Thursday, October 15, 2009

Raina: India’s Left-Wing Extremism

What Came First, Chicken or Egg?

By Badri Raina, ZNet, Oct 14, 2009

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

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Even as the Indian state ponders the situation along its international borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Nepal, it is increasingly challenged by the spread of left-wing armed extremism at home.

The strongholds of Indian Maoists are, not surprisingly, in the forested hinterlands of central states, such as Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, where the Adivasis (originary tribals) have through six decades of independent India remained almost wholly outside the consideration of the state, except often as brutal victims of influential land-grabbers and aspiring mining and other corporates, backed by the state in collaboration with multinational companies.

Extremist violence, popularly referred to as Naxalism or Maoism, indeed straddles as many as some 180 of India’s 600 or so districts in lesser or greater intensity, along an north-eastern arc stretching from Bihar through West Bengal to parts of Orissa, down to Andhra and Gadchirolli in Marharashtra that touches the Andhra border. With Jharkhand and Chattisgarh as the heartlands.

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