Bury My Heart in Bastar: Neoliberal Extractivism, the Oppressive State and the Maoist Revolution in India
Bastar has become the centre of India’s war on adivasis; the aboriginal people who make up about eight per cent of India’s population. Why India is waging a war in Bastar can only be understood by situating the war in the context of neoliberal extractivism and its relationship with the Indian capitalist class and its state apparatus. Extractivism is an age-old process that the colonial power used for the expropriation and exploitation of marginalised people and their resources. Although extractive methods and dynamics have changed in the neoliberal age, what remain intact are the ruthless plunder, violence, and the enclosure of the commons. Drawing insights from Nandini Sundar’s, The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar (2016), this paper critically examines the motives and methods of the Indian state’s war on adivasis, alongside the indomitable resistance of adivasi-Maoists.