Tehelka - - 20 -

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.


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