Social Exclusion and the Vulnerability to Subversive Activity: Looking into the Ethnic Groups in the Red Corridor of India

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(2) : (225-236), 2016

Social Exclusion and the Vulnerability to Subversive Activity: Looking into the Ethnic Groups in the Red Corridor of India

Dipak K. Midya
Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, West Bengal

Abstract
The so-called Red Corridor in India is mostly inhabited by ethnic groups who have been experiencing politico-economic exclusion from the mainstream Indian social system since the pre-colonial days. Notwithstanding the fact that India happens to be one of the major Nation-States in the global context, the people over here suffer from illiteracy, health carelessness, malnutrition, along with the common practice of early marriage and its resultant consequences. The development inputs of our Nation State hardly ever reached the region populated by such people. The parliamentary representatives from such regions are usually chosen from among the ‘outsiders’ or from the insiders who could be easily controlled by the ‘outsiders’. As a result, the needs and aspirations of the ethnic groups living along the region of the so-called Red Corridor are practically never met up. This results in their evident alienation from the politico-economic system of the Nation-State. Under such a situation, the people become vulnerable to subversive activities that are directed against a nation-state in particular and human society in general. The present paper tries to substantiate how the so-called Maoist activists or any subversive force could exploit the situation of social exclusion to their advantage and became fairly successful in posing internal security threat to Indian sovereignty as well as to life of the general people. The study deals with the Santal, Bhumij and Sabar tribes of Paschim Medinipur in West Bengal. It shows that greater the extent of social exclusion of the ethnic groups living in a region, the higher is the degree of their vulnerability toward subversive activities. It also appears that stronger the ethnic elements of the engaging ethnic groups, more will be the possibility of their detachment from the subversive activities as found in Junglemahal.

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