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Arundhati Roy meets the Maoist insurgents in central India


We passed the house of the Superintendent of Police (SP), which I recognised from my last visit. He was a candid man, the SP: “See Ma’am, frankly speaking this problem can’t be solved by us police or military. The problem with these tribals is they don’t understand greed. Unless they become greedy, there’s no hope for us. I have told my boss, remove the force and instead put a TV in every home. Everything will be automatically sorted out.”

What the SP says about TV is absolutely correct. Give 'em TV and their brains would be turned to slime within a generation.

Yes, very interesting article.

See also
Bit of sound advice for the hippy carbon protestors:
We’re moving in single file now. Myself and one hundred “senselessly violent”, bloodthirsty insurgents. I looked around at the camp before we left. There are no signs that almost a hundred people had camped here, except for some ash where the fires had been. I cannot believe this army. As far as consumption goes, it’s more Gandhian than any Gandhian, and has a lighter carbon footprint than any climate change evangelist. But for now, it even has a Gandhian approach to sabotage; before a police vehicle is burnt, for example, it is stripped down and every part cannibalised. The steering wheel is straightened out and made into a bharmaar, the rexine upholstery stripped and used for ammunition pouches, the battery for solar charging. (The new instructions from the high command are that captured vehicles should be buried and not cremated. So they can be resurrected when needed.) Should I write a play, I wonder—Gandhi Get Your Gun? Or will I be lynched?
Amazing how the comments at the end read just like the Freepers with some nouns changed and a different accent...
'Tis a very good article. Wonder how this compact revolutionary zone fits in with the Nepalese Maoist's bilateral relations with India . Mind you, India would bomb the fuck out of anything too radical.
Where does China fit in with all of this? Public embarrassment at an ideological throwback, but covert support in order to destabilise a powerful economic rival?
Not really sure - I always got the impression it was broadly as you characterise it, but they were reasonably vocal in support of the Maoists in power and the Nepalese in turn were fairly solid on things close to Beijing's heart like cracking down on any Tibetan exile activity. Still not much love lost between China and India is my impression, despite the economic incentives - the dispute over Anuchal Pradesh isn't resolved and smoulders on. Suspect that any tinkering in Nepal as a handy buffer state where a more pro-China govt would bring some concrete benefits (and vice versa - they announced that rail line up to the border) would be more likely that contact with an internal insurgency in India, which while probably good for a bit of schadenfreude not sure Beijing would have much to do with or even contact. But must confess don't really know and above could be a load of bollocks.
This is an area to watch. The Maoists seem to control far more territory than people in the West realize. They're fast becoming a fairly serious threat to the Indian state.
Wasn't one comment by Maoists that they would wait for the Capitlaism and Islamicists to fight and ware each other out before going on the offensive. With an intenational recession on the way and an incremental momentum of division between power blocks in this case between western capitalism and capitalist development within China and its backing in the regime this could be a good time for the Neo Maoists Naxals.

Was reading recentely a book about armed Zimbabwean resistance(i've lent it to someone else at the moment). Many were in training camps organised by Chinese Maoists. The training seemed to be intensive and extreme by anyones standards. If the Naxals & Neo Maosits adopt these regimes in their training the cadre produced could achieve tremendous results!
Where does China fit in with all of this? Public embarrassment at an ideological throwback, but covert support in order to destabilise a powerful economic rival?

If memory serves the CCP stopped funding Maoists in India after Deng took power, the Maoists in India certainly hate revisionist China.
Ah, okay. I was wondering since rapprochement with once upon a time sworn enemies isn't something new to the Chinese Communists though, whether 'revisionists' are in power or not. :D A big neighbourhood bully could be useful to well-organised but in other ways weak popular insurgents battling it out in the forests of a rival power.
Prachanda made a pilgrimage to Shaoshan just after the Beijing Olympics - mentioned in this very bourgeois bit of reporting that looks at the 'Maoist' brand: I think they're right on the u-turn from Beijing as regards the nepalese party out of then in power. My first recall was of the condemnations for 'usurping' the name (bit rich from the fake communists of Zhongnanhai):
Last week, the leader of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal Dahal, alias Prachanda, undertook a pilgrimage to Mao's birthplace, Shaoshan in Hunan province. It is only a few years since Nepal's Maoists were accused by China's Foreign Ministry of "usurping" Mao's name. But in April last year, they won an election and took power, deposing King Gyanendra.

Minds in Beijing, ever pragmatic, began to turn. Maybe it'd look good to have a few Mao parties in power -- especially in South Asia, where India's influence has long been paramount?

ETA: And continuing my Google odyssey, this looks like a bit more serious analysis:
In analysing the evolution of China’s position on Nepal, the month of March 2006, appears to be the dividing line, as it is seen that prior to this period, Beijing had exclusively been relying on the King for peace and democracy in Nepal. In the view of Dr Jaya Raj Acharya, former Nepal’s permanent representative to the UN, such an approach was visible even during the cold war period of 60s, 70s and 80s.[1] In recent period, the King’s “Special and Important” role in promoting bilateral ties, came under the praise of Chinese President Hu Jintao himself[2]. Also, Beijing did not criticize the King’s February 2005 action, stating that it was only “an internal matter” of Nepal[3]. As another evidence of China’s support to the King, Beijing during 2005- early 2006 period, reportedly offered arms- rifles and grenades and military aid (US$ 1 million) to Kathmandu, to fight the Maoist guerillas[4].

As second stage, signals that China is moving away from its exclusive dependence on the King started appearing in March 2006. Beijing’s new formula has been in favour of ‘reconciliation’ between the King and Nepalese political parties. Echoing the same, the visiting PRC State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan met in that month Nepal’s opposition leaders, marking first such official contact, and asked ‘all constitutional forces in Nepal to work through dialogue’. The spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry followed it up by welcoming King’s efforts ‘to realise political reconciliation’ in Nepal[5].

The post-April 2008 period has marked the third stage of development in China’s position; the same continues till today. Naturally, the King out of power, no longer figures in the Chinese calculations. As one China scholar puts it, the end of the monarchy in Nepal was a natural occurrence.[6] Beijing’s oft-repeated stand on Nepal[7] now at the level of the Party, Military and Government is as follows:

“ China will adhere to the principle of non-interference into the internal affairs of other countries and respect the choice made by the Nepalese people on their country’s social system and development road in light of its own national conditions. China is ready to make joint efforts with Nepal to promote bilateral friendly relations and cooperation”.
Roy is in a bit of trouble over this piece - look she's going to be made the scapegoat for the ambush last week that killed 70+ soldiers.
Roy is in a bit of trouble over this piece - look she's going to be made the scapegoat for the ambush last week that killed 70+ soldiers.

They weren't soldiers they were an elite armed police unit technically part of the civil police - the "shoot anyone you see first, fit up Maoists later" wing of the police.
Good article .

It's reminded me a little bit of the apache resistance at the end of the 19th C. i.e internal people who have always been there having to put up with an evermore invasive and oppresive state.
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