Neo-liberal globalisation of the last decades rendered the situation of the indigenous people untenable. The government sells out their habitat to large co-operation who are keen to exploit the mineral riches. Dam projects, savage plunder and destruction of nature, special economic zones (SEZ) – the Adivasis are being driven from their land and livelihood by millions and forced into starvation.
But resistance is rising mainly led by Maoists (in India called Naxals). The rebellion of the autochthon people is being confronted with brute force: by big landowners, Hindu chauvinist forces, government sponsored tribal militias (called Salva Judum) and all kind of governmental armed services. Unison New Delhi and Washington are trumpeting about the war on terror. In the “largest democracy of the world” laws are being instituted which bring you for years behind bars should you dare to politically support the uprising. The corporate media remains silent. They care about democracy only in enemy states.
In some regions of extreme poverty there are pockets of liberated zones which are being administered by self-organisation thanks to Maoist leadership. Based on collectivist traditions self-sustained development is undertaken: common work for irrigation, ecologically adapted agrarian techniques, small craft, education, health care, people’s judiciary. We are in front of a non-capitalist path of development.
The Adivasi struggle as well for the preservation of their culture, the recognition of their languages and the creation of new states within the Indian union.
Despite the very fact that the conflict is secular it assumed the form of an open full-fletched war only recently claiming up to a 1.000 victims per year. And the Indian government is only starting its campaign called “Green hunt”. The outcome of the struggle is unclear. It can only be won if other oppressed sections of society can be drawn inside the struggle.