Sunday Anchor

View from the Maoist side

The Maoist movement is a conflict over the development model adopted by the Indian state, say Maoist ideologues. Despite the setbacks, the ‘fight for a better model of progress’ will go on, they vow. They admit they have recently suffered frequent losses. But, the death of comrades, or being uprooted from the erstwhile united A.P. are not seen as defeats.

Maoists run the Janatana Sarkar (People’s Government) in Dandakaranya forest, across Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra. “Nearly a crore people live in Dandakaranya and Maoists are showing an alternative model of development to them. This is a big victory,” says the pro-Maoist revolutionary writer Varavara Rao in Hyderabad.

The police was never the real enemy of the Maoists. Before 1980s, it was the feudalists with vast tracts of land in Telangana who targeted the revolutionaries fighting to protect the people’s interests. Eventually, they asked the state to intervene and took cover behind the police. This transformed the ‘development conflict’ into a war between the police and the Naxalites. They lost on the Telangana plains, but rose again in Dandakaranya.

“Here again, the interests of the Adivasis are at stake and the State is throwing the forest wealth to private companies,” says Mr. Rao.

Maoists were criticised for killing security personnel in Chhattisgarh near the National Mineral Development Corporation mines three years ago, but nobody asks who benefits from NMDC’s mining, say Maoist ideologues. For instance, even in the Sheshachalam forest incident in Andhra Pradesh recently, it was Red Sander wealth that was the source of conflict. Maoist supporters say the government watched mutely while smugglers plundered the forest and woodcutters were killed.

The Maoists say that World Bank-driven development models don’t help forest dwellers.The ‘success’ of the Janatana Sarkar in Dandakaranya, they claim, vindicates their ‘justified’ battle, and despite the periodic defeats, they will win the ultimate goal of power.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 6:29:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sunday-anchor/view-from-the-maoist-side/article7117393.ece

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