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Radical Politics and Cultural Theory

The Maoist backed struggle of tribal people in the southern part of India has become a topic of discussion and debate among all stratas of society. Here one should note that I am saying that Maoists as an independent force are coming to the rescue of oppressed and helpless tribal people. We must not lose sight of this distinction, more on this distinction later, which is generally being made in the mainstream media by the commentators. The Maoists have influence in many states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is becoming a serious cause of concern for the Indian state and the state is trying to find out ways to counter the spread Maoism amidst all the exuberance of developing India; India becoming a super power with growth rates touching 8 to 10 percent, Indian bourgeoisie becoming an active participant in the global elite class, India producing the best software engineers in the world. The struggle of the poorest of the poor, to use Saroj Giris terminology, has been categorized as a Maoist uprising by the Indian state. And our worthy Prime Minister has admitted that Naxalism is the biggest internal security challenge ever faced by the country. As the conflict between the Indian state and Maoists is getting sharper, the discussion and debate about this conflict is also becoming hot across the country. Both the electronic and the print media had been participating in this process, and both are trying to articulate the issues which are at stake. But generally the slant of the electronic media is in favour of the Indian state. Among the members of civil society, the issue is being discussed regularly. The present paper makes an attempt to look at the ways how the civil society and the so called postmodern intelligentsia are responding and theorizing this uprising of the tribal people against the might of Indian state. The 1990s marked a paradigm shift in the world order. It was the last decade of our long twentieth century and the weight of its socio-economic and political vicissitudes was taking its toll on those last years. From the 1970s onwards, the Keynesian model of state intervention in the economic organization of society was facing economic stagnation. This model, generally known as welfare state, has been adopted in response to the Great depression of 1930s and the destruction unleashed by the First World War. We should remember that this welfare state model needs to be understood as a response to the growing demands of the labour struggles of various kinds and, on the other side, the attempt to build a communist future in Russia. Keynesian ideas were getting questioned and the intellectual rival of Keynesian model, Fredric Von Hayek was equally getting positive response from the economist all over the world, in particular from economists of Chicago University led by Milton Friedman. This group of economists which got inspired by Hayeks book The Road to Serfdom was later come to be known as Chicago School of Economics. Hayek and this group advocated the view point that state must not intervene in the economic affairs of society; the market should be left free, it has the potential to regulate itself on its own. So we can see that the tide was shifting in favour of free market ideology. And the overall atmosphere was fueled by social tension and economic stagnation. The last decade of the twentieth century had behind it a force of whirlwind which ultimately got consolidated with two

significant events that took place in 1990s. These were the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of Soviet Union. The fall of Berlin Wall was one of the most important events of the second half of the twentieth century. This led to the reunification of the Western Europe (the non communists state of Europe) with the Eastern Bloc (Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe). This tearing apart of the Iron Curtain actually came to be seen as the historical event of utmost importance which ushered in a new era of world history. The second most significant event of the 1990s was the fall of the Soviet Union which, in spite of all the failures of its chosen project through its history, symbolized the possibility of an alternative to the capitalist system of social organization. For some this demise shattered all possibilities, a failure of lifelong dream whereas for others, it signified a new era of prosperity, a dawn of individual freedom which was repressed under communist leadership. This led to the end of Cold War. As a result the United State of America became the only existing world power or as the jargon goes the world became unipolar. If we talk about India, we can say that 1990s mark a historic decade in the history of India. It was the first time that the policies of liberalization and globalization were materially implemented and theoretically adopted by the Indian state. And as the argument goes the Indian nation started its journey towards economic prosperity. India during the last two decades has become the fastest growing countries of the world, and together with China both are acknowledge as the two Asian giants of the twenty first century. The other two events that took place during the 1990s and which are of particular historical interest are the implementation of Mandal Commission and the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.