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Maoist violence and the government's response

The constitutional obligation to take special care of the protection and development of adivasis and dalits was diluted when the Union home ministry transferred this role to a new ministry of social justice, writes K S Subramanian, former director of the home ministry’s Research and Policy Division, which studied emerging Naxalite violence in the context of increasing atrocities against adivasis


Defining terrorism

Should the Maoists now active in Chhattisgarh and Dantewada be called terrorists? Should the state respond to Naxalites the same way it does to terrorists? As India debates these questions in the wake of Operation Greenhunt, K S Subramanian provides a definition of terrorism and suggests appropriate responses to it


Innocents caught in the crossfire

Violent conflicts between tribal communities, and between militant groups and the Indian State, have plagued the northeastern states of Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur for so many years that children born in Manipur after 1980 have never known the meaning of peace. In the absence of comprehensive official studies, K S Subramanian uses his own field experience and that of others to record the devastating effect of the conflicts on women and children


Why atrocities against dalits and adivasis continue

Several legislations have been enacted for the protection of the scheduled castes and tribes. And yet violence and discrimination against them continues. This is hardly surprising, says K S Subramanian, since the police resorts to various machinations to discourage registration of cases, dilutes the seriousness of the offences, shields the accused persons, and often inflicts the violence itself


Law and order

Suppression of the people was the primary goal of law-enforcement agencies in British times. Unfortunately, this tendency continues in independent India, where the response to a conflict situation is to rush additional forces in, without any attempt to resolve the underlying socio-economic conditions, says K S Subramanian in part 3 of his series


Violence against violence cannot work

Since as long ago as 1969, high-level government committees have emphasised that extremist violence of the kind perpetrated by the Maoists is not just a law and order problem but has deeper socio-economic roots. Yet the response of the Indian government has invariably been to meet violence with violence, with expectedly poor results, says K S Subramanian


Democracy at the top, bureaucracy at the bottom

The model of district governance in India inherited from the British has lost its relevance, failing to respond to the demands of the people at the bottom, says K S Subramanian in the first of a new series on conflict resolution and governance. The situation could be salvaged by vesting all powers of governance in the elected PRIs at the village, block and district levels