Revolution in South Asia

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Archive for September 14th, 2008

AWTW: India Bans Doctors Without Borders from Rural Areas

Posted by Mike E on September 14, 2008

India: Doctors without Borders banned in Chhattisgarh villages

8 September 2008. A World to Win News Service. In what is conceived as a counter-insurgency action, the government of the state of Chhattisgarh in central India, where Maoists are leading tribal peasants in armed rebellion, has told Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans frontiers – MSF) to stop providing medical and humanitarian aid to tribal villages, the Asia Tribune said 8 August, following reports by the Daily Chhattisgarh newspaper. Instead, the authorities want the organisation to provide aid solely in the camps run by the Salwa Judum, a state-sponsored paramilitary movement.

The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has been active in the tribal (Adivasi) belt and elsewhere in India since the early 1970s. The growing strength of the armed peasant movement in the remote forest areas has been faced with a serious challenge since 2005 when the Salwa Judum appeared. Since then, tens of thousands of indigenous people have been forced to abandon their villages and forests to live in the squalid and prison-like camps along the roads under the watchful eyes of the authorities. This system is modelled after the “strategic hamlets” the U.S. used to try to “drain the ocean” of peasants where the Vietnamese revolutionaries “swam like fish” and drew much of their support.

The international medical and humanitarian aid movement Doctors without Borders provides urgently needed medical assistance to anyone who needs it in remote villages where the government itself is not present and is not providing medical or other services. This, apparently, is their crime.

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