Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Naxalites

Naxalism ‘began’ when police shot dead eight tribal women and three tribal men in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari on May 25, 1967. The villagers had been asking for a larger share of the crop they had harvested from the fields of landowners. It has now been 50 years since then and Naxalism continues to exist.

  Dr Dilip Simeon, historian and former Delhi University professor, explained that “it is not poverty or a lack of development that leads to Naxalism but injustice". The Naxals, he said, believe they are fighting the political class from selling out to the corporates, and the oppression of the weak – say the adivasis in places like Chhattisgarh – by the upper classes.

60 million Indians have been displaced, by big projects like dams and mining, or what we would call "development", between 1947 and 2000. Of those, 40 per cent were adivasis.  According to the census of 2001, the adivasis make up 8.2 per cent of the population of the country. What in the world are those people supposed to do when their land is taken away from them?

Simeon said – "a Naxal is someone who protests". In that sense, all of us is a Naxal. 
Fighting the Naxals is a bit like fighting the symptoms of a disease rather than the disease itself.

India is an unjust place.

To end injustice, contact:

The World Socialist Party (India): 257 Baghajatin ‘E’ Block (East), Kolkata – 700086,
Tel: 2425-0208,

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