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Dipak Malik held SASNET seminar on the Maoist Movement in India

Dipak Malik along with Ingmar Håkansson, Anna Lindberg and Kristina Myrvold after the SASNET seminar.
Professor Dipak Malik, Director for the Gandhian Institute of Studies in Varanasi, India, held a learned SASNET lecture on ”Indian Naxalism Today” on Tuesday 29 May 2012, 15.15–17.00. 

Prof. Malik is currently on a tour to Finland and Sweden (on invitation by the Nordic Centre in India consortium) and came to visit Lund because of his close connection to SASNET, being a member of SASNET’s South Asian Reference Group. Venue for the seminar: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, conference room, Scheelevägen 15 D, Lund. See the poster.

The reenergized Maoist movement in India is often referred to as Naxalism because of its beginning in late 1960s emanating from a small hamlet of the northern part of the state of West Bengal. Naxalbari has in recent years again emerged as a potential force of course in India, though within a different context. Maoism today poses a vital question that needs a perspective from the world of social sciences.

In his presentation, Prof. Malik focused the changed character of the conflicts today compared to the 1960s naxalite movement. Then it was mainly a fight for land redsitribution, now it is a fight by India’s tribal population to safeguard their forests and lands against unlawful exploitation by outsiders, where the tribal population receives support from the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Many people in India, including a section in the government are dismissive about it as being merely a law and order question. Others however show an understanding of the problems, they find deep maladies in the Indian society and the current development path, which leads to an insurrectionary mode of protest. It should be noted that these deep rooted maladies in the world of Indian peasantry were described already in the 1950s by Gandhians like Vinoba Bhave, albeit as an aftermath of the Telengana peasant revolt.

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