Maoism is still alive in India, where inequality flourishes

In India justice is the exception and injustice the rule

Share
Related Topics

The late 1960s were heady times. In China, the Cultural Revolution was in progress. And in Calcutta, in eastern India, restless and angry youths were hurling crude bombs at police vans.

It was not far from there that a Maoist rebellion broke out in 1967, which China termed as “a peal of spring thunder”. India had gained independence 20 years ago. But nothing had changed for its poor. Many young men and women rose to the call of revolution, drawing inspiration from Maoist ideology. Many of them came from middle-class families.

One such young man returned to India from London, without completing a course in accountancy. He returned wearing an overcoat that had 24 secret pockets, all stuffed with Maoist literature. Kobad Ghandy came from a wealthy family in Bombay – his father was the finance director of Glaxo pharmaceuticals. Kobad had been radicalised in the UK and would become the leading light of the Maoist movement in India, only arrested by the police in 2009. Towards the end of 1969 a young British teacher, Mary Tyler, also came to India along with her Indian husband Amalendu Sen. They joined a Maoist group active on the Bengal-Bihar border in eastern India. But shortly afterwards, they were arrested by the police.

Mary spent five years in an Indian jail. Defending the actions of her rebel husband she writes: “Amalendu’s crime … is the crime of all those who cannot remain unmoved and inactive in an India … where justice is the exception and injustice the rule.”

The Maoism of Comrade Bala had been a historical footnote until now. But it is that sense of injustice that is still attracting thousands of people – mostly tribal people known as the Adivasis – to the Maoist movement. The Maoists are active in central and eastern India areas left ungoverned for decades. It is this void that the Maoists have filled.

But revolution remains a utopia. The Adivasis are now caught in a vicious war between the Maoists and the state. They continue to suffer.

Rahul Pandita is the author of ‘Hello, Bastar: The Untold Story of India’s Maoist Movement’.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Recruitment Genius: Invoicing Clerk

£14500 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are contractors to...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Hillary Clinton’s private messages reveal the banality of email

Alice Jones
 

We celebrate the power of a few women, yet ignore the 9,000 who are locked away

Janet Street-Porter
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy