From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not much
Mains level : Paper 3- Factors making Naxal moment a complex security challenge
The article explains the issues with the two common themes adopted for explaining the Naxal movement in India.
Two approaches to explain Naxal movement
1) Root cause and alienation approach
- The recent attack in and around Tekulagudem village in Sukma district demonstrates the threat posed by Maoists.
- The post-incident analysis of such setbacks comes in two flavours.
- The most popular theory amongst our intelligentsia and media is the root cause and alienation approach.
- This approach states that it is the failure of the Indian state to provide economic development and social justice to the tribals living in these areas that has fuelled the Naxal movement and sustained it for five decades.
- As a prescription, a development-centric approach and negotiations are suggested as the way forward.
Issues with root cause and alienation approach
- There are several problems with this approach.
- First, it ignores the ideological foundations of the movement, specifically its rejection of India’s Constitution and democracy.
- Second, it fails to see that social and economic deprivation is not unique to the jungles of Chhattisgarh.
- Third, it doesn’t account for the possibility that while alienation and deprivation may help in igniting the spark of revolution, once lit the flames draw oxygen from many sources.
- Fourth, the role of external forces in fomenting and sustaining this movement is deliberately underplayed.
- Fifth, the grubby ground reality of the praxis of revolution is conveniently swept under the carpet.
- The organised extortion racket from all economic stakeholders in the Naxal-affected areas by our alienated revolutionaries seldom gets talked about.
- Sixth, the extensive ideological, financial and logistical ecosystem that provides sustenance to these revolutionaries in the jungle is seldom acknowledged.
2) Leadership issue
- According to this view, our tactical failures against the Maoists are entirely due to the poor quality of leadership provided by the Indian Police Service.
- The when, where, how of a setback simply don’t matter.
- When in doubt, identify the first IPS officer in the chain of command and hoist him on the petard of tactical incompetence.
- This view completely ignores the many successes of IPS leadership in counterinsurgency operations in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and most recently in Odisha.
- Even in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir, where the Indian Army provides the backbone of the counterinsurgency grid, the police forces of the respective states and their IPS leadership play a crucial role in gathering intelligence and in executing operations.
- So, the failures and setbacks in the Naxal areas of Chhattisgarh need to be placed in perspective.
- The fact that the Indian state has adopted a broad policy of economic development, military restraint and gradual attrition and rejected indiscriminate violence in the Naxal theatre is the democratically prudent and morally just course of action.
- This hasn’t dissuaded Maoist sympathisers from gaining international attention through relentless propaganda against our security forces.
- However, such attacks also help in exposing their true nature and hardening public resolve against them.
- \We have enough examples of successful, police led CI Ops in our country.
- Why we are not able to replicate these successes in Chhattisgarh is a matter of larger political issues, well beyond the narrow scope of operational tactics and individual lapses of police leadership.
- Not just the politics, the geography and demography of the Naxal-affected areas, make it an even more complex challenge of internal security.
Consider the question “What are the factors that make Naxal movement a persistent threat to India’s internal security? ”
Not just the politics, the geography and demography of the Naxal-affected areas, make it an even more complex challenge of internal security.