Nandini Sundar, currently visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science, Panjab University delivered a lecture on the theme “Public-Private Partnership in the Industry of Insecurity”. Dr Ashutosh Kumar introduced the speaker and Prof B.S. Brar presided over the session. Prof Sunder is Professor of Sociology,
Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, and Co-editor, Contributions to Indian Sociology. She has previously worked at the Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi and the University of Edinburgh.
Prof Sunder spoke about the Maoist movements in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Prof Sunder referred in detail about the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh. She asked whether it is correct to portray it as a people’s struggle against the excesses of Naxalism. She argued that It is in a covert sense an admission by the state of its failure on several fronts, especially those relating to development and the need to assure equity to its citizens. Yet in a region that has a long history of backwardness and neglect, the conflict is also over natural resources, political power and even history. The use of violence as a counterfoil to violence implies that the two sides are caught in the repetitive cycle of attack and reprisal; it also, in a more decisive sense, portends a shift in the paradigms followed thus far, of development and governance in a backward region.
In a similar situation marked by severe state repression of the Maoist movement in Andhra Pradesh, violent retaliation by the Maoists, and the state’s brutal counter-attack (led by the greyhounds) to gain the upper hand, Prof Sunder argued,the Maoists are finding it difficult to retain the support of the next generation of the most oppressed. State-encouraged gangs, calling themselves tigers and cobras have unleashed private vengeance, which has played a major role in immobilising the substantial over-ground support of the movement. But above all is the tragic loss of the lives of organic leaders from among the most oppressed.
The lecture was attended by the faculty and students of Social Sciences departments.