ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Anatomy of State's Terrorism

The article “Adivasis and the Anatomy of a Conflict Zone: Bastar 2016” by Archana Prasad (EPW, 25 June 2016) is informative and raises pertinent questions, which the state has to answer since it is the people’s representative. State-sponsored terrorism is not new. Adivasis and poor rural inhabitants have been facing problems from armed forces for decades. They did not receive any support from outside organisations till Maoists (or Naxalites) entered the remote villages in the 1970s. The Bengal uprising, the Telangana armed struggles and the Srikakulam struggles had their roots in villages and forest areas. They were suppressed by the forces of the government, killing scores of innocents. Later, it was only when civil rights organisations took up the issue of the sufferings of Adivasis that the problem began to be recognised. 

After learning of the wealth of the forest and of the presence of minerals like bauxite, corporates and multinational corporations have been trying to set up their establishments by displacing the indigenous people and destroying the environment. These corporates, by lobbying the Indian and American governments, have obtained memoranda of understanding to mine and establish industries despite adverse public opinion. This has infuriated the people and the Maoists who support them. Their protests have gone unheeded, and the government has deployed the military, besides creating private armies of landlords. Naturally, the force of the people does not match that of the government’s. The many deaths in encounters reflect this reality. 

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