Conflict of narratives

A people's movement. India's greatest internal security challenge. Struggle for the rights of the poor, Adivasis, Dalits, landless. Compact Revolutionary Zone with influence in 180 districts. A socio-economic problem rooted in exploitation and idealism. A law-and-order threat. The revolution that will smash the Indian state. The Maoists are ants and can be crushed at anytime.

Neat black-and-white portrayals have come to characterise one of the most complex stories of our times: the Maoist as the saviour, the state as the oppressor; the state as protector, the Maoist as villain. Numbers and scale of action are considered sole markers of Maoist spread and activity: 1608 incidents of Maoist violence and 677 people killed in 2005; 1509 incidents and 678 killed in 2006; 249 people killed till June 2007.

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Himal Southasian