Naxalism – UPSC GS3

  • More than 1 lakh armed police forces have been deployed in 10 Naxal-affected states.
  • Lack of inter-State connectivity has hampered their operations on many occasions.
  • Road Requirement Plan-II –> building bridges and roads connecting two or more state to ensure smooth movement of security forces.
Modus Operandi of Attack/Rebellion Of Naxalites
  • Belief in Mao Zedong Principals of Guerrilla warfare , tailored according to local needs that is Retreat when Enemy advances, then harass when they [enemy] camp and attack when they are tired.
  • In meantime , there is rebel recruitment across states nearby
  • Greatest concentration is in Chhattisgarh and nearby areas where the Security forces are maximum deployed
  • Meetings are done for military action on security forces
  • Hours of Dark/daylight, celerity in action of hiding in Forest and bushes, Use of terrain , information and misinformation are some other tactics
Expanding bases through
  • Decimation of Maoist rebel in Less Density rebel areas in other states ,
  • Recruitment on account of area’s poverty, forest cover, Issues of tribal dignity, caste based ill treatment and Arms/ammunition link from the NE
Globalisation and Naxalism:
In 1991, the India took the path of reforms by embracing liberalization, globalization etc. These led to the flow of investment into India. The quality of life of middle class and urban people increased. But the waves of prosperity emanating from globalization never reached to the poor Indian. A quiet anger started developing among the poor and neglected Indian.
Thus today’s Maoist movement is the manifestation of deep social malaise as a result of the collapse of good governance and the intrusion of commercial interest into corporate bodies in the tribal domain.
As we are heading to the era of globalization the aspirations go on increasing and a new stage of appropriation has begun with mining, industrial projects, dams and irrigational projects getting precedence over tribal rights and welfare and hence boosting the Naxalite movement in the region.
  1. In Niyamgiri, Odisha, land which is the abode for Dongria tribes has been handed over to the multinational Vedanta Group which will completely destroy the livelihood and will affect more than 20,000 tribes.
  2. In Bastar, Chattisgarh, Tens of thousands of adivasis are being forcibly evicted from their forest in the name of Bodh Ghat Dam.
  3. The Polavaram project will displace 2.5 lakh Dorla tribals from Bastar and Telangana.
These incidences mobilizes Naxalite movement with the support of deprived section and results into violent attack on school, police station, roads, rail-tracks which they often view in suspicion and treat them as an encroachment of their traditional rights. Attacks on telecom towers in Jharkhand plunged most parts of the state and neighboring areas into a ‘blind’ or ‘Zero-network zone’.
Major components of a counter insurgency initiative are
  1. Ideological: The basic ideology of the Naxal movement is that of alleging the state to be anti-poor which resulted in the deprivation of the people living in the affected areas. This ideology has been deep rooted in the cadres as well as the residents. A strategy which counters this ideology and checks its spread is thus imperative.
  2. Developmental: It has to be realized that the current situation in the Naxal affected areas is due to governance and development deficit at some point of time. There can be no substitute for development and the developmental strategy should focus on overall development of the region through education, employment, health care, women empowerment, local governance, etc. besides recognizing that majority of the population is tribal and the development should not deny them of their habitat.
  3. Police: The violent activities of the Naxalites needs to be taken care of with a strict hand. Although, assassination, extreme use of force, should be taken as a last resort. The state and central police should largely comprise of personnel belonging and willing to work in the affected areas so that their knowledge and acquaintance can be used to further developmental work. Force alone is also detrimental. A balance has to be kept. We need force to ensure peace to pursue development projects.
  4. Intelligence – Effective intelligence network to know firsthand their operations and hideouts for minimal but effective counter attack is the prime component. Use of local communities, enlisting locals into police forces should be done.
  5. Technology – It can be the difference between insurgents and our forces. Technology ensures accurate, minimal and effective efforts. Allow the geography of those regions make technology critical. Use of Eco towers for energy, solar panels, GPS, drones etc.
  6. Coordination – Coordination between different counter insurgency forces that is the state intelligence, police, Special Forces such as Octopus and the central para military and intelligence makes counter insurgency effective.
  7. Local communities – These people are the encouragement for Naxalites. They are the main recruits. It is essential that we resolve their grievances and win their trust in the Government and Indian constitution.
  8. Well motivated security forces: the basic needs of our forces on ground are not being duly attended to; ration & supplies, medics/paramedics, air support etc. are either lacking or missing; such petty issues can make or break motivation of our soldiers; adversely affecting their resolve to fight Naxalites.
On the whole, the strategy should be a mix of force and favor. The motive should be to  win their hearts and minds. A comprehensive and holistic strategy with the stated components will make these communities join mainstream India.
Why people take up arms? 08/04/2016
The reasons for young people taking up arms in some impoverished regions are wide-ranging. They include-
  • Profound agrarian crisis, caused by abysmally low public investments in dry-land agriculture and farmer income protection.
  • Failures of land reforms.
  • Promotion of unsustainable, high-cost, risky agricultural technologies.
  • The ecological degradation of the countryside.
  • Decline and dispossession from forests.
  • Contraction of rural credit.
Food for thought:
  • Can reservation in private sector for socio-economic backward class be a solution to this?
Related Questions:
  • Critically analyse the strategy used by Naxalites in India to attack state forces and expand their base. (200 Words)
  • In the light of increasing Naxalite violent activities despite government’s efforts to stall them, in your opinion, what should be the critical components of counter insurgency strategy followed by the government agencies? Critically discuss. (200 Words)
  • How do you analyse the Maoist movement (Naxalite) in the context of globalization and its effects, especially developmental projects that are being implemented, on the regions affected by Maoist insurgency? (200 Words)
  • What are the reasons for young people taking up arms in India’s  impoverished regions? It is said that India is facing ever-mounting employment crisis, especially in private sector. What solutions are there to fix this problem? Critically comment. (200 Words)

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