Very soon, the Modi Government is going to raid supporters and branches of Maoist organisations operating in cities. The Government feels that Maoist activities are not limited to far-off jungles, and have now become a threat to and in cities as well. Maoist organisations which were till now running their activities in jungles, have, dodging intelligence agencies, now infiltrated the country’s cities and the Government is planning to take strong action against them. Intelligence agencies are busy collecting evidence against sympathisers of of Naxalite organisations and are working on a plan to arrest many social workers and thinkers…
Naxalism, it is said, is the biggest threat to the country. When the UPA Government was there, then too plans were being made to counter Naxalite and Maoist terror. Some Ministers of the Government were in favor of military action. In fact, preparations were made even to send the army. Action was not taken because of two reasons. One was that the army itself refused, averring that it will not fire bullets on its own countrymen. The second reason was that members of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council (NAC) expressed their opinion against military action. Now the question is: why are there differences of perspective in solutions to fight Naxalism? Who are those people who are not in favor of military action? Why is there such a difference in their perspectives? There are no two ways about it that Naxalism is a problem. It is a violent movement. Naxalites are fighting against the Indian Government and the State Government. They want to bring change through violence. In 1991 they were limited to approximately 40 districts, but today, in 2015, they can be found spread in 270 districts. Maoist organisations don’t have any trust in India’s democracy, don’t have any trust in the judiciary. They run their activities from inside the jungles. They don’t come forward openly. The Government has banned all their organisations. The Home Ministry believes that Maoists have spread in 21 States. One of the problems is that their organisations, wherever they are active, have got local support.
The problem of Naxalism is generally viewed in two ways. Some people believe it to be a problem of law and order. Their belief is that Naxalites, by spreading violence, are rebelling against the country and because of them development work is being hindered, because they protest against development works in remote areas. Alongside this, blame has also been put on Maoists for destabilising the country by taking help from Pakistanand China. That is why people who hold this viewpoint believe that it is a violent movement, and so its answer can be given only through military action. Such people want military action against Naxalites. There is another perspective starkly opposite to this. Some people believe it to be a social and economic problem. They believe that the trust of the local people in the Government system has evaporated and is continuing to do so because the Government has been unsuccessful in making basic services-facilities available in remote rural areas, has been unsuccessful in providing employment, no system has been provided for healthcare services and education, there is corruption, and rules-regulations are not made in favor of tribals. Such people believe that widespread injustice, exploitation and backwardness are the basic reasons for movements like Naxalism. The anger of the public works as a stimulant for these movements. That is why its solution is not military action. Instead, the solution lies in change and improvement in the social and economic system.
It is certainly true that ever since Naxalitism has risen in India, this problem was not solved from a social and economic perspective. Every time the Indian Government and State Governments have tried to suppress it by force, but they have failed to fully gain control on it. This problem, arising in one State reaches a second State and from there reaches a third-fourth State. The Government deployed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), but it didn’t get much success either. Instead, thousands of CRPF soldiers were martyred. When Narendra Modi’s Government came to power, it was surmised that the central Government will fight a decisive battle against Naxalites. The Bharatiya Janata Party believes Naxalism to be a law and order problem and is therefore in favor of countering it by force.
The Home Ministry has made a new strategy to fight red terror, i.e. Naxalites. There is talk of strict action against Naxalites. It has been said the Communist Party of India (Maoist) has branches in 21 States, and those branches are running under different-different names. The Home Ministry has ordered intelligence agencies to keep an eye on their activities and collect evidence against such Maoist organisations. Nationwide, the Home Ministry has identified 128 organisations connected with Maoist and Naxalite organisations, who are running their activities in different-different States of the country. Intelligence agencies have taken the above organisations on their radar. Watch is being kept on them. In the Home Ministry’s note it has been said that the above organisation in different-different States of the country are involved in agitational activities through which they prepare people’s support for their party and are busy in preparations for an armed rebellion.
According to officials of the Home Ministry, strict action against the above organisations is a priority for the Government. According to intelligence reports, the above organisations operating in cities help Naxalite organisations, act as a coordinating link between direct and indirect activities of Naxalites. Their role primarily is that of ideologues of Naxalite organisations. Moreover, so that their movement remains alive, these are the people who lure the educated youth of cities and recruit them in their organisations, and after brainwashing them, send them to the jungles. According to an official of the Home Ministry, such organisations have been identified. Now, it remains to be proved that they are not only sympathisers of armed rebellion, but are urban faces of armed rebellion. Without any concrete evidence it is difficult to take any action against them, because in cities they have infiltrated labour organisations, social organisations and NGO’s.
Intelligence agencies came to know about the strategy of Maoists to make organisations in cities when Kobad Gandhi was arrested in Delhi in 2009. In States