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The Disputed Naxalism in the Present Scenario

Introduction

“It would be an exagerration to say that the problem of Naxalism is the single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country.”

–          Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India.[1]

T

he Naxalites are a group of radical extremist leftist wing which have been actually derived from the communist rebellion or revolutionary part which is not going for a parliamentary hold in a country but it is trying to bring a revolution within a nation whereby a tumultuous situation has arrived. Similarly the naxals or naxalites or naxalvadis in India took birth in a village of West Bengal from whereby they are prevailing in the present situation. it is a militant part of the communist party other than the communist political parties, which don’t go for a democracy, parliamentary election, parliamentary provisions like the other leftist political parties. Such a radical left wing goes only for revolution to bring an equality and social justice in the society which is free from bourgeoisie activities and the power of the society is given to the proletariats. The naxalites are indulged in violent armed struggle according to the Chinese communist rebels under the leadership of Mao-Tse-Tung as to get rid of the class struggle and excessive oppression of the landlords, industrialists, tradesmen. Their main struggle is against the whole bourgeoisie society in order to give the total control of the nation on the hands of the working class because the proletariats are main source of the production within the nation and are being oppressed from time to time by the bourgeoisie groups. So the main aim is to take a control over the production of the nation and that only a violent struggle will effectively end the oppression and exploitation of landless workers and tribes and create a classless, casteless and religious less society.

Far-left Politics

The far-left also known as the extreme left, radical left or ultra left refers to highest degree of leftism in left-wing politics. Actually seeking for a strong and complete social equality in society and the dismantlement of all forms of social stratification far-left seeks to abolish all forms of hierarchy, particularly to end the inequality in the distribution of wealth and power. In the societies that are tolerant to dissent, far-left politics usually participate in the democratic process. Proponents of horse-shoe theory in interpretation of the left-right spectrum argue that the far-left and far-right are more common in part of extremism than that of the moderate centrists.[2]

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The Evolution of Naxals

During the Cold War, there was an immense pressure from the westerns specially the US over the USSR and similarly the communist lobbies increased differences between China and the Soviet Union, the 2 major communist blocks of the then globe resulted in a split in the Communist Movement the world over and from then the Chines part of Communism believing in a revolutionary armed practice to bring a social equality became more superior as the the-then Soviet Union started to breakdown and the China emerged a lot through the revolutionary ideas of Mao-tse-Tung. From then the immense out show of the revolutionary pattern emerged in different undeveloped and underdeveloped countries to bring a social equality which provided a gateway in many of the nations worldwide at that time.[3] Out of this split emerged the Naxal movement in India. Ideologically, the Naxalites are followers of Maoism, the basic tenets of which urge the “oppressed classes” to launch a revolution against the “exploiting classes”. the naxalites, a radical communist wing, based on the principles and ideologies of a triangular pattern whereby following Marx, Lenin and Mao accordingly with the communist manifesto came into account during the mid of the 1960’s when an uprising was raised in the Naxalbari village of Darjeeling district at West Bengal took place and turned into an armed violence under the flag of the communist party of India (Marxist-Leninist). The main cause of the revolt was following a protest of the peasants, bhagchasis, mainly the proletariat group of the society against the bargadars, jotedars and zamindars class i.e., the bourgeoisie class of the specific village. Such a movement rose due to several causes as the tebhaga movement of the peasants in the sake of protecting their farming lands, the support of the top-class leaders of the communist party of India (Marxist-Leninist) such as comrade Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and more. The violent oppression of the landlords finally led to the Naxalbari movement on 1967 whereby the landlords were executed by the peasants and farmers. The term “Naxal” has its origins in the name of this village.

The evolution follows a 3-step margin:

1st (1967-1980) beginning, spread and fragmentation

2nd (1980-2004) consolidation and introspection

3rd (2004-till date) resurgence and intensified revolutionary struggle through the basis of China Nepal based ideologies.[4]

The Revolution of Naxals

First of all during the early 60’s the extremist leaders such as Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and more spitted from the communist party of India (Marxist) due to the entering of this left wing into the far politics of West Bengal and thereby coming into the limelight through election and supporting the non-congress Governments. In 1967, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) consented to contesting elections and forming a coalition government in West Bengal. Disillusioned by this, a group of party activists, led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal, staged a violent uprising against the party leadership. The uprising was triggered off in Naxalbari village in West Bengal when hired goons led by the then Indian National Congress Government attacked a tribal who had been granted a piece of land by the court. In retaliation, the local farmers and the rebelling party activists attacked the landlords. this led to the beginning of the Naxalbari revolution and hence All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) was formed after being splitted from the mother party on 1967 and after 2 years this party reemerged as the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) and carried on revolutionary protests which took its base on Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Lakhimpur of Uttar Pradesh, etc. Majumdar, a great follower of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, urged Indian farmers and lower classes to overthrow the government and upper classes whom he held responsible for their plight. His writings were the foundation of Naxal ideology, with the ‘Historic Eight Documents’ being the cornerstones.

The Naxalbari Movement[5]

Throughout 1966 itself the groundwork had been laid. In 1965/66 the ‘Siliguri Group’ [(of the newly formed CPI (M)] brought out as many as six cyclostyled leaflets calling for the immediate commencement of armed revolution. One of these leaflets gave a call to initiate partisan warfare in the Terai region within six months. Throughout 1966 revolutionaries organized peasant cells in every part of Siliguri sub-division; bow and arrows, and even a few rifles were gathered and liaison established with the Nepalese Maoists active just a few miles away. In late 1966 a Revolutionary Kisan meeting was organised in Siliguri. On March 3, 1967 the seeds of struggle began to sprout as the first spark. A group of peasants surrounded a plot of land in Naxalbari region; marking the boundaries with red flags with the symbol of hammer, sickle and star within it they began harvesting the crop.

Then the March 18 Convention was the signal for the peasant upsurge, which engulfed the entire area for four months. The U.F. government in West Bengal sought to diffuse the movement by announcing token land reforms. The revolutionary peasants replied to the revisionist rulers by setting up peasant committees to take over the land of the jotedars. Huge processions and demonstrations were organised by Kisan Committee members, many of whom were armed with lathis, spears, bows and arrows. A sea of red flags struck terror into the hearts of the landlords and the countryside reverberated with the slogan “March forward along the path of armed peasant revolution.”[6]

The first clash was ignited when a share-cropper, Bigul Kisan, was beaten by armed agents of a local jotedar. This was followed by violent clashes and the forcible seizure of land and confiscation of food grains, by armed units of the Kisan Committee. Any resistance by the landlords and their gangs was smashed and a few killed. By end May the situation reached the level of an armed peasant uprising. The CPI (M) leaders, who were now in power, first tried to pacify the leaders of the movement having failed, Jyoti Basu, the then home minister of West Bengal, ordered in the police. On 23rd May the peasantry retaliated killing an inspector at Jharugaon village. On May 25, in Naxalbari, the police went berserk killing nine women and children. In June the struggle intensified further, particularly in the areas of Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa. Firearms and ammunition were snatched from the jotedars by raiding their houses. People’s courts were established and judgments passed. The upheaval in the villages continued till July. The tea garden workers struck works a number of times in support of the peasants. Then on July 19, a large number of Para-military forces were deployed in the region. In ruthless cordon and search operations, hundreds were beaten and over one thousand arrested. Some leaders like Jangal Santal were arrested, others like Charu Mazumdar went underground, yet others like Tribheni Kanu, Sobhan, Ali Gorkha Majhi and Tilka Majhi became martyrs. A few weeks later, Charu Mazumdar wrote “Hundreds of Naxalbaris are smoldering in India Naxalbari has not died and will never die.”

The Communist Party of China, then the centre for world revolution, hailed the uprising. On June 28, 1967 Radio Peking broadcast: “A phase of peasants’ armed struggle led by the revolutionaries of the Indian Communist Party has been set up in the countryside in Darjeeling district of West Bengal state of India. This is the front paw of the revolutionary armed struggle launched by the Indian people”. Within a week, the July 5th edition of People’s Daily carried an article entitled ‘Spring Thunder over India’ which said: “A peal of spring thunder has crashed over the land of India. Revolutionary peasants in Darjeeling area have risen in rebellion. Under the leadership of a revolutionary group of the Indian Communist Party, a red area of rural revolutionary armed struggle has been established in India….. The Chinese people joyfully applaud this revolutionary storm of the Indian peasants in the Darjeeling area as do all the Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary people of the world.”[7]

Meanwhile, revolutionaries in Calcutta, who had also been running a campaign against revisionism, took up a massive campaign in support of the Naxalbari uprising. The walls of college streets were plastered with posters saying: “Murderer Ajoy Mukherjee (the Chief Minister) must resign.” The revolutionaries [still within the CPI (M)] held a meeting in Ram Mohan Library Hall in Calcutta and formed the ‘Naxalbari Peasants Struggle Aid Committee’, which was to become the nucleus of the Party of the future.

Simultaneous to the police action, the CPI (M) expelled a large number of their members. Sushital Roy Chowdhary, a member of the West Bengal State Committee and editor of their Bengali Party organ was expelled. So were other leading members like Ashim Chatterjee, Parimal Das Gupta, Asit Sen, Suniti Kumar Ghosh, Saroj Datta and Mahadev Mukherjee. The Darjeeling District Committee and Siliguri Sub-divisional Committee were dissolved.

The spark of Naxalbari set aflame the fires of revolution in Srikakulam, Birbhum, Debra-Gopiballavpur, Mushahari and Lakhimpur-Kheri. The states of West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, U.P and Tamil Nadu saw a big spurt in Naxalbari-inspired struggles and Maoist formations sprouted in nearly every state of India.

Small countries like Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea were striking major blows at the might of the U.S. Army; national liberation movements were surging forward in a number of underdeveloped countries; in Europe and America massive anti-imperialist demonstrations against US involvement in Vietnam merged with a violent outburst of the Black and women’s movement; the student-worker revolt in France shook the DeGaulle establishment; and, most important of all, in China, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (in the backdrop of the Great Debate) attacked the revisionist ossification and distortions of Marxism. In the Communist arena all Parties throughout the world were compelled to take positions in the Great Debate, between the CPC (Communist Party of China) and the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) which had been going on since Krushchev restored capitalism in the USSR in the late 1950s. .

Most important, Naxalbari restored the revolutionary essence of Marxism on the Indian soil which had been distorted, corrupted and destroyed by the revisionist semantics of the CPI and the then nascent CPI (M). Naxalbari provided the answers both ideologically and practically and the final goal was communism.

While the Naxalbari movement was crushed, the politics and ideology behind the Naxalbari uprising spread throughout the country. The ‘Naxalbari Peasants Aid Committee’ (or ‘Naxalbari Krishak Sangram Sahayak Samiti’) held a conference which decided to form the ‘All India Coordination Committee of Revolutionaries of the CPI(M)’. On November 12, 13, 1967 communist revolutionaries from all over the country met and established the ‘All India Coordination Committee of Revolutionaries of the CPI(M)’ A provisional committee was formed to consolidate all revolutionaries and gradually form a revolutionary party.

The coordination committee undertook the task of propagating Marxism-Leninism-Mao ZeDong Thought; uniting all communist revolutionaries on this basis; waging an uncompromising struggle against revisionism; developing and coordinating the revolutionary struggles, especially peasant struggles of the Naxalbari type; and preparing a revolutionary programme and tactical line. In May 1968, at its second meeting held on the eve of the first anniversary of the Naxalbari uprising, the coordination committee was re-named as the ‘All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries’ (AICCCR) with Sushital Ray Chowdhary as its convenor.

Earlier, the communist revolutionaries decided to bring out a political paper to propagate the revolutionary line. The first issue of ‘Liberation’ was brought out on November 11, 1967 with Suniti Kumar Ghosh as its editor. ‘Deshabrati’ was brought out in Bengali. At its peak the circulation of ‘Liberation’ touched 2,500 and that of ‘Deshabrati’ 40, 000.

Meanwhile Naxalbari-type struggles spread like wild-fire throughout 1968, and the struggle in Srikakulam was growing into a major uprising. Under these conditions the AICCCR in its February 8, 1969 meeting adopted the resolution to form a Party. At the plenary session meeting of the AICCCR held between April 19 to 22, 1969 the final decision was taken and on the hundredth birth anniversary of Lenin the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) was founded. A coordination committee was formed to draft the Party Constitution and prepare for the Party Congress. The Party’s formation was announced by Kanu Sanyal at a mammoth May Day rally held at the Calcutta Maidan.

In the process of formation of the Party the Dakshin Desh group and the APCCCR (Andhra Pradesh Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries) did not join. The Dakshin Desh Group went on to form the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) which is today, along with CPI (ML) Party Unity, spearheading the armed struggle in Bihar and some parts of Jharkhand. The APCCCR continued with its right deviations, later splitting into two factions – the T.Nagireddy-D.V.Rao faction of the UCCCRI (ML), and, the C.P.Reddy faction which later merged with the revisionist Satyanarayan Singh faction of the CPI (ML) in 1975 only to split again into a number of factions.

By mid-1969 the government had moved in the para-military forces into all the struggle areas and a man-hunt was launched for the leaders of the CPI (ML). The movement went fully underground. In April 1970 the government raided the office and printing press of ‘Liberation’ and ‘Deshabrati’ which too continued from the underground. The government began its campaign of liquidating the communist revolutionaries.

On May 15, 16 1970 the Eighth Congress [in continuation of the 7th Congress held by the CPI (M)] of the CPI (ML) was held under conditions of utmost secrecy.[8] The Congress was held on the first floor of a building in the railway colony in Garden Reach, Calcutta. On the ground floor were over fifty volunteers who had gathered to celebrate a mock wedding. Some were family members of the delegates. The blaring loudspeaker helped drown the noise of the heated debates taking place above.

The Congress was attended by about 35 delegates from all over the country and elected a 21 member central committee representing comrades from West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, U.P, Tamilnadu, Orissa, Kashmir and Kerala with Com. Charu Mazumdar as general secretary. The nine-member politburo comprised Charu Mazumdar, Sushital Roy Chowdhary, Saroj Datta, Souren Bose (all West Bengal), Satyanarayan Singh (Bihar), Shiv Kumar Mishra (UP), Shroff (Kashmir), Appu (Tamilnadu) and the two seats allocated for A.P. were never filled.

The Prairie Fire

The cream of India’s youth and students joined, what came to be known as the Naxalbari movement. While the parliamentary politicians were busy playing the politics of power and amassing personal wealth, young revolutionaries were sacrificing everything-studies, wealth, families – to serve the oppressed masses of our country. Displaying a death-defying courage, withstanding enemy bullets and inhuman tortures, facing the their hardships of rural life, thousands of youth integrated with the landless and poor peasants and aroused them for revolution.

In Calcutta the university campuses were turning into hotbeds of revolutionary politics. During the 1967-70 periods, the prestigious Presidency College and Hindu Hostel had become the nerve centre for Maoist politics. The Presidency College Students’ Consolidation emerged as an important force following their overwhelming victory in the student union elections in 1967/68. Throughout 1968 and 1969 the Maoist students wing – the Progressive Students Coordination Committee (PSCC) – captured almost all the student unions of the different institutions in and around Calcutta. The Post-Graduate student’s federation of Calcutta University under Maoist influence discovered the militant form of ‘Gherao’ by launching numerous such struggles against the university authorities in 1969. Later, at the call of the Party it was from these colleges that hundreds of students gave up their studies and integrated with the peasant masses. Many became martyrs in the brutal massacres of youth in 1970/71 in which thousands were killed in Calcutta.

In Andhra Pradesh it was the students of Guntur Medical College who were the first to come out in support of Naxalbari and form the Naxalbari Solidarity Committee. M. Venkataratnam and Premchand were the pioneers, translating articles from ‘Liberation’ into Telugu and distributing them amongst the communist rank and file. Chaganti Bhaskar Rao and Devineni Mallikarjunudu were the brilliant medical students who subsequently went to Srikakulam as guerilla fighters. Earlier Bhasker Rao, a gold medalist, had brought out a handwritten magazine, ‘Ranabheri’, to disseminate Peking Radio news and articles and propagate Naxalbari politics among students.

In Punjab, Bihar, UP, Tamilnadu, Kerala and even amongst the Campuses of Delhi and Bombay thousands of youth were attracted to Maoism and the politics of Naxalbari. Youth, with ideals, at last found a meaning to their lives after total disgust with the deceit, corruption, greed and unprincipled opportunism that pervaded parliamentary politics. Naxalbari symbolized to this youth a new future of justice, truth, equality, humanity and self-respect for the downtrodden which the present society could never give. Fired with this missionary-like zeal they set out to exterminate the perpetrators of injustice, inhumanity, to eradicate the demons and ghosts who run this oppressive system, to remove the sting of the scorpions, snakes and other vile creatures who roam the corridors of power……. to execute the executioners. They sought to create a paradise on earth. They shared the on dreams of their leader, affectionately known as CM, to create a bright future where no person shall go hungry; where no one shall oppress another, where there shall be no discrimination based on caste, religion or sex; where a new socialist human being will be born in whom greed, selfishness, ego, competitiveness will be replaced by selflessness, modesty and cooperation, and where a concern for others will take precedence over concern for oneself. And it is these youth who, together with the more experienced leaders, marched forth to turn their dreams into reality, by building Naxalbari-type struggles in many parts of the country.

Status in the present situation[9]

The several Naxalite-Maoist insurgencies has been a source of concern in the country for over four decades and about 20,000 lives have given their lives being the nation’s citizens which is the nation’s great shame regarding the protection of its civilians lives.[10] The state government of West Bengal has banned the Communist Party of India (Maoist) terming it a terrorist organization. The ban came in the backdrop of violent incidents in Lal Garh and the ongoing operation by Police and Security Forces to reclaim the area in the West Medinipur district of the along with areas of Bankura, Burdwan, Birbhum and Purulia districts. Political differences, especially those between the CPI (M) government in West Bengal and the Congress at the Central, have affected the operation against the Maoists. whereas, the other leftist allies of the left-front government whereby CPI (M) being the strongest political power among the other leftist parties in West Bengal such as the CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc, Socialist Party have opposed the ban imposed by Union Home Ministry on CPI (Maoist), stating that the ban would serve little purpose and that the extremists should be handled politically. The ban on CPI(Maoist) is not a new thing as the three extreme left outfits: Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Party Unity, the main basic Naxalites Front; Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War or People’s War Group(PWG) active in the southern parts of India mainly in Andhra Pradesh and the other strong point Maoist Coordination Centre or Maoist Communist Centre (MCC), very much active in the tribal and forest areas of Bihar and Jharkhand that merged to form the CPI(Maoist) are already banned along with their front organizations. The CPI (Maoist) now stands as the basic naxalite-maoist group is banned for all practical purposes. Hereby the Maoist Communist Centre as got banned in Bihar as due to its insurgency it changed its name to Maoist Coordination Centre and finally joined the CPI (Maoist) on 2004 as from then it was formed by the collaboration of all these 3 parties under the leadership of Comrade Ganapathy who actually was the father to form this newly born Communist Party of India (Maoist).[11] It was the final view when the movement turned more violent against the Government of India and thereby the several Maoists infected areas within the country along with against the State Governments where the places in the different states are counted as Maoist-prone areas and the death-toll related to the several insurgencies have increased from 638 in 2008 to 997 in 2009 and 1174 in 2010 thereon.[12]

The Naxalites movement during the early 80s saw two divergent streams of thought emerging which again led to a polarization within. The post-Emergency period saw release of leaders associated with the Communist movement splitting yet again to give birth to the CPI (ML) People’s War, which espoused a more strident line. In 1982, the formation of the Indian People’s Front (IPF), which would later become the political front of the CPI (ML) Liberation. It is interesting to note here that the CPI (ML) Liberation made a marked shift away from the ideology of the original CPI (ML). While the original CPI (ML) was committed to an “armed struggle” against the Indian State, the CPI (ML) Liberation adopted a more centrist line advocating participation in the larger parliamentary democratic process. The CPI (ML) Liberation met with success under the banner of the IPF, its political front, when it emerged victorious in the Ara Lok Sabha Constituency (in Bihar) in the 1989 elections. This was a feat of sorts as Bihar sent the first ever “Naxalites” to the Lok Sabha in history of India’s Parliamentary democracy.

In 1994, the Indian People’s Front (IPF) was disbanded and the Election Commission recognized the CPI (ML) as a political outfit. It is interesting to note however that one of the official documents of the CPI (ML) Liberation did not rule out the violent path to achieving its final objective. The document states that “The Party does not rule out the possibility that under a set of exceptional national and international circumstances, the balance of social and political forces may even permit a relatively peaceful transfer of central power to revolutionary forces. But in a country where democratic institutions are based on essentially fragile and narrow foundations and where even small victories and partial reforms can only be achieved and maintained on the strength of mass militancy, the party of the proletariat must prepare itself for winning the ultimate decisive victory in an ‘armed revolution’. A people’s democratic front and a people’s army, therefore, remain the two most fundamental weapons of revolution in the arsenal of the Party.[13]

While the CPI (ML) Liberation adopting a more moderate stance and participating in the parliamentary process, the People’s War Group (PWG) line of thought completely rejected the idea of parliamentary democracy. The PWG emerged as the most important of all the splinter groups as the prevalent Naxal ideology and policies of today arise primarily from the principles espoused by the PWG. At a February 2003 meeting, a decision was taken to come out with a comprehensive document on ideological issues and the future of the Naxalite Movement. The two groups decided to draft five documents: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Party Programme, Strategy and Tactics, Political Resolution on the International and Domestic Situation, and the Party Constitution.[14]

The recent Maoist activities

The assessment, the ‘Maoist insurgency is the worst and steadily worsening of conflict in India’, accounts 1180 casualties in 2010 which surpasses the combined total of all other insurgent movements in the country. The Naxalites-Maoists, the liberators, redeemers and saviors representing the down trodden workers and landless poor farmers who have been entangled into vicious circle of poverty, misery and wretchedness. Hence their patience withered away and they turned against the repressive system of government, draconian legislation, evasive political practices and mischievous manifestation of elected representatives, feudal system and bureaucrats. They frequently challenge the writ of the government and disrupt the communication system.[15]

Being the spokesmen of poor farmers and neglected tribes, the Naxalites enjoy the popular support of the masses they represent. They command the hearts and souls of the people and have started a legitimate freedom movement against Indian rule. Their main support bases are in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. They have the will and the capacity to fight and defeat the Indian Security Forces. Since they enjoy considerable influence in five Indian states therefore their potential to crush Indian Security Forces appears to be a viable assessment and a crystal-clear possibility. So far they have put up the toughest resistance to the Security Forces marking their signatures by frequently challenging and making the state administration ineffective.[16]

On 16th June, 2009 approximately 300 to 400 Maoist guerillas entered Lal Garh and captured the town including the City Police Station. They also removed all signs and symbols of state authority and openly challenged the writ of the government. They blew up a railway building and damaged three mobile phone towers in Orissa (Koraput district) and cut off 125 villages from rest of the state. Trouble in Karnataka also marked Maoists upheaval blended with inner commotion, rage and cataclysmic activities. In West Bengal the Maoists made an effort to disrupt the supply line of the Security Forces involved in the Lal Garh operation by detonating a landmine at Chara village.

During the bandh call (strike), life was hit in Maoist populated areas of Lal Garh, Binpur, Pirakata and Jhargram in Midnapore districts, and areas of Bankura and Purulia. In Bihar the Maoists attacked a police escort at Lakhisarai court and freed their two colleagues including area commander Babulal Besra, blew up a mobile tower at Barachatti village of Gaya district. They also exploded an art and culture building at Madanpur in Aurangabad. The Central Government has launched a massive repressive operation against the Maoists in Lal Garh using over 1000 Security Personnel. The operation is reportedly still going on as BSF and Polices claims to have retaken the town of Lal Garh. Independent reporters state that Maoists still control 90% of the area of district. Indian Security Forces are required to undertake series of operations in five different Maoists affected states. Will they be able to eliminate the Maoist opposition without shedding enormous blood and massive killing, is a big question. Surely another human tragedy and mass exodus is becoming imminent in India.[17]

The main causes for the growth

When Indian communist movement was already there, what was the need for another radical left movement? It was the ineffectiveness of the communist movement and the callous attitude of the then communist leaders in highlighting and fighting for the issues and problems of the downtrodden classes like peasantry, dalits and tribal communities that insisted the young radicals in the left parties break out of the Marxist fold and form their own group on Maoist line of Revolutionary Communism. Now Naxalites are active in 40% of India’s land area. They are active in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal states which are termed as “liberated zones” by them. Out of these states they control more than 40% of the land area in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states. Central Government and State Government has embarked on violent suppression using Central Government forces known as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and specially trained anti naxalites forces called Cobras. However the violent repression has only intensified the struggle. Last week in a series of attacks more than 30 CRPF personnel were killed in single day. As Central Government intensifies the repression ordinary masses in these areas are suffering and turning more and more towards Naxalites. Unlike in 1970s Naxalites have a very strong base among adivasis and so called lower caste communities. They have defended these communities against oppressive landlords and corrupt state officials.[18]

Today Naxalites have approximately 20000 well armed cadres. In addition they have more than 30000 cadres committed to the movement active in the states mentioned above. They have also have sophisticated weapons including mortars. Success of Communist Party (Maoist) in Nepal has encouraged Naxalites. With people’s support it can survive and grow as the economic crisis hits the middle classes and urban areas. Naxalites are building networks in the urban areas such as New Delhi, Calcutta and Bombay. They also have support among the urban progressive intelligentsia.[19]

Data shows that India’s child malnutrition rate is 47 percent (as compared to 30 percent in sub-Saharan Africa). India also ranks 66th among the 88 countries in the 2008 Global Hunger Index.

India has a very large middle class based on service sector which gets highly affected by the global recession as the demand for Indian software engineers and call centers are being squeezed. At the same time this year, 2012 due to the delay in monsoon, drought is feared in many states. Only 40% of agricultural land is irrigated. Over the last two decades successive Indian governments focused on service sector to the detriment of agriculture. Already Indian Government has banned wheat exports. Drought coupled with global recession will be a disaster to Indian economy. These conditions will only strengthen naxalites movement. It is a matter of time before naxalites movement emerges as major challenge to Indian state in general the naxalites have hitted hardly in the village areas, tribal areas which are generally undeveloped and underdeveloped in nature. The naxalites create guerilla activities in such areas which are generally coming under the forest covered areas in indie. Somehow it is a fact that the mineral rich areas of India such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, etc. are undergoing a massive underdevelopment for which the Maoist-naxalites are getting a basic support from the areas highly. they actually think that the independence of 1947 from the British rule is a fake independence towards them and the democracy being India the largest democracy in the world is also a fake towards them, for which they call that , “ye loktantra jhuta hai”.

The development programmes for the dalits and tribals have not made much of a dent on the social and economic conditions of   a vast section of these two groups.   This is borne out by the human development indicators – poverty, literacy, health access to social amenities   referred to earlier which show wide gaps in the status of these groups when compared to the other communities.  The institutional mechanisms of Special Component Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan   have also failed to bridge this gap.  A scrutiny of implementation of these two sub-plans shows that the state governments are reluctant to earmark the required allocation of funds for the communities and place them at the disposal of the nodal department. The planning is uncoordinated and ad-hoc.  Still worse, the allocated funds remain substantially under-utilized and eventually lapse.   There is also disinterestedness to work out a time bound strategy to bridge the development gaps between them and the rest of the population and to design occupation specific schemes to improve their status.   Even at the central level, a substantial number of Ministries fail to make any provision under these sub-plans on the ground that their activities are not divisible.  As for the extension of credit by the banks, the picture is even more pessimistic.   The reluctance of banks to extend credit to the members of these communities is widespread.   They are considered non-bankable as they have no collateral security to offer.  Even in the programmes where a subsidy component is provided to the banks under the self-employment programmes   to induce them to lend, the credit extension is too meagre to be of effective use and that too after a lot of efforts and pressures.  The situation has worsened after the reforms initiated on the recommendations of the Narasimhan Committee.  The financing  and development corporations set up exclusively for these groups  to provide capital for self-employment suffer from poor management, low recovery of loan advanced,  absence of dedicated field agencies  to process proposals  and oversee projects and delay in release  of share capital by the central and the concerned  state governments (Planning Commission, 2007a). Overall,  the failure of development efforts to improve the  conditions of the  dalits and  tribals can be attributed to, a)  inadequate investment of public resources, b) non-utilization, wrong utilization and diversion of earmarked, allocated or committed funds for their benefit, c) deficiency in planning,  d) poor project preparation, e) absence of monitoring, f) unresponsive and even biased delivery system, g) resistance from the non-dalit/tribal communities, h) absence of  participation in programmes by beneficiaries and i) powerlessness of the communities to exert requisite pressure.  The Panchayati Raj Institutions have made no difference to the situation.  This overall picture, however, does not imply that a small section of these communities (referred to as the elite) with benefit of reservation, education and social capital have not improved their status.  But the overwhelmingly large number of the dalits and tribals do not show signs of significant change in their status.

If the growth cause of Naxalism is referred then it can be enumerated that the very slow implementation of land reform acts, proper panchayat system and different alike negligence’s and alike failures from the part of the governments have paved the way for such a high level growth for the naxals in different forest-based areas. Such for this the legal and social transformation in those areas also get hampered. It is not the fact that due to huge amount of natural resource or lack of it has increased the growth of Naxalism because they are present in lack of mineral resource areas of Bihar and in highly mineral resource areas of Chhattisgarh. Actually the total resources including mineral and natural are totally governed by the government and the Union as well as the state governments decide how to utilise such resources. Here lies the irony that these decisions of the government were in favour of such industrialists or alike masterminds which created an upheaval situation in the equal distribution of such. It was actually a failure of the governance and thereby some of the individuals who were very much related with such activities and thereby exploited the proletariats which gave the naxals a very strong point to increase their militant activities day by day.

The social structure of the society is poor to poor where the naxals exist and there is no significant role of the government officials from the very higher level to the lower level. The police personnel are thereby having no power to act and take necessary steps as the naxalites set up their own judiciary and the final result is execution by their own officials whereby the punishment is death. They have no faith on the police and any of the government officials whereby to carry on their own administrative power they collect levies from the tribal and village people mainly to buy arms and recruit new people. They also collect funds from individuals such as industrialists, groups who are present in 6the village adjoining areas or the adjoining urban and metropolitan areas and if such people are showing no interests in doing such then the final result may be death thereby. Thus, the naxals are trying to create integration among the poor’s and under the red flag and going through an anti national as well as state government campaign throughout the “Red Corridor”.[20]

All the regions in which the Naxal movement took hold are ones with alarming levels of poverty. In Telangana, in the districts of Karimnagar, Adilabad and Warangal poverty was 95.8% while in the rest of the state it was between 50 and 60 per cent. After independence, the Indian Government pursued agricultural policies focused on massively improving output without doing enough to check economic and social disparity. With the commercialization of agriculture, economic disparities widened. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The attempt of the government to abolish zamindari created a class of rich peasants from the backward classes. With the spread of communist ideology, there was greater mobilization of the sharecroppers (bargadars) and landless labourers, who mostly belonged to the so called lower castes and tribes. This polarized the agrarian classes and created an environment of confrontation. The oppressed classes were not only exploited as sharecroppers and landless labourers by the landlords – they also fell prey to money lenders. The groups constituting the sharecroppers and the Landless labourers wanted a new social order with equity and the landed classes wanted to retain the prestige and status that was associated with the zamindars under the old system . Alienation of Tribal land was a major issue that crippled their economic welfare. Alienation happened largely because of the money-lenders’ trap but also because of the government’s restrictions of access to forest land, traditionally the exclusive domain of the tribals. In implementing government regulations on forest access, government officials resorted to harassment of the tribals. Loss of access to forest produce which had constituted a significant part of their income and was also an integral part of their way of life, led to deep discontentment among the tribes. The people who were most affected by the status quo, therefore, were the fuel for the Naxalist fire. The Naxalist movement found enormous support among the educated youth. With the onset of the recession, which signalled the coming of the general crisis of the capitalist path of development, that India had been placed upon for the past two decades, the problem of employment and of careers loomed large for these sections of the student community for the first time. Their sense of disillusionment and the fiery idealism of youth directed them to Naxalism ideology. The repression of Naxalism during the emergency also attracted a large number of youth to Naxalism as a rebellious reaction to the government’s oppression. Naxalism appealed to each of these groups for different reasons. Government have prepared a 14-Point Plan to deal with the problem.

The salient features of the policy are as follows:

  • deal sternly with the Naxals indulging in violence
  • address the problem simultaneously on political, security and development fronts in a holistic manner
  • ensure inter-state coordination in dealing with the problem
  • accord priority to faster socio-economic development in the Naxal affected or prone areas
  • supplement the efforts and resources of the affected states on both security and development fronts
  • promote local resistance groups against the Naxal
  • use mass media to highlight the futility of Naxal violence and the loss of life and property caused by it
  • have a proper surrender and rehabilitation policy for the Naxals affected states not to have any peace dialogue with the Naxal groups unless the latter agree to give up violence and arms.

Administrative Measures

i) Security Related Expenditure scheme (SRE) – The SRE scheme envisages reimbursing the

Expenditure incurred by the state on ammunition, training, up gradation of police posts, etc. At present 76 districts in 9 states badly affected by Naxal violence are covered by this scheme.

ii) Strengthening of law enforcement – This includes raising India Reserve Battalions to strengthen the security apparatus at the state level and also releasing funds under the Police Modernization Scheme to the states to modernize their police forces in terms of weaponry, communication equipment and other infrastructure.

iii) Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) and Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) – The

Government has included 55 Naxal affected districts in 9 states under the Backward Districts Initiative (BDI) component of the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY). The BRGF scheme covers a total of 250 districts and is to be administered by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The scheme should accelerate socio-economic development in these 250 districts.

iv) Task Force – A Task Force has been constituted in the Home Ministry to deliberate upon the steps needed to deal with Naxalism more effectively and in a coordinated manner. The members of the Task Force comprise Nodal Officers of the Naxal affected states and representatives of the IB, CRPF and the SSB.

v) Coordination Centre – A Coordination Centre was set up in 1998 headed by the Union Home Secretary with Chief Secretaries and DGPs of Naxal affected states as its members. It reviews and coordinates the steps taken by the states to control Naxal activities.

vi) Empowered Group of Ministers – At a meeting of the Chief Ministers held on September 5, 2006, it was decided to set up an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) headed by the Home Minister and comprising select Union Ministers and Chief Ministers to closely monitor the spread of Naxalism and evolve effective strategies to deal with the problem.

Recent Social Initiatives

i) The Backward Districts Initiative, 2003: The government started the Backward Districts initiative in 2003-2004 and the Backward Regions Grant Fund (BRGF) under which 55 of the worst affected areas in 9 states were to be provided with funds to the tune of Rs. 2475 crores to tackle the problem of Naxalism. Around 250 districts have been included the BRGF scheme to accelerate socio-economic development in these districts which is to be administered by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

ii) Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007 – The Government of India announced a new

Rehabilitation policy on October 11, 2007 to make the displacement of people for industrial growth a less painful experience. Land in return for land for displaced families, preference in project jobs to at least a member of each family, vocational training, scholarships for children and housing benefits including houses to affected families in rural and urban areas are some of the benefits under the new policy.

iii) Forest Rights Act, 2006 – The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers

(Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, (popularly Forest Rights Act) is a significant step in

Recognizing and vesting the forest rights of scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded. It provides a framework for recording the forest rights so vested.

iv) National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2006 – The NREGA is the largest ever employment programme visualized in human history. It holds out the “prospect of transforming the livelihoods of the poorest and heralding a revolution in rural governance in India”. However, as brought out by the CAG report, there are “significant deficiencies” in implementation of the Act. There is lack of adequate administrative and technical manpower at the block and gram panchayat levels. This affects the preparation of plans, scrutiny, approval, monitoring and measurement of works, and maintenance of the stipulated records at the block and gram panchayat levels.

v) Other schemes: Various Other schemes launched have been launched by the government like the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) which offers tremendous opportunities for rural road connectivity. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) is being implemented in 330 districts affected by Naxalism so as to universalize the demand-driven programme for wage-employment. Other schemes which are in addition to the above mentioned schemes are Bharat Nirman, National Rural Health mission (NRHM), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other income generating and social security schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development, Agriculture, Panchayati Raj and Tribal affairs. The central government will also provide 100 percent assistance in the formation of Ashram schools and hostels for girls and boys in tribal areas.

Conclusion

Being sympathetic towards Maoism and Naxalism, it is the major problem in our country for the Maoists to make a huge encounter towards the government in the present situation militantly. [21] The negligence of the government has paved the way for such a rise of Maoism within India and now the union as well as the state government as facing lots of difficulties towards a smooth administration they have termed the Maoist activities as an internal terrorism, but actually the government is the main machine which helped such people to take arms in their own hands and thereby go for a bloodshed throughout the nation. A man by birth cannot hold arms in his own hand and goes for a bloody war either if the circumstances are willing him to do such. Alike the Indian Government from its independence from the British rule till date is a government based on the imperialistic model except the state communist-leftist governments which have paved the way from a very early moment i.e., from before the India’s independence to give birth of such revolutionists in the country and the later government failed to change these people from their viewpoints. Actually the government failed to do such in the very common terms and somehow it was a great negligence in many parts to stop such revolutionists from being militia. It is a great shame on us being the world’s largest democracy that till date more than 75% of the total population of the nation is still under a deadly poverty and cannot earn more than 20 rupees a day and on the other hand a very 10% are going through all of the efficient facilities which are present in the country as they are very rich. Hence the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. So how can we speak that we are living in the largest democracy of the world where we have no security for food and economic terms. We are passing through a very low GDP and a high inflation which is very much detrimental for a middle class and poor society and overall for the growth of a nation. If we see from the independence period we find that the first ever communist-leftist-led government came into India through a very fair election and the most democratic process under the leadership of E.M.S. Namboodiripad as the Chief Minister of Kerala on April, 1957; whereby he was a CPI leader and the CPI led government came into power thereby which was ruled out through a President Rule diplomaticly on July, 1959 as according to the order of the-then prime minister of India Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru. This was the first ever communist-led government in India as well as in the whole world which came democratically for the first time through a fair election process and it was the first ever election held at Kerala after impendence as thereby it emerged as a state of India on 1956 whereby the first government emerged the communist-led government.[22][23] So it is a very pathetic view that the Congress led government is a very imperialistic type from the very independence which do not wants any socialistic factor in the view and thinks to carry out the activities according to their own. If we go into the very deep we found that the Congress is a very family oriented political party whereby Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi are the very factors and other side if we go for a non congress party then we find that BJP, ShivSena, Akali Dal, etc are very religious party which follow a very much Hinduism and so on. These type of faulty ideas are totally banned in a communist party. If it is taken into account then it is very clear that the Chief Minister of Tripura, Mr. Manik Sarkar is the poorest among such in India which is the only CPI (M) led government at present; and if we see into the larger world we see that the president of Uruguay, Mr. Jose Mujica is the world’s poorest president whereby a leftist government is present at present. The imperialistic view of the union government in India led to different movements which have been termed as terrorism so far and the people who are related with such are termed as terrorists but actually this is not a true fact.

If it is seen the activities of the police personnel in the villages it is very much sympathetic that they are also collecting funds from the village business people who earn a very little after a day and it is a very common view in the urban and metro cities that the police in the traffic are doing frauds day by day by tolling from the trucks, etc. heavy type of vehicles. Again if we talk about the union ministers we find that they are very famous in scams and they are getting billionaires through such policies, e.g. A Raja, Suresh Kalmadi, Rajiv Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Shashi Tharoor, Manmohan Singh, Ashok Chavan and a countless more. If we go through scams we can easily say about 2G Spectrum, Coal Gate, Bofors, Housing, Commonwealth Games, IPL, Chit Funds, etc. Actually the people who have taken arms in their own hands they have no fault in the common sense because the government from the time of independence is coming through falseness which has caused a misrepresentation among the rebels. The poor tribal people who are living in the forest areas and mining areas the natural resources of those areas are being extracted by the government and different government admitted individuals who are specially industrialists for their own beneficial interests and for their own profit; they don’t go through the poverty lines and as well don’t want to make some positive courses to prevent the poorness in those remote areas. The naxalites have taken the efficiency of such failures of the government and drew a basic support among the tribal and backward classes of the remote areas of the country. They actually don’t harm any of the poor tribal and backward people; their main aim is to bring equality among the society through a bloody revolution which the government has itself paved so far.

Now the Union Government has a duty to take some positive actions that through which such rebels may come into the main stream and through different development processes in the sake of the development of the tribal areas and backward people. It is also a duty of the Union to take the ban on this political party up and settle the matter politically and thereby give them chance to give a fight politically in the general elections despite they don’t follow the parliamentary system and election process. It is the duty of the government to go through several conferences and summits with them and make them understand about the present political situation of  India and go through such activities that will help to give up their arms and come into the main stream political system.

The Union Government has taken some bloodshed type of steps such as the Operation Green Hunt to finish the lives of the naxalites and thus to finish this war between the authorized and unauthorized government of the country but according to my viewpoint the Central Government along with the State Governments may stop this operation immediately and thus don’t go to a bloody hell whereby the citizens of India would see the murders of several lives who are actually the brothers and sisters of them who are living in the nation. And I think such type of activity will not help to end the situation but it will pave the way to maximize the tumultuous situation more and more internally; there will be a more bloodshed and the “martyr’s red blood” will give birth to the dreaming “red corridor” and thereby the “red nation” in India.

If we look through the outer world we find that the communist-guerilla warfare under the leadership of Ernesto CHE Guevara, Fidel Castro and Raul Castro a communist government was set up on 1959 ousting the General Batista who was backed by the US imperialism. China entered into an armed revolution under the leadership of Mao-Tse-Tung and thereby emerged an independence from the barbaric rule of Chiang-Kai-shek and formed a communist government thereby on 1949 whereby the People’s Republic of China (PRC) emerged. Ho-Chi-Minh under his leadership brought North and South Vietnam together under the same communist state after going through a great bloodshed armed revolution against the US army and achieved independence on 1975.same conditions also held in cases of North Korea. Laos and Kampuchea but Cambodia (Kampuchea) is not a communist state till date.[24]

About the Author

SHAYAMVAR DEB & MADHURJYA JYOTI GOGOI
IIIrd Year Students
MATS Law School,
Raipur, Chhattisgarh

REFERENCES:

[1] Government of India Press Information Bureau, Prime Minister’s speech to the 2nd meeting of the Standing Committee of the chief Ministers on Naxalism, April 13, 2006, retrieved June 18, 2011. https://pib.nic.in/release/rel_print_page.asp?relid=17128.

[2] Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848; Progress Publishers; Transcription- Biswaroop Bhowmick and Andy Blunden. https://www.marxists.org/bangla/archive/marx-engels/1848/communist-manifesto/istahar.pdf. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/bio/prilezhayeva.htm.

[3] Bishnu Pathak, Ph.D.; Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal; BIMIPA Publications, Kathmandu; 1st Edn. September, 2005; ISBN 99933-939-0-8; Jagadamba Press Pvt. Ltd.; © Bishnu Pathak, 2005.

[4] Dr. Narayan Chopra, Naxal Movement in India: A Geographical Overview and Analysis: Review Of Research (FEB ; 2012).  https://www.scribd.com/doc/145620860/thesies.

[5] Welcome to the Website of CPI(M) – West Bengal State Committee. https://www.cpimwb.org.in/history_details.php?history_id=8.

[6] Naxalbari: The Begining; The Indian Express : Naxalbari, Sun Jun 28 2009, 04:34 hrs. https://www.indianexpress.com/news/naxalbari-the-beginning/482324/.

[8]Communist Party of India (Marxist); Members of the Polit Bureau; 7th – 19th Party Congress. https://www.cpim.org/content/members-pb-7th-19th-congress.

[9] Rajat Kujur; Naxal Movement in India: A Profile; IPCS Research Papers; September,2008;Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies; New Delhi, India; © 2008, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS). https://www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/848082154RP15-Kujur-Naxal.pdf.

[10] R Bedi, ‘India’s mosaic of conflict’; Jane’s Terrorism and Security Monitor, July 14, 2004.

[11] Bert Suykens; ‘Maoist Martyrs: Remebering the revolution and its heroes in Naxalite propaganda (India)’. Terrorism and Political Violence, vol. 22, no. 3, 2010, pp. 379.

[12] ‘Non-state armed groups, India; Jane’s Sentinel Security Assessment – South Asia; April 26, 2011.

[13] Sharvan, the then Secretary Bihar State Committee of CPI (ML) People’s War, in an interview given to People’s March – Voice of the Indian Revolution; Volume 2, No.3, March 2001. https://www.bannedthought.net/India/PeoplesMarch/PM2001-01.pdf. https://www.rakshakfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/White-Paper-on-Naxalite-Movement-in-India.pdf.

[14] Shrey Verma; Far Reaching Consequences of the Naxalites Problems in India, Understanding the Maoist Problem; July 2011; Rakshak Foundation; © 2011. https://www.rakshakfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/White-Paper-on-Naxalite-Movement-in-India.pdf.

[15] South Asia Terrorism Portal, India Assessment – 2011, retrieved June 19, 2011.

https://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/index.html.

[18] ‘Excerpts of Interview with Comrade Ganapathy’; People’s March – Voice of the Indian Revolution; vol. 8, no. 7; July 2007. https://www.bannedthought.net/India/PeoplesMarch/PM2007-07.pdf.

[19] Basudev, a Orissa based journalist since 1992 involved in print, tv and internet media and also a documentary film-maker; Naxal Movement in India: Peoples’ Struggle transformed into a Power Struggle; Sulekha.com. https://rivr.sulekha.com/basudev_951674.

[20] Sushil Kumar Singh, Causes of Naxalite Movement; Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Banaras Hindu University,Varanasi, U.P., India. https://www.scribd.com/doc/127125799/Causes-of-Naxalite-Movement-Sushil-Kumar-Singh

[21] The Resurgence Of Naxalism: How Great A Threat To India?; Keith J. Harniteaux; June 2008; (Thesis), Thesis Advisor: Feroz Khan; Second Reader: Anshu Chatterjee.

[24] Naxalism – A Drag on India’s Quest for Great Power Status; Captain (now Commodore) Saboor Zaman, Pakistan Navy; October, 2012;  https://www.defence.gov.au/adc/docs/Publications2012/06_SAP%20Final%20by%20Saboor.pdf.

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July 19, 2016

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