INDIA'S FORGOTTEN WAR – blogging naxalism.

Bread and Circuses (at least today)

with 3 comments

It’s hard not to be cynical about the Indian government’s strategy when one reads rubbish like this:

The police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) force set up a medical camp and distributed gifts to local tribals in the Maoist-affected Chandrapur village in Orissa’s Rayagada District.

Apparently they even organized a magic show! Wow. So shiny. I’m still not clear how any of these ad hoc, one off (and largely irrelevant) acts of charity by the Indian government constitute any sort of counterinsurgency strategy that  could assist the adivasi people become autonomous and empowered communities in India able to  exercise their democratic citizenship.

I have no doubt that the local commander in charge of this initiative has the best of intentions. But, once the clowns go home and the food runs out, the systematic exploitation and marginalisation of India’s eastern tribal populations will continue. There is no rabbit in the hat.

EDIT: And to preempt some criticisms of my admittedly snarky post, yeah, I have no doubt the kids dug the magic show. Hell, I loved magic shows when I was a boy and I was hardly lacking in toys and other childhood distractions. And, no doubt the medical care will make a real difference in some people’s lives. I have no intention of minimising this. The fact is, however, this is not part of some ‘relief’ mission- it is an ad hoc initiative being conducted under a counterinsurgency strategy. It is short term and misses the point.


Written by Michael

October 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I saw a Journeyman Documentary about Insurgency in Columbia, they Actually flew in some clowns in a Chopper to a remote Jungle Village recently cleared of Insurgents, but failed to bring Smile to the Fright stricken villagers, Its all one big PR exercise for Cameras, Think Chattisgharh and Jharkand is going the Same road as Colombia , Private Militias controlled by large landholders( Sulwajudem , paras)


    January 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm

  2. Yeah. I agree. Jason Miklian at PRIO has been doing some interesting work on the warlordization of Chhattisgarh. Parts of the state resemble some of western and eastern Africa’s failed states.

    Jason and Scott Carney had a really good piece in Foreign Policy a few months back. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link:


    January 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

  3. salwa judum -II is running in West Bengal now,,,,,,,its CPM harmads + Paramilitary Vs maoists + Trinamool………obvious pawns being the ‘adivasis’ and ‘any remnant people’

    Uddipan Mukherjee

    January 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: