(continuation of Tales from Dantewada..page 2)
An analysis of the history of the Indian Maoist Movement right from its beginning in 1967 reveals a crucial fact. Be it Naxalbari in WB or Wayanad in Kerala, the adivasi population has been the strongest bastion of all these movements. The voice of this highly marginalised and exploited section of the Indian society has been unmistakably loud and clear in all these battle fields. If we take a look at the maoist strongholds in the country, tagged as the red corridor by the Indian state, this will become very obvious. The states of Chathisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and W B are the core realms of influence for the Maoists. These states are largely inhabitated by tribal populations like Ho, Santhal, Oron, Kole, Munda and Gond, ‘black people’ who have been around much before the birth of a country named India, much before colonisation took roots here.
These are people with a history of entering in to conflict with the mighty British even before the uprising of 1857. They have also offered resistance against the exploitation of the Jamindars who came later at the scene. Today, armed and organised by the Maoists, they’re fighting yet another battle, this time with the Indian state.
What exactly makes the gigantic Indian state so worried about the Maoist movement? After all, it’s just poor, illiterate and malnourished adivasis lead by a bunch of ideologues. This question inevitably leads us to the concept of sovereignty, a basic tenet of state as the highest political association. Apart from sovereignty the other important elements that characterises a state are territory, population and government. When these basic elements are challenged it’s the very existence of state structure that comes under question. Today, this is exactly what the Maoist movement has managed to achieve. The system of parallel government that exists in Maoist dominated areas bear testimony to this fact. If one also takes in to account the self declared goal of the Maoists, the overthrow of the Indian state by 2050, the picture becomes clearer, but also grimmer. The system of government followed by Maoists in their areas of influence goes roughly like this:
These areas are governed by janatha sarkars, modelled on Chineese revolution and Vietnam War. Each janatha sarkar is elected by clusters of villages with populations ranging from 500 to 5000. They function with the help of 8 depts. -agriculture, trade, finance, justice(nyay), defence, health, public relations, education and culture and forest conservation(ironically, gov. statistics say that the forest cover has actually increased in naxal affected areas!)