Naxalism as a topic has both security and social dimensions. It has international linkages as well so the questions could be interlink age of all three sections for the holistic coverage of the topic Naxalism should be studied as a Social problem along with all the initiatives by the government to tackle Naxalism. Some tangential aspects like constitutional provisions for the tribals to tackle Naxalism could also be expected in the exam.
Government of India’s actions against Naxalism in recent times
Placing in Syllabus
Poverty and Developmental Issues
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States.
Issues relating to development
Centre – State Relations
Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
Various security forces and agencies and their mandate.
- Naxalism, ideological basis, comparison with other terms
- History and spread of Naxalism in India
- Initiatives by earlier government against Naxalism
- Various provisions made by the government for tribal
- Naxalism is a social problem
- Naxalism as a security issue
- Naxalism and international linkages
Initiatives by the present government to tackle Naxalism
Definitions of Naxalism and other related terms:
Naxalism signifies a particular kind of militant and violent armed struggle by the peasants and tribal who accept Maoist ideology.
It is a violent struggle of a group of people who refuse to accept their government’s power or it is an occasion when a group of people attempt to take control of their country by force.
Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants.
- History has seen many instances of violence and appraisals of labours, peasant classes, etc. against the elite ruling class.
- The ideological basis is being works of Marx and Engels which is commonly known as Communism/Marxism.
- Later supported by Lenin and Mao Zedong
- Revolutionary struggle of the downtrodden classes against the exploitative ruling/capitalist class
- Naxalism can be equated to Maoism creating fear, denying democracy and development of tribal people.
Evolution of Naxalism in 4 phases:
Phase 1: Pre 1967 – CPI and Maoists
- 1920s: CPI introduced communist revolution in India.
- By 1940s they took control of All Indian Trade Union Congress.
- Early 1940s: Politically cornered because of their oppositions to Quit India Movements.
- 1962: Indo – Sino war: CPI’s difference on whom to support: India (Pro-USSR) & China (Socialist).
- 1964 : Hence, it resulted in a split into
- Parent faction renamed as Pro-Soviet.
- Other faction – CPI (Marxist)/CPI (M).
- 1967 : Naxalite Movement began in 3 police areas – Naxalbari, Khoribari and Phansidewa (Darjeeling district, WB)
- Late 1967 : Left wing Extremism (LWE) from the whole country founded “All India Coordinated Committee” in Kolkata
- 1968 : Committee renamed as “All India Coordinated Committee of Communist Revolutionaries” (AICCCR)
4 ideological aims of AICCCR:
- Protracted people’s war in line with Mao’s teachings.
- Adapting guerrilla warfare techniques.
- Establishment of rural revolutionary base areas.
- Encircling cities and abstaining from parliamentary elections.
- 1969: CPI Marxist – Leninist (ML) was founded by AICCCR.
- It followed Maoist ideology.
- Soon, Naxalites spread into West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
- Main followers were peasants and adivasis (tribals) who were being exploited and discriminated. From state authorities and unemployed youth.
- 1970 to mid-1971: Peak of violent Naxal activities.
- 1971: Joint Operation of Police and Army in West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha.
- 1972: Charu Mazumdar death in custody
- 1975: Emergency: Serious blow to Naxal movement.
Phase 3: Post emergency, the movement rose again in more violent form and wider base was created. The strategy of ‘protracted war’ was updated.
- 1980: CPI (ML) was converted into People’s War Group (PWG)
- Base in AP
- Heavy casualties to police personnel
- 1992: PWG banned in AP (but continued its activities)
- Simultaneously, Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI) started operating in Bihar.
- It resulted in the movement to grow at a steady pace across many parts in India.
- Significant development: Merger of PWG and MCCI into CPI (M).
- Over 13 LWE groups were operating in India.
- CPI (M), a major LWE outfit, after its emergence, Naxal violence was on the rise.
Hence, PM’s declaration
- PM declares Naxalism as the biggest internal security challenge in India.
- Naxalite activities in “Red Corridor” (mineral rich region – East India) – Narrow contiguous strip of Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Odisha
- Peak of Maoist movement in Nepal: Naxal influence was seen from “Tirupati to Pashupati”.
- Biggest incident – In Dantewada (Chattisgarh), 76 CRPF armed personnel were killed. It exhibited the extent of strategic planning, skills and armament of Naxalites.
- LWE made International headlines killing 27 (Including politicians) in Sukma (Chattisgarh).
- Spread today :
- 1/3rd geographical spread of India; Approximately 20 states (7 states worst affected – West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Maharshtra).
- Mostly in Dandakaranya region (Chattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh).
- Golden Corridor stretch (Pune to Ahmedabad) i.e. ideological spread to Bhils and Gonds.
- Also present in Upper Assam + Arunachal Pradesh (Along River Lohit).
- CPI (M) is a major LWE outfit in India today and is the reason for violence, deaths of civilians and security forces. It is included in Schedule of Terrorist Organisations and outfits under UAPA (1967).
Phases of spread Naxalism:
Maoists spread their ideology very systematically and in a phased manner as follows:
- Preparatory phase: Detailed survey of new areas identifying important people, public issues on which masses can be mobilised.
- Perspective phase: Mobilisation through frontal organizations staging demonstration against Government or administration based on local public grievances.
- Guerrilla phase: converting the public movement into violent guerrilla warfare.
- Base phase: Establishment of their base and change the guerrilla zone into a liberated zone.
- Liberated phase: Establishment of people’s Government.
Spread of Naxalism:
Naxalism as a Challenge to India
- Administrative hurdles in dealing with LWE.
- Poor infrastructure, lack of communication and shortage of trained manpower are key problem to fight Maoists.
- Absence of administration in these areas causing Maoists to virtually run a parallel Government – Local panchayat leaders are forced to resign and Maoists hold regular Jan Adalat.
- Poor coordination among Central and State Police Forces and lack of professionalism.
- Inter-state boundaries are fissures which are exploited by Maoists.
- Differences in policies among states with respect to surrender, talks and capture etc.
Eg: Operation Greyhound (AP) – Naxalism is almost eliminated in the state but they escaped to neighbouring state – Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha.
If the Operation was co-ordinated with all states (support), then the escape could have been prevented.
- Recruited tribals have built-in advantage over the police forces. They possess more resources and greater mobility in the region.
- State Police Forces are poorly equipped and trained while Central Forces lack commitment and motivation.
Solutions: Government’s actions:
Post 2006, after PM’s declaration of Naxalism as India’s biggest Internal Security threat, many new steps were taken:
- Creation “Naxal Management division” – a separate division in Home Ministry.
- Deal in areas of security, development, administration and public perception in a holistic manner
- Public awareness etc.
- Expert committee headed by D. Bandopadhyay by Planning Commission in 2006
- It underscored the Political, Economic, Social and Cultural discrimination faced by SC/ST across the country.
- Lack of empowerment of local communities is the main reason for spread of Naxalism.
- State bureaucracy failed miserably with respect to governance in affected areas.
- Recommended tribal friendly land acquisition and rehabilitation policy.
- Security related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme :
- Funds for expenditure related to insurance, training, operational needs of security forces, rehabilitation of surrendered LWE cadres, infra for village defence committee and publicity material.
- Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) :
- Approved in 11th Plan – Rs. 500Cr for special infrastructure in affected areas – mobility, road, weapons, etc.
- To cater to critical infrastructure gaps, which can’t be covered under existing schemes.
- Central Scheme for assistance to civilian victims/family of victims of terrorists, communal and Naxal violence, 2009: It earmarked Rs.3 lakh as relief amount.
- Integrated Action Plan (IAP) :
- By Planning Commission
- Accelerated development in 88 selected tribal and backward districts.
- Its aim was to provide public infrastructure and services.
- 30Cr to each district through District level committee, comprising
- District Magistrate – The head
- District Forest Officer
- Construction of schools, Anganwadis, drinking water facilities, minor irrigation projects, health care centres, etc.
- Road Requirement Plan for extremist affected areas Phase 1: 2009
- For improvement of road connectivity in 8 extremely affected states = Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
- 7300 Cr project
- Scheme of Fortified Police Stations
- Sanctioned 400 police stations in 9 affected states.
- 2 Cr per police station.
- Civic Action Program (CAP)
- Financial grants sanctioned to CAPs
- In development affected states
- It is a successful scheme – building bridge between local population and security forces
- It is a program Ministry of Home Affairs, focussing on “individual-oriented” approach over “Project-oriented” approach.
- Central Reserve Police force and BSF are responsible for development projects costing 20Cr per annum on welfare schemes.
- Roshni Scheme
- Under Ministry of Rural Development
- It focusses on Skill Development.
- It targets nearly 50,000 rural men and women, mostly tribal.
- It covers Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) on priority basis.
- It is operational in 24 worst affected LWE districts.
- Capacity building of security forces :
- Protection to personnel responsible for implementation of development programmes, public institutions such as schools, transport, stations etc.
- Training, reorientation and sensitizing police and paramilitary personnel to the root causes of the disturbances to tackle in with sensitivity.
- Special trained task forces on the pattern of the Greyhounds in Andhra Pradesh.
- Strengthening the local police station in terms of being more cost effective.
- Capacity building of administrative institutions :
- Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
- Land Rights to the extent of 4 hectares per Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribe (FDST) nuclear family.
- Flexibility in administrative and judicial dispute settlement and grievance redressal at the earliest.
- Capacity building of Government Personnel :
- Incentive and reward to performing officers, better emoluments, recognition of their service and retention of residential accommodation and education of their children in the State headquarters, if so desired.
- Better training on empathy and conflict resolution programs with tribal facets and tribal culture study as its primary.
- Capacity buildingof Local Bodies :
- PESA, 1996 – welcome initiative for ensuring grass-roots management of community affairs.
- Capacity building of Civil society :
- In some cases, the ‘NGO’ may even be a ‘front’ for the extremists themselves.
- While there may be some ‘black sheep’ among these organisations, there is little doubt that they have the potential to act as a bridge between the extremists and the government and in educating the people about the futility of violence and preventing aggravation of the situation by ventilating public grievances within the legal-democratic framework
- Cutting the source of finance of Naxalites :
- Naxalite raise their fund through extortion, illegal mining operation etc. and there exist a vast nexus of contractor-transporter-extremist .This has to be curtailed
- One way to ensure that development funds do not reach the extremists is by entrusting these works temporarily to organisations like the BRO and other governmental agencies which can execute these works directly. This is recommended as a purely temporary measure and not to stifle local private entrepreneurship.
Test yourself: Mould your thoughts
Briefly outline various provisions made for tribals and tribal areas in the Constitution of India. Do you think they provide adequate governance frame work to tackle Naxalism in India? Substantiate.