NAXALISM IN INDIA: REASONS, ACTIONS, CONCLUSIONS
In 1967, a land dispute took place in the Naxalbari village in West Bengal, where a peasant was beaten up by few local landlords.
This dispute led to some violent clashes between individuals and groups.
Thus, the peasant community started a movement, under the leadership of Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal, and named it as the ‘Naxalite Movement’.
The movement originated in West Bengal, and later its span increased till Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The Naxals were considered to be the far left communists, following the ideology of Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
The first phase of the movement came to an end in 1971 after the arrest and subsequent death of Charu Majumdar.
The second phase started after the formation of People’s War Group in Andhra Pradesh in 1980.
The movement weakened after internal conflicts and security operations undertaken by different states.
In 2000, People’s Guerilla Army was established, which is considered to be third phase of the movement.
This group merged with the Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI-M) and thus, the strength and firepower of the insurgents enhanced to another level.
Naxals are a group of people who believe that overthrowing the existing political system is the only way to eradicate the social and economic discrimination in the society.
The peasants in that region were basically tribals by origin, and depended on forest produce for their living.
They had no access to the basic amenities, like health, education, transport and food security. Also, they hardly had any representation in the mainstream politics.
The Forest Conservation Act of 1980 deprived them from utilizing the forest resources, due to increased number of infrastructure projects and mining operations.
The forest resources were exploited and the situation worsened.
The Maoists helped these people and provided them money, arms and ammunition. These people, having no other source of income, became soft targets of the Maoists.
Even after the defence forces took hold of the region, the civil authorities kept the people of that region deprived from their basic needs and essential services.
The confusion between the state and central governments regarding their line of action always hindered the operations.
In 1971, a joint operation was launched by the Army, CRPF and local Police, named as Operation Steeplechase. This operation played a major role in ending the first phase of Naxalism.
Operation Green Hunt was launched by the Central Government in 2009, and Commando Battalion for Resolute Actions (COBRA) was deployed in the Naxal affected areas.
Before 2010, 223 districts were affected by the Naxalism. The number dropped down to 90 districts after Operation Green Hunt.
A unified command was set up by the government in 2010 for inter-state coordination. This command made states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal share the intelligence information among themselves and made ways for unified police response.
The Ministry of Home Affairs initiated ‘Operation SAMADHAN’ to solve the problems of people living in Naxal affected regions.
SAMADHAN stands for Smart leadership, Aggressive strategy, Motivation and Training, Actionable Intelligence, Dashboard based key performance indicators (KPI), Harnessing technology, Action Plan for each theater and No access to financing.
Andhra Pradesh deployed ‘Greyhounds’, a team of local police familiar with the language and topography of the region.
The problem of Naxalism exposes the gaps in the Indian law and order and poses a question mark on the Indian Judicial System.
Employment is one of the major issues with the Naxalites. People join Naxalism due to insecure livelihood and unemployment.
Government should begin peace talks with the Naxalites, as a sincere dialogue may help in finding a complete solution to the problem.
Economic Disparity was one of the main contributors to the growth of naxalism. The gap between rich and poor needs to be filled up soon to stop people falling in these traps.
The socio-economic development of backward tribal areas should be the sole aim of the government, to enhance the living standards of the people.
Statutory minimum wages, development of basic infrastructure like schools, roads, hospitals and access to water and land resources should be ensure by the government.
The Naxals should be encourage to surrender. Government should look after their rehabilitation and bringing them back to the mainstream society.