Internal Security Trends and Incidents

Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) in India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Left-Wing Extremism

Six Maoists including four women cadres were killed morning in an “exchange of fire” with a joint team of Telangana and Chhattisgarh police in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

What is Naxalism?

  • The term ‘Naxal’ derives its name from the village Naxalbari of district Darjeeling in West Bengal, where the movement originated in 1967 under the leadership of Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal.
  • It refers to the use of violence to destabilize the state through various communist guerrilla groups.
  • Naxalites are far-left radical communists who derive their political ideology from the teachings of Mao Zedong.

History and evolution

  • Russian Revolution: Naxalism in India, like any other leftist movement around the globe draws its ideological basis from the Russian revolution.
  • Overthrowing Tsarist Regime: Lenin successfully fought against the Czarist Rule through a combination of peasant movement and an armed struggle.
  • Marxian ideology of class struggle: The prime intent was to bestow power in the hands of the exploited and marginalized and enforce societal control over governance and nation building.
  • Neo-Marxism: After the success of the Lenin-led revolution in Russia, the intellectual class in many countries got inspired. Prominent amongst them were Fidel Castro and Mao Zedong.

Root cause of origin in India

  • Corporate exploitation: Since Eastern India is rich in natural resources including forests, minerals and mines, tribal face exploitation and harassment from government and corporate bodies targeting to extract those resources.
  • Tribal alienation: Tribal communities have been systematically alienated from their traditional rights over natural resources after independence.
  • Livelihood losses: Tribal livelihood is at stake due to depletion of natural resource base.
  • Forceful displacement: Forceful displacement from their homeland destroys their traditional governance system.
  • Absence of governance: In such exploited areas, the absence of governance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since the delivery systems are extinguished through killings and intimidation.
  • Foreign provocations: Many of LWE outfits are supported by external forces inimical to India and the Maoists consider such alliances as strategic assets.

Other factors:

  1. Oppression and HR violations by Security Forces e.g. AFSPA
  2. Violation of Constitutional Protections under PESA and FRA
  3. Prevalence of Acute Poverty

Impact of LWE

  • Romanticism without a cause: Some sections of the society, especially the younger generation, have romantic illusions about the Maoists, arising out of an incomplete understanding of their ideology of Class –Struggle.
  • Extreme violence: Their doctrine glorifies violence as the primary means to overwhelm the existing socio-economic and political structures.
  • Destruction of governance mechanism: LWEs aims at creating a vacuum at the grassroots level of the existing governance structures by killing lower-level government officials, police personnel of the local police stations and the people’s representatives of the PRIs.
  • Radicalization of youths: After creating a political and governance vacuum, they coerce the local population to join the movement.
  • Urban-Maoism: Many extremists have facilitated mass-mobilization in semi-urban and urban areas through ostensibly democratic means often led by well-educated intellectuals.

Outcomes of perpetrating LWE

The Leftist organizations skilfully use state structures and legal processes to further the Maoist agenda and weaken the enforcement regime through:

  1. Recruitment of ‘professional revolutionaries’
  2. Raising funds for the insurgency
  3. Creating urban shelters for underground cadres
  4. Providing legal assistance to arrested cadres and
  5. Mass- mobilization by agitating over issues of relevance/ convenience

Govt initiatives for LWE affected areas

  • Aspirational Districts: The MHA has been tasked with the monitoring of the Aspirational districts programme in 35 LWE affected districts.
  • HRD measures: Building of schools under the Eklavya model.
  • Road Connectivity Project for LWE affected areas (RRP-II): This aims for improving road connectivity in LWE affected States. Under this, 9279 km of roads and 392 bridges are sanctioned.
  • Naxal Surrender Policy: It aims to wean away misguided youth and hardcore naxalites who have strayed into the fold of the naxal movement and cannot find a way back.

SAMADHAN doctrine: It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels. SAMADHAN stands for-

  • S- Smart Leadership
  • A- Aggressive Strategy
  • M- Motivation and Training
  • A- Actionable Intelligence
  • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas)
  • H- Harnessing Technology
  • A- Action plan for each Theatre
  • N- No access to Financing

Way forward

  • Indian counterinsurgency has to work with a dual objective of defeating the insurgents militarily and fully quell the insurgent impulses. This will need institutional overhauls.
  • States must do more to synergize their efforts by launching coordinated operations, thereby denying Maoists any space for maneuverability.
  • On parallel grounds, it is also important to segregate the population from the insurgents both operationally and ideologically.
  • The conflict over the distribution of resources can be mended with economic development.

 

With inputs from:

https://www.mha.gov.in/division_of_mha/left-wing-extremism-division

 

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