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Book on Bastar, Chhattisgarh – constructive efforts for conflict resolution : Prologue (English translation)

Vivek Umrao Glendenning
The Founder and the Editor, Ground Report India
The Vice-Chancellor & Co-Founder, The Gokul Social University

Hindi version (original)

For now, let’s refrain from discussing the commitment and the integrity of the Maoist movement in Bastar towards the welfare of the local ‘Adivasis’ or the indigenous tribal community. Let’s also not discuss if Bastar’s Maoist movement truly represents the Adivasi community, and whether or not the Mao activists there even understand Maoism. The fact is, I want to refrain from this discourse in this book, because there’s a possibility of it being laced with prejudices and because, different experts will claim different realities based on their individual biases. In this book, I will instead discuss only the factual information related to the efforts being made in Bastar. My hope is that after reading this book, you will have enough information to debate and discuss about the Maoist movement in the Bastar area.

One of the major paradoxes for maoists is that they consider the conversion of Aristocratic rule to communist rule as revolutionary. However, they do not consider conversion of communist rule to democratic rule as revolutionary; give various arguments to not consider it valid. This paradox exists despite the fact that both conversions require a change in ruling structures, and both are carried out by common people. It seems that the definition of a ‘revolution’ is framed according to biases.

When considering Maoism, a fundamental and important question is how a person, who has never ever even killed a fly (figuratively speaking), finds honour and pride in the gory murders of other people? This person rationalises killings and murders as a sacrifice for the great cause of transition and considers him/herself also as a sacrifice. How does this person accept the murders of innocent and harmless people, with pride and adulation, all in the name of contribution towards revolution!? The following discussion will help us understand why this happens.

Strong social conditioning provides that power is necessary and a change in power structures is presented in a certain way.  Changing power structures is seen as the only way to reach a “better” system. This is called revolution and its associated persons are revolutionaries. An individual’s ideas, thoughts and thinking are all conditioned. This conditioning makes them believe that if the current system is destroyed, it will create a lot of chaos, which can be then used to create a classless social order. Even the current order of the things is considered as chaos. The massacre of people is considered merely a necessary sacrifice in the process and creation of an ideal classless social order.

The scariest fact about revolution is that the value of life of existing people is seen as less than the value of life of people that are not even born yet. It is so negligible that it justifies the feeling of pride to kill people, in the hope of an imaginary and better future for imaginary people in the future.

However, the future is uncertain. To sacrifice the present for an imaginary future is nothing but propaganda, sophistry and trickery. How is it that revolutionaries are so sure about the future? How do they claim to have a humane order and structure in future, when they carry out murders, establish fear and restrain human freedom in the present? Is it that violence, killings, using weapons, and establishing fear enable them to see and feel future?

Maoism may be good or ideal, but violence cannot be ideal, it cannot be good. Violence is unreasonable, unacceptable, trickery and self-deception. Non-violence is reasonable and good.  This fact cannot be rejected by any human being. Maoism indoctrinates people and makes them lose their consciousness. It makes them violent and they  feel proud about being violent. Such a person cannot survive without violence  and does it in the name of revolution, which is unacceptable and unreasonable.

Such revolutions are merely reactions. Reactions of being in the opposition, reactions to reactions. These are nothing but a series of reactions. And no matter how strongly one insists on naming it a revolution, a revolution based on reactions, assumptions and a fanciful future cannot be revolution.

No matter how much one glorifies the revolution based on assumptions and a non-existent future, gives coherent arguments, or validates on the basis of historical evidence; such revolution cannot bring equality. Let’s look at it another way. Some people try to save the world by their methods and thought process. Others use their thought process and methods to disrupt mutual symbiosis and eradicate each other’s existence from the very root.  All this in the name of creating a better and an ideal order. However, neither really wants to create a better society. They merely want to shape the structure to suit their needs and use deception, lies, violence, power, corruption and other such tools to achieve this objective. It is ‘the assumption’ that creates differences between human beings and makes them consider other people and groups as inferior.

This revolution merely replaces the groups in power, establishing one group rather than the other. The new ruling group then controls different powers. Then a new upper class emerges, which empowers itself through different types of special rights. In the name of revolution, this process is repeated multiple times on various levels and through various methods. However a power-centric revolution doesn’t destroy inequality, nor is it capable or desirous of doing so. It is merely a cobweb of swindling, based on a reaction or a series of reactions, with an objective of becoming important. Reaction causes strife, which means never-to-be resolved conflict, violence and the massacre of symbiotic reciprocity. How can such a revolution be meaningful, humane and equanimous?

Broadly, the current communism is based on the opposition of capitalism. In communism, an illusion of financial equality is served. I call it an illusionary dream because if we examine it in depth, communism is similar in its inherent nature with capitalism. The capitalism of communism is the state ownership in nature, the state-capitalism. Capitalism, whether personal, or of an elite group, or of state, can never be oriented around welfare and equality.  It’s not possible.

So far it is deemed that the difference between communism (or even socialism) and capitalism is that the autonomy and control of capital is with the governance and the state rather than the individual. This is in no way related to the creation of the better society and the governance, since the state is not a live object with functional autonomy. The state is controlled by individuals or the groups of individuals. Thus, despite changing the name, control and power stay concentrated around some individuals or groups.

Just like capitalism, the basis of communism is also financial, hence their basic natures are not different. The desire for financial prosperity is the prerequisite for financial equality of communism. Communism is based on reaction and this is why it got entangled in class conflict. It thus became a system to use humans. It establishes and nurtures the fanatic, rigid and self-deceiving ideas that hatred, violence, malice, and killing are essential and necessary. There is no fundamental difference of character between capitalism and communism.

Democracy requires the fundamental ideal to be strong. To name the mindset of ruling and governing, to refer to democracy in scriptures, documents, language, and arguments casually, actually belies democracy. The fundamental principle of the real democracy lies in providing ample opportunities for the human potential and the establishment of a rule-free society, while reducing state-governance by establishing policies on the basis of public trust and participation.

Destruction can be stopped only by a democracy which will accept non-violence, social equality and welfare as its long term policy and will frame its financial, bureaucratic and political structures accordingly. So far, the best method humanity has for governing is democracy. Merely to repeat older revolutions in an organised or a disorganised manner has no significance. The basic fundamental is in living authentically, understanding and accepting the most important creation, value and strength of human history – ‘non-violence’/AHIMSA, with insistence for truth. I consider Gandhi as great and visionary because he envisioned a humane democracy. His Ahimsa or non-violence was closer to truth and was self-disciplined.

I do not wish to discuss communism, Maoism, capitalism, and democracy in detail within this book, because the objective of this book is about the constructive efforts for conflict resolution in Bastar. I do not wish for the book to deviate from this objective. I do hope however, that the brief discussion here on these subjects in this prologue will give you an insight into my understanding of communism, Maoism, revolution, system-change, capitalism, and non-violence. Also, I hope that the book does not seem to be merely singing accolades of constructive efforts. Rather, you should find the book useful in helping you understand the ground reality and constructive approach for conflict resolution, and also help you contemplate and rectify your own understanding for better contribution for the conflict resolution.

Hindi version (original)

Translation credits:

Anupama Garg

She identifies herself as a young, energetic, thoughtful and sensitive human being before anything else. An author, a content strategist, a communications expert, a ghost writer, a blogger, a devil’s advocate and a woman are some other hats she wears. She writes books on controversial subjects, expresses her opinions and thoughts vocally and believes in empowerment and responsibility of expression. She can be reached on her LinkedIn/Facebook profile(s) at :

https://in.linkedin.com/in/anupama-garg-1b059b31 https://web.facebook.com/anu.25.25

AND

Vivek Umrao Glendenning, the Author. 

Vivek Umrao Glendenning 'SAMAJIK YAYAVAR'

He is an Indian citizen & permanent resident of Australia and a scholar, an author, a social-policy critic, a frequent traveller, a social wayfarer, a social entrepreneur and a journalist.

He has been exploring, understanding and implementing the ideas of social-economy, participatory local governance, education, citizen-media, ground-journalism, rural-journalism, freedom of expression, bureaucratic accountability, indigenous community development, village development, reliefs & rehabilitation, village revival and other.

For Ground Report India editions, Vivek organised many national and state levels tours for exploring ground realities covering 5000 to 15000 kilometres in one or two months to establish Ground Report India, a constructive ground journalism platform with social accountability.

He has written a book “मानसिक, सामाजिक, आर्थिक स्वराज्य की ओर” on various social issues, development community practices, water, agriculture, his ground works & efforts and conditioning of thoughts & mind. Reviewers say it is a practical book which answers “What” “Why” “How” practically for the development and social solution in India. 

Nowadays, He is writing a book on the theme of the Constructive Conflict Resolution in the Maoists affected region Bastar Chhattisgarh.

About the author

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