Refer to ‘ Editor’s Cut’ by Shoma Chaudhury, 19 May. Over the years I have recommended your columns to colleagues and friends in the international media when they have asked to have a better understanding of the Maoist insurgency. Your incisive and penetrating perspective sets you apart from most others. You ask questions that a genuine aspirant for a fair society, a democratic society, should bring up. It is understandable that in a preindustrial country like India, fundamental notions of equality, fairness, fair use of terminology, logical argumentation, are not culturally prevalent. However, you have attempted to uphold the high road and find nuances that are completely missed. It is the task of new media to unmask the mainstreamspeak of big media. However, as the Maoists don’t seem to go away and the nature of the reprisals against them has surpassed the category of crimes against humanity in certain cases, the language used by you seems to be making continuous compromises. There is a tendency to balance criticism of the Indian government’s flawed policies with bad-boy slaps for the Maoists as well. There is no need to applaud the Maoists. But your tone suggests that Maoists are there to “exploit” poverty, deprivation, structural and physical violence of the State. Maoists are simply engaging in acts of resistance, protecting the people whose side they are on, because they do not feel the Indian Constitution can. They are doing what partisans did throughout history. Defend the enclaves they have built, the rudimentary parallel societies they have projected in their programmes.
RANA BOSE, ON EMAIL