The PWG and the MCC did of course rebuild the movement, but what with their violent activities, which do not spare anyone, the task of retaining people’s support is daunting. In theoretical terms, Naxalites justify their actions as a political programme to overthrow the Indian state, comprising the big landlord-comprador, bureaucratic bourgeoisie classes and the imperialism that backs them, through armed struggle and establish a people’s democratic state under the leadership of the proletariat. It states that the principal and immediate task of the present stage of the revolution is to arouse and organise people for agrarian revolutionary guerrilla war in the countryside—specially in the remote countryside—and to build a people’s army and a rural base through guerrilla warfare.5
What the government has done so far
Individual states affected by the Naxal menace have done and are doing some things to mitigate and overcome this problem. The states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have decided to share information and coordinate with one another in adjoining border areas (to stop the naxals from escaping across the borders after launching attacks).
The spread of Naxalism indicates the sense of desperation and alienation that is sweeping over large sections of our nation who have not only been systematically marginalised but also cruelly exploited and dispossessed in their last homeland.
The Jharkhand government is setting up a state industrial security force on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to protect industries as the Naxalites (who operate in 18 of the 24 districts in the state) often destroy equipment of business establishments if they are not given extortion money.
The Orissa state government will be getting 10,000 extra personnel for fighting the Naxals—long-term deployment of two battalions of CRPF in Orissa and an additional five India Reserve Battalions.
In Tamil Nadu, a 10-day guerrilla warfare training programme has begun for 320 cops in the seven districts falling under the Central Zone. The commandos of the elite STF will provide specialised training such as sophisticated arms training, combing operations in reserve forests and setting up of temporary tents and bunkers to the 320 cops.
The Kerala government is now surveying labourers from the other states as the Maoists are using the state as a hideout. The Maharashtra government and the state police are setting up a special force. The central government has ruled out the use of the army to fight the Naxal menace. Instead, it is investing in Rs 500 crore to fight the Naxals. This money will be used to provide critical mobility to the police, secure camping grounds and helipads at strategic locations and build basic roads for the forces so that they have mobility in otherwise inaccessible areas. India’s Interior Ministry has set up an antirebel cell to ensure periodic review and close monitoring of rebel activities.
The spread of Naxalism indicates the sense of desperation and alienation that is sweeping over large sections of our nation who have not only been systematically marginalised but also cruelly exploited and dispossessed in their last homeland. The adivasis are the original autochthonous people of India. Their presence in India predates that of the Dravidians, the Sryans and whoever else settled in this country. They are the original inhabitants, and in front of them, the rest are foreigners. These are ancient people with moral rights and claims thousands of years old. They were here first and should come first in our regard. Unfortunately, like indigenous people all over the world, the Indian adivasis too have been savaged and ravaged by later people claiming to be more civilised.
Naxals are targeting the poor in India, and there is no dearth of poor in India from whom they get their recruits.
The Times of India of 14 July reported that at a meeting of all the chief ministers of the affected states held under the chairmanship of Dr. Manmohan Singh, it was decided that Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal will have a unified command headed by the chief secretaries in their respective states so that there is better coordination among the police, paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies. A retired army major general will also be included in the panel.
“Unified Command will be formed in Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal while more helicopters will be deployed for logistic support, supplies and evacuation in Naxal-affected areas,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.
The meeting also cleared the government’s proposal to fund the establishment and strengthening of 400 police stations in the infested districts at the rate of Rs 2 crore per police station on 80:20 basis over a period of two years.