Sunday, July 25, 2010

Assimilate me once, shame on you


Increasingly, the insurgency is hampering efforts to open up east India’s mineral-rich forests to business. In particular, the rebel fondness for attacking railways and roads has made it difficult for some companies to operate. Work on a $7 billion steel plant by JSW Steel, India’s third-largest steel producer, has been delayed in West Bengal, as have steel projects by Tata Steel and Essar in Chhattisgarh. In June India’s coal minister, Sriprakash Jaiswal, said the threat of Naxalite attacks was substantially curbing coal production. Land conflicts between big companies and local people have done much to boost the appeal of the Naxalites.

The popularity of the Naxalites might yet diminish if people in rebel areas got more basic amenities such as roads, water and schools.

People like to say that it's unfair to deny any country the right to develop in much the same way as the United States or any other advanced industrial nation has developed.

Interestingly enough, Hitler made this point about Germany as justification for his ambitions in Europe. The parallel he drew was to US expansion in North America and US policy toward the Native Americans.

No wonder rural Indians aren't crazy about the idea!


Ethan said...

I like the Economist writer's deployment of the word "fondness" there, too.

almostinfamous said...

replace 'naxalites' with 'taliban' in the last para and what you see is a cookie cutter article that could be used to denigrate any violent retaliation against capital, filling in only details about the locale.

aint journamalism great? all it's missing is the crazy cat lady...

RLaing said...

Speaking of the Taliban, they were in Washington circa 2000 to negotiate a pipeline agreement with the Bush admin, and I suppose it is very possible that bombs and bullets are now flying in Afghanistan because they asked for too much of roads, water and schools.