Thursday, 18 February 2010

"Sandwich Theory" and the Political Economy of Non-Violence in India

("Non-Violence" réalisé par Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (Malmö - Suède))

Radha D'Souza has recently written two articles that have been causing a stir in activist circles in India and North America. They are:

The Economics, Politics, and Ethics of Non-Violence
This essay starts off as a response to an interview on CNN-IBN (in India) of Dr. Sen, a medical professional and human rights activist adopted by Amnesty as a “prisoner of conscience”. The essay goes on to examine the reasons for the Indian media’s attempts to gag voices of dissent against the widespread human rights violations and state violence against indigenous people (Adivasis), and marginalised castes (Dalits) in India following free market economic reforms. The Indian media has prevented open debate on the Government of India’s Operation Green Hunt, a military operation launched against popular resistance to the Government’s economic policies in Eastern India.The essay goes on to discusses the difference between  institutional and individual violence, mercantilist violence and defensive violence by people of the land, and draws on the Buddha’s teachings to comment on breaking the cycle of violence in India.

 "Sandwich Theory" and Operation Green Hunt 
This essay responds to current debates in India on the Government of India’s military operation in Eastern India, Operation Green Hunt, targeting indigenous peoples (Adivasis) and Dalits (marginalised castes). The Government’s rationale is that these regions are ‘Maoist infested’ and that Maoism is the biggest security threat that India faces at present. Many academics and intellectuals seek to take a position of ‘equidistance’ arguing that the Adivasis and Dalits are victims caught in the cross-fire between the state and the Maoists. This essay argues that it is the academics and intellectuals who are ‘sandwiched’ between the state and the rural poor in India’s polarised society.


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