Over the past couple of days, I happened to read this old piece written by none other than Arundhati Roy who has based it on her first hand experiences exploring terrain and meeting Gondhi tribes of Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. The article as expected sympathises with the naxal cause quoting historical facts and highlighting individual trauma that every member of the tribal community has been going through since colonial times.

What I could gather from her piece:

  1. Tribals uprisings have been historical in nature, understanding this is key to solving this paradox.
  2. Do not simplify the maoist problem. It’s never a monolithic entity declaring war against India, even though it may seem like it.
  3. There is a serious conflict of consent when we say mainstreaming of tribals since we don’t really know whether we want to live in seclusion or not.
  4. Displacement grievances should be heard by a civic body independent of ruling party.
  5. Corruption in the government ranks is denying the original inhabitants the rightful compensation in return for the sale of the resources.
My learned friend Deepak also ventures in the same issue and recommends a five point agenda to solve the naxalism riddle which I found to be thoughtfully written with the backing  of some solid research. NITI Aayog, are you listening?

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