Arundhati Roy on Maoist Violence and Structural Violence

Following the April 6 battle in India’s Dantewada district where the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army killed 76 security personnel, activist and author Arundhati Roy in the following interview stands by her sympathy for the Communist Party of India (Maoist) that she expressed in her important article, “Walking With The Comrades“, about her visit with the Maoist guerrillas in their forest base areas.

6 responses to “Arundhati Roy on Maoist Violence and Structural Violence

  1. Given the history of the naxalites and India, are we really going to repeat the argument that the maoists are being “forced” to take up arms?

  2. I think the real core of Arundhati Roy’s argument as I understand it is that the Maoist revolution in India’s countryside is a just response to the structural violence inherent in India’s current social system.

    Saying that the Maoists “are being forced into violence”, as the title of the video states, is certainly an over-simplification of that.

    • That’s exactly what she’s saying. And that is true around the world, in all so-called democracies. In America, the middle class is not even served by our democracy any more. We have no voice whatsoever. Voting makes no difference. Corporations and the uber rich run our country, and every other capitalist democracy. It’s time for a new paradigm. I am not a communist, and barely a socialist, but neither am I a capitalist. Our social structure must change to serve the good of the people, not those at the head of the oligarchical political system we have now.

  3. k.s.parthasarathy

    That excactly is the issue..nature of our democracy. Noam Chomsky uses the word ‘Deficit of Democracy’ What we have is democracy for the rich and deficit for the ordinary and poor. We need to organise this struggle on this basis, so that we can avoid the words ‘communist’, ‘socialist’ etc . Both the Democrats and GOP in their time have used these words to abuse their opponents.

  4. I think Roy does excellent work when she’s red-baited by turning the problem, again, to the “structural violence” of Indian state terrorism.

    @Mike Ely: You can’t expect her to have perfect politics. She’s far form a liberal, though, in respecting resistance as a means to counter violence.

    I say short of quoting the Naxalites and Maoists themselves (who do need it, by the way), this is very good coverage of pro-resistance and anti-imperialist line. Again, not perfect, but it is more than welcomed in my book.

  5. The Indian revolution is based on the same thing as any genuine people’s revolution: the just violence of the oppressed against the unjust violence of the oppressors. It has always been that way. It will be that way until classes disappear and the world reaches the higher stage of society, communism.

    Note the resistance of the Adivasi peoples is the resistance of an essentially classless society, e.g., primitive collectivism. Every mode of production short of socialism exists today in India: primitive collectivism, slavery, feudalism (the bulk of India’s population lives under feudalism), and capitalism. The Indian revolution will shake the world. We must be aware that it is based on other people’s struggles as well as the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie.

    India also has also name-only oppressor-class “communist” parties. They fight alongside the exploiting classes against the people’s revolution. Let’s not be misled by what they call themselves.

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