Homeland Security

Maoists : China's Proxy Soldiers
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Issue Vol 25.3 Jul-Sep2010 | Date : 06 Oct , 2010

China operates at various levels and exploits those organizations which are best suited for a particular environment. Some parties which are overt faces of the Maoists and are in electoral politics, like the CPI (ML), become active during this period. During the monarchy, when the Maoist insurgency in Nepal was at its peak, China kept denouncing the Maoists, and maintained that the Maoists were misusing the name of Mao, but once the Maoists formed the government, the links were exposed. Against the established practice, when Prachanda became PM, the first country he visited was China. He flew to Beijing in response to invitation by premier Wen Jiabao ostensibly to attend closing ceremony of Olympic Games. This five days visit had all the trappings of an official visit. Had the Maoist government in Nepal continued, a Nepal-China Friendship Treaty on the lines of Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1950 would have been a reality. Also, hardly any Indian business concern or Indian project has escaped the intimidation and violence of the Maoists in Nepal, but no Chinese industries, business interests and projects have been targeted.

The second phase, but very close to the third phase. The second phase of strategic stalemate is also characterized by leveraging of planted media and so-called intellectuals, who are on their payroll or sympathizers.

The “terror dictionary” of the Maoists is more vicious and exhaustive than that of Islamic terrorists. The entire state and its citizenry are their target. They are particularly against development for fear of losing their coercive appeal and consequently their huge earnings. The extortion industry of the Maoists is estimated to be worth Rs. 15,000 crores. Even the armed forces personnel are not spared, the latest victim being one Group Captain RK Prasad, who had to cough-up Rs.10 Lacs for the release of his brother, kidnapped by the Maoists in Jharkhand. Incidentally, the Group Captain was one of the officers coordinating air effort at Air Headquarters during 26/11. Two decades back, the retired Air Chief Denis Anthony La Fontaine, who had chosen to settle in a rural area of Andhra Pradesh, was robbed of his pistol and belongings by the Maoists. Apart from abductions, extortions and lootings, the funding of the Maoists is also through poppy cultivation from Ghagra area in Gumla in Jharkhand, parts of Kishanganj and Purnea in Bihar, and also parts of Chattisgarh.

It is therefore clear that the Maoist movement has been a continuous reality in India for last at least five decades. For an enduring solution, the imperative is to root out the problem in a manner that it does not raise its head again, and China does not succeed in fragmenting India into 20 or 24 parts, as one Chinese scholar recently threatened. It is time that the fact that Maoists are the proxy soldiers of China is realized and in an event of a India-China military standoff, they would act as fifth columnists.


The Maoist leaders in India are known to be inspired by the guerilla movement (Shining Path) in Peru. They have divided their insurgency in three phases: strategic defence—which is the period of preparation and establishment of a strongholds in the rural areas; strategic stalemate—when the insurgents and security forces are at par and the phase is characterized by negotiations between the government and the insurgent leaders; and strategic offensive—when the insurgents make final assault on the citadel of government. In the reckoning of the Maoists, they are in the second phase, but very close to the third phase. The second phase of strategic stalemate is also characterized by leveraging of planted media and so-called intellectuals, who are on their payroll or sympathizers.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

RSN Singh

is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW and author of books Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and The Military Factor in Pakistan. His latest book is The Unmaking of Nepal.

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