April 29, 2010


Communism is on the wane in India: Communism and its unruly offshoots Naxalism and Maoism will continue to lose public support in India but a solution to the Naxal problem is still a few years away (Pramod Kumar Buravalli, 4/29/10, rediff)

Today, the worldwide Communist movement is confused and is either getting localised depending on the reality of the country of operations or is totally being decimated in electoral politics.

Though anti-democratic in doctrine, Communist parties around the world are adopting and practicing centrist and democratic ways of politics in order to compete and survive in the interconnected market driven world of today. The last bastion of Communism, China started taking the Deng Xiaoping route of market economy way back in the late 1970's forming large international corporations that today compete with the best of the best multinational corporations of the world. Do you call that Communism or controlled capitalism?

Coming back to India, over the past decade Communism and Naxalbari inspired far left revolutionary movements have been on the decline in semi-urban and urban areas. It is only in under developed and heavily forested tribal corridors of India that the far left movement has gained substantial stranglehold. Aided and financed by dimwitted intellectuals and outside powers, this movement has spread to over 200 districts of India.

The recent Dantewada massacre where 76 jawans of the central paramilitary were surrounded and butchered in cold blood by well armed Naxalites is a reminder of the challenges the Indian government faces in eliminating these terrorists.

With every such violent incident, Communism and its offshoots Naxalism and Maoism are beginning to lose the support of many Indian intellectuals who earlier used to romanticise the Lal Salaam (red salute). The Communists lost heavily across the board in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and are most likely to lose their bastions in Kerala and West Bengal in the next few years.


India is the largest spiritual nation on this planet and any ideology that does not believe in a higher authority will never win the hearts and minds of large swathes of the population.

It is very unfortunate that most of the Naxalite stories which originally began as mass movements against oppressive land owners and industrialists have now become organised mafias of land grabbers, kidnappers, smugglers and terrorists.

Concerted action by the central paramilitary troops, intelligence agencies and state police departments have already begun to turn up the heat against these gun-totting hordes of extremists. But, it is understandable that a final or comprehensive solution is still years away.

Development and infrastructure overhaul in Naxalite-affected areas have to be a simultaneous part of the long-term solution. Most importantly, weaning away the local support base, stopping funding from outside countries and pulling up the pro-left liberals must also be part of the Track II initiatives that need to be taken by the government of India.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2010 5:45 AM
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