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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Economist (UK) notices Indian insurgents

From Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle,

The Economist (UK): British business magazine surveys rebellion in India
Maoist insurgents in India
More bloody and defiant

To overcome Naxalite rebels, India’s government needs to be more adept at both using force and spreading development

Jul 22nd 2010 DELHI

AS INDIA’S Maoist rebellion deepens and grows, so too do divisions in the government over how it should be confronted. Nearly 800 people have been killed in the insurgency so far this year, close to the total for the whole of 2009–a record year for bloodshed in this conflict. The lack of a unified government response suggests this grim trajectory will continue.
On July 17th Digvijay Singh, general secretary of the ruling Congress Party, used a television interview to defend criticisms he had made earlier in print, accusing the home minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, of mishandling the rebellion. He had written that it is wrong to treat the insurgency “purely as a law and order problem”; instead the government must “take into consideration the people living in the affected area who ultimately matter”.
This disagreement, between two senior government leaders, echoes a wider debate about how to battle the Naxalites, as the Maoists are also known because of their roots in a 1967 peasant uprising in the West Bengali village of Naxalbari. One view holds that the rebels are a military threat and the priority is to quash them by force. The other argues that the Naxalites feed on the grievances of impoverished tribal inhabitants in eastern and central India, and will only fade when development is brought to such areas.

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