Indian Maoist/ Naxal insurgency

Naxalite insurgency spreading like wild fire

The Maoist or Naxalite insurgency in India is gnawing away India’s roots and has become a cause of major concern of its administration.

Let us briefly examine this uprising. The term ‘Naxalite’ draws its origin from an organized armed peasant resistance against the landlords that began in March 1967 in a small village called Naxalbari in the state of West Bengal. It signaled the birth of a new movement and since then, all forms of armed struggle with socio-economic development of the downtrodden as the cause have come to be termed ‘Naxalite’. Other terms that are used to describe the movement are ‘leftwing extremism’ and ‘radical Maoism’.


Naxalites are backed by the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). According to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, Naxalites’ extremism today constitutes the single most important internal security threat to India. The Naxal groups have spread their activities to as many as 22 out of 28 states in the country. In East Bengal the Naxal movement was immensely popular with not only the radical sections of the students movement in Calcutta, but the whole student body of Bengal undeniably were sympathetic about them since the mainstream Communist ideology had proved itself to be hypocritical and farcical in practice, as they stand to this day. The state machinery of India systematically annihilated this student support baseline from the whole movement as international human rights watchdog bodies picked up frantic calls of disappearances of students and intellectuals. Between 1969 and 1979 an estimated 5000 students and intellectuals disappeared or were killed under mysterious conditions. The West Bengal Left Front maintains that these students and intellectuals left their education to join violent activities of the Naxalites. Charu Majumdar progressively changed the tactics of CPI (ML), and declared that revolutionary warfare was to take place not only in the rural areas but everywhere and spontaneously. Thus Majumdar’s ‘annihilation line’, a dictum that Naxalites should assassinate individual “class enemies” as a part of the insurrection, was exploited by state media and the Bengal Left Front to infuse a sense of demonic identity into Naxals and over thirty years portrayed them as a social evil.

Naxalites

Whereas the statistical data refers to the theory being only practiced against such elements in civil society who were deemed to be “class enemies”: the police, landlords, and corrupt politicians cutting across mainstream party lines. Throughout Calcutta, schools were shut down. The strategy of individual terrorism soon proved counterproductive. Eventually, the Chief Minister, Siddhartha Shankar Ray, began to institute counter-measures against the Naxalites. The West Bengal police and the state sponsored CPI (Marxist) cadres fought back to stop the advancement of Naxalites. The student part of the movement was cruelly repressed by numerous disappearing s, staged encounters, and a doldrum of state sponsored media allegations tarnishing the image of the Naxalite movement and this massive and relentless public brain washing campaign was partly successful in hijacking public opinion sympathetic of the Naxalite ideology to that of misinformed ‘fear’. The human rights violations on the West Bengal police went unabated for decades after this to attain the demonic proportions of the eighties and nineties where they have been appropriately termed as the ‘uniformed mafia’. Buddhadev Bhattacharya tactically led from the front line as the police and home minister of West Bengal during the same period to turn the evil nexus of CPIM and the West Bengal Police into a feared repressive regime which was the most effective counteractive agent against the onslaught of Naxalites.


Significantly, aside from the internal dynamics of the Maoist/ Naxal insurgency India also perceives an external element to it. Indian security and intelligence agencies maintain that the Maoists are receiving weapons from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and China through illegal channels So far Indian security forces have tried to suppress the rebellion with brute force; there is an increasing need of a serious dialogue with all the groups involved in the Maoist/Naxal insurgency. The dialogue which has taken place so far with the Maoists is deemed to be a mere ploy by the government to buy time before launching a stronger offensive against the Maoists for which a number of internal security measures have been taken recently which include: trawling the international arms market to upgrade the country’s counter-insurgency capabilities by India’s security agencies; floating global tenders for more than 800 bulletproof vehicles by the Indian military, which are likely to be given to security agencies involved in counter-insurgency operations in Moist effected areas; allocating an additional 10 billion dollars by the Indian government to upgrade its homeland security by 2016. This upgrade envisages affordable technology comprising laser-guided armaments, light vehicles and drones as priority purchases. India has also drawn up a multi-pronged strategy that will target top leaders, win people through a propaganda war and offer cadres a surrender-and-rehabilitation policy while launching an extensive armed operation in Maoist strongholds across the country.


The Indian Central government has also asked the State governments to speed up development works and employment generation programmes in the Naxal-affected areas so as to counter left wing extremism with development. A military advisor has been appointed to prepare an action plan for dealing with Maoists. Indian Central Government is actively considering setting up brigade headquarters or Army cantonments in interior areas of Naxal affected states.

India's Red Army --- Naxals/Maoists

If Indian media reports are credible, the Indian government is preparing to launch full-fledged anti-Naxal operations at three different areas, considered tri-junctions of worst Naxal-affected states. The tri-junctions identified for the offensive are Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh; Orissa-Jharkhand-Chhattisgarh and West Bengal-Jharkhand- Orissa. The Maoists are enjoying popular support in the poorer area of rural, central and eastern India. Any full fledged anti-Naxal operation will be a great challenge to the Indian Security establishment.

India is hosting the 2010 Commonwealth games for the first time and in the backdrop of acute threats from the Naxalites, its security forces face a major challenge. Unless it can curb or pacify the Naxalites in the meanwhile, it may be nigh impossible to host the games without exposing the participants from 71 nations to extreme danger.

—Sultan M Hali

Not so ‘Shining India’

What most of the world today perceives through the lens of the Indian and western media about Hindustan (Republic of India) is indeed very disturbing. The west befooled by the Indian opinion-makers, like Fareed Zakaria, refers to India as “the emerging powerhouse of the 21st century.” In his recent treatise, The Post American World, Fareed Zakaria (true to his Indian roots) has described the great story of our times as ‘Rise of the Rest’ – the growth of countries like China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Kenya…and we in Pakistan (courtesy some of our own media channels) think that India is the biggest democracy and the star of South Asia. The media of the West and India, which is being referred as Windia, has become the spin-doctor trying to convince the rest of the world that India should be included in countries that can save the world from the current global economic mess and scourge of terrorism. But the million dollar question is, how is it possible for a country to save the world when it has a population of a billion plus of which 400 to 500 million live below poverty line, when it has more than 100 active insurgencies, when its hundreds of thousands die due to pollution and starvation annually, and when it has militarily intervened directly or indirectly in almost every country in its neighbourhood?

Nevertheless, it is important to mention here that there is a huge difference between poverty in an average country like Pakistan and India. India’s poor live in subhuman conditions. Whether it is food or basic shelter, the Indian poor don’t have that; almost an estimated one million die due to starvation and malnutrition every year. The people in the poor neighbourhoods of Mumbai and Delhi sleep on footpaths. Moreover, there are timings for this facility; you have to share the footpath space as per the prescribed timings. That is the reason why the poor in India live and die on the roads and footpaths; if in doubt, watch Slum Dog Millionaire. In the same vein, there is severe shortage of basic public facilities (toilets).

Furthermore, the Dalits or untouchables in India were and are treated like animals. The Hindu stratification enshrined in The Dharma is turning the poor in India against its own state. Undoubtedly, the world’s biggest insurgencies are active in India. Here, I am mainly referring to the Naxal Republic, the three Ks of Khalistan, Kerala and Kashmir, Gurkhaland and the seven sisters adjacent to and including Assam. Other than Kashmir, the most effective insurgency is the Naxalite movement. As per Wikipedia: “Naxalite or Naxalvadis (name from the village of Naxalbari in the Indian State of West Bengal where the movement originated), are a group of far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. In recent years, they have spread into less developed areas of rural central and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

“As of 2009, Naxalites are active across approximately 220 districts in 20 states of India accounting for about 40 percent of India’s geographical area, they are especially concentrated in an area known as the ‘Red Corridor’, where they control 92,000 square kilometres. According to India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, 20,000 armed cadre Naxalites were operating apart from 50,000 regular cadres working in their various mass organisations and millions of sympathisers, and their growing influence prompted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to declare them as the most serious internal threat to India’s national security “.

At the same time, India treats its minorities ruthlessly by violating religious and human rights. Kashmir, Babri Mosque, Golden Temple and burning of churches in Orissa by extremist Hindus are a few examples. The non-Hindus are being forced to accept pagan traditions in the name of their practicality and logic. Mysterious rituals, where people are forced to marry frogs and dogs to remove evil curses, are common. In a number of Indian cities there are thousands of monkeys allowed to freely roam and pollute streets, causing solid waste problems and harm to the citizens, all in the name of divinity of Hanuman. Drinking cow urine was religiously followed in the country side, it is now becoming fashionable in Indian elite and their night clubs, a re birth of novo Morar Ji Desaies in the name of Pavitarta and divinity of the holy cow.

Then again, India has another problem of managing its water resources. Indian rivers are the most acidic rivers in the world. As per Lifestyle india.com: “Water pollution is a serious problem in India as almost 70 percent of surface water resources have serious pollution problem and a growing number of ground water resources are already contaminated by various pollutants. Though River Ganga’s water has not polluted totally, its pollution has reached a critical point since its water is not fit for bathing or drinking. Over the years, of the 3000 aqua creatures found in the Ganga, only 205 have survived.” Surely, the basic reason is their belief of throwing ashes of the dead in the river Ganges.

The major deception being played in projecting Shining India is through the media – Windia. This media projects India as the ‘Golden State’ and ultimate redeemer of the world. Channels like Zee, Star Plus, BBC, National Geographic, Discovery and Bollywood project the themes of milk and honey flowing through the Ganges River. Some of our Pakistani channels (with the big slogan of ‘live and let live’), are dying to project India as the ultimate success story of South Asia, despite all of what happens in India, 80 percent of the news about India appears to be from Bollywood or Indian Cricket. They need to be more objective on India.

Windia’s India is like a city with its walls painted with pictures of heaven, but once you enter its gates you realise that you have entered hell. Three cheers for Incredible India, the boggy of Windia. — Umar Waqar

%d bloggers like this: