Sociology and Maoists Essay

Submitted By Jason Hui-Zhu
Words: 2540
Pages: 11

The Emperor and the Red Pirates
An Anatomy of the Indian Maoist resurgence
Hui Zhu

In the City of God, a pirate captured by Alexander the Great, who asked him
“how dare he molest the sea”. “How dare you molest the whole world” the pirate replied.
“Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief; you, doing it with a great navy, are called an emperor”.
-“Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World”, Noam Chomsky1



In the early morning of 6th April, 2010, a group of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) soldiers were returning to their training camp, with the fatigue after an overnight operation at Chintalnar village, Dantewada district, Chattisgarh. Suddenly, two landmines exploded on the road, leaving every jawan in shock. Before the soldiers could realize that they were already sieged by more than 300 Maoists, the Maoists had pulled the triggers. 76 lives were lost in this battle, 8 were severely wounded2. The Maoists, however, celebrated it as a phenomenal victory in the “People’s War” against the state. One month later, on 28 May 2010 in the West Midnapore district of West Bengal, the Maoists removed a
46-centimeter (18 in) length of railway track, derailing a train traveling from Howrah to Mumbai, killing 148 and injuring more than 200 passengers on board. The year of 2010 had witnessed an unprecedented rise of the Maoist movement, during which a total of 1169 people ( including the soldiers of both sides and the civilians) died3. From 1998 t0 2012, 11,709 people died in the conflicts

1 Chomsky, Noam. Pirates & Emperors: International Terrorism in the Real World. New York, NY: Claremont
Research & Publications, 1986. Print, prelogue
2 "Indian police killed by Maoists". Al Jazeera. April 06, 2010.
3 '2010 bloodiest year for India's Maoist rebellion' (AFP),Jan 5, 2011 between Maoists and the state paramilitary brigades (i.e. CRPF)4. It’s not hard for us to imagine how many families behind the thousands of lives are suffering from this losing battle waged by the Maoist Naxalites. It is even harder, however, to figure out why the Emperor - the state - has been incompetent to eliminate the Pirates - the Maoists terrorists - ever since 1967, when a branch of the Communist Party of India(Marxist) led by Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal had initiated a violent uprising in Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal, giving birth to the Naxailite movements today.

The goal of this essay, as the opening quote from Chomsky might have indicated, is not, however, to justify the actions of either the “emperor” or the “pirates”, both of them, I believe, have complex sociological, historical and political backgrounda. It is impossible for me, who has never done field trips or surveys in the Red Corridor but only with online sources, to make a judgment. Instead, I mainly hope to crystallize the problems faced by the government of the Red Corridor region and try answer three main questions:
1.What are the origins of the Maoists movement?
2.What caused its recent resurgence?
3.What should the states do?

The Origins

Moore, in his Magnum Opus, Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (1966), had contributed a whole chapter to discuss India’s unique path to modernity and democracy5. According to him, India has achieved a parliamentary democracy without meeting all the preconditions as he further argues that instead of achieving modernity by “pulling down the structures of feudal society” (i.e. England and US), by means of “revolution from above” supported by a labor repressive alliance coalition of the feudal aristocracy and the bourgeoisie (i.e. Germany and Japan) or by “the alliance between peasants and the revolutionary elites” (i.e. China and Russia), the Indian society held on to its the traditional value system and social structures that are heavily influenced by the Hindu