INDIA'S FORGOTTEN WAR – blogging naxalism.

Islamic and Left Extremism

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There’s a good piece on the recent election violence in India. Link. The author points out the obvious:

“On the first day of polling, the insurgents killed 18 persons in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Of these, 11 were security personnel. No one died at the hands of any terrorist of jihadi persuasion.”

Terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam clearly garner far more attention and the government devotes more resources to them than they do to  the Maoists (curious about the comparative figures… will try to find them).  This is understandable. Actions such as the attacks on Mumbai in late 2009 are important because: 1) they are dramatic events which are orchestrated with the intent of attracting media coverage; 2) urban terrorism affects political, business and social elites, precisely those people who are well situated to influence public policy. These attacks (for all of their horrific consequences) are made-for-tv events. Maoist violence in isolated, rural parts of the country simply does not have the same cache.

I think that this is a mistake. The insurgency thrives because large parts of India has been neglected by the government. Unlike the spectacular attacks of jihadists, the Maoists strategically benefit from obscurity as they slowly seize more territory. This is a far greater threat than anything that has happened in Mumbai or Bangalore.

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Written by Michael

April 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm

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