[Marxism] Violence on the Left: The Communists of West Bengal, by Martha Nussbaum

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 21:46:54 MDT 2008

Violence on the Left: Nandigram and the Communists of West Bengal
By Martha C. Nussbaum

Dissent Magazine, Spring 2008

[Martha C. Nussbaum is Distinguished Service Professor of Law and
Ethics at the University of Chicago, appointed in the Philosophy
Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She is an Affiliate of
the Committee on Southern Asian Studies and a board member of the
Human Rights Program.]

AFTER A PERIOD of relative impotence, the Hindu-supremacist right in
India has rebounded, with the December reelection of Bharatiya Janata
Party candidate Narendra Modi as chief minister in Gujarat. Modi's
role in the mass murders of Muslims in that state in February 2002 has
long been so well documented that he has been denied a visa to enter
the United States. [...]

Meanwhile, however, violence has been in the news from a very
different part of the Indian political spectrum. People connected to
the Communist government of West Bengal have been guilty of some
extremely vile actions, including rape and murder, toward dissident
peasants, in a struggle over land acquisition, and the government has
done nothing to prevent these terrible things. This struggle has split
the Indian left, between those who think that people on the left must
maintain solidarity in the face of right-wing threats and those who
insist on calling murder murder no matter who does it. It's a conflict
from which we can learn a lot, not only about Indian politics but also
about what stance a contemporary left movement can reasonably and
morally take on rural development issues. [...]

Full: <http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/?article=1157>

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