Guest Post on Maoist Violence in India

Guest posts are not common on my blog but once in a long while I agree to post one. (There’s one more in the pipeline.) This one comes with the caveat that I don’t understand what’s happening in the Maoist infected areas and why; therefore don’t have any basis for endorsing the post. It’s your call.

Maoists: Is There Any Substance to the Extreme Leftist Argument?

Alexis Bonari
July 2010

PM Singh refers to Maoists as India’s most pressing internal security threat, and it’s going to be difficult for the CPIM to rid itself of that label. Violent attacks with increasing frequency have damaged a police station and the home of a Congress leader this month, and on June 29, 26 members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed by Maoists. It’s easy to see why India is taking serious action, deploying over 60,000 paramilitary units into Maoist territories and flirting with the idea of removing its helicopters from U.N. patrols in Africa. These helicopters would be used internally instead, enabling India to keep a closer watch on Maoists and create a stronger show of force. But it’s unlikely that military force alone can quell the underlying rebellion.

Underdevelopment Spurs Violence

The Maoists emerged in the late 1960s when they were forced to defend their land, which was in danger of being seized. Increasing poverty in rural Maoist states has caused desperation to escalate in recent years, especially when the natural resources of these areas began to be exploited for coal and other minerals. Rural Indians have, in many cases, been left behind politically and economically by the greater country’s urban development. Such neglect, either real or perceived, has had a negative effect on rural Maoists and has fueled their violent rebellions. There is certainly no excuse for the grossly over-reactive acts of Maoists, but an understanding of the reasons behind their actions may be helpful in ending the rebellion and enabling India to continue growing in geopolitical strength.

India’s Reaction: Rural Development May Supplement Military Efforts

Violence from the Indian government is exacerbating the situation by eliciting even worse reactions from Maoists. There’s no doubt that India’s military should be involved and that Maoists should be brought to justice for their crimes, but the real problem lies deeper beneath the surface. The fear of losing land, resources, and a way of life can cause extreme anger, which can easily be channeled into uncontrolled violence. India will have to take underlying causes of the Maoist problem into consideration if the rebellion is to be fully eradicated.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She often can be found blogging about education and scholarships for college. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

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