogate murderous ideology on a country.

    Very complex indeed.

    Here this may simplify a few things for you. A case study of a previously successful Maoist revolution.

    http://www.killingfieldsmuseum.com/
    http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/08/08/cambodia.killingfields/

  117. Arnab,
    Balanced article; I wish others in the mainstream media were able to do so. I have some issues with the assumptions about the media being made in a bunch of comments. The media is critical of the government and pro-Maoist, in terms of reporting.

    There is a problem with equitable development, which I will not argue with. Whether it is their kith and kin ripping them off (which is the case with the entire spectrum of SC-ST politics, refer to Mayawati, Laloo, and Mulayam, and even Shibu Soren himself), the Indian government has failed these people. The most important aspect of this is that the GoI refuses to accept the parity of communally held lands with those of privately held ones. This means that unscrupulous developers and interests can exploit these areas. Ironically, the only political party doing work on this on behalf of the tribals is the BJP. So, that is a body blow to the leftist blow hards who are clueless about it.

    Moreover, good governance is completely and utterly missing in rural India. The administration of India has been going downhill since the 1960s. We still retain the same top down colonial apparatus meant to maintain ‘law and order’ within a democratic system. Furthermore, even this setup consists of underpaid, overworked staff, who have to cater to populations in the millions (just check the average population under a district magistrate). Finally, this entire mess has become politicised to an extent where no major on the ground decision can be made without considering all of the political interests, and a couple of telephone calls to the incumbent party honchos. No wonder, most of us here do not want to be an IAS officer, wheras it used to be a pinnacle of success to be one even two decades ago. Again, this presents questions about the candidate quality.

    Yet, none of this, I repeat, none of the aforementioned facts justify violent action. There are institutional channels, just as simply voting in more representative and less corrupt political leaders. Or, if one so desires, becoming involved in the process. If this does not work, then a full on peaceful mass movement can be carried out. Perhaps, we remember Gandhi’s movements, but large scale movements were carried out after independence (I refer to the J.P. Movement). Nothing justifies violence against the state!

    The Government is trying to address the Maoist crisis both from a security and developmental perspective, but those asking for development have to realize that development is not possible without peace. One could not fix the gas mains in Bierut in the 80s or talk about potable water supply in Sarajevo in the 90s.

    Before I wrap up, I want to point out that many external organizations are involved in the Maoist operations. Arms are coming via North East groups, such as the PLA Manipur through Bangladesh into the mainland. Some NGOs and Church organizations are also not entirely blameless. Perhaps China has an evil agenda, but the latter do not. Yet, their good intentions are paving India a road straight to hell. I have slowly come to believe that a society begets its state: the type of people we are will influence that type of state we have. Perhaps some of those who cry rape and murder at every CRPF jawan, while sitting in their AC offices in the cities and drinking good scotch, should think about this.

    Cheers,
    Vasabjit

  118. Dear Arnab,
    Your post, impassioned and heartfelt as it is, is juvenile in its analysis and limited in its scope and depth. I quote:
    “…. The ‘tribals’ are not a monlithic entity. ‘A few of them’ have, over the generations, taken advantage of quotas and ‘the other special privileges’ provided to them by the Constitution ‘as well as economic liberalization’ to improve their lot. Some of them have become ‘middlemen’, some of them ‘small businessmen like brick kiln owners’. A few of them, over generations, have risen in ranks even further becoming ‘powerhouses’ like a Madhu Koda or Shibu Soren….” (emphasis added)
    Following this, you go on to make an irrelevant and insensitive jibe at “rolling kendu leaves” which, in your estimation is a generic tribal thing to do , and hence may form the basis for your thinly-veiled casteist joke, betraying your elitist patronage and condescension.
    Further, describing the complex situation in central India between the government, residents and companies with your simple “middleman and social immobiles who can’t get their life in order”, you expose not just your simplistic and inadequate understanding of the issues, but also your ignorance of relpolitik, which you seek to disguise with your inane examples garnered from “regular”, urban life in calcutta/jadhavpur university/ USA/ Delhi experiences which you describe in simple homilies.

    And then, after painting “tribals” (i am continuing to use the quotes because I am so HUGELY amused by the way you latched on to that phrase: like dubya and his “terror from terrorists” line) as extremists exacting vengeance in angry tribal courts, you go on to talk about the solution, which, while admitting you are wholly unqualified to provide, you go on to offer anyway: And oh glory! your advice is to bring “tribals” into the “mainstream”! And you express your disapproval of the romanticization of tribal lives, and say they should be more like ‘us'(read mainstream), ending your post with more thinly-veiled hyper-nationalistic propaganda and posturing. Then conceding that “after all we all were tribals once”, you sign off, with a last pathetic kendu leaf rolling jibe.

    I follow your blog with keen interest, and find it amusing and witty. However, my advice would be to stay to topics like IPL, Cinema, or general observations on your everyday life in the future, and when writing on on weightier issues with multiple layers, and infinite nuance, to get your homework done first.

    I understand that you regulate comments on your blog, so I note with realistic bemusement that this comment is both too critical and too long to make the cut, but I hope that you will read through and give it enough thought and consideration. Intelligent people like you should not be carried away by empty propaganda and media-generated rhetoric, but attempt to objectively analyse the truth before embarking on writing about it. Thousands of people read and are influenced by your blog. That demands more responsibility and greater effort from your side.

    Sincerely yours,
    Aravind Menon
    Post-Doctoral Fellow,
    University of KwaZulu Natal

  119. @Aravind Menon:
    I didn’t understand your argument, since you are a Post-Doctoral Fellow and I am a mere mortal. Your ‘comment’ (emphasis added) seems to just summarize the blog post and then call it wrong. I don’t see you mentioning what your own thoughts are on the matter. If you consider this matter one of the ‘weightier issues’ with ‘multiple layers’ (emphasis added), as it undoubtedly is, then you would doubtless have some thoughts on it – I would be very interested to know your views on it.
    First – Do you see any way out of the situation other than bringing the tribals/forest dwellers/whatever you want to call them to the mainstream? By the mainstream I believe we are talking about the state governments making sure that education reaches these areas, making sure roads connect these areas to villages where people do business, making sure medical facilities reach these areas, and making sure people there have access to water. It’s not a question to make tribals like ‘us’. Even you, I and blog author differ hugely in our cultures – what is ‘us’ ? What is common to the three of us is that we have had access to food and education while growing up – which has prevented us from taking up arms against those we see ruling us.
    Second – the Kendu leaf reference is a joke. If you are offended by it for some reason, please state why.
    Third – I don’t think comments on this blog are moderated. My comments appear as soon as I post them.

  120. In all this name-calling and type-casting, we lost sight of the most important issue, that of the spiraling violence.

    I don’t care two hoots about bearded pseudo-intellectuals or for that matter Ms. Roy. None are central to the issue at hand. The less we speak of them the better.

    The issue is violence and how do we stop it (or can we stop it)?

    “Bringing tribals back into the mainstream” is not as easy as it sounds. It will take years of development and Government aid. Inherent in this approach is the assumption that “Tribals are backward and need to be developed”. Which in itself is a bone of contention. (I don’t want to be told I am backward and need someone else’s money). Plus given the inefficiencies of the democratic government, this will remain a mirage.

    A more radical approach perhaps then? Self-Rule.

    Chalk out the areas which have this problem (start small) and impose self-rule. Let the people of the area decide what they want done with their minerals, forests and their lifestyles. (Also easier said than done but possible). Under supervision of the Home Ministry, these autonomous regions can operate like a small country within a country. This model has been successful in the past. What this region may need is greater autonomy and help in terms of resources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_regions_of_India

    There cannot be a complete solution to this problem, neither can there be a complete analysis of the problem.

    My attempt was to provide some direction only.

  121. @Rahulk- Yes exactly, thats why in this intellectual jungle I am a beacon of light with my random arbitness/arbit randomness! I am here to tell the world that Arun Lala can solve all problems!!

  122. Fascinating stuff! Read M/S Arnab & Arundhati(Thanks for the ink to artile published in The Outlook). Poor Mr. Kurt Godel and The Incompleteness theorem. That goes for a toss. Hail Great Bong, Hail Ms Roy. Here listen to me. All of you. These two would go down in the history as the prophets, proponents and first practitioners of Degree One Logical reductionism. Both of them can explain any thing that happened 12 and a half femtoseconds after Big Bang. Ms Roy comes with her version of Truth (Journey of Ore from Keonjhar to Paradip to Shanghai would appear next in the Nature magazine sometime next month so book your copies now), Mr Arnab comes up with a slight variant Truth 2.0(“The truth is slightly different…”). So what if Tendu becomes Kendu because The Telegraph said so.
    P.S: We Bengalis are tolerant, but turn violent when someone utters BONG. Can you do something about it.

  123. Dear Soham,
    The issue at stake in MP/Chhatisgarh and the Maoist insurgency is a minefield of competing interests, played between different actors within the larger context of the area (forest cover, mineral reserves, etc etc).
    My point is precisely what you have outlined: A comments board of a popular blogger is not the space to give solutions, especially when the blogger himself has displayed his collosal ignorance.
    I quoted Arnab’s blog, (adding emphasis) because the limitations of his argument would be apparent to anyone who has studied the problem, and looked at the history of the area. Since you are satisfied with his one-liner solution, it is evident that you see nothing lacking in his analysis, which, of course pre-empts the entire criticism registered in this comment.
    Arnab is witty and humourous, but he should stick to what he is best at, and frankly, far more entertaining writing about: the IPL and hindi cinema metaphors.
    Indeed, the sucker punch here has been delivered by “bengalinotbong”. One line solutions to geopolitical quagmires, if they did exist, would most likely be issued by the Red Queen.
    The more we run, the more we stay in the same place. The solution, then, is to merely separate them all from their heads 🙂

  124. @ Aravind Menon

    There is no denying that the issues involved are not simple. Nothing is.

    But there is also no denying, what the Maoists/Naxals have done by making use of “the complicated issues” in “remote, underpreviledged” areas like Dantewada, to further their violent ideology, is simply onoxious.

    Arnab’s post dwells less on solution-giving, and more on the way pseudo-intellectuals are romanticizing the brutal violence, being committed by Maoists/Naxals.

  125. Of course we can kill them all and let Singhbonga sort out them out. After all, if Tribal India is an “India that has been swept under the carpet” (as B. Raman put it) nobody’s gonna miss them.

    Brilliant, no?
    We happy. Tribal warriors happy in the Happy Hunting Grounds in the sky. Hardcore Maoists happy in Workers’ Paradise. Vedanta happy with gazillion tonnes of ore. Local pandu havaldar/seth happy with orphaned teenage tribal girls. Ms. Roy happy with material for her new book “Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness!” (yeah, like Ms. Hooker prize was ever original!)

  126. Are u actually saying Mahendra Karma is completely innocent and attributing Salwa Judum criticism to bouts of jealousy??

  127. @Shubhadeep

    Is Jawed Naqvi an Indian or Pakistani? I am not sure…His visceral hate-mongering against India has led to his usage of the oft-quoted, stereotypical Pakistani diatribe against Hindus (esp. Baniyas and Brahmins)

    In another article, needlessly insulting in its title “Baniya and the Bomb”, Jawed Naqvi’s conclusion about “the heartless baniya” shows his true, communal colours.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/columnists/14-jawed-naqvi-baniya-and-the-bomb-830-zj-08

  128. GB has made a lot of enemies with this post. Watch out for all out character assassination and multidues of dirt thrown on GB with personal attacks from here on.
    Lefties are very good at that. They excel in this area.It’s their real deal. Their domain.

    GB has just stirred a hornest’s nest. He has stung them real bad.

  129. The funniest thing about the comments section is that everyone is calling the other “armchair critic”. The inference is that either none of is us really qualified to offer a solution from our vantage points, or all of are. Since we already have 100 off comments, I presume we will at least follow the latter and refrain from using the “you elitist, armchair critic sitting in a/c rooms” jibes against one another. Capsice?

    @Vasabjit:
    “Arms are coming via North East groups, such as the PLA Manipur through Bangladesh into the mainland.”

    Just wondering if there is any source for this assertion. I know enough about Manipur to know that the insurgents (e.g. PLA) there are hardly interested in any other similar movement in the India mainland. And if they had enough arms & ammo to supply to Naxals, they would have used them themselves. The Manipuri and Naga insurgency has degenerated into an extortion movement with very little popular support now – just fear.

  130. Irony- Same person writing about pain/suffering caused by “Maoist” violence who 6 months earlier was not interested enough to investigate that the money routing and whether the money was being used on right/peaceful causes before holding fund raiser for some leftist “charities” in USA…

  131. Atul Basson & Sunil “mishti doi” Gavaskar are competing in this year’s Indian idol, wherein they will do ball-dance with Onu Mollik.

  132. Shan,
    Good enquiry, I learned of the Chinese involvement barely a month ago. Actually there are various open sources you can access the information from. Here are a few, but there are more. one thing is for certain, the Chinese are dumping arms and training these outfits.

    http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/op-ed/focus-on-choking-the-radicals%E2%80%99-lifeline/164511.html

    http://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=26..191109.nov09

    There are more, the second article cites CNN-IBN for example.

    Cheers,
    Vasabjit

  133. I would just like to say one thing to those intellectuals who’ve deigned to comment above. I “grew up” in Jadavpur University surrounded by idealistic “naxals” who managed to question most of my faith, beliefs and values, who at the slightest provocation (and oftentimes completely unprovoked) talked of the evils of capitalism, of the futility and farcicality of technical education in JU and beyond, of the deep-rooted conspiracies behind the increase of library fine from 7 paisa per day to 30 paisa per day, of the magnetic attraction of the red soil of the “west” (the Chhotanagpur Plateau – lal pahader des), sang “Shono shudhijon” and smoked langta charminar, wore T-Shirts with Che Guevara (which they pronounced like Guye-bhara – it is really Gay-bara – seriously, hablo español, por eso sé) – and who generally reeked of revolution. Soon after some of them graduated from the college, took up jobs in Indian and Multinational software firms, and in a year or two, travelled to, of all places the most un-naxalkosher of places – United States! Some had boyfriends and girlfriends who were still revolving in the campus after close to a decade in the campus under various pretexts and an ever increasing crop of beard (boyfriends). They were still talking of “sangathan” and “andolan”. Then some day or the other they vanished – years later they resurfaced on one of the social networking sites – doing a Ph.D. in Singapore was the least surprising leap of faith they had undertaken. The rest were to be found in America’s tier two universities doing God doesn’t know what. After 6 – 7 years of living the in the West (not Chhotanagpur Plateau, mind you) the last I heard they are talking of a revolution of Native Indians. May be some of you are in that band.

    These folks are the ablest flag bearers of Arundhati Roy’s clan – long live revolution! Compare these with a lower-middle class CRPF jawan of 38 years (no pun intended), father of two, loving husband to a wife of 14 years – who is gunned down along with 70 odd other hapless men – whose families have similar tragedies to cope with for the rest of their lives. The reality is that there is Government apathy in all of this – there is collusion with sections of the ruling parties. CRPF jawans live in pathetic conditions in these areas – with hardly any vital facilities, let alone adequate gear for self defence. The revolutionaries, goons in guise – have wreaked havoc through a systematic gang-war and it is these hapless men from across the country, leaving home and hearth for a few extra pennies, who are paying the price. All this while we sit in the comfort of our house and debate Ms. Roy.

  134. @ Arindam
    Very well put.

    The sad thing though, is that the Che-Gooye-bhora T-shirt wearing crowd, that comes to US, etc, continues with the dastardly double standards here too.

    I remember one openly ultra-left Naxal supporter, and a full time volunteer for a “reputed” ultra-left leaning Indian NGO, popular in American campuses. He made sure that he and his wife came back to the US just before having a kid, and stayed on so that the kid was born an American.

  135. @ Maitreyi, Jawed Naqvi is a Pakistani in Indian garb. He is an Indian citizen by birth, lives in Delhi and works as Dawns New Delhi correspondent. He panders to his owners, I mean employers, by writing ‘insightful’ crap that is hugely popular with certain sections of Dawn’s readers. Make no mistake, Dawn itself is one of the more respectable print and electronic media houses in Pakistan and have carry decent articles and blogs on South Asia, Pakistan’s internal affairs, etc.

  136. Guys, come on, seriously, all of us are arguing about this as if we are expert critics & know everything thats happening on the ground, in truth we are all just members of a privileged group of people who, when we have some time on our hands, take turns to show off our flawless English to each other and pretend to be the next social revolutionary. And then, after posting, we go back to working on that PPT for the next sales pitch, or whatever our job entails. If anyone truly feels strongly about this, please take up what you feel with the policy makers and try and bring about some change, instead of posting comment after comment!

  137. @Sayan, there is another way to look at this. Some of us believe that being aware of what’s going on in the country and society is as important as knowing what’s Sachin’s average in the IPL. It makes us more sensitized to the truths and realities of the times we live in, and in the long run makes us into individuals better equipped to . Through arguments we might discover newer perspectives, and understand the gaps in our own thinking.

    So I guess if you are trying to talk people out of being the above, it wouldn’t work for most right minded people.

  138. @Arindam, I am not trying to talk people out of this, its everyone’s personal choice, all Im saying is that we have become too much of a “talking/tweeting/scrapping” generation, rather than wanting to engage ourselves on the ground and do the hard yards. Easy to be an arm-chair critic & type comments (like I’m doing here), but real contribution comes from actual work done in the field!

  139. As the popular saying goes….

    “At 20 if you are not a communist you do not have a heart …& at 30 if you are not a capitalist you do not have any brain”

  140. @Arbit(Shuvadeep)

    The saying needs to be paraphrased to:

    “At 20 if you are not a Commie, you do not have a heart …. & at 30 if you are STILL a Commie, you do not have a brain”. 😉

  141. Shan,

    I am sure I posted some links for your question. I presume they have been removed or something. If you want to get at them, just google: Maoist China PLA Manipur. There are a whole bunch of open sources. This was new to me as well, since I learnt about it a month back.

    Vasabjit

  142. Voices from Dantewada

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8608192.stm

    Somaru from Pondum village has been living in the camp since 2005.

    “The rebels wanted us to come to their meetings and support them, but we were busy in our farms and fields. So they got angry and attacked our village two or three times. They killed six villagers. So we came here,” he says.

    Hapka Lakhur shows me his maimed leg. “My family was rich, we had money and cattle. One night the rebels attacked us. They came at midnight. They were armed with guns and knives – they took away all our animals, goats and cows. They sliced my leg at the knee and twisted it.”

    His father, Hapka Yatu, was the village chief. “A few days ago, he had fever so he went to see the witch doctor in the village. The Naxalites killed him. They slit his throat. He had deep cuts on his chest,” Hapka Lakhur says.

    Sukh Ram from Baeel village says they have been caught in the crossfire. “The police will come to seek information about the rebels and then the rebels will come to the village and beat us up. They would ask – why did police come to your village? They killed our village head, they said he was a police informer.”

    Jailal says his brother was the village head and wanted to go against the Naxalites, so they killed him.

  143. Ridiculous 200 posts. Too many arm-chair critics as someone just said. I refrain from voicing my thoughts on the issue.

  144. that’s it !
    i’ve officially added aRUNDhatI roy to my list of people whom i will spit on when/if i ever meet.

  145. To all Maoists/shadow maoists/alleged intellectuals and assorted jerks who celebrated Dantewada like it was done in a “premier” university based in Delhi(ironically funded with the hard earned money of the same bourgeoisie they so hate….)

    1.Do they support class war?
    2.Do they support systematic extermination of class enemies?
    3.Who are their class enemies?
    4.Do they feel hunky dory when they look around at their class enemies and imagine how nice it’d feel to teach them egalitarianism when the cultural revolution occurs?
    5.Oor is it that arm chair supporters support maoists and assorted thugs just because of envy that a lot of people have lives and they don’t?
    6.Do they support systematic impoverishment of the most impoverished people in India and use them as cannon fodder?
    7.If the answer to the above is yes,stop being cowards by hiding behind the liberties this democracy provides you and your idols and just say so.
    8.Why inspite of their continual domination of underdeveloped areas and the huge amounts of money at their disposal,tribals living under the watchful eyes of maoists have to live on a staple diet of leaves,earth ,herbs even when they are away from the “damned” civilization.but after all they too need to eat or don’t they?
    9.What alternative setup they have in place that makes them prevent tribals they love so much from accessing the basic amenities even where available?
    10.Why are tribals at many places of the maoist/naxal hotbed of Jharkhand have taken up bows and arrows against their “benefactors”(who are cooling their heels in air conditioned hotels in metros) after getting frustrated by government apathy?(and my sincerest apologies to salwa judum bashers)
    11.If they consider armed rebellion by one group of tribals trained and led by maoists perfectly justifiable,what makes them condemn Salwa Judum which supposedly counters the first group?
    12.Who made them the representatives of tribals and the downtrodden?

    13.What’s the latest daily wage for “cadres” in different parts of India?(it’s about 100 a day in my area)
    14.Are they supporting “revolutionaries” who act in cahoots with the same government they are fighting in times like elections to garner votes much more efficiently than simple booth capturing etc?
    15.Are they supporting alleged visionaries who work out the cuts and levies they want out of developmental work with the administration and pimps in areas dominated by the red brigade?
    16.And with all this muck the “revolution” is steeped in,how do they challenge the present system of governance in India?Atleast it’s accountable,even in patches and offenders do get booked and brought to justice.and yeah,politicians whatever they do actually have to contend with the fact that they will need to face elections someday.Contrast this to all “People’s Movements” which eventually transformed into autocracies and despotic states.

    Long live the revolution…..

  146. @ Kunal
    Very nice writeup.

    But you have to hand it to the ultra-left for writing the workbook on Propaganda.

    Since the early 20s the ultra-left has been at the forefront of finetuning the art of Propaganda and misdirection. The Maoist/Naxal gangs in India have continued with that art.

    You should see how the maistream media laps up what they feed, despite the glaring contradictions, and propagates their point of view with glee.

    1. The word “Democratic” will be a prefix to all Naxal groups, but they will be murderous gangs, following a military command structure.

    2. The Naxals/Maoists are all about peace, but they will be armed to the teeth, and tactically pro-active.

    3. The Naxals/Maoists are “anti-religious” and follow the Communist manifesto as their Bible, but they idolize the Jihadi Osama bin-Laden, and will be happy to take money from Christian missionery groups to kill social workers working in their domain.

  147. @Actually :
    yeah,and that’s quite a reflection on the media and the ideological leanings of the selfless and “neutral” components comprising the 4th estate.

  148. Pingback: Global Voices Online » India: Citizens debate government policy and the Maoist response

  149. Just few things

    (1) Even if we accept that Roy has a hidden agenda, we cannot disregard all her claims as hyperbole. How can one explain the fact that the “Maoists” trouble is isolated only to those states that are rich in minerals.

    (2) Your “version” of the maoists problem as a class war among tribals is laughable at best. And your selection of representatives such as Shibu Soren is an insult to a tribe. It is diatribe. The Dongria Kondh lived in Niyamgiri for centuries and managed to maintain the ecological balance until now. They are the ones very close to the Naa Vi. They lived in harmony with nature. Thanks to the government and mine moguls, their children don’t have a future there.

    (3) One physched up reader as asked to eliminate all maoists, their supportes, the supporters’ supporters from the face of the earth. Sir, here is a history lesson for you. After the 1967 war, Israel decimated the palestine Arabs, killed many, moved most out of the country. After 42 years and with an open check to violate human rights, it is still fighting the Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO) an organization that was founded in a refugee camp.

    (4) Roy’s attack of the Media is moderate in my opinion. They are the scum of the earth. I conceed that not all news can be covered and media cannot be pilloried for not putting one news or the other. They are expected to broadcast news without prejudice. That never ever happens. How many know that P Chidambaran our Home Minister who declared war against maoists happened to be a director at Vedanta and resigned his post before joining Manmohan’s cabinet ? How many channels covered the countless protest marches and rallies held in Niyamgiri before the mass killings by Maoists ? When Jet fired 2000 employees and took them back, it was shown as breaking news. How many know that eveyone of those 2000 employees were “asked” to leave Jet eventually?

    Roy’s advocation and yardstick is not fair. That doesn’t mean that all is hunky dory in India There is a world out there we can’t even imagine in our dreams. I only pray that those who post comments here get their facts right before giving their opinion

    Thanks
    Senthil Nathan M

  150. Senthil wrote:

    “How can one explain the fact that the “Maoists” trouble is isolated only to those states that are rich in minerals”

    Response:
    Nobody is denying that certain areas/populations in within are marginalized. There is always a relative barometer of “growth” and “development”. And its a constant effort to balance them with sustainablity.
    But what Maoists/Naxals are doing is fishing for those populaces’ discontent to further their violent ideology and “power capture” model.

    Senthil wrote:
    “After the 1967 war, Israel decimated the palestine Arabs, killed many, moved most out of the country. After 42 years and with an open check to violate human rights, it is still fighting the Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO) an organization that was founded in a refugee camp”.

    Response:
    A very good example of propaganda chewing on Mr Senthil’s grey matter.

    First, Israel was attacked in 1967 by the conglomeration of Islamic countries.

    Second, Palestinian Liberation Organization was funded, supported and armed by the Soviet Union, first and then by the Arab Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia to “eliminate Israel from the face of the earth”, to use their specific language. Yes all 8 million of those goddamned Dhimmi Jews.

    The statements made by Mr Senthil, shows how dangerous propaganda can desensitize and mislead, an otherwise perfectly normal Hindu fellow (pardon me if I am wrong but that has soemthing to do with the debate), into beleiving and propagating lies to further a cause.

    I would invite Mr Senthil to visit Israel and compare their track record of treating Muslims to that of the “other side’s”. You might be enlightened by the difference in standards.

    Sentil wrote:
    “How many know that P Chidambaran our Home Minister who declared war against maoists happened to be a director at Vedanta and resigned his post before joining Manmohan’s cabinet ? How many channels covered the countless protest marches and rallies held in Niyamgiri before the mass killings by Maoists ? When Jet fired 2000 employees and took them back, it was shown as breaking news. How many know that eveyone of those 2000 employees were “asked” to leave Jet eventually?”

    Response:

    Yes, so Mr Chidambaram was in Vedanta. Thats fishy.
    How do Maoists/Naxals deal with it.

    -They kill hundreds of villagers and Sarpanches who dont give them ransoms and “Red Salutes”.
    – They kill 76 law enforcement workers in cold blood and declare more will be killed.
    – They kill anybody who dont agree with them.
    – They take “supari” from Christian Missioneries to bump off Swami Laxmananand, a popular Vanavasi leader, because he was not willing to submit to the “Red Salute” diktat.

    Mr Senthil, since you are so eager to give history lessons to us wretched “bourgeois”, here is some lesson for you too.

    1. Almost all Naxal-like/Maoist movements have been bloodbaths through out history with death tolls in millions.

    2. Not one of them has been able to continue with their ideological goals/ ideals before collapsing within a generation.
    Usually those ultra-left regimes leave the nations/areas they rule atleast 50 years behind the rest of the contemporary world.

    3. People like You and Me, who have the ability to “think” and “create opinion” are usually the first people killed by the Maoists/Naxals, once they acheive power.
    Yes, sometimes even when they are sympathetic to the Maoist/Naxal ideology. So inspite of your or Arundahti’s sympathies, you will not be safe in the ideal world of the Naxal/Maoist.

    Yes, as you say, “All is not hunky dory in India.”

    Heck! All is not hunky dory in this world.
    But when was it?
    The least of all under the Naxals/Maoists.

    Om Shanti!

  151. Such is the situation of countries that follow Maoist/Naxal ideology, that North Korea (and old victim of the ultra-left) had to import doctors from Nepal (a fresh vcitim of Naxal/Maoists), to perform basic cataract operations.

    Hope the great nation of Nepal does not reach that fate.

  152. Even much more than “just a few things” would fall woefully short to justify what all is being done in the name of “The Revolution”.And aspiring revolutionaries should thank their stars that they are living in India which lets them rant stuff inimical to this country.

    @Actually:Well said.I guess one can reason only with “reason” 🙂 reasoning doesn’t work with frustrated jerks blinded with an ideology chucked out by the very nations where it started.but We are in India where well….shit happens and is allowed to happen….
    Lal salaam…..

  153. My Way or High Way: This seems to be the motto of all revolutionaries.. All revolutionaries start under the garb of public interest. As they grow in stature n power, power intoxicates them and gives them an omni-potent allure. They tend to get autocratic, callous and indifferent to very peopl they started out to fight for. The complacency breeded by their sense of power will ultimately prove their undoing. Just look at LTTE for example.

    Tackling Maoists:
    Create an elite force to tackle the Maoists predominantly from locals aware f d terrain. Train them mentally to remove the scourge that is Maoism by their developmental work. Just like how Maoists brain-wash their cadres, brainwash this elite force with anti-Mao developmental ideals. Allocate sufficient funds for them to engage in developmental work as well. Indulge in your power of propoganda. Ensure power to the tribal areas and distribute televisions to all free. Complement your good work at the ground with powerful propoganda over TV. A day for eliminating Maoists will not be far.

  154. Excellent article.
    I think we should see in to the root of the problem..
    A man has born in this world to be HAPPY.Happiness varies person
    to person.For TRIBAL, happiness is minimum living for its survival
    along with its NATURAL ENVIRONMENT,as it deem fit as far as the
    ECHOLOGY is concerned ,even that we are so called litterate people
    are not ready to give.This is a era not to give anything……….
    grab everything.
    This type of situation can not be fully tackle by military force,
    but by deep understanding of their culture,demand and with full
    compassion.

  155. @ bonya basu

    Bonya, what you are not getting is, that these Naxal/maoist leaders are neither vanavasi’s nor poor.

    Most of these criminals are educated ideologues who romaticize (with their cheerleaders giving them pom-pom dances in the intellectual world), a violent retrograde ideology that has ABOSOLUTELY ZERO track record of doing good in this world.

    They go after the weaker sections of the society to use their situation to further their violent cause.
    Even the founder of the Maoist movement, Charu Mazumdar, committed suicide
    http://www.dailypioneer.com/245013/A-killer-kills-himself.html

    The actual places where sustainable living and good quality of life has been achieved, relatively speaking, are places that never come in the news.

    Go support Ekal vidyalaya, http://www.ekalvidya.org , if you actually want to be able to give your support to help the vanavasis.

  156. While in LSR, I had attended a lecture by Arundhati Roy where she said that the reason people read her work is because she knows “how to create magic with words”…and that’s what she seems to be doing considering a national magazine like Outlook puts aside an entire issue for her “first hand account with Maoists”. Has Outlook bothered to think of the ramifications of glorifying one sided stories that effect national issues and national psyche or is it so hell bent on increasing its circulation numbers that it has forgotten the basic principle of journalism…Let Truth Rule. Where is the truth in Ms. Roy’s account…it is rambling, venom spouting, meandering, misleading, one sided. Looking earnest and wearing mismatched clothes will not win Ms. Roy the Magsaysay award..but is she sleeping peacefully knowing that a civil war is going on and she is fuelling the fire. Ms. Roy, you have the power of words, use them for the good of the nation and the Constitution and not for sedition akin behaviour. GB..I like your article…continue to give the other side of the view always.

  157. Awesome, greatbong. Aptly put. However, I do not think that Roy is doing this for getting attention. I think she is well compensated for this. She is an essential and integrated part of Maoist propaganda team. This bitterness with normal society and state can be a product of dysfunctional family or far-lefty environment she grew up or both combined. But hatred still would not answer the closeness of hers with rebels, it is only possible if Maoist believe that she would always support them. This particular confidence can be bought by we know what.

  158. Dude at least Arundhati Roy makes feeble attempts at providing some evidence for her claims. What evidence or reliable source have you given for your claim that the fighting fuel is being supplied by our “good neighbors”? You are resorting to the most standard rhetorical device of fundamental nationalists by bringing Pakistan into the issue.

    Another snippet: “Now when big mining companies moved in, it was those “advanced” tribals who saw an opportunity to make more money by becoming land-brokers. Needless to say, they were coming up against their socially immobile brethren who naturally resented the comparative wealth and influence of their fellow-tribals. And then “people” started putting AK47s in the hands of those pissed off telling them “Grab what you dont have. We can make our own laws.”

    This cursory, simplistic version of history truly qualifies as an execrable piece of garbage. Where is the mention of the fundamental land problem, financial exploitation?

  159. for your information we weren’t “all tribals once.” your reading of history must have seemed extremely nuanced to you, replete with all the complications of the ground, when you went about establishing the divisions within tribal society and so on. but it is betrayed by the sentence above beyond doubt.
    you seem to think that “tribals” either became contractors, or shibu soren, or remain in their sub-human, so-far-beyond-civilization-they-cant-even-be-seen-on-the horizon, picking tendu leaves state. extremely nuanced. your brahminical perspective is being thrown into the dustbin of history by those very “tendu picking” tribals.
    and i wonder why you did not bring the same “complex reading” into the historical model of development you profess? and they call marxism teleological/linear/what have you! the tribals who are now being pushed into the cities, are not wonderfully rich contractors or ungrateful students at the universities as you would have people believe. (and they are public universities by the way, there’s no money coming in through the corporates, if you had checked you would have known that the central government has given the corporates a 400 crore tax exemption this year). instead they are people living on less than 100 rupees a day working as unorganized labour, far far less than what is even the minimum wage as per the law.
    you of course, will decry this as the “ravings” and “rantings” of a rabid, stalinist, marxist, violent, anarchist, the list is endless.
    but the democratic model which was invoked by you in the beginning is not corporate india as you would have people believe. it, by the way, was not a gift of corporate india but only managed to write in even the fleeting democracy because of the consistent fight of babasaheb ambedkar and his movement. have you heard of him before? the democratic system envisioned by him is fast being eroded, the fat cats are getting fatter and the masses are getting poorer and chidambaram is giving us false illusions of democracy as is jyoti babu whose photo you’ve happily pasted on top.
    and of course so are you! you managed to mention government atrocities! woohoo!

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