Naxalism: The Naxal name comes from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, Indian state of West Bengal where the movement originated. The Naxals are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Naxalism is growing in the undeveloped areas because of extreme poverty, unemployment and the collapse of the state structure. Government has failed to provide the access of basic human needs to the poor people living in those areas States which have Naxalism movements are – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal The Naxalites are active in approximately 40 percent of India’s geographical area. They control large portions of remote and densely forested areas and are concentrated in an area called “Red Corridor”. This area is also the tribal belt where the tension between economic development and aboriginal land rights is most apparent. Though all Naxal groups are bound by a common ideology they tend to act and react in different ways and affect a diverse kind of population which lead to varied opinions.
On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court of India declared the militia as illegal and unconstitutional. Naxals believe that power flows from the barrel of a gun, and their aim is to create a classless society. Brief History of Naxalism in India: The term Naxalism was first coined in 1967. Communist party- ideology-1925 Communist party of India under the influence of Mao tsetung In 1948, a peasant movement took place in Telangana These ideological differences led to the split of the party in 1964, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also known as CPM was formed.
In 1967, CPM participated in lections and formed a coalition United Front government in West Bengal with Bangla Congress. Comrade Charu MaJumdar launched the Naxalbari uprising against the local landlord. Birth and Growth of Naxalism: On May 25th 1967 a section of Communist Party (Marxist)(CPM) cadres rose in revolt against the oppression of peasants in Naxalbari. They were led by CPM leaders Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. CPM which advocated parliamentary politics did not support the rebellion. Rebels who were then known as Naxalites broke away from CPM and formed Naxalites movement.
Naxalite movement based itself on the rinciples of Mao (Late leader of Chinese communist Party) and Che Guevara. Rebellion also benefited from the ongoing drought in India which affected peasants. By 1972 the movement was literally dead, due to efforts by the Indira Gandhi public. In early 1980s, a Naxalite group in Andhra Pradesh state started operations against state police in adivasi areas. Slowly operations extended into the neighboring states such as Madhya Pradesh. At the same time another Naxalite group carried out operation against state police in Bihar state.
Two groups later Joined together to form the Communist Party. For the past 10 years, it has grown mostly from displaced tribals and natives who are fighting against exploitation from major Indian corporations and local corrupt officials. The Chinese government has been found to have provided sanctuary to leaders of the movement, and the Pakistani ISI to have provided financial support. The members of the Naxal movement initially try to infiltrate and develop their bases in underdeveloped areas where there exist some sort of an administrative vacuum.
While taking advantage of the feeling of neglect among the people, the Naxalites start educating them about their exploitation by the Indian state and how to bring an end to such exploitation through an armed struggle. Truth to be told, there has been a gross misunderstanding between both the parties. The State has failed to take into account the aspirations and rights of tribals. Their needs, their livelihood, are also important if we wish to march forward towards a sustainable model of development. A fully armed solution is not the way out, and the recent changes in policies like the IAP have been steps in the right direction.
While gaining the trust of all the involved parties is imperative, it is essential that the State oes not come across as being soft on law-breakers. Causes of the Threat: The causes of the Maoist movement in India are Economic, political and cultural dimensions which are closely linked. The first is the economic situation which is exploited by Naxalites and their extreme left ideology. On the one hand, India has experienced relatively fast economic growth, which has led to increased levels of national wealth. To facilitate and continue this development, businesses need more land and natural resources such as minerals.
On the other hand, this economic growth has been uneven among regions, and has widened the disparity between the ich and the poor. Proponents of these businesses argue that these regions need economic development, if they are to catch up with their richer counterparts. The Indian aboriginals, known as adivasis, live these richly forested lands, which are wanted for development by businesses. The conflict between economic progress and aboriginal land rights continues to fuel the Naxalite’s activities. Their strongest bases are in the poorest areas of India.
They are concentrated on the tribal belt such as West Bengal, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh where locals experience forced acquisition of their land for developmental projects. Businesses are making adivasis go through “sham formal consultation” processes where interests of the adivasis are not sincerely considered. Second, the alienation that is being exploited by the Maoists has a social, communal and regional dimension. The battle can also be described between India’s most neglected people and the nation’s most powerful industrial businesses. The adivasis make up about 8. percent of the population and live in severe poverty. They live in remote areas where government administration is weak and there is a lack of government services. These indigenous people have the lowest conomic alienation, it is easy to see how the Naxalite’s ideology is popular among the rural poor and indigenous tribes, and why the adivasis view the guerrillas as their “saviours”. The adivasis do not feel like they have any political power to voice their grievances legitimately, and therefore the alternative of subversive, illegal groups seem attractive.
Impact on Economic Development: The major macroeconomic effects of the Naxal movement are :- Reduction in per capita GDP growth Higher inflation rates Lower tax revenues Lower domestic investment and higher expenditure on defense at the cost of lower xpenditure on education and health Lower exports, reduced bilateral trade flows and reduced foreign direct investment inflows Micro-economic effects include lower tourist inflows, lower regional tourism market share, reduced usage of public transport, reduced long term investments in agriculture and other potential sectors, reduced enrollment in schools, lower Job availability and lack of substantial opportunities. Postive Social & Political Impact: Naxalite movement has sustained for nearly 45 years because the Naxalites have received unwavering support from the lower caste villagers and adivasis who were ime and again crushed by the higher caste zamindars or governance authorities before the Naxal surge.
A plethora of reasons contribute towards their sustained support:- Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 placed the reserved forests of the entire country in the hands of the Centre. No portion of these reserves could be utilized without the prior permission of the government. This rule led to the eviction of many adivasis from the forests and their frequent abuse by the hands of forest officers. The Naxalites stepped into such disputes and provided protection to these adivasis from the forest officers as well as eviction from their habitat. The law and administration provides no succor to displaced people and treats them with hostility since such internally displaced forest dwellers tend to settle down again in some forest region which is prohibited. The Naxalite movement has come to the aid of such victims.
The reason for displacement of people normally is extremes of poverty and social oppression, due to some irrigation or power plant projects and poor evicted from government lands. One such example was the displacement of adivasis by irrigation projects in Orissa who migrated to the forests of Andhra Pradesh. Without Naxal intervention these adivasis would have been evicted by forest officials from there as well. The Minimum Wages Act remains an act on paper for most of the rural India. It is reported that the Naxalites have ensured payment of decent wages to the labourers. In the matter of physical infrastructure like roads, school buildings, etc. the Naxalite movement has on certain occasions exerted pressure for its improvement but in certain locations and various occasions they have obstructed the paramilitary raids. The slogan of the Naxalites from the beginning has been ‘land to the tillers’. They nearly brought an end to the absentee landlordism system although this activity is still prevalent in some places. The land seized from the rich landlords was given in the hands of the peasants who cultivated that land. From the looks of it, it seems that the Naxalite movement attempted to achieve equity in the society by means of class struggle and they did achieve it to some extent but at the cost of the economic development of the state.
Negative Impacts of the Naxal Movement and Security Forces: Naxalites have always attempted to disrupt elections thereby not only preventing asses from choosing their leaders but also inhibiting them from exercising their fundamental right to vote. The Maoist extortion business is estimated to be around a whopping 2000 crore rupees. All contractors have to pay 5-10% of the project cost to Naxalites as ‘protection money Salwa Judum which was a militia set up with the approval of the government to counter the Naxals caused the displacement of 43,740 people as of 31, December 2006 from Chattisgarh. Security forces have also been alleged of recruiting minors as SPO’s (Special Police Officers) in the Salwa Judum. Salwa Judum has been alleged of practicing vigilante Justice and their activist have been held responsible for heinous crimes like torture, rape and non-Judicial executions.
Often villages and adivasis are caught in the cross firing between the security forces and the Naxals causing loss of life and property. NAXALISM & ITS EFFECTS ON BUSINESS The Naxalites may pose a graver threat to India’s economic power, potentially more damaging to Indian companies, foreign investors and the state than pollution, crumbling infrastructure or political gridlock. The growing Maoist insurgency over arge swathes of the mineral-rich countryside could soon hurt some industrial investment plans. Just when India needs to ramp up its industrial machine to lock in growth and when foreign companies are Joining the party Naxalites are clashing with mining and steel companies essential to India’s long-term success.
The other reason for sounding the alarm stems from the increasingly close proximity between the corporate world and the forest domain of the Naxalites. There is a growing concern over the widening reach of Naxalites as they operated in 30% of India, up from 9% in 2002. The terror groups have already begun operating and attacking industries on the edge of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Orissa Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. Naxalites are now planning to penetrate India’s major cities, and are looking to encircle urban centres, find sympathy among students and the unemployed and create armed, secret, self-defence squads that will execute orders.
Investments Hurdled by Naxalism: Jharkhand and Orissa have cast an ominous shadow on investment plans by private players in these states. The attacks on mining and related activities could cost Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand dear as both the states have bountiful mineral resources that can boost their economy and generate employment opportunities Many of the potential investment destinations, particularly for the extractive industry and core infrastructure sectors are situated in Naxalite-affected areas, making it unviable for commercial operations. These States are on the verge of development, which can be attributed to the rich mineral resources, changing regional politics and the boom of the Indian economy.
Unfortunately, the ongoing Naxalite activities are cting as major impediments to the overall growth of these least developed States Solutions: The complexity of the causes of the Naxalite problem as well as its implications both for internal and external security reflect a solution that is multi-dimensional and calls for a synergy between the central governments and the states. In order to comprehensively dissolve the Naxalite threat, the government has to address its root causes. Socio-economic alienation and the dissatisfaction with the widening economic and political inequality will not be solved by military force alone, which eems to be the main instrument employed by the government. The problem calls for a three-pronged solution: social and economic development, multi-lateral dialogue and military force.
Socio-economic development As the Naxalites are fuelled by discontent from the marginalized and the poor, a larger percentage of the national budget must be allocated to addressing the needs of these regions. More of the national expenditure needs to be focused on developing these poorer regions through initiatives regarding health, education, social welfare and rural and urban development. Government service delivery should e improved in these tribal areas. Both state and government must ensure that things such as statutory minimum wages, access to land and water sources initiatives are implemented. In coming up with strategies for national economic growth, the government must always bear in mind the possible effects of fast growth for all socio- economic groups in a country as large and diverse as India.
If the social needs of these marginalized people are addressed, there will be no discontent to fuel the Naxalite’s movements. Dialogue Second, the government should initiate sincere dialogue with these marginalised roups, the Naxalites and state leaders. The popularity of Naxalites with the adivasis is a reflection of the fact that the government has been unaware or “unapologetically indifferent to their plight”. By communicating and starting a dialogue between these stakeholders, these groups will feel that they being listened to. By opening dialogue, the government can give opportunity for the rebels to Join the mainstream by showing them that solutions can be created together with the government, by being part of the political system in a legitimate way.
They no longer need to resort to iolence to get the state’s attention. For example, the former director-general of AP concluded that as a result of the ceasefire and dialogue with Maoists in 2004, the violence in the state decreased by 80-90 percent in the region. Military threat is the increasing use of the military. While some military force is still needed to combat against the Maoist guerrillas, it should not be the only solution. By only addressing the issue by brute force, government risks alienating civilians who are caught in the middle. Coercion of the state will only encourage people to rally against it. Governance: The growing Naxalite insurgency also reflects a flaw in the federal structure.
Because law and order is seen as a state responsibility, the central government is unable to be implementing a coherent national strategy to address the threat. The government has the overall responsibility of mobilizing development, but it cannot do so without the support of the states. The central government and the states need to cooperate together to solve the internal security threats and coordinate the implementation of this multi-dimensional approach. Both organizations must complement and support ach other’s initiatives and strategies. Government Policies: Naxalism 2009-0peration Green Hunt Initiated with the blessings of Home minister P. Chidambaram with the objective of cleansing naxalism from the Indian main land.
The central government has recently decided to allocate meager Rs. 2 crore per year to per Naxal-affected district to develop the socio-economic situation. This is more a social and political problem than a law and order problem The Home minister made it clear that no talks will be held until the ultras abjure violence The government has also initiated publicity ampaigns in order to garner support from the general public in their efforts to crack down on the naxals New Initiative in Jharkhand (Sep 2013): State police is planning to modify its existing Naxalite surrender policy for rebels in the bid to convince them to put down arms and lead a normal life. The surrender policy promised Rs. 2. lakh in three installments, a monthly compensation of Rs 3000 with employment training, four decimal government land with Rs 50,000 cash to construct a house, free life long medical facility, free education up-to class X, incentive for marriage of daughters, among several other promises. Conclusion: To conclude, the Naxalite problem reflects underlying issues in the Indian social, economic and political institutions which threaten to expose India to even more danger from outside forces. While the Naxalite movement is mainly an internal threat, with globalisation, external and internal security threats are inextricably linked. The complex and multi-faceted approach to solving the Naxalite issue also reflects the fact that this is the biggest menace to India’s security in the future.
The only possible way for any progressive activity to take place in these areas is by eaceful negotiations and ceasefire. In conclusion, let us take a look beyond the hullabaloo into the core reason behind it all. Capitalism and communism are two sides of the same coin. Enough blood has been shed over that piece of metal Junk and humanity is yet to learn the lesson. We don’t own the coin. We are merely ephemeral entities who have been given a chance to add value to society. No one has internalize this fact, there will be no dispute. References: http://www. indiafutureofchange. com/featureEssay_D0012. htm http://naxalitereview. wordpress. com/2012/02/26/1 m pact-of- naxalism-on- development/