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Bastar, Maoism and Salwa Judum

Official versions of the Salwa Judum portray it as a peoples struggle against the excesses of Naxalism. It is in a covert sense an admission by the state of its failure on several fronts, especially those relating to development and the need to assure equity to its citizens. Yet in a region that has a long history of backwardness and neglect, the conflict is also over natural resources, political power and even history. The use of violence as a counterfoil to violence implies that the two sides are caught in the repetitive cycle of attack and reprisal; it also, in a more decisive sense, portends a shift in the paradigms followed thus far, of development and governance in a backward region.

Bastar, Maoism and Salwa Judum

“Official” versions of the Salwa Judum portray it as a peoples’ struggle against the excesses of Naxalism. It is in a covert sense an admission by the state of its failure on several fronts, especially those relating to development and the need to assure equity to its citizens. Yet in a region that has a long history of backwardness and neglect, the conflict is also over natural resources, political power and even history. The use of violence as a counterfoil to violence implies that the two sides are caught in the repetitive cycle of attack and reprisal; it also, in a more decisive sense, portends a shift in the paradigms followed thus far, of development and

governance in a backward region.

NANDINI SUNDAR

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