Naxalites – Robin Hoods or insurgents?

Last week YT (who really needs a blog, twitter account or something so that I can stop feeling this dissonance by mentioning him but not linking to him) sent me this article from The Guardian about India’s Naxalite ‘troubles’.  It’s a long piece.  Very long.  I’m guessing that Ms. Roy got some deal when writing this piece to have total control over the content because it’s in desperate need of a good editor.

Objective journalism this isn’t and the subject matter (to me) is so unfamiliar that I’m unable to tell what’s truth and what’s partisan hyperbole.  Still, in terms of writing style, you can see Ms. Roy has got some chops even if they get buried under a jumble of names, places and groups that widen rather than narrow the chasm between reader and subject.  Her passion too frequently gets the better of her and while the sarcasm might feel good I’m not sure it will do much to make her case (Hey, look in the mirror, knucklehead.  eds.).  There’s a bit too much of the ‘noble savage’ and ‘brave defenders of the proletarians’ memes for my taste but have at it.

The Independent has put out it’s own article an the situation which quotes Roy but is less overtly partisan.  Bottom line appears to be that this is one of the consequences of having a country which is both modernizing very fast AND still has a huge number of disenfranchised people.


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