Maoist insurgency is a national security issue. It has plagued India since 1967 when the rebellion in Naxalbari of West Bengal erupted under the leadership of Kanu Sanyal and Jagan Santhal. Soon the flames of rebellion engulfed eastern India especially the states today infamous as red corridor. These include Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Maoist ideology can be summed up as-
‘Maoism is a form of communism they’ve lapped by Mao Tse Tung. It is a doctoring to capture state pass through a combination of armed insurgency, mass mobilisation and strategic alliances. The Maoists also used propaganda and disinformation against state institutions as other components of their insurgency doctrine we do it Mao called this process, the protracted People’s War, where the emphasis is on military line to capture power.’
Reasons for spread
The main reasons behind the spread of Naxalism were the low level of socio-economic development. The districts affected by Naxalism are one the worst performing regions in various developmental indices of India. Poverty and inequality are rampant. Education, hospitals, roads and other basic infrastructure are not well-developed. This coupled with tribal discontent lead to widespread anguish among the people. The forests and the mineral-rich plateau are exploited threatening the livelihoods of the tribal population. The ideology could be metastasised among people who were left behind in the process of progress. Their minds can be manipulated easily since they lack a reliable source of income. They take arms to fight against the system.
The increasing incidences of Violence is a cause of concern. The latest big attack was observed in April this year. A joint operation of local police and central police force ended with the tragic death of 23 security personnel in Bastar. The failure of the operation highlighted major loopholes in the strategic preparedness as well as the intelligence system.
How to resolve the tension
The government has taken a few steps in this direction. They include the following
— Operation Green hunt initiated in 2010 brought down the number of districts under the clutches of Naxalism from 223 to 30.
— Aspirational Districts Program (ADP) which was recently recognised by UNDP as a model to tackle regional disparities, is another move by the government to solve the developmental problem of these districts and uplift them.
— National policy and action plan to address left-wing extremism was formulated to address the issue.
— SAMADHAN doctrine evolved as a result government efforts. It is an acronym.
S- Smart leadership
A- Aggressive strategy
M- Motivation and training
A- Actionable intelligence
D- Dashboard based key performance indicators and key result areas
H- Harnessing technology
A- Action plan for each theatre
N- No access to financing
Lastly, the experts are of the opinion that patience in getting the results is important. Any tactic to resolve left wing extremism will take time. It will be a slow process and even small acorns to win over the people will fetch results. For example, Telangana’s Guthi Kiya tribal region saw a reduced attendance of people in secret meetings called by the Maoists. This was so because the local police distributed water filter and television sets to the people who are busy using these facilities. This can weaker the influence of Maoists. Likewise, other small actions which can open the doors to the world outside the tribes can help in improving the situation by making people aspirational.