The Red Corridor and Maoism: Issues and Challenges, August 18-20, 2016.

A national seminar on the “The Red Corridor and Maoism: Issues and Challenges” was held at ECC during August 18-20, 2016. The keynote address was given by Prof. Fr. Dr. Mathew Chandrankunnel. The resource persons  were Dr. Moses P. Manohar, Executive Director of ICSA, who is also a human right activist; Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray, Deputy Director, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Prime Minister's Office, New Delhi; Fr. Jerry Kurien, teaching faculty and acting chairperson of the Department of Communication at UTC; Dr. Nalini Arles, retired professor from  UTC; Mr. TSS Mani, a social activist and Dr. Mervin Sinoj Boas, teaching faculty in the department of Theology at UTC.

People are ignorant about the issues related to Maoism. This seminar was an eye opener for many of the participants. Fr. Chandrankunnel in his keynote address shared his experiences of working with the maoists and highlighted the issues and challenges that we are facing in the red corridor region of India. In line with the keynote address, Dr. Moses speak on The Grievances of the People in the Red Corridor Region of India: A call to voice for the voiceless. Dr. Moses highlighted the purpose of Indian nation that is democratic to ensure life, liberty and property to all citizens.  He concluded his talk by suggesting strategies to help the people at the margins on how to access human rights. Dr. Routray who serves as the Deputy Director in the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Prime Minister's Office, New Delhi gave a detail on the emergence of Maoism in India and discussed the three stages of Maoism- the surge stage, the decline stage and the revival stage. According to him internal squabbles led to the movement splitting repeatedly, particularly during the first two decades of its existence.  Fr. Jerry highlighted the media and its usage by the Maoists. He concluded his talk by stating the emerging trends of Naxal movement is moving towards young and urban crowd from Rural region through the influence of media. In the next session, Dr. Nalini shared her experiences of working with the terroists involved in the Bangalore blast. She talked about the psychological causes of antisocial behaviour. She has rightly pointed out that, “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.” It is probable that Maoist struggle in India is also based on that principle. The next session was with Mr. TSS Mani, a social activist. The talk was very informative in spreading light on various dimensions of the red corridor issues such as economical, political and historical aspect of Maoism. He focussed the neo-liberalization, globalization and semi-colonialization that has brought both positive and negative effects on the Indian society.  In the final session Dr. Boas gave a theological reflection. He concluded his reflection by saying, “spiritual satisfaction can be attained only by responding to the real problem.” The seminar ends with the presentation of the draft by drafting committee (Mr. Newton, Ms. Ida Jenefa, Rev. Iniyan and Ms. Bhawani) and with  the concluding remarks from the Director, Very Rev. Cherian Thomas.
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