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Naxalites, Maoists! Branding does not help.


India's industrial base needs to be smart - and not BIG!

India

Violence suffuses life in rural India, some latent, a lot of it structural and quite a lot more, murderously bloody. When the forest department declares an entire village as illegal, because it allegedly stands on forest land, evicts the inhabitants, and then, a year later, renotifies the land as revenue land, fit for habitation, and proceeds to parcel out the land to cronies of the local political and bureaucratic elite, how do we describe the treatment meted out to the original inhabitants of the village, dispossessed by the state in the name of the law? Tender loving care? If these villagers resort to violence, they will become law-breakers, and put behind bars. If they petition the higher authorities, these higher authorities will ask for a hefty bribe and do little. If they go to court, the case will come up for hearing after most of the petitioners have lived out their lifespan. Into this vacuum of viable choices, the Maoists saunter in. Every Maoist advance is a tombstone over a fatal failing of democracy. (via Maoists as part of the solution :Cursor:TK Arun’s blog-The Economic Times).

State as a land-grabber

The State as a land-grabber!

The State as a land-grabber! (Copyright and courtesy - Times of India, Ajit Ninan).

These same tribals, (being branded as Maoists, Naxalites), organized themselves into many armies and fought British armies for more than a 100 years. For the same reasons. Land grabbing by the State. The Indian State would do well to learn from the British experience. Probably, the modern Indian State does not know its own history – and believes in its own propaganda.

Official history, strangely, does not tell us that between 1800-1947, apart from the Anglo-Indian War of 1857, there were more than 75 battles, skirmishes, revolts, mutinies, involving thousands, up to lakhs of Indians, across India. And more than double that many conspiracies, hold-ups, explosions, bombings, which were not organized. These more than 200 violent actions have been completely glossed over by post-colonial India’s historians. Obviously, more than 200 incidents of violent opposition to British misrule over 150 years (1800-1947) deserves better treatment by official historians. Especially, the people who fought most of these battles.

The tribals.

Guha welcomes Raghu Ramachandra

The Indian State would also do well to remember that Raghu Ramachandra respected the rights of the tribals. He entered into the forest, on his way to exile, only after being welcomed into the forest by Guha, the forest king, hunter king of the Nishada tribe – the ruler of the forests. Please note the importance of the word – tath – thereupon. Important word that.

tataH niSaada adhipatim dR^iSTvaa duuraat avasthitam |
saha saumitriNaa raamaH samaagacchad guhena saH || 2-50-35

35. dR^ishhTvaa= seeing; duuraat= from the distance; nishhaadaadhipatim= the king of Nishada; upasthitam= coming; saH raamaH= that Rama; soumitriNaa saha= along with Lakshmana; tataH= thereupon; samaagachchhat= went forth to meet; guhena= Guha.

Seeing from a distance the king of Nishada coming, Rama along with Lakshmana thereupon went forth to meet Guha.

Such centuries of tradition are being trampled by the Indian State – which continues with some colonial practices.

Bad idea. This land-grabbing.

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  1. Taz
    March 28, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Hi, great article, very interesting! And that’s a great little cartoon!
    Was wondering if you could recommend a book or website that documents in some detail the tribal involvement in the violent opposition to British rule spanning 1800-1947.
    Thanks,

  2. March 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Taz – You will have to wait for 2-4 weeks.

    My post on this aspect of Indian history has been under research for more than a year. It has so well ‘hidden’ ‘dispersed’ and misrepresented, that making any sense of this history, out of one book, one writer is (in my limited resources, knowledge) not possible.

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