Origin and Evolution of Naxalite Movement in India

First question which comes in mind is what are Naxalites or what is Naxalism and how this movement evolved in India over a period of time. This article will try to answer some of these question and will shed some light on how  government dealt with the Naxalite issues in past few years and if their efforts are enough to counter Naxalite problem.

Naxalite are basically the followers of Maoists political sentiments and ideology, they refers to the various militant communists groups operating in different parts of India under the name of different organization. The naxalite movement was first initiated in small village of West Bengal, where a section of Communist Party of India (Maoists) (CPM) led by Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal initiated a violent uprising in 1967. Naxal or Naxalite has no meaning as such, but the word Naxalite is derived from the name of village Naxalbari in West Bengal where the Naxalite movement movement was initiated . This uprising was against the landlords and aims at distribution of land to the landless poor people. So initially Naxalite movement was for landless tribes  and gain much support among them.
The Naxalite movement first concentrated on West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh but declined due some reasons like: state force, land reforms by Government, splits within the Naxalites and many others. The movement didn't ends here, parts of the maoists cadre which remained intact in earlier phase, started there political operations in new districts, especially in forested areas, where people were exploited by the contractors, local politician and local bureaucrats. These factors provided fuel to the expansion of Naxalite movement. Maoists groups like People's War Group ( PWG), Maoists Communists Center (MCC), The Red Flag and others arose again and spread in the tribal areas. These groups came together in September 2004 to form The Communists Party of India (Maoists).

The Naxal infected areas as the Indian Government calls them falls under fifth Schedule area that have special status in Constitution for the purpose of preserving tribal existence. The Government claims that almost one fourth of the 600 district in 12 Indian states consisting of 7,000 villages and 19% of the Indian forests are "extremism affected ". This could be considered as one of the reason, though not much influencing, for the stronghold of Naxal ideology and movement in India.

Between 2005 and 2008, there has been a threefold increase in Maoists' armed cadres. They mainly get support from the tribal, dalits, the poorest and most deprived section of the Indian people who face economic, social and political exclusion, denial of justice, unresolved land disputes, non- payments of minimum wages, eviction from their land on account of mining and other projects, attacks from the upper castes, contractor lobbies, etc. Reports show that violence against them is increasing resulting in the strengthening of this movement. The areas where Government is unable to perform or is absent, are main targets of Maoists and this non functionality of government is evident from the poor condition of schools and primary health centers. Earlier Maoists used the voids created by government to establish their alternate system of power, and now the condition has become so worse that they are not providing any space to government for carrying out development activities. Hence they are exploiting the gap between government and people to spread their movement and not allowing government to fill those gaps while people are resilient by force not by choice.

In year 2008 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned, "Naxalism is the greatest threat to our internal security". The credit, however, goes to the Government for the survival of the movement for over 40 years, which has failed in addressing the cause and condition that sustain the movement. Government is looking at Naxalite problem as law and order issue without analyzing the root cause of this uprising. Government policies of repression against Naxalite are just like cutting branches of the trees without harming its root. Government is totally failed in detecting the root cause of this disturbance which is the socio-economic disparity among different classes. All the regions in which the Naxal movement took holds are ones with alarming levels of poverty. This movement is simply thriving on the dissatisfaction of the marginalized population. However in current scenario it has taken a different form.
  • The government has to do much more than plan counter insurgency operation or support violent vigilante groups to suppress the Naxalite movement.
  • Instead of using repression policies in Naxal infected areas Government should think for the development of these areas.
  • Government should increase the participation of people of these areas in policy making and make them feel more Indian.
Government is rejecting these people so they are bound to accept Naxalism and fuel this movement, as they are not left with any choice. Their youths are unemployed, they are poverty stricken and suppressed, Government should at least provide them some option,  (which, I know, is not an easy task as maoists will restrict government) so that they could choose between Government and Naxals. The Maoists have linked up with the local struggles for livelihood. Where the local people see some significant effort by government, the Maoists are not popular. Who would want to go to the Maoists school if the government school functioned? People argue that they are caught between the ' Maowadi and Khaowadi' (The Maoists and the corrupt police).

Comments

  1. Male-ego conflict based in male's natural ego system, resulted in many movements,for thousands of years. In, male dominated society and government, male-ego is always pampered from both the sides,causing every movement, which is originally meant for the beneficial of suppressed group, to divert from its goal and ultimately to fall in the hands of male dominated violence and suppression. So is the Naxalites movements

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    Replies
    1. Not to belittle the people who initially gave up their life for the well being of deprived people, those who are now leading this front don't want it to end as it will make them irrelevant.

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