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Home > News > PTI

Naxals use folklore to preach ideology

Archana Jyoti in New Delhi | February 16, 2007 10:44 IST

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Naxalites in tribal-dominated states like Chhattisgarh are using folklore and street plays to propagate their ideas among the locals.

Though violence remains their forte in pressurising the tribals to adopt to their ideology, the Naxals are now developing new methods to influence their targets, according to a research conducted by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini, an non-governmental organization active in Naxalites-hit areas.

As tribals love folklore, music and theatre, ultras are using this new strategy in remote areas, which have almost negligible access to modern means of communications and information such as radio and television.

The study group -- in its report 'Development and Integral Security in Chhattisgarh: Impact of Naxalite Movement' -- has noted that this 'weakness' is exploited by the Naxalites who have a well chalked out strategy to influence the tribals.

If in Andhra Pradesh, a popular singer going by the name of Gadar uses his ballads to instigate people against the government, Naxalites hold a 'people's court' in Chhattisgarh to draw tribals to their ideologies.

The report notes, "In typical language, Gadar will begin with a popular folk song and then without changing the tune begin to exhort people to revolt against the government."

In Chhattisgarh, the technique is slightly different. Before holding a 'people's court,' the Naxals organise a street play. In this they use the real names of officials and show the tribals punishing the enemy, the report says.

The Naxal commander comes on the scene and carries out the wishes of the tribals. And since, these shows are quite popular, they help in building the mood of the gathering.

Concerned over the way the simple and impressionable minds are being brainwashed, the state government has realised the need for strengthening the information system.

Radio can be used effectively and intelligently to communicate with the tribals to counter the Naxals' strategy, suggests the report, adding that new radio stations should be established by the state government and programmes be produced and aired in local languages.

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