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politics & violence, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 5,803 views]
Beyond violence and non-violence

It is good that there is some openness in the matter now, for dogmatic attitudes have done considerable harm. To say that one should not be dogmatic about violence may be morally a little unsettling but it is a defensible position even without adopting a relativistic attitude towards the preciousness of life or a casual attitude towards one’s moral responsibility for injury caused in the course of a struggle. More of that in the right context. But the discussion will unavoidably be based on assessments  of the effectiveness of the …

politics & violence, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | One Comment | 24,564 views]
Maoist movement  in Andhra Pradesh

Birpur, near the Godavari river in the northern corner of Karimnagar district, is the native village of Muppalla Lakshmana Rao, better known as Ganapathi, the general secretary of the central committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Before a road-building mania took over the state in the regime of Chandrababu Naidu, it was a village difficult to access. Today it is accessible by a black-top road from the temple town of Dharmapuri on the incompletely laid out National Highway 16 from Nizamabad in Telangana to Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. As …

politics & violence, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 5,548 views]
Have We Heard the Last of the Peace Talks?

It began as a tenacious essay in political realism, entered a phase of sheer drama unbelievable in its unreality, and ended in the bitter rattle of gunfire.
The reference is to the ‘talks’ between YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s government in Andhra Pradesh and the Naxalites. To be fair to the devil, Rajasekhara Reddy never really believed in the talks and never joined the effort, nor the theatre that was enacted in Hyderabad for about a week. That is about the only good thing one can say about his conduct in the matter: …

politics & violence, Select Writings of Balagopal »

[21 Feb 2010 | No Comment | 8,099 views]
People’s war and the government : Did the police have the last laugh?

Unreasonable tenacity usually has a way of proving itself, establishing perhaps that reasonableness lies in nothing other than perseverance. About five years ago, when a retired IAS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre by name SR Shankaran gave voice to the idea conceived by a small group of his associates, that responsible citizens of this state cannot be content watching the Naxalites and their foes killing each other, blaming the state off and on for violating the law, and perhaps the Naxalites too sotto voce for violating revolutionary norms, he …