Hyderabad: “War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun”- Mao Tse Tung"
“People do not take to arms in an organized fashion, against the might of the State, or against fellow human beings without rhyme or reason”, is the decorative and oft repeated argument the elements of experts/ideologues that supports the Maoist ideology has been ferociously making in support of the so called protracted Armed struggle of the Maoists.
They even cite Thomas Hobbes, a Western political thinker, who quoted that Out of a fear of lawlessness that is encoded in our collective conscience, we seek an order. However, when that order comes with dehumanization, of manifest injustice of all forms perpetrated against the weak, the poor and the deprived, people revolt.
In quoting Hobbes, they shamelessly ignore to quote Kanu Sanyal, one of the architects of the Naxalbari revolution on the futility of wetting the hands in the blood of class enemy.
They say that Maoists are waging a war and simply ignore that the Government is just practicing what Mao said- “War can only be abolished through war and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun”.
If Maoists are in principle are waging a war and not perpetuating terror, why blame the government which also answering the Maoists with the gun.
And in their search for the Root Cause of violent Maoism, they repeatedly and untiringly allege that the conflict is being fuelled by the predatory intrusion of the Indian state into the Tribal heartland—through state terrorism, the dispossession of their land, and the impoverishment of peoples by neo-liberalism.
As an oratorical instrument or to lecture at seminars or to serve as emotional dialogues in a movie on Maoism, the narrative of the ‘Root Cause”, the argument of the Maoist ideologues, might have its own uses.
But it neglects the obvious fact that the cause of Maoist violence is violent Maoists.
This theoretical argument of the literati that shoulders Maoists has more takers since it never stood up for scrutiny.
It’s possible, of course, that dispossession-related apprehensions drive tribals to seek political choices.
Historically, tribals have been allegedly stripped of their traditional rights to forests; thus have very good reason to be afraid.
These fears, though, would be shared by tribals who support Maoists and those that don’t.
The presence of the oppressed may provide insurgents with a source of support or a pool to recruit from.
This argument does not lend strong claim, because poverty is just a context than a cause, despite a strong correlation between areas of high poverty and Maoism.
Available Data claims that the Maoists have a presence in just a third of India’s 170 most backward districts. Jhabua, very similar in terms of demographics and economics to Bastar, has no Maoist presence.
There’s the intriguing case of top Maoist leader Kobad Gandhy: Doon-school educated, brought up in a Worli apartment, son of a top Glaxo executive, heir to stakes in a hotel in Mahableshwar and a sprawling bungalow in Panchgani.
These kinds of stories are rare, but they tell us something important: “ some people join causes, misguided or otherwise, because they believe in them”.
There isn’t one single authoritative study, though, of why Maoists seek recourse to violence or in thier terms, counter-violence to the state violence under the guise of waging a new democratic revolution.
The take-away is this: beware of grand theories on the Maoist question.
Like so much else in India, the debate boils down to blind faith, not evidence, as “is it not a fact that war and destruction are not only a universal principle of Maoists, but also are reasons for their mental and moral existence”