Praful Bidwai has two new theorems. a) Naxalites in 35 districts of India don’t talk to their comrades in the remaining 140 districts and b) if the number of people you murder is numerically less than your opponent, it is OK.
Theorem A, comes from the following statement.
Fears about the ‘Maoist factor’ are, to put it mildly, exaggerated. The Naxalite movement is indigenous. Less than a fifth of the 175 districts affected by it are anywhere near Nepal India’s U-turn for a despot
This makes a fair assumption that comrades in the 35 districts that border Nepal do not interact with their counterparts in other states of India.
So Comrade A1 from Uttar Pradesh meets Comrade B1 from Andhra. After exchanging pleasantries like the number of innocent people they have murdered, Comrade B1 asks for some help. He says that the Andhra police is now hunting them down and the comrades are losing morale and need more arms. Comrade B1 knows that A1 has links with the Maoists in Nepal and wonders if he could help. At this point, A1 shakes his head and says, “Comrade B1, I wish I could help. But that would violate Praful Bidwai‘s theorem A. He wrote recently that only one fifth of the Naxal districts border Nepal are affected by Maoists and since you belong to a district far way, it would not be prudent for me to teach you Nepalese techniques. I may be a murderer, but I am not a proliferator.”
Dejected, Comrade B1 treks through the jungle back to Andhra Pradesh when he is taken out by a police ambush. As his soul flies over the forest canopy, it showers the choicest abuses on Theorem A
Opposing the king does not amount to strengthening the Maoists. Indeed, it can encourage long overdue reform, including land reform, and further decentralization. The Maoists’ methods can be criticized, but not their political platform — a representative, radicalized, democracy. Their violence fades into insignificance beside the excesses of the RNA, which is responsible for a majority of the 11,000 people killed since 1996. India’s U-turn for a despot
Theorem B is simpler to understand. RNA has murdered x people and Maoists have murdered y and since x > y, they should not be blamed. Now if you apply this to Iraq, Saddam has murdered more people than the civilian casualties in the invasion of Iraq and so Saddam, whom Praful Bidwai calls modern day Saladin, should be condemned. But don’t get all goose bumpy here. Invasion of Iraq was done under the leadership of United States, in which case all rules change.
This combat is increasingly following all wars’ dread logic: killing and maiming innocent people, devastating homes, inflicting horrible suffering. What makes it especially loathsome is that it’s being fought in the name of the very people it is turning into a mass of bleeding bodies and severed limbs. If civilians are overtly targeted, the war will become even more unpopular and the anti-war movement more assertive. The demand to bring back US-UK troops will turn into a roar.[The Emperor’s new clothes]
So Theorem B has to be restated: if the number of people you murder is numerically less than your opponent, it is OK, provided you are not America, in which case everything you do is wrong.
2 thoughts on “Praful Bidwai: New Theorems”
Praful Bidwai does go overboard with whatever he tries to say. However the point he was probably trying to make is that the Maoist movement is generally indigenous. This is true to a large extent. The movements are also rather independent – state-wise. One very good reason why this is probably true is the fact that almost all Maoist movements in India today are warlord-based, rather than principle or ideology-based. So the movement in AP will take the direction decided by the warlords leading the movement in AP. They might help some “comrades” in Karnataka, but that help would not be much different from the help they would give some other terrorist organizations, where there could be no sharing of ideologies at all.
There doesn’t seem to be much merit in discussing what Mr Bidwai writes. If I remember right, in one of his recent articles in Frontline, he was arguing for the reduction in the number of cars in India or something like that because of the pollution they create. Any sensible guy would direct his attention to finding some means of reducing pollution rather than doing away with cars itself!