Maoism in India and a Short Vedic Analysis
Journeyman Pictures has had out since August 2008 a 21 minute video titled India's Maoist Revolution, which focuses on Maoist activity in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh state. As per the video, one-third of Indian territory is affected by Maoist insurgent activity. And as per the two commentators--Ajai Sahni of the Institute of Conflict Management and Arundhati Roy--the Maoist insurgency is a result of class conflict. "The overwhelming majority of India's population goes unrepresented," says Sahni. "[The overwhelming majority] does not see the state as a beneficiary, as someone who gives something to them, but sees the state as a tyrant and oppressor." Roy is more explicit in her commitment to class conflict.
"Basically, you have one India which has seceded into outerspace and has joined the elite of the world, and is looking down at the old India and thinking why are these tribals living on our bauxite and why is our water in their rivers and why is our furniture in their forests? And how do we get them off the land? And this is what the government wants. It wants 85% of the population to move into cities, where it can be easily policed, where it can be easily controlled."
The irony of the commentators (and of the film as a whole) is their shared world view with the Maoists. Both agree that class distinction is the source of conflict, and so it isn't surprising that the Maoists in the film enjoy slightly more sympathetic coverage than the state police and military units, and the Sawaja Dun militia. This is not to say that the video is a puff piece for the Maoists, but where the sympathies of the commentators and the filmmaker lie is clear. And why their sympathies lie more with the Maoists (and, of course, villagers who are caught in the cross-fire) is because of their shared world view founded on the doctrine of class-conflict. Class conflict is the bedrock doctrine of all Socialism.
But the situation does not have to be viewed through the lenses of socialism. Vedic culture and civilization offers a number of other ways to view the situation. Perhaps the best of these particular views is that of Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma's fundamental premise, as distinguished from class-conflict, is one of servitorship. Everyone is a servant of something else. Every living being, whether human or non-human is a servant of something higher than itself. Thus, under this conception peace and social justice in society are achieved when the classes are well defined and infused with a benevolent spirit of service to all others.
And conversely, injustice and anarchy reign where class distinction has broken down. For example, a sanatana-dharmic analysis of the Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh would explain the unrest as a consequence of the different classes growing apart from one another, becoming disinterested in each other's welfare. Higher classes like the martial caste or business class perpetuate injustices when they stop seeing themselves as servants of all others. Because the classes have stopped acting according to their consitutional positions of servants of all the other castes and divisions of society, they commit injustices.
In this respect, socialists and sanatana-dharmists agree that there is class conflict, but they differ on how that class conflict comes into existence. Socialists say that class conflict arises from class distinction itself, and therefore the government has a duty to equalize as far as possible the differences between classes by transfering wealth and other benefits from one class to another. Socialists of all kinds, including Maoists say this. What distinguishes democratic socialists from, say, Maoists, is the degree to which they believe the state should enforce equality.
However, the Sanatan-Dharmists say that class conflict arises when the members of the different classes forget that they are servants of all other members of all other classes. When people forget they are servants, they try as far as possible to be the served. And when people demand service for themselves, this is the root of all exploitation, covetuousness, and injsutice. According to this analysis, the state therefore has a duty to educate and remind people of their position as servants--eternal servants. This is done through the encouragement or sponsorship of civic activities that directly or indirectly reinforce the conception of self as servant. Such civic activities include religious programs and festivals, ensuring that state-sponsored educational curriculums reflect and reinforce the sanatana-dharmist notion of self-as-servant, and discourage or arrest activity aimed at undermining this idea.
The Chhattisgarh state lawmakers should therefore consider inviting and encouraging religious groups that share the sanatana-dharmic notion of everyone as eternal servant for the sake of conducting spiritual programs, functions, and welfare work that is all connected with realizing the ideal of sanatana-dharma.
If an analysis grounded in the principles of sanatana-dharm seems fanciful and too exotic to be taken seriously, the fact is that the Maoists are winning the battle against the state. And the reason the Maoists are winning is that the state itself at present relies on experts whose world views are not appreciably different from that of the Maoists. So the state efforts at counter-insurgency are something like trying to wash soiled clothes in mud. In finding a solution to the Maoist insurgency, a counter-insurgency approach grounded in the principles of Sanatana-Dharma will be able to turn the tide against the Maoists.
Otherwise, the people of the Chhattisgarh region literally don't have a prayer against the Maoists.