From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Maoism, Leninism and Marxism
Mains level : LWE in India
The Maoist movement is on the ebb on the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha boundary, with its cadre and militia strength heavily depleted.
Who are the Maoists?
- Maoism is a form of communism developed by Mao Zedong.
- It is a doctrine to capture State power through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilization and strategic alliances.
- The Maoists also use propaganda and disinformation against State institutions as other components of their insurgency doctrine.
Maoists and Maoism in India
- The Communist Party of India (Maoist) is a Marxist–Leninist–Maoist banned communist political party and militant organization in India.
- It aims to overthrow the “semi-colonial and semi-feudal Indian state” through people’s war.
Confused between Maoists and Naxalities?
- Usually, people confuse themselves over Maoists and Naxalities and cannot exactly trace the difference between the two terminologies.
- Media seems to be confused with the terms and uses Maoists and Naxalities quite inter-changeably.
- This creates confusion in the readers’ minds over the actual meaning of individual terms.
The actual difference between the terms is as follows:
- The difference between Maoists struggle and the Naxalite movement is that both trace their origin to the Naxalbari uprising of 1967.
- But while the Naxalite movement thrives on the original spirit of Naxalbari; the Maoist struggle is an outcome of the 1967 uprising.
- Maoists work with an agenda and use weapons to achieve their aims.
- Naxalism focuses on mass organisations while the Maoism relies mainly on arms.
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.
- Oppression and HR violations by Security Forces e.g. AFSPA
- Violation of Constitutional Protections under PESA and FRA
- 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:
- Recruitment of ‘professional revolutionaries’
- Raising funds for the insurgency
- Creating urban shelters for underground cadres
- Providing legal assistance to arrested cadres and
- 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.
- National Policy Action Plan: To address Left Wing Extremism approved in 2015, has development as one of the most important component.
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
- 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 manoeuvrability.
- 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.