The alleged Maoist insurgent attack on an Indian train raises questions about how the world’s biggest democracy is dealing with an uprising claiming to represent the disenfranchised poor. The Indian government describes the Maoist movement as the greatest threat to its internal security, while in his influential blog, http://ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com/ John Elliott writes the government is split on whether the insurgency should be seen as a terror or a developmental problem.
“The government is of course functioning adequately despite all the policy problems, corruption, and lack of prime ministerial drive and authority. From Sonia Gandhi’s and the party’s point of view, keeping the coalition intact is a primary issue till the next general election due in 2014. What a lot India is missing as a result! ”
At issue is whether democratically elected government’s primary role should be to stay in power or solve long-term problems.