Kerala, Yenan of India: rise of Communist power, 1937-1969

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Before pondering more on these questions let us travel up to the North where we have the curious case of the Ram Janmabhoomi. It is the most dangerous type of concoction of troubles possible- religion and possession of land. Thousands have bled and shed the blood of others over this piece of land. More than the concept of Ram, it is the concept of Janmabhoomi that gets the crowd going.

It is as if thousands of years of history and the divinity of an avatar are at the stake of getting erased and forgotten if this one piece of earth is not acquired. Now that we have talked about Parasuram and Ram, there seems to be a fragmented pattern with a common theme of land associated with the avatars of Vishnu.

Vamana, the fifth avatar of Vishnu expressed only one wish to the Asura king, Mahabali — three paces of land. Yet the mention of land reveals itself now and then as we move back and forth in time across various narratives and expressions of myth and devotion.


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What other roles do land play when it comes to matters of religion or maybe the various religious communities? Take the case of laws of Inheritance that prevailed in Kerala decades back. Land was used as a tool to make men and women marry within their religion. Whether 3. The Hindu laws stated that only the female children would inherit the ancestral property while the laws of Inheritance that prevailed among the Christians of Kerala stated that the property would go to the male heirs alone.

And those caught in the crossfire of inter-religious marriages would be left with no land at all. Times have changed and the laws have been revised. On paper. Finally, to speak of land and to not speak of Kashmir may seem absurd. But is not the question of Kashmir a matter of the State rather than a matter of the Nation? I believe that we will be treading dangerous lines and perilous borders if we start considering this as a matter of the Nation. It would advisable to let this topic be unspoken about in the same breath as that of avatars and farmers.

So how does all this hold relevance to us now?

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Does the contemporary human value land as much as his historical counterparts? The answer is a big yes. How else do you explain people buying land on the moon? How else do you explain the fantasy of space colonization? But taking the contemporary human condition into consideration before going into futuristic analyses, we can see that more and more people are starting to live in high-rise buildings ironically called flats. But when they pay huge amounts to acquire these living spaces what exactly do they pay for? Do the laws of inheritance still hold when the flats will become old and sink to the ground?

What do their descendants inherit when there is nothing more of the brick and mortar left? Would there be a time when they will be able to claim rights to the air and the space where these buildings once where? Would the State bomb them for putting forward such unreasonable claims? These are some of the questions one could ask when we are imagining an India of the years to come.

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And, until we find those answers we can imagine the India of the past through its myths and stories of battle wielding sages who reclaimed land from the sea. He parted the ocean by throwing an axe northwards from Kanyakumari to Gokarna and the land of Keralaputra rose from the salty waters. He even made the saline earth tillable by making the Nagas spew venom across the land to neutralize it and then passed on the land to sixty four Brahmin families.

Chandra Fast forwarding to Kerala in the s, Joseph Murickan drained acres of backwaters in Kuttanad to create paddy fields on marshy lands that spread below sea level. In the s land reforms started taking effect a few years after the first politically elected Communist government in the world formulated the Restriction on Possession and Ownership of Lands Bill in which later led to The Kerala Land Reforms Act, This helped tenants acquire tenancy lands and it also put a cap on the extent of land one could own.

As the reforms started taking place and land ceiling laws came forth, it was found that the acres of reclaimed land was all under the sole name of Murickan. So this land was divided among the tenants and fragmented farmlands sprouted across Kuttanad.

However, this is said to have spelled doom for organized farming built from watery scratch by Murickan. The Communist government is still criticized by various factions for this move and accused for the death of organized paddy cultivation in the region, once again driving the Kuttanadan populace to depend on neighbouring states for food or at times even starve. So can something that is meant for the betterment of the common woman and man end up affecting them negatively?

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Let us assume for a moment, or for a micro fraction of a moment, that this is true. Let us assume that land reforms killed feudal benevolence that helped an entire region flourish. And, in this micro fraction of the moment let us examine another series of events that happened in Kerala in the late s and the beginning of s. The events of Naxalbari in affected the entire agrarian scene in India. During the same time the valleys of Wayanad in Northern Kerala was having an agrarian crisis of its own. Inspired by Naxalbari, young revolutionaries including teachers and students, took up 2.

During the period between and there were armed attacks on police stations by the Naxals.

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Attacks on police stations were always symbolic of uprising against the Establishment. However, the Naxal movement in Kerala lost momentum very early on. After the attacks, the Government also passed the Kerala Scheduled Tribes Act in to protect the interests of the Adivasis. Victor So through these events, we can see that the land reforms, though imperfect, solved larger issues of the people and addressed their grievances to an extent. In other parts of the country where land reform is still a touchy subject for any political party to tackle let alone consider, Naxal movements are still strong.

Kerala, Yenan of India: rise of Communist power, 1937-1969

Because there, the landless are remaining landless and huge corporates are evolving into the new face of feudalism. The State is not in the very least forced but is still dropping bombs, without the slightest expression of remorse, on their own people in the name of fight against Naxalism. The approach is to suppress rather than to address the issue. Why is there so much value attached to idea of owning land? How does it trigger extreme reactions and mobilize the masses? Why does it wield so much power? Before pondering more on these questions let us travel up to the North where we have the curious case of the Ram Janmabhoomi.

It is the most dangerous type of concoction of troubles possible- religion and possession of land. Thousands have bled and shed the blood of others over this piece of land. More than the concept of Ram, it is the concept of Janmabhoomi that gets the crowd going.

It is as if thousands of years of history and the divinity of an avatar are at the stake of getting erased and forgotten if this one piece of earth is not acquired. It has used secondary sources to analyze the perceptions of the Indians regarding the Maoist movement. Numerous literary devices such as scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, books and research papers have been relied upon. Naxalism or Maoism in India is two- fold, the primary reason being ideological i. Though the first signs of the existence of Maoist thoughts in the country were witnessed in the Telangana peasant uprising in late s, the major event which sparked the series of Maoist activities in India was the Naxalbari uprising of , an armed rebellion by the Tribal peasants and the local Communist Part of India Marxist members, led by Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal in the remote sub-district of Siliguri.

The agitators chanted slogans in support of Lenin and his socialist principles and attacked various government institutions, mainly policemen, which resulted in bloodshed. Charu openly admired the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and advocated that the Indian oppressed classes, mainly the peasants must follow his principles, in order to overthrow the government and the upper classes who are the reason for their plight.

The Maoists view the Indian democracy as a mockery of democracy, where the downtrodden and poor remain vulnerable and weak, and sovereignty of the country is just a facade, the truth being that the nation is being ruled by the imperialistic powers. The Indian Journal of Political Science 71 2 : , Victor M. Kerala: Yenan Of India. Rise of Communist Power Bombay: Nachiketa Publications Limited. Sociological Bulletin 64 2 : The incident which sparked a controversy between different sections within the India communist movement was the Sino-Soviet split. CPI M-L in which believed more in an armed struggle as opposed to the political participation.

This section was influenced by Lin Piao's pronouncement that the main world contradiction was between the Third World Nations and imperialism, and that the latter could advance only through rural peasant-based revolutions which would gradually spread towards the 4 Ibid.

Kerala, Yenan of India: rise of Communist power, 1937-1969 [by] Victor M. Fic.

Economic and Political Weekly. Living up to its notorious image, the Indian media has always focused on the violent actions of the Maoists, without ever bothering to investigate about the reason behind those actions. The media has never felt that it is necessary to stress that the Maoists do have a political agenda of their own, including an agrarian scheme that they desire to implement by armed struggle, but have succeeded. The public perception of the Maoist movement is that of an insurgency movement which is motivated by the shared feeling of vendetta against the Indian state, and there is only one side to the Maoist movement and that is killing the government officials and causing harm to government owned property, in other words the media has been successful in projecting the Maoists as armed bandits without any political and socio-economic program for the future.

Since the origin of the movement, only one Indian Prime Minister has tried to look at the perspective of the agitators i. Manmohan Singh, who while addressing a standing committee of the Chief Ministers of six Naxalite affected states in had acknowledged the fact that exploitation, inadequate wages, grossly unfair socio- political scenario, lack of employment opportunities, denied access to resources, under- developed agriculture, geographical isolation and lack of land reforms were aggravating the Maoist insurgency movement.

The Indian scenario is not an exception to what happens throughout the world. Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia. Every state makes all-out efforts to suppress any kind of insurgency, and if we look at the 20th century, those insurgencies are mostly communist insurgencies, so we can say that India is just following the path which the super powers like U.

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