19 February, 2010

Prof Ghosh's Comments # 2 and My Reply

I generally agree with the tenor and apprehensions voiced in this article
by Uddipan Mukherjee. I too am worried about a blood bath of impoverished
tribal Indians in Jharkhand, W. Bengal and Orissa. Mukherjee says,

" Thus he (Home minister Chidanbaram) can afford a tussle with the Red
Taliban at this juncture."

since he has withdrawn 30000 troopers from Kashmir. Is it necessary to
coin the phrase "Red Taliban"? Naxals/Maoists are not at all similar to
the Taliban. Taliban is plural of the word Talib which means 'student'.
To be more specific, student of a Madrasah, that is a Muslim religious
school. It is in such schools of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of
Pakistan the Taliban were motivated with religious fanaticism for Jihad.
These Madrasahs are motivated by Wahhabism, which preaches hatred against
Sufism, Shia Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. It
preaches that women should be hidden behind the Burqa, not be educated and
have no role in public affairs. It stands for strict implemantation of the
Shariah law which assigns a half-human status to women, one man witness is
equivalent to two women witnesses and so on. I am no aplogist for the
Maoists and condemn their killing spree, but they should not be compared
to the the Taliban, even in jest. They stand for equality between the
sexes and so called 'liberation' of both men and women, They do not want
to turn the clock back and take civilization back to the middle ages in
the way the Taliban want. Mukherjee's use of the term Red Taliban for the
Maoists is unfortunate. It would breed confusion and impart some
respectability to the Taliban.

Mukherjee correctly points out that Nitish Kumar has struck a discordant
note in the last Chief ministers' meeting with Chidambaram by condemning
the heavy handed military approach toward tribal insurgents and Maoists;
Nitish advocates rehabilitation of the surrendered
cadres of the Maoists. Chidambaram is more of a man of the big buisness
and he knows that the tribal areas of Jharkhand, W. Bengal and Orissa are
mineral rich. These areas must be opened up to the mining and metallurgy
industry; that is what the big buisness houses want and is necessary for
the present so-called development model of economy, cherished by
Manmohan-Chidambaram duo. This is opposed by the
tribals who want development in radically different terms. They want
education, healthcare, agriculture and forestry and forest rights. They do
not want the mining and metallurgy industry to disrupt their way of tribal
community life.

Fortunately for Nitish Kumar Bihar's Maoist-dominated areas are not
mineral rich and a compromise is possible. The same compromise is not
possible in W. Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand. That is the clue to the
differnce between Chidambaram and Nitish.

Kunal Ghosh

Dear Prof Ghosh,

Thanks for the comments.

Actually i never used the term "Red Taliban" in the straightforward manner as one would interpret.

I used it sarcastically. As if the State authorities are terming the Maoists/disgruntled tribals as "Red Talibans'.

Actually the phrase is doing the rounds in the media since the beheading of a police officer by the Maoists last year.



  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Thanks Lucy for the nice comments. I shall try to update the blog as frequently as possible.