Naxalite Movements in India: Is it a Lost Cause

By:
Sarah Poulose,
Lakshmi Rajagopalan
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Whenever the legal system of a country becomes rigid, co-ercive and inaccessible, people oppose the system and seek a better societal order. The naxalite movement, which started as an agrarian uprising, became a social movement that worked outside law to change the law. It is ironical that a movement, which started for the betterment of the society, turned out to be anti-social. This movement raised some pertinent questions regarding the inequalities in the society. But the means adopted by the protagonists was highly impractical; challenging the bayonets with bamboo sticks was only a romanticized form of revolution, not a practical one. Changing the inequalities in the society by terrorizing a few innocents proved to be a wrong strategy. The establishment looked at the naxalites as lawbreakers and anti social elements. The key role players were the members of the middle class society who were mislead by a selected few. It proved to be a lost cause. Some leaders made capital out of this ideological struggle and spearheaded a proletarian dictatorship. The establishment could not bring back the astrayed members to the mainstream. Does the movement give an alternative system? The movement, which started as an alternative system to bring justice to the oppressed classes, could not achieve its aim through the adopted means. But the vision it put forward were unique and different, the difference being mainly in the strategy. However the leaders of the movement and the government could not contain the issues raised by the movement. What can be done is to negotiate and bring such movements within a framework that runs parallel to the legal system. The authorities should institutionalize these movements as an alternative means to achieve the results desired by the legal system


Keywords: Violence, Legitimacy, Law
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Naxalite Movements in India, The


Sarah Poulose

Affiliation not supplied
Cochin, Kerala, India


Lakshmi Rajagopalan

Affiliation not supplied
Cochin, Kerala, India


Ref: I07P0515