Politics of Good Governance and Development in Maoist Affected Scheduled Areas in India: A Critical Engagement

Publication Type:

Journal Articles

Source:

Studies in Indian Politics, Volume 7, Issue 1, p.45-55 (2019)

URL:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2321023019838649

Keywords:

development, governance mechanism, local communities, Maoists, natural resources, Scheduled areas

Abstract:

The scheduled areas (SA) of central and eastern India, many of which are affected by the Maoist violence, have been subjected to systematic deprivation of natural resources, long-standing marginalization, poverty and economic underdevelopment. Various development and governance schemes that are packaged with the brand of ‘Good Governance and Development’ in these areas have aggravated deprivation in terms of land alienation, lack of autonomy of the local communities and multiple exploitations. The Maoists who claim to represent the local communities are often seen imposing their authoritarian diktats over these communities. On the other hand, the Indian state uses a military approach to fight the Maoist violence along with promotion of development initiatives to address the local discontents. The prolonged conflict between the state and the Maoists exposes the local communities to continued exploitation and deprivation. This article highlights the contradictions between the governance mechanisms and development measures vis-à-vis the constitutional provisions related to the autonomy of local communities in the SA. Subsequently, the article interrogates the politics of control and management of natural resources through governance mechanisms and development initiatives. Second, the article identifies the commonalities between the state and the Maoists in terms of their control over the local communities. The article argues that the state-led initiatives and the Maoist movement are both instruments in sustaining the conflict and alienation of the local communities.