your defense of Arundhati Roy seems to rely more on name calling and trying to show Sudhanwa his place, rather than on ‘elementary logic’ and the actual merits of Roy’s essay.
It is true that Roy begins her essay on a promising note by posing some interesting questions:
“Who are the Maoists? Are they just violent nihilists foisting an outdated ideology on tribal people, goading them into a hopeless insurrection? What lessons have they learned from their past experience? Is armed struggle intrinsically undemocratic? Is the Sandwich Theory—of ‘ordinary’ tribals being caught in the crossfire between the State and the Maoists—an accurate one? Are ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ two entirely discrete categories as is being made out? Do their interests converge? Have they learned anything from each other? Have they changed each other?”
But, after posing these questions, she promptly forgets all about finding the answers.
In the course of her long essay, she DOES NOT critically evaluate the ‘ideology’ of the Maoists.
She DOES NOT provide us with any concrete reasons as to why the forest based Maoist guerilla insurrection can succeed in overthrowing the Indian state and why we should be most hopeful about them? Maybe… if the forest cover is expanded manifold to envelop the length and breadth of India!
She DOES NOT enlighten us about any ‘lessons’ that the Maoists have learnt from their past experience.
She ridicules all struggles that are not ‘armed struggles’, but that is hardly proof of the intrinsic democracy of the Maoist method.
She DOES NOT obtain any view of the State and the Maoists from any ‘ordinary’ non-Maoist tribal in order to test whether the ‘sandwich theory’ is true or false.
She engages in shadowboxing by making the limited point that some tribals are also Maoists, but that does not make ‘Maoists’ and ‘Tribals’ entirely integrated categories either.
Her impassioned plea for noting points of convergence between Maoist and tribal interest could have carried some credibility, has she bothered to note at least some points of divergence!
The learning and changing ‘each-other’ relation that the tribals share with the Maoists is equally true for their relation with the Salwa Judum? However, can that make the Salwa Judum any more justifiable?
Roy undoubtedly romanticizes the Maoists in her essay and never genuinely investigates their motivations, methods or actions. By turning a blind eye to Maoist-Trinamul hobnobbing, Roy makes a deliberate and convenient choice. It is certainly not a case of simple oversight.
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