Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Archive for January 9th, 2010

Sanhati: Development Terrorism in India

Posted by Ka Frank on January 9, 2010

77% of the people of India live on less than $0.50 per day

This article was published on the newly launched website of the International Campaign Against the War on the People of India on January 7, 2010.

The Develop-mental Terrorism of the Indian State

A document prepared by Sanhati Collective

It has been widely reported in the press that the Indian government is planning an unprecedented military offensive against alleged Maoist rebels, using paramilitary and counter-insurgency forces, possibly the Indian Armed Forces and even the Indian Air Force. This military operation is going to be carried out in the forested and semi-forested rural areas of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand,West Bengal and Maharashtra, populated mainly by the tribal (indigenous) people of India. Reportedly, the offensive has been planned in consultation with US counter-insurgency agencies.

To put the Indian government’s proposed military offensive in proper perspective one needs to understand the economic, social and political background to the conflict. In particular, there are three dimensions of the crisis that needs to be emphasized, because it is often overlooked: (a) the development failure of the post-colonial Indian state, (b) the continued existence and often exacerbation of the structural violence faced by the poor and marginalized, and (c) the full-scale assault on the meager resource base of the peasantry and the tribal (indigenous people) in the name of “development”.

Let us look at each of these in turn, but before we do so it needs to be stressed that the facts we mention below are not novel; they are well-known if only conveniently forgotten. Most of these facts were pointed out by the April 2008 Report of the Expert Group of the Planning Commission of the Indian Government (headed by retired civil servant D. Bandopadhyay) to study “development challenges in extremist affected areas”.

The post-colonial Indian State, both in its earlier Nehruvian and the more recent neoliberal variant, has failed miserably to solve the basic problems of poverty, employment and income, housing, primary health care, education and inequality and social discrimination of the people of the country. The utter failure of the development strategy of the post-colonial State is the ground on which the current conflict arises.

To recount some well known but oft-forgotten facts, recall that about 77 percent of the Indian population in 2004-05 had a per capita daily consumption expenditure of less than Rs. 20; that is less than 50 cents by the current nominal exchange rate between the rupee and the US dollar and about $2 in purchasing power parity terms. According to the 2001 Census, even 62 years after political independence, only about 42 percent of Indian households have access to electricity. About 80 percent of the households do not have access to safe drinking water; that is a staggering 800 million people lacking access to potable water. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, India News | 2 Comments »

Nepali Times on Bhattarai’s Role in the UCPN (Maoist)

Posted by Ka Frank on January 9, 2010

This article appeared in Nepali Times on January 8, 2010.

Unscripted lines: 
Without Baburam Bhattarai, the Maoists will repeat history

Prasant Jha

Marxists argue that broader social and economic forces, rather than individuals, shape the course of history. But Nepal may still have been stuck in a bloody conflict but for Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his emphasis on democratic republicanism. The ongoing attempts to marginalise him within the Maoists reveal much about the balance of power and how counterproductive it could be for the peace and constitution-writing process.

Prachanda remains the unchallenged supremo. His control over the organisational apparatus, ability to reconcile interests, and personal charisma are testimony to remarkable political skills.

Kiran has a support base of loyalists like Biplab who call the shots in the party’s base areas, operators like Krishna Mahara, polemicists like CP Gajurel, ethnic champions like Deb Gurung, and key PLA and YCL figures. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Leave a Comment »